Enlightenment and Renaissance, by fiat

Its all happening in Pakistan

Europe went through a painful process of Renaissance and Enlightenment, and took a few centuries to do it. Pakistan on the other hand achieved both within a year. The problem is, you have to take Musharraf’s word (pardon the oxymoron) for it.

“I’m sorry, I don’t want to boast about myself,” he said, “but there is a renaissance, there is a big change we are trying to bring about.”

Though he said he had not yet decided to remain army chief beyond the Dec. 31 deadline, he asked pointedly, “How did General de Gaulle continue in uniform all through his period as president of France, and France is a democratic country?”[NYT]

The humble general not only credited himself with bringing about a renaissance (as evidenced by the Hudood ordinance and the stalled reform of the madrassas) but also compared himself to a modern-day General de Gaulle. The French certainly will not be amused.

4 thoughts on “Enlightenment and Renaissance, by fiat”

  1. Musharaff is right : There is always a big change in pakistan and it occurs almost every day. The comments comming from pakistani officials change everyday pakistan switches allegiance from taliban/ AL qaeda to the US on a regular basis. So change is fundamental to pakistan.

    As far as comparing himself to General De Gaulle is concerned its not musharaff’s fault, all these changes have made him delusional.

  2. Islam has a long hostory of suppresswing all creative instincts in a population – whether it be art or science or literature or music. (Now, now, don’t go on telling me about algebra and the number system – both were borrowed form elsewhere or had their origins in pre-islmaic cultural achievements).
    Again and again the trend is repeated across the world – look at all the conquered peoples – persia, indonesia, north africa et al… what have they achieved and produced since coming under islam’s yoke? Islam is a complete system of belief and explanation for the universe and tio that extent permits no freedom of thought or enquiry. What these conquered and murdered cultures may have achieved is despite islam, not because of it. So it is wiith pakistan as well.
    No generalissimo can will it otherwise, Its a socio-cultural and politcal-economic megatrend that cannot be reveresed until the effects of islam on every walk of life are suppressed and reversed.

    Yeah, sure its politically incorrect and indigestible to say things like these. But hey, islam is a long way from conquering the internet and as long as ther net is free, one is free to pursue these lines of enquiry.
    So if you don’t like it, prove me wrong. Else shove it.

  3. Sudhir,

    800 years ago, it was Christianity that held sway over peoples’ lives in very much the same way as you describe. It was a total system of belief, with its own interpretations of everything from evolution to cosmology. Galileo died because of his defiance. Ironically, it was Islam that spread the advances made in science, technology and philosophy to Europe (from India and China).

    The current ‘closed’ version of Islam is basically of Saudi Arabian origin and has spread on the back of petro-dollars. More than a century ago, the centres of Islamic civilisation were Cairo, Baghdad and Beirut; all of which had a cosmopolitan bent.

    Pakistani society in particular needs Reformation, Renaissance and Enlightenment. But this is not possible under the current dispensation where the military and the mullahs are in bed together.

  4. There will be lot of Reformation, Renaissance and Enlightenment when the oil wells dry up. Till then we will have to watch this dance drama

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