In this age of social media, there is little barrier between borders as search on the internet courtesy Google and YouTube provides a wide range of choices. In the course of my net browsing and Googling in search of knowledge, I have come across an erudite Pakistani intellectual; whom I learnt later, is respected and hated both in Pakistan and India.
He is a Hassan Nisar, a political critique and media commentator, known for his direct and no nonsense criticism on Pakistan politics and sub-continent as a whole.
Watching him on YouTube and listening to his views is quite refreshing and his hard hitting comments make him respectable.
Though he is a trained journalist, his thoughts shed a lot of wisdom, education and knowledge as there is deep philosophical thought in them. He has vast knowledge on Islamic theology, Islamic history, history of major religions of the world, world history and the history of our subcontinent. His comments interchange these subjects and gives furniture to his thoughts.
He is open minded, liberal, sentimental and fiercely independent person. He represents a sample of true “Punjabi” breed of the subcontinent and if you know the Punjabi verses Bengali jokes, you can fit in the former category.
When he switches off from his chaste Urdu and comes to his rustic Punjabi, his heart and mind illuminate wisdom. One can only admire the guts of his speech and his dare devil attitude.
When an anchor asked him to comment on some persons deeply involved in corruption, his pun was, "If I utter their names, a head bath becomes obligatory on me." His wit and pun is adores who can connect with him, he earns their admiration.
He is a strong willed and independent person. He had an ideological difference with his father. He left his family fortune and changed the name of his birth and got separated from his parents. Later, when he earned fame and recognition with his new name, he reconciled with his Father.
He has clinical analysis of history and politics of the subcontinent that he says is polluted by religious dogmas. He exposes the naked truth of falsehood preached by politicians that is laced in bigotry and hatred and call it as national pride.
Hasan has no sugar coating to the naked truth when he says people of subcontinent love false icons and liberal dose of lies, hope as their regular diet and those in power feed them with such false hopes.
When he compares the past laurels of the subcontinent with the present, he is very graphic. While extolling the contribution of the subcontinent he says, this is the place where we had the "Indus Valley Civilization". The Vedas and Upanishads were written here. Buddhism and Jainism originated here. “Milind Panah”, a thought provoking textbook on wisdom was written here. The great Panini was born here. Nalanda and Taxila places of highest level of education were here. He asks now if we compare from past to present what is the contribution of the subcontinent to the world?
His criticism makes it clear that the politics and quality of political leadership alone can make a transformation in the society. The concocted truth, wrap in bunch of lies is not going to shape the future of the current generation. He suggests urgent correction such fossilized trend (without a major surgery) for a developing a brighter future of the subcontinent.
Words of such a person are difficult to swallow, and to digest them is even more painful. It is impossible to act on his thoughts in the current mindset of the national politics.
Nonetheless many people admire his gut, and some hates him for the same. He is a controversial person who is loved and hated across the border. I wonder why India does not have such crackpots who can stir our consciousness. If you have not listened to Hassan Nisar yet, YouTube him.
[Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
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