CultureDevelopmentEducationGilgit - BaltistanPakistanPolitics

[Election 2009] Who shall lead us? – IV

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  1. The most important issues of Gilgit-Baltistan including Hunza are education and economic developed. Once, we achieve these goals, the rest will follow automatically.

  2. I agree with Dr. Rahim. Education will bring out all awareness in all of us. Please stop talking about politics being your first priority. That is how all these corrupt politians are ruling you. Look at the leadership of the country all the way down to local leaders. People with fire power and favoritism are leading this nation not educated.
    Wake the hell up people.

  3. I think our core issues is the Political Status, Education and Preservation of our Culture, untill we’re not clearly identified as a Nation having unique culture nd history, we’ll not be able to make any progress… We need to get educated, we need to know ourselves, we need to keep an eye on What is going on with us..?? We need to be Awakened.

  4. @Amjad Khan
    My aim of putting Politics on first periority was not to empower our dirty politicians. We’re compelled to poke our nose into politics. Dear bro, our scenerio is different frm Islamabad, Khi, Pesh, Lahore nd Quetta, we need to be politically educated. I said it coz, it is We, who has to come on the front line and work for the development of our people in true sense.

  5. I do not see eye to eye with Dr. Sabit Rahim and Amjad Khan. Education does not necessarily leads to political empowerment. Sometimes it becomes the very source of de-politicisation. Take the example of Hunza. Everyone is complaining about leadership crisis. This situation is a cumulative result of various socio-economic factors, change in lifestyle and our perception about politics. At broader level we can see that Pakistan is ruled by people who have been educated in the best institutions of the world, but class difference and economic interest does not let the ruling elite to address the grievances of common folk.

    Culture is a broader category which encompasses material and non-material dimensions of the society. By definition culture is not and cannot be static. If we stick to our traditions by declaring it culture then we are feeding on dead carcasses like vulture. In such a case culture becomes vulture. Therefore, we need to be cognizant of becoming slave to dead traditions that stifles creativity. And culture is product of creativity. We cannot develop overall culture when we are lagging behind in political arena, lacking social harmony, averse to creativity, thinking still trapped in tribalism and unable to come out of our cocoon. Only by getting rid of these ailments we can be able to develop culture.

    Here I am not saying our culture, because in postmodern age it is very difficult to maintain genuine or pristine form of culture typical of closed societies. Rather the emerging culture in different social settings will be hybrid. For example, I am Hunzukutch born and brought up in Gilgit. My identity is not as purely Hunzukutch as my grandfather. Rather my identity became hyphenated as Gilgiti-Hunzukuch. I think the Diasporas of Hunza are typical of hyphenated identities typical of postmodern age. Perhaps the pressing issue for the educated people of Gilgit-Baltistan is identity crisis. I am writing on issue of identity crisis among the denizens of Gilgit-Baltistan (again a hyphenated name for identity).

    What I want to convey is that the factors mentioned above for the poll are intertwined and their interface is convoluted. We need to engage with this complexity so that the underlying pattern of Gilgit-Baltistani society comes to fore. For this purpose we need to have people who can intellectually engage with and explore the issues related to tradition, modernity and post modernity. At this moment I remember a fabulous dialogue of Andrea, one the characters of Bertolt Brecht in his famous drama Galileo. In a particular scene Adreas is engage in a dialogue with his teacher Galieo. He says:

    Andrea: “Unhappy is the land that has no heroes.”
    Galileo: “No Andrea, unhappy is the land that needs a hero.”

    The last dialogue encapsulates the dilemma of our society. Alas! Culturally we failed to produce a single writer who has ability to capture anxieties of our society in his writings. Currently, do you know who has exquisitely capture dilemmas of our society in poetical words? It is Jan Ali. But remember he is illiterate but his insights of society are much deeper than so called educated person like us. So gentlemen, do not expect much from education. It is useless if it fails to change us.

  6. @ Aziz Ali Dad & @ Sabit Rahim
    In Hunza there is a particular fascination with the idea of ‘culture’, however without properly understanding and effectively engaging with it. I think this particular fascination partly stems from the involvement of international NGOs in programmes and projects that sought ‘preservation of indigenous culture’. In order to achieve that objective several projects were launched in Hunza including the restoration of Baltit Fort and the surrounding old settlements, the Altit Fort, projects in Ganesh and also Shigar Fort in Baltistan. Over the years when tourism was at its peaks the idea of ‘culture’ actually became a business creating opportunities for entrepreneurs to sell ‘cultural items’ such as artefacts, traditional embroidery, even music and cultural shows to foreign and domestic tourists.

    Both Baltit Fort in Hunza and Shigar Fort in Baltistan are now essentially conduits for income generation and employment. This policy in itself is not bad or unwelcome and wile I am not disparaging the great work done by these NGOs to restore these otherwise decaying buildings to their former glory but I am certainly critical of the leadership that subsequently took over to manage these ‘new buildings’. I am certainly critical of the policies that were put in place to use these buildings for making money instead of encouraging creative arts, centres of knowledge, and research on local culture and history. Of course this falls on our own shoulders! Now is the time, perhaps in the absence or lack of tourist cash-inflows, to try and shed light as to what culture means and how it can be experienced individually and also collectively. Of course we can explore ideas along the way, questioning old and static traditions, charting out new synthesis from existing realities. This is both a collective endeavour and also an individual initiative, because we are both shaped by a prevailing situation and also change it through individual action.

    Politics and economic development !
    In this brief comment I would like to seriously question a view put forward by Dr Sabit Rahim below. He is an economist of national standing and has been at the helm of crafting national-level economic strategies and managing financial issues. I am disappointed to see his lopsided and naïve understanding of issues that beset us in Gilgit-Baltistan. While I would agree that education and economic development are key pre-requisites for social change but it remains to be seen as to who and how economic development itself would be kicked-off. If we remain politically isolated, stagnant, without a sense of responsibility and feeling of community then we risk keeping ourselves in complete disharmony with everything else that happens around us. Who will devise those policies of economic development, where will we find resources to initiate the holy grail of development? NGOs, aid agencies, or the government! NGOs are transitory institutions with specific agendas who would exit from the system once their objectives are met, but the government is the way forward. if we remain silent and not let our voices be heard then we risk not getting necessary government resources. It is through collective political action that we must not only reconnect our relations with the state but also ensure a continuous policy making process that takes into account issues of justice and social redistribution of resources.

    We normally understand politics as the story of corrupt and self-serving individuals, but seldom ask the question that whatever we do in society in relations to others is essentially political at its base, as post-modernists would have us believe that ‘personal is political’. If we fail to create vibrant civil society, if we fail to strengthen open processes of political participation then we fail on everything else. It is through active and creative engagement with public matters that we can hope to create political spaces where good leadership will distil and emerge. It is in the arena of politics where normally heroes are born, as Aziz laments that our society lacks heroism. Heroes have stories of struggle, failures, frustrations, and ultimate success, defying all odds against them.

  7. If you are good in Education .. you can cover up all other things..
    We need better education system, better schools and a good management.

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