Essays

Suggestions for Improvement in Judicial System Essay

The Government has accorded priority to streamlining the judiciary, a step long-awaited and presently hailed by the masses. The public reposes confidence in the Government, due to its result-oriented policies saved the country from economic collapse. It is true that the poor have not yet received the benefits of his policies and has promised that the masses will benefit financially in the near future.

Poverty alleviation is the government’s top priority. Fortunately, it has found time to address the core issue of reforming judiciary, which needs a major surgery and blood transfusion to make it operational and more efficient.

Our judicial system, by and large, is based on laws prevalent during the imperialist days but modified to an extent under the Pakistan Penal Code to give them better cosmetic look. The system has failed to deliver, as it should have. For a poor man at the grass-root level a litigant goes in and out of court in the hope of getting quick justice. The common man feels that as compared to a rich and influential person he stands no chance to get a fair deal.

Justice is costly both in terms of lawyer fees and the court fees. Imagine for a claim of rupees one lakh you have to cough out rupees 7,000 as court fee. Can a poor man afford it, including the lawyer fee?

When we talk of revamping-streamlining the system we have to address the areas in which the system is bogged down due to practices that have impeded the flow of justice unhindered. The lawyers’ community may be one party to consult but the major affectees are the litigants whose difficulties need to be assessed if any relief is to be given. The consensus amongst the litigants at present is that they commit a blunder of knocking at the doors of justice. Leave aside the delay in the finalization of their cases perpetual slogging in and out of the courtrooms with no list in sight at the other end of the tunnel makes them dejected and firings along a psychological pressure, which is nerve-wracking. What then are the litigants facing the problems?

The workload on the judges.

On daily basis a judge has to deal with 50 to 55 cases. He has eight duty hours and with lunch and tea break he is left with seven working hours a day. For 50 cases he can accord eight minutes per case if he works persistently. His reader selects 10 to 15 cases for detailed hearing on that day. The litigants left over are given another date which may extend to two months’ period. Now it is routine and seventy percent of the litigants move out of the courtroom dejected perhaps cursing the system. A reasonable number of cases are assigned to the judge so that he deals with the cases fairly. There is no value of the time of a litigant. He reports at 8 am and awaits a call to go in. No one is bothered.

Adjournments delays

To get a case adjourned is simple. Cough out some money to the reader and you get the adjournment for a period of your choice. Simple as that! Then there is the adjournment sought by the lawyer. This may be on flimsy grounds like the absence of a witness, non-availability of a document. Anything that would impress the judge to give adjournment there should be strict law that must be enforced. A judge must reprimand a habitual lawyer who seeks adjournments. Very rare is a lawyer reprimanded in this aspect.

Faulty investigations by police

The standard of police investigations is well known to everyone. Investigation cells have been created and this responsibility has been segregated from normal police duties. An ASI or a Sub Inspector can hardly read an application in English. Investigation is an art that has to be learnt. The Police believe in third degree methods. These are outdated and the Police blow its trumpet by getting forced confessions. The judges during trial can foresee faulty investigations and per-force they are compelled to let go a criminal due to lack of evidence. There should be an appropriate law to give desecration to the judges to punish if their conscience is satisfied that a concerned person has committed a crime. The police officials must undergo special investigation courses arranged by the Ministry of Interior with Scotland Yard or the FBI. A Close liaison with these set-ups will polish investigation techniques in vogue with our police force. Some of highranking officials of the lever of ASP or SPs are detailed to attend such courses abroad. Fixation of lawyers’ fees.

The existing lawyer fee needs to be evaluated keeping in view the financial state of a common litigant. Some lawyers charge fees beyond the means of a poor man who can ill-afford it. An assessment of fees at the sessions High Court level and its fixation will help the poor financially. Those who can ill-afford to pay fees are deprived of getting justice, which is the basic constitutional right of a citizen.

Legal aid system: Study the legal aid system of UK-Canada-France and the government must adopt one of them with modifications. In the Canadian legal aid system anyone who cannot afford the attorneys’ fee applies to the government for assistance. His financial status is assessed. If he falls within the purview of assistance he is provided a lawyer. The government has a long list of lawyers approved for the purpose and he is at will to select one. Simple as that! There are legal aid societies that exist but are not within the knowledge of a poor man. A system well designed should be formulated and put in place. Professional training of judges.

A judge, when inducted in service, attends a basic course to familiarise him with judicial procedures at 1slamabad – Lahore Academy. Thereafter no specialized training is imparted to him in his subsequent service to upgrade his professional skills. A judge must go through periodical courses to acquaint himself with constantly changing techniques and dictates of law. This needs to be evaluated and attended to with all seriousness. Practically a judge may acquire working experience but a real brush with the law and the procedure require persistent upgrading of knowledge.

Working environments within the courts

The existing courtrooms give a gloomy picture of the environment within and around the court premises. There are no adequate seating arrangements within the room. As a result the litigants squat outside the courtroom sitting on the floor. The women hide in a corner away from the male population. This is below human dignity. There should be seating arrangements within the courtroom. Outside in the verandah, there are no fans – no drinking water. Image a litigant standing outside in scorching heat – no water toilet facility for eight hours. This itself is a punishment and an ordeal, which he undergoes for no fault of his. We call our society a civilized one. No one responsible has ever dared to witness this. Imagine a heart patient or a diabetic standing for eight hours almost at “Attention” position. What if he faints? By the time medical aid is provided to him he could well expire. There are beggars entering the courtroom seeking alms. Then there are a host of sellers of spectacles squatting outside waiting for customers.

Dress of Judges – Magistrates

There appears to be no dress regulation observed by the judges. You can see a judge in Shalwar-Kamiz and a waist coast or in a suit. After all there must be some dress designated to be worn while attending courts. No one bothers. Lack of judicial monitoring system.

The best of the system if not monitored cannot produce results. Unfortunately, there is no monitoring system be it judiciary or executive. We have failed to deliver at the local government and in a judiciary. For any system to be efficiently operational it must be monitored. Feedback is the crux of the issue. Our bureaucrats -politicians are chair-borne at the upper level of the hierarchy. They are satisfied with the OK reports they receive from the subordinates. No one gets out on the field to see and inspect – take corrective measures. An ordinary person has no means to report. The worst is that no one listens. Our print and electronic media have adopted a policy of complacency and fail to highlight discrepancies and sufferings of the masses. The inspection teams at the provincial and federal level are reactivated. The print and electronic media highlight their presence. The common man must know how to report in case of need.

We are fortunate that our Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry taking interest in matters that concern the public. Poverty alleviation – corruption – healths are some areas where he is focusing his efforts. Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry is striving to improve the living conditions of the poor, which is being reflected by his judicial policies. Given the time and consistency, things will improve.

Islam and Democracy Essay

Outline

  • Introduction
  • Relation of Islam to democracy
  • Slavery is a natural institution
  • Western-type of definition of democracy
  • Magna Carta
  • Free world
  • The sovereignty of belongs to Allah
  • Islam abolish monarchy
  • The system of pious caliphate
  • State and society in Islam
  • Fundamentals of the Islamic constitution
  • Islamic democracy differ in modern democracies
  • Imperialism and democracy
  • Conclusion

The things that concern man most vitally are the most difficult to define. Who has ever succeeded to offer a definition of religion that would satisfy all creeds and all sects and all philosophers of religion? The difficulty is not less in every single religion, great or small. The hundreds of Christian sects would define Christianity differently, every one considering some one or more traits as essential constituents of it while the other would regard them either un-Christian or of secondary importance. Islam is proverbially reputed to have seventy-two sects though it would be difficult for any research scholar to count more than half a dozen. Hinduism is a completely undefinable entity and it is now agreed, only for the sake of a census that whoever calls himself Hindu is a Hindu, irrespective of his beliefs or practices. Besides the division of sects, individuals within the pale of the same creed have widely different views and angles of vision about what actually constitutes the essence of religion.

We do not expect that the view of religion, and of Islam in particular, as presented in this essay would be universally accepted; however, we may substantiate it by the authority of Quran and the Sunnah. We like-minded co-religionists would hold it to be true but whoever cares to differ may interpret the same verses differently or quote others to contradict my interpretation.

The subject of the relation of Islam to democracy would present further difficulties because democracy seems to have become as undefinable as religion or love. From the beginning of democracy in any part of the world up to the present times when it almost seems to have taken the place of religion as an ideal or a way of life, opinions about its nature and value have been divergent and contradictory. Western political histories usually start with Greek democracies paying special attention to Athenian democracy as a typical institution. Some lovers of Greek culture praise it as much today as Pericles did when he called it the high watermark of civilization. But the most famous of the Greek political philosophers, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, considered it to be irrational and disgraceful institutions, the last one having the biggest world-conquering monarch as his glorious disciple. Let us quote a sentence from Aristotle’s Politics (Book V. Ch. 1, Sec. 2). He says, “Democracy arose from men’s thinking that if they are equal in any respect, they are equal absolutely.” He did not believe in any fundamental equality of mankind he has asserted that Nature creates some human beings for slavery and so slavery is a natural institution. The whole of Plato’s Republic is a monumental and elaborate thesis against Athenian democracy and the whole concept of democracy in general. The teacher and the disciple desired the creation and perpetuation of a rigid caste system in which the majority of superficially free citizens should have nothing to do with the making of laws or the executive government. They too, like Aristotle, considered it just that the majority should consist of virtual or actual slaves. Plutarch says about Lycurgus that to a man who demanded the establishment of democracy in Sparta, he replied, “Go thou and first establish democracy in thy house-hold.”

The broadest definition of democracy is that given by Abraham Lincoln, that it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people, which Danial Webster put in other words as the people’s government made for the people, made by the people and answerable to the people. As I have said already, democracy now has in many ways taken the place of religion; it is inevitable therefore that like religion it should become vague and assume different shapes among different nations due to the difference of temperament and history. The British are proud to have developed representative institutions and the British Parliament is considered to be the mother of parliaments. But Magna Carta which John was forced to sign was not a charter of rights for the people as a political entity did not exist; it was landed aristocracy, the feudal barons, who wanted to share power with the king and the right of defending what they believed to be their rights or vested interests; the people received no protection against the exploitation and tyranny of the feudal lords. The British during a long process of political evolution curtailed and ultimately annihilated the power of the king, threatening to behead him if he was too refractory and self willed but aristocracy continued to be the actual ruling power till the recent emasculation of the House of Lords where the aristocrats with denuded power and pelf are allowed to debate but not to decide as the king is allowed to reign but not to rule. A century ago during the time of Macaulay, the franchise was still very restricted and the common man wielded no effectual power but he proudly said, “Our democracy was from an early period the most aristocratic and our aristocracy the most democratic.” Like many of Macaulay’s verdicts, the assertion is more rhetorical than historical.

The Western democracies collectively have assumed the dignified title of the “free world” implying that the Communist world is an enslaved world where the people are equal only in the sense of enjoying the equality of rightlessness. The Italian Fascists also believed themselves to be true democrats wielding powers for the glory of the people. France, during the French Revolution, raised the slogan of liberty, fraternity and equality and then Napoleon the Caesar of Caesars, was the outcome of it. After that having lost her political hegemony in Europe, France started or intensified her colonial ventures. Defeated in many regions by the British, but still holding fast to the rest. Having been defeated debased and ousted from a part of Indo-China and retaining the rest by the support of so-called free democracies has entered on a campaign of genocide in Algeria claiming Algeria to be French because of the exploiting French minority there. This is how practical application of the creed of liberty, fraternity and equality, which sounded even better than Abraham Lincoln’s ‘government of the people, by the people and for the people.’ South African Union too is a part of the so-called free world; it took an active part in defeating Hitler’s Nazism and Mussolini’s Fascism but is actively and violently engaged in preaching and practicing the creed of racial segregation and disenfranchisement of the native population and the colored people within its realm. This too is a democracy. Democracy, O Democracy, what crimes are committed in thy name!

Democracy, through its long and chequered history, has assumed many forms and shall in all probability assume many more forms in the future. We have to discuss here democracy in relation to the religion of Islam. Muslims, in general, believe Islam to be a democratic creed but it is a curious phenomenon that neither Arabic nor any other Muslim language had any word that could be called and exact equivalent of the word democracy. The word ‘Jamhooriat’ derived from Jumhoor, meaning the people, is a twentieth-century translation, which is now adopted, in many Muslim languages. The Socialist Party ‘in Iran is called “Tudeh Party’; the original meaning of Tudeh is a mass or a heap. The movement claiming to be the protagonist of the masses adopted the ‘word Tudeh, meaning mass. When even the word did not exist the presumption is that democracy, as understood in the West, existed neither in ideology nor as an institution. Dealing with Islam the question is not difficult to answer. According to the Islamic faith, sovereignty belongs to God and not to the people either as a whole or as a majority. As God is the Creator and the Law Giver of the universe, so all authority in human affairs ultimately vests in God. Th phrase ‘sovereignty of the people’ would be considered heretical or blasphemous. Whoever rules among the Ummat rules only by delegated authority? The real problem is to whom this sovereignty or authority is delegated. If there were an organized Church in Islam with a hierarchy of ordained priests, this body would claim to be the vicegerent of God on earth as the Catholic Church holds power in the name of Christ with an infallible pontiff at the apex of the ecclesiastical pyramid deriving his infallibility directly from Jesus himself; it is as if Jesus himself were the executive head of the institution. But as original Islam abolished the monarchy and abolished feudalism by abolishing primogeniture, so it categorically abolished priesthood. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) handed over the preservation, propagation and implementation of the faith to the entire community of the faithful advising them to choose their leader from among themselves on the basis of all-round fitness, irrespective of tribe, race or wealth. He said, “Follow your leader even if he is a Negro with tangled hair.”

It should be kept in mind that in this essay we are dealing with Islam and not with the types of states and varieties in which Muslims have lived through these fourteen centuries. Islam should not be confused with the social or political organization of various Muslim communities or nations in different epochs and different climes as Christianity as lived through the ages should not be identified with the original outlook of Jesus or what he desired humanity to be. Islam as taught in the Quran and preached and practiced by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and a short time afterward by those on whom his mantel fell, very soon lost its idealism by what may be called a counter-revolution. It became diluted with Arab imperialism, which spoilt a good deal of its original equalitarian ideology. When wealth undreamt of by the dwellers of the desert poured in,. wealth accumulated in the hands of a minority, all the economic ills and moral weaknesses followed in its wake. From Hazrat Amir Muawiya onwards who converted the democratic republic of Islam into a hereditary monarchy, the self-styled successors of the Prophet, assuming the dignified title of Khalifas, combined in themselves the powers of a Caesar and a Pope. The whole wealth of an extensive realm became their private purse. Courtiers and aristocracy sprang up so much so that they began to prefer the accumulation of taxes to the propagation of the faith. Revenue collectors reported to an exceptional pious Khalifa, Hazart Umar ibn Abdul Aziz (R.A), that the revenues of the realm are declining and all is not well with the state exchequer because those who become Muslims do not pay the poll tax. He said that the State should be pleased because it was not the aim of Islam to collect taxes but to propagate the faith. Such a man among the later Khalifas was an exception; the ruling junta got rid of him by poisoning.

Theology with few honorable exceptions became the handmaiden of monarchical power. Nobody raised the voice against these Caesars who sat in the seat of a Holy Prophet (PBUH) who ‘ lived in a mud hut, swept his floor, mended his shoes and milked his goats, living for days together on a handful of dates with or without a cup of camel’s milk. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) has said, “Henceforth there shall be no Caesars and God hates most the man who is called an emperor or king of kings.” How could the world believe that there was anything democratic in Islam when the common man had no say in the working of the State and had no power to assert his rights? Among the people, only a nostalgic memory was left of the type of state and society, which was brought into being by the implementation of Islam for about three decades. They called this short-lived experiment; Khalafat-e-Rashidah, the rightly guided Caliphate, implying thereby that the rulers that followed were misguided. The glory of Harun-al-Rasheed, the magnificence of Sulaiman, the Magnificent, and the splendor of Shah Jehan who sat on the jeweled peacock throne, costing half the revenues of his entire kingdom, was not the glory of Islam or the furtherance of its ideology but quite the opposite of it.

Let us summarise the type of state and society which Islam envisaged as an ideal pattern and which it tried to realize within the limitation of an early era, and the beliefs, which it was based upon:

  1. Sovereignty belongs to God alone whose chief attributes are wisdom, justice and love. He desires human beings to assimilate these attributes in their thoughts, words and deeds.
  2. Though ultimately God is the moulder of destinies. He has endowed man with free will so that He may freely attune his will to the will and purpose of God.
  3. In the matters of faith, God has compelled nobody to believe; the ways of righteousness and their opposites have been clearly indicated. Anyone may believe or disbelieve and bear the consequences. There must not be any compulsion in the matter of faith; an imposed faith is no faith at all. Everybody should be free to follow his own way of life either because of personal preference or because of his belonging to a community provided his conduct is not subversive of fundamental morality or disruptive of the peace of the realm or does not trespass on the legitimate freedom of others.
  4. An Islamic State is not theocratic but ideological. The rights and duties of its citizens shall
    be determined by the extent to which they identify themselves with this ideology.
  5. Non-Muslims can live peacefully as citizens of a Muslim realm. They are free not to take part in the defence of the State and in lieu of this exemption pay a poll tax that shall entitle them to complete protection of life, property and liberty in the practice of their faith. If they are prepared to defend the realm as loyal citizens, they shall be exempted from this tax.
  6. There shall be no racial discrimination within a Muslim realm. People become high or low because of there characters only.
  7. All avenues of economic exploitation must be blocked, so that wealth does not circulate only in the hands of the few.
  8. A person shall be free to earn as much as he can by legitimate means without exploitation or fraud but wealth even legitimately acquired beyond a certain minimum shall be subject to a tax on capital. This shall be an inalienable part of a Muslim polity.
  9. Women shall enjoy an independent economic status; all their inherited wealth and their personal earnings shall be their own property what they can dispose of as they please.
  10. A truly Islamic State cannot be a monarchical State; it must be a democratic republic in which the president is elected by a free vote of the community on the basis of his capacity and character.
  11. It is incumbent on the ruler to have a council of advisers and consultants for the purposes of legislation or major decision. They shall be chosen on the ground of their wisdom, experience and integrity. The mode of their selection is left to circumstances. In matters not pertaining to faith, non-Muslims are not debarred from the consultation.
  12. There shall be no special class of priests in an Islamic society though persons leading better religious lives and possessing better knowledge of religious affairs have a legitimate claim to honour. They shall enjoy no special privileges, legal or economic.
  13. There shall be perfect equality of opportunity and equality before law. The law shall make no distinction between a Muslim and a non-Muslim either in civil or criminal cases. Every citizen shall have the right to seek a judicial decision even against the head of the State. There were many instances of this in early Islam. Hazrat Umar (R.A) appeared in the court as a party in a suit and the judge stood up as a matter of respect, at which the Khalifa said that he had started with an unjust act honoring one party more than the other; how could the other party have confidence in his sense of justice.
  14. The judiciary was made independent of the executive. In periods of monarchical absolutism, when the judiciary began to be influenced by the men in power, the great jurist Imam Abu Hanifa preferred to be whipped and sent to prison than accept the post of a judge. He was imbued with the original spirit of Islam, which desired uncorrupted justice between man and man. “Do not refrain from justice even if it goes against” (iv. 135). Let not the hostility of a party tends to make you unjust towards it.” (V.3,9)

These are the fundamentals of an Islamic constitution that are unalterable. No ruler or no majority possesses any right to tamper with them or alter them. This is Eternal Islam rooted in the ideals of God-centred humanity.

An Islamic democracy could differ in its pattern from some of the modern democracies. It is un-Islamic that parliamentary government should run on a party basis. My party, right or wrong, is morally as vicious as my country right or wrong. Once a haughty imperialist British viceroy of India had the audacity to say in a public utterance that Indians are liars. Chesterton, the famous British author, hearing this, said that the atmosphere in India must be chokingly false that a party politician like Curzon should feel the stink of it because a party politician’s life is based on hypocrisy and falsehood. The chief aim in party politics is not the welfare of the State or the weal of the commonwealth but to strengthen the position of the opponents. When a party gets into power by fair or foul means it very often forgets all the promises and does the very same things against which it raised a hue and cry and accused the opponents. The reductio and absurdism of this system is the French Chamber of Deputies, which makes it impossible to have a stable government even for a few months. Every day persons and parties come together or separate to dislodge others, no division on the basis of principles is involved.

Government of the people and by the people has lead logically to adult franchise even in nations where the majority is illiterate and utterly incapable of understanding the complicated economic and political issues of modern life. This kind of political democracy was demanded and furthered by exploiting bourgeoisie in every country who were certain of getting the votes of helpless workers and peasants and dependent women. People must have equality of opportunity and equality before law, but equality before law does not necessarily mean equality of wisdom and capacity to make laws. As Socrates said in Plato’s Republic, it is curious that one would not entrust the work of making shoes to one who has not spent a good part of his life in acquiring this skill, but legislation and political decisions are considered to be safe in the hands of those who do not know the elements of statecraft and are devoid of the knowledge of human nature and human destiny. And how right was Aristotle in observing what we have quoted already that democracy means that if people are equal in some respects, they are equal in all respects.

Surely Islam enjoins that good government must be government by consultation but the vital question is: Who are the persons entitled to be consulted and how are they to be chosen? How could you expect a crowd of illiterate and exploited people to choose properly and freely a person to represent them, solely on the basis of wisdom and integrity? Could a poor man who has no money for an expensive electioneering campaign ever to get into a modern legislature? The extension of franchise should go hand in hand with the extension of a right type of education and economic freedom of the common man whether he is a wage earner or a peasant. Even when these conditions are realised representatives should be chosen on the bases of knowledge and integrity, the possession of wealth playing no part in it.

Some nations experimented with democracy in the past and many more are experimenting with in the present. It is not difficult to understand why it has so general an appeal. It appeals to the common man because it appeals to his sense of dignity and self-respect making him feels that in however a humble way, he too counts. He appreciates the idea that everyone is to count as one and nobody more than one.

Kant defined the ethical imperative as meaning that every human being is to be treated as an end in himself and not as a means for the furtherance of ends extraneous to him. Throughout the history of civilisation the majority of individuals in a nation or an empire were treated merely as means to promote the end of the monarchy or an oligarchy or plutocracy. The governments of the past were devices for maintaining in perpetuity the place and position of certain privileged classes. The democratic ideal is to devise machinery for protecting the rights of the people and the ultimate extinction of all privileged classes. A democrat rightly believes that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people and the system of state and society should be such as makes it possible for every human being to achieve whatever worth he is capable of achieving. The democratic idea is a religious idea in so far as its starting point is the postulate that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain natural rights and for the protection of these natural rights all men are to be treated as equal. The world must be made safe for democracy if humanity as a whole has to develop the eternal intrinsic values of human life, which a theistic religion believes to originate in the nature of God. Implementation of these values may change but in themselves they are eternal. This verse of the Quran supports this conviction: “The nature of God, on which He moulded the nature of man; the laws of God’s creation are inalterable – this is right religion.” (xxx, 30)

Again, the democratic ideal may be compared with religion in this respect that like religion so much human perversity and collective egoism of classes and vested interests masquerade in the garb of democracy: Perverse forms of religion have rightly been blamed for the worst types of tyranny. Crusades and unholy wars were waged in the name of God. But all the perversities and aberrations of religion have not made the genuinely religious man despair of it. Theistic religion offers the highest kind of idealism which alone can guarantee the spiritual advance of man making him approximate more and more to the image of God and realise that a nature which is rooted in the divine.

Cynics, as well as lovers of mankind, have looked with horror at some of the things done in the name of democracy. Burke, in his Reflections on the Revolution in France, says that a perfect democracy is the most shameless thing in the world and Benjamin Disradi called a representative government a fatal drollery. Even a spiritual writer like Emerson looked at perverted democracy as a government of bullies tempered by editors. The Conservative Dean of St. Paul, W.R. Inge, who as a good Christian should have believed that Christ established the eternal value of every individual, notes with satisfaction that the democracy of the ballot box has few worshippers any longer except in America. Longfellow called envy the vice of republics and Bertrand Russell himself a socialist has endorsed it by saying that envy is the basis of democracy (The Conquest of Happiness, p. 83).

If religion as well as secular thinkers continue to decry democracy, what is the alternative that they propose? Unfortunately there is no other alternative, which on the whole would produce more good than any democratic system. Benevolent monarchy or wise dictatorship that could escape the intoxication of power could achieve beneficial results in a shorter period in comparison with hesitating and slow-footed democracies. But you cannot have a succession of benevolent monarchs to which the history of all monarchies bears evidence. As to dictatorship, it is always established by ruthless violence and cannot continue without it. The ideal vision of Socrates and Plato of kings becoming philosophers or philosophers becoming kings is only a pattern in heaven.

The Islamic democratic pattern of a republic of free citizens could not last very long because power-intoxicated Arab imperialism gave it a fatal blow. Imperialism and democracy cannot go together and any alliance between them is superficial, transient and hypocritical. Islam’s original vision, which the best Muslim minds have never ceased to cherish even under most adverse circumstances, was democratic. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) as the recipient of revelation and as an exemplar in the embodiment of what he taught had an exalted and privileged position but did not consider himself as above law. He told his beloved daughter that she should bear in mind that if she stole anything she would receive the same dire punishment as any common thief. He never built a palace or even a middle-class house for himself. He identified himself with the poorest citizen of the realm neither eating nor dressing better than the humble folk. He left no material legacy for his family but he possessed nothing, as his illustrious saintly successor testified after the death of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) that he had heard him say that the Prophets inherit nothing and nobody inherits anything from them; they are only entitled to the use of things without any claim to ownership.

Jesus had the same attitude towards material goods and considered it as a great impediment in spiritual life that a soul should be encumbered with unnecessary wealth. Jesus was perfectly right in his observation that it would be more difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle. (It is said that a very small window in the city gate through which a person could pass in a bent position with great difficulty was called the eye of the needle because of its extreme narrowness). Islam is a practical religion, so it does not prescribe for all such a spiritualized ideal existence in which nobody should own anything. This is only the characteristic of those who have reached a very high state, which is beyond the common run of humanity. But this ideal condition de lines the forward direction in which the principle of social justice should move. People should not sit on unnecessary wealth however acquired. The have not a right to share it. Does not all humanitarian socialism tend towards it, not curbing the initiative of earning as much as one can by legitimate motives, it enjoins to devise a system in which wealth as the life-blood of the social organism should circulate in every part of it; concentration in anyone organ would injure the greedy self-centred organ besides having a deleterious effect on the whole organism. There is a verse in the Quran in which a question put to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is answered in only one pregnant word, which sums up the whole ideology of socialism. “They ask you what they should give away (for charity or common welfare); tell them: (they should spend in the way of Allah) whatever is ‘surplus’.” ii. 219). The ‘Surplus’ is the answer of the Quran. Socialistic states are now devising all possible means to take away these surpluses by heavy progressive taxation amounting almost to confiscation when wealth reaches a very high level and by death duties. They are moving in the direction of the Quran: The conservative Dean Inge is indignant about it because it would impoverish British aristocracy and make it impossible for them to maintain their magnificent country-houses. He calls it the robbing of an innocent minority by a predatory majority of do nothing have-nots.

Islam could not give an eternally valid chart of the details of execution and implementation but did give in unmistakable terms the fundamentals of a humanitarian democracy. True Islam in action could harbour no privileged classes and would not tolerate any type of hereditary monarchy. The hereditary principle is bad for the State and does not hold good even in the realm of the spirit; even a Prophet may have a degenerate son and ignoble progeny. There could be no hereditary apostolic succession. Nobody in the Islamic State would have the audacity to proclaim like Louis the Fourteenth that ‘I am the State.’ Islam recognizes neither kings nor their divine right. Feudalism or big landlordism also could not develop in a polity, which is truly Islamic. As already stated, the law of primogeniture was the bedrock on which feudalism of castics and serfs was based. The Islamic law of inheritance definitely prohibits it. Even if a person has acquired large tracts of land by legitimate means, which is very seldom, they shall be cut up in small peasant-proprietorships within one or two generations. And if surpluses are heavily taxed, capitalism in the old sense shall have no legs to stand upon.

In an ideal Islamic state there could be no despotic kings, no feudal lords and no capitalists with a plethora of wealth. It will be society mostly of good middle-class people who are the backbone of every healthy society.

Shall it differ very much from a communist state of the Russian type? The answer is, yes, for the following reasons:

  1. It derives the fundamentals of life from the great spiritual leaders of humanity who taught that the ideals of human life are spiritual and divine.
  2. It shall not subscribe to the creed of dialectical or historical materialism, which for Communism is the only eternal truth, if it believes at all in any eternal truth.
  3. It shall be based on the firm belief in the liberty and dignity of the individual; the State is not an end but a means for promoting the maximum welfare of the individual. As the Quran says, you shall be responsible to God as individuals. The personal and private life of every individual must be secure.
  4. This necessitates absolute freedom of conscience, which the Quran proclaimed, to the world in the emphatic injunction that there shall be no compulsion about religious beliefs and practices (ii. 256). No one shall enjoy any privilege or suffer any disability because of belonging to any particular group. There shall be no ruling Party enjoying any special privilege or power.
  5. Religious communities shall enjoy the maximum of freedom to the extent that apart from the general laws of the realm necessary for the commonweal, general security and protection of fundamental rights of the individual, they shall have the right to be governed by their personal laws. The Quran and the Holy Prophet (PBUH) granted that right to all religious communities, which couldn’t be taken away by any legislation.

There are only two points of agreement between Communism and Islam. Both are against racial discrimination and both desire to do away with economic systems that tend to concentrate wealth in a few hands.

One vital question remains to be answered which arises necessarily out of the relation of Islam to democracy and that is: How far is an Islamic society free to make laws for itself if any comprehensive code is already prescribed? This, however, constitutes the subject of an independent monogramming.

Nationalism: Origins, Evolution and Future Essay

Outline:

  • Nationalism, the salient feature of the modern world
  • The emergence of Nationalism in Germany
  • Different definitions of Nationalism
  • The emergence of new ideas from the concept of Nationalism
  • Nationalism, virtue or vice
  • Nationalism assuming the shape of a religion
  • Origin and evolution of Nationalism
  • Deutsch’s view
  • Smith traces the origins of nationalism in previous ethnic Identities
  • The cause of powerfulness of Nationalism
  • Smith’s four causes of this powerfulness
  • Future prospects of Nationalism, permanent phenomenon or a temporary sentiment
  • Arguments are given by the advocates of internationalism
  • Conclusion

Introduction

Nationalism is the salient feature of the present day world. It emerged in Europe in the 17th Century and thereafter spread all over the world. It had reached to considerable maturity till the start of 20th century as it gulped Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa in addition to its basis in Western Europe. It has been an extremely elusive concept changing forms while it moved from Western Europe to rest of the world. On one side it was the tool for unification in Germany and · Italy while on the other it led the minorities to demand independence in Austro-Hungarian and the Ottoman Empires. In addition, it culminated into evident fascism and Nazism in Italy and Germany respectively. Whether nationalism is good or bad, it is an extremely powerful phenomenon, which may challenge or shatter the foundation of any regional or international setup. Today, it is at the centre of worldwide debate where some question – its validity vis-a-vis the tremendous communicational advancements while others strongly defend it to be as relevant as ever.

Concept of Nationalism

Nationalism is the product of peculiar developments, which took place in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, but now it has become the most salient feature of the whole world. Nationalism, the term was apparently coined in Germany by the philosopher Herder and in French by Abbe Barruel just less than 200 years ago. This phenomenon refers to the state of mind in which the supreme loyalty of the individual is felt to be owed to the nation-state”. However, it is “multi-faceted, disheveled, murky, and irreducible to common denominators. It is an elusive concept which changes forms as the social, cultural and historical contexts change.” At best the idea of the nation has appeared sketchy and elusive, at worst absurd and contradictory. These are the factors, which have made it very difficult for the scholars and social scientists to define and theorize the concept in a comprehensive manner. Seton Watson realised its complexity and observed, “I am driven to the conclusion that no scientific definition of the nation can be devised, yet the phenomenon has existed and exists.” On the other hand Boy. Shafer emphasis on the subjective element of the concept and views that “nationalism is what the nationalists have made it; it not a neat, fixed concept but a varying combination of beliefs and conditions.

In spite of difficulties, a number of attempts have been made but no one explains the concept comprehensively as Craig Calhoun remarks, “all of the available essentials definitions are unstable and inherently contestable. A definition may be applicable to one cultural and social setting but would be unable to explain or grasp the phenomenon in another one. Anthony D. Smith defines nationalism as “an ideological movement for the attainment and maintenance of self-government and independence on behalf of a group, some of whose members conceive it to constitute an actual potential nation”. The Smith’s definition implies that a nation-state follows nationalism but it has been contradicted strongly by some scholars who view that “It is the modern state that defines nationhood, and pre-existing ethnic relations are revised either to coincide more or less with its boundaries or to constitute the basis of counter state movement for the formation of new states. Such movements are rooted in power relations, not ethnic solidarity and distinctions per se”.

Gelner also disagrees with Anthony D. Smith’s ethnic-based concept of nationhood. He contends that “nationalism is not the awakening of nation to self-consciousness; it invents nations where they do not exist but it does need some pre-existing differentiating marks to work on, even if, as indicated, these are purely negative…” Although he recognizes the importance of preexisting differentiating marks, yet “he marks it clear that nationalism is not strictly the result of prior ethnicity.”. Gelner analysis provides a clearer and a comprehensive picture of the phenomenon. He explains nationalism “as a cultural phenomenon dependent not only on state formation and industrial society, but also in certain transformations of culture, such as the creation of “high culture”.

Contrary to the above-mentioned scholars, Carleton Hayes makes a distinction between patriotism as a natural phenomenon in contrast to “the nationalism, which is, in his view, an artificial construct, an ideology…” He argues that the cultural basis of nationality is common language and common historical traditions. When these, by some process of education, become the objects of popular patriotism, the result is nationalism”. Hans Kuhn, on the other hand defines “a state of mind, permeating the large majority of a people and claiming to permeate all its members; it recognises the nation-state as the ideal form of political organization and nationality as the source of creative energy and economic well being”. He distinguishes good political nationalism from bad political nationalism. “Good political nationalism such as the English, Dutch and French emphasized individual freedom and citizenship, rights and internationalism, while bad political nationalism, such as that of East European variety was narrow, collectivist and exclusive”.

The concept of nationalism, in consequence, gave birth to a number of new ideas, like; idea of national sovereignty, non-intervention in each other’s domestic affairs, national identity and national character etc. Some of these ideas have contributed positively in the smooth functioning of the international system while others caused wars and disasters. Moreover, the nations made a selective use of these ideas to promote their national interests. For example, the ideas of national sovereignty and non-intervention have, sometimes, contributed positively in maintaining peace and other while the adherence of the idea of national character caused disasters. “Nationalism was one of the more powerful forces which led the people of Europe into the abyss of World War I. And in its perverted form, unleashed by Hitler and the Nazi terror, it became the curse of the century”.

The critics argue that it has an inherent contempt and hatred for the others who do not belong to your nation. “It became a virtue to expand at the expense of those who were not under. our dominion. Then to obtain this end, it became permissible to distrust, deceive and offend strangers”. Some scholars consider nationalism a close ally of imperialism as Harold J. Laski views that “nationalism breeds imperialism each looking to its own interests…” Bertrand Russell denounces the concept and views that “nationalism is in our day the chief obstacle to the extension of social cohesion beyond national boundaries”. Toynbee, E. H. Carr and Carleton Hayes also “note the negative consequences of nationalism for international relations, inevitably leading to hatred for other”.

There are also scholars who consider nationalism as a positive phenomenon. The most prominent and foremost among them is Hans Kohn who considered “nationalism as a positive force which would bring grater participation of the people and would eventually lead to a new kind of integration of the world primarily based on the liberal values of the west”. K. W. Deutsch defends the concept on the ground that “modernization and nationalism go hand in hand…” Smith draws a sharp distinction between nationalism and other “isms” like fascism, populism, imperialism and racism. “Fascism is different because it has different objectives and different social base. Imperialism, racism and populism and derogation, even a contradiction of the main tenets of nationalism”. Tahir Amin contradicts with Smith’s point of view and argues, “His sharp distinction between nationalism, fascism and imperialism is not only unconvincing but also historical”.

Most of the scholars belonging to the other two traditions Islam and Marxism also view nationalism as a negative force. Lenin was convinced that “Marxism could not be reconciled with nationalism, be it even the most just, “purist” and most refined, because Marxism advanced internationalism, the amalgamation of nations in the higher unity”. Marxist tradition, in its essence, is internationalist and views “nationalism as the ideology of the capitalist class, part of the superstructure”. Islamic tradition is also internationalist in its character and the concept of nationalism is absolutely alien to it. Localism and patriotism, to a certain extent, is considered justified because these emotions are natural, while nationalism is viewed not only as unnatural but also contradictory to the Islamic principles. Initially some traditional Muslim scholars made an effort to synthesis Islam with nationalism but the experience did not prove successful. Most of the postmodern scholars like Maududi, Khomeini and Qutab has a great contempt for nationalism. Syed Qutab remarks “there is no nationality for a Muslim except his creed which makes him a member of the Islamic Ummah in the abode of Islam”. Similarly Khomeini observes that nationalism “is contrary to the Noble Quran and the orders of the most Noble Messenger. Nationalism that results in the creation of enmity between Muslims and splits the ranks of the believers is against Islam and the interests of the Muslims”.

In fact, nationalism has assumed the shape of a religion, which cannot co-exist with the other divine religions. Nationalism, in fact, has replaced religion in the West as Shafer remarks, “subjects lost their religious attachment to monarchs as they became citizens and believed that they, not the kind, were supreme. And as the kind lost his divinity, the nation acquired it”. The Nation has developed its own morality with rewards and punishments, virtues and sins, rituals and outward signs and missionary zeal.

Origins and Evolution of Nationalism

The origins of nationalism, though in its incipient stage, can be traced back to the 16/17th Century Europe. Initially, the Renaissance and then the Reformation triggered a series of changes in the social, political, economic and psychological spheres of life and consequently created an environment, which later proved conducive for the emergence of nationalism. Scholars have identified a number of causes, which were responsible for the rise of the phenomenon, but the opinions differ significantly. It is because of two reasons. It has not followed a single pattern of growth in different parts of the world. It is very difficult to prove whether a particular condition was the cause or a result of nationalism. However, it is asserted that not a singular condition can be attributed as the sole cause of the rise of the phenomenon. In fact, it was the result of the interplay of a number of forces, which were operating in Europe at that time. Some of the factors involved were as follows:

  1. The French historians of nationalism wrote, “The cause of statues is not the marble but the artist. In the case of nationality, it is primarily the dynast”. The stronger noble families created large monarchies and then built personal governmental agencies, executive, legislative, judicial and administrative institutions”. These were the agencies, which played an important role in creating homogeneity and consequently laid down the basis of nationhood.
  2. Martin Luther highlighted the corruption and mal-administration of Roman Catholic Church and challenged the so-called basis of its legitimacy on religious grounds. He emphasised that every individual can have direct contact or access to God and therefore there is no need to use an intermediate channel like a priest or bishop. Consequently, the Protestant Reformation diminished the role of the Church and the Pope. Scholars refer to the establishment of National Church in England in 1530 by Henry VIII, though because of personal reasons but definitely encouraged by the Protestant Reformation and argue, “England was now independent of any foreign control. Another stone had been laid on the foundation of the English nation-state”. However, it was the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, which made the monarchical states all-powerful and absolutely sovereign. It was provided in the Treaty that “no supranational authority, such as the Pope or the Holy Roman Emperor, had any legal jurisdiction within the realms of the dynasty”.
  3. The decline of Catholic Church resulted in decline of Latin language, which previously was the language of the Church hierarchy throughout Europe. This factor had given the Christian world the cosmopolitan outlook. Moreover Erasmus and Luther translated Old and New Testaments in the vernaculars, which encouraged the growth of local languages. The print media also played a great role in fostering the growth of vernacular’ languages. “By the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the vernacular tongues had won a clear victory” and it “provided one more basis for national unity and consciousness”.
  4. Another contributory factor to the rise of the phenomenon was the gradual development of the belief that the inhabitants of a country should pursue a common economic policy. As a result of certain improvements in navigation techniques and new discoveries, a merchant middle class had emerged in the cities, which had corporate interests in a uniform economic policy. So, mercantilism was adopted as the national economic policy of some monarchical states in Europe. The British parliament passed Navigation Laws in the 17th Century to achieve this end. Such common economic policies not only promoted national interests but also helped in the growth of national consciousness.
  5. The changes in economic, political and religious spheres encouraged the growth of common group cultures. In Middle and Eastern Europe, Germany and Italy in particular, the emergence of national cultures preceded actual political unity to a greater degree than was true in Western Europe.

There are certain scholars who have tried to conceptualize the formation of nations and the rise of nationalism. According to Deutsch, “nations and nationalities are formed through the twin process of cultural assimilation and social mobilization”. By cultural assimilation he means that “smaller subordinate communities or nationalities are absorbed in the information and communication net-works of the larger, dominant nations as the British tended to be absorbed into France and Welsh in England, Europeans into American culture. On the other hand, he defines social mobilisation as “the process by which men and women are uprooted from their traditional, agrarian setting as a result of social, economic, and more intensive communication”. Anthony D. Smith contradicts and argues that Deutsch’s approach is not universally applicable because it draws examples from the European experience. Moreover it ignores the fact that even the European nation-states are facing the problem of small nationalities, which have not been completely assimilated. Walker Connor also disagrees with Deutsch’s theory and argues, “ethnic consciousness has been definitely increasing, not decreasing in recent years”.

Smith traces the origins of nationalism in previous ethnic identities. He identifies two routes for the formation of a nation state. Lateral ethnic and bureaucratic incorporation and the vertical ethnic and vernacular mobilisation route. Smith cites the examples of France, Spain, Sweden and England where the dominant lateral ethnic, who formed the state ethnic core, was gradually able to incorporate middle strata and outlying regions into the dominant ethnic culture. The primary agency of such incorporation was the new bureaucratic state. The second route of forming nations was on the basis of demotic ethnic, which were not directly influenced by the bureaucratic state. The bond which cemented the membership of these vertical communities was organised religion and its sacred scriptures, liturgy, rituals and clergy that acted as the chief mechanism of ethnic persistence among vertical communities.

The first route leads to the civic and territorial (Western) model while the second one to the ethnic and genealogical model. Smith makes a distinction between the two by identifying their peculiar characteristics. Historic territory, legal-political community, legal-political equality of members and common civic culture and ideology; these are the components of the standard of western model of the nation. Whereas ethnic conception of a nation is characterized by genealogy and presumed descent ties, popular mobilization, vernacular languages, customs and traditions. Carleton Hayes emphasis on the role of socializing agencies, in addition to the “religions void” and “socio-economic changes”, which propagated nationalism as a scientific and natural phenomenon. In nutshell, it is argued that either all the factors mentioned above or some of them contributed to the emergence and growth of nationalism, though in varying degree, in different settings.

Although some characteristics of Nationalism can be traced back to the 16th and 17th Centuries, not until the later part of the 18th Century, nation and nationality became of supreme importance for most of Western Europeans. It was in the late 18th Century that people began identifying themselves with their nations and took pride in their specific nationality. Now the national idea and the nation-state became the instruments through which men could obtain liberty and pursue happiness. However, it was in the century that nationalism as an ideology held sway over the world.

Why Nationalism has been so powerful?

It is interesting to observe that nationalism has been a very powerful phenomenon in the last few centuries and particularly in the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries. It was nationalism which had made the French so strong, powerful and zealous that they captured almost whole of Europe. During the period of their occupation, they spread the ideas of nationalism to the other parts of the continent. Nationalism was the motivating sentiment behind the German and Itàlian unification while in the case of Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empire; it acted as a disintegrating force. It acquired an anti-colonial outlook when it moved to the Asian, African and Latin American countries. The anti-colonial nationalist movements became so strong that they threw their European masters out within few decades. The strength of the phenomenon is evident from the fact that the number of states has increased threefold in the twentieth century, while a number of other nationalities are on a march to become independent nation-states. The optimism of E.H. Carr and some other scholars about the prospects of internationalism failed to realise.

The scholars who.conceive it as a positive force view that it is a natural phenomenon, more akin to human nature and therefore has remained so powerful. While others point out the negative aspects and identify certain other factors, which has been and still are responsible for its continuing growth and power. It is asserted that the phenomenon has become self-perpetuating as it is noted that nationalism of a particular ethnic/regional group forces many others to become nationalist. Nationalist Movement of the Young Turks in 1908 compelled the Kurds and encouraged the Arabs to strive for the recognition of their nationalistic identities. Shafer observes that, “people who were not national minded were forced in their own self-defense to become so, and those already so found it expedient and helpful to become still more so… Tom Nairm explains the continuous prevalence of the phenomenon in terms of a center-periphery relationship. He notes that “real uneven development has invariably generated imperialism of the center over the periphery; one after another, these peripheral areas have been forced into a profoundly ambivalent reaction against this dominance emphasizing nationality as the basis”.

On the other hand Smith enumerates four causes to explain why nationalism has been so powerful. These are:

  1. The failure of modern state to contain and minimise ethnic revival
  2. The counterproductive pressures of the world state system on the state elite to homogenise and integrate
  3. The continuing effects of nationalist ideals and movement
  4. The revolt by the intelligentsia from peripheral areas against the un-equitable system

Some scholars consider the role of national media, textbooks and socializing agencies of paramount importance. In the West, education was nationalized and secularised just to carve out system and syllabi in resonance with national aspirations and objectives. Now every newly born, child is socialised, trained, and educated in an environment where nationalism reigns supreme. He is influenced by the socializing agencies consciously as well as unconsciously whereby it becomes impossible for him to understand other perspective.

Future Prospects

Nationalism has been a subject of debate and controversy. Some scholars characterized it as a permanent phenomenon while the others a temporary sentiment. The internationalists predicted the decline of nationalism. E. H. Carr predicated the decline of nationalism on two grounds:

  1. The horrors of two world wars
  2. The multinational character of the super power USA. Their optimum has not been realised as yet

The twentieth century and particularly its second half is marked with opposite trends indicating to different directions. The internationalists argue that the world is becoming increasingly interdependent in the wake of technological breakthrough in communication and increasing transnational cooperation. The international system is now inhabited by a variety of actors, in addition to nation-states, such as a multinational corporation (MNC) and non-governmental organizations (NGO’s). Their argument is that the increasing role of these non-actors is eroding the sovereignty of the nation-state. Holsti has identified several roles, which non-state actors can play in international politics:

  1. Introduce an issue in the international diplomatic agenda
  2. Publicise and raise citizen consciousness regarding certain global or regional problems
  3. Lobby national government and international organizations to make decisions favourable to their cause
  4. Eek an outcome through direct action, sometimes (though rarely) involving the threat or use of force

In the defenders’ view, the nation-state still remains the critical actor of international politics because

  1. Only it commands the allegiance of peoples occupying a defined territory
  2. Only it possesses the capabilities to employ the ultimate threat
  3. Government, unlike most transnational organizations, are concerned with the full range of welfare and security of populations
  4. Only governments enjoy sovereignty

All other types of actors exist and operate only with the consent of governments. Do the states really enjoy sovereignty, in real sense of the term, in the present day world scenario? Can the states really control transitional movements? A close analysis of these questions suggests that both the sovereignty and control of states over transnational activities has weakened if not fully eroded. People adhering to the cause of human rights, environment and democratic ideals often owe their allegiance to their cause and ideals rather than to their states. Sometimes they seem to be working against the so-called perceived national interests of their own respective states. States are no longer able to control transnational movements and influences from abroad…. Loyalties to the state, even when surrounded by iron curtains can no longer be assumed.

Carleton J. Hayes considers the nationalism as “the most powerful political sentiment of the contemporary world… It still excels other appeals to human emotions-social or religious appeals by its impact on masses and individual alike”. He does not share the optimism of the internationalists and argues that the objective can be achieved only through conscious efforts, which are lacking at the moment. In Anthony be smith’s opinion, “cosmopolitan hope for an early withering away of nationalism are doomed to disappointment, as these are based on a failure to grasp the importance today of the conjuncture of ethnic sentiments, secular ideals and the changing elements of modernization and the social concomitant of modernization”. Benedict also points out to the growth of “sub-nationalism” even in the consolidated nation-states of Western Europe and views that “the end of the era of nationalism, so long prophesied, is not remotely in sight.”

The advocates of internationalism consider formation of the economic block, such as NAFTA, ASEAN and EU, a step forward towards the growth of internationalism. The critics however reject the proposition on the basis that states are still sovereign and that these alliances are primarily the collection of sovereign states. Even if their analysis is true, this tregd, at best, indicates to the “communitarian internationalism” rather than the internationalism in the true sense. The practical significance of these alliances lies in the phenomenon of interdependence. Shafer foresees the possibility of the erosion of nationalism “through the destructive conquests by superpower or class warfare”. It is asserted that such an attempt would fail as it has already been established that, in view of historical experience, a system imposed would remain unstable and fragile. Perhaps the best possible way is to attempt to reach consensus on certain rules and values, which are shared by different cultures, and then to shape world order accordingly. The consensus on the shared values can be achieved through cross-cultural dialogue.

Conclusion

Although nationalism was a product of the specific conditions, which developed in Western Europe, it moved to other parts of the world irrespective of the fact whether such conditions existed there or not. It changed in forms, contents, and implications as the political, social and cultural setting changed in the course of its growth. These factors contributed to the difficulty, which the scholars later faced in defining and conceptualizing the phenomenon. However, the phenomenon generally refers to the supreme loyalty, which each and every individual owes to its nation. A nation is formed on the basis of a common culture, language, and historical tradition and shared values. Smith has highlighted the pertinence of dominant ethnic groups, which assimilated the small nationalities and hence formed a homogeneous nation. While the other highlight the state as the major agent of nation formation. Deutsch conceptualizes the phenomenon in terms of social mobilization and cultural assimilation. However, it is asserted that no one explanation among these is universally applicable.

Nationalism has been a subject of great controversy. Some identified it with modernity while for the others it was a close ally of imperialism and an obstacle to the growth of internationalism. The internationalists in the liberal tradition and the Marxists predicted its decline on the basis of increasing interdependence and the horrors of the world wars. However, their optimism has not appeared true. The example of Bosnia, Chechnya, Ireland and Kashmir are enough to prove that nationalism is still a powerful about the prospects of internationalism yet it is possible to argue that the role of the MNCs, NGOs and other transnational actors is increasing day-by-day. Perhaps the future lies, in the words of Ernest Gelner, “between the less virulent forms of nationalism and an internationalism based on shared necessities”.

Dignity of Labour Essay

Outline:

  • Work, a God’s gift
  • Work generating optimism
  • The recognition of the dignity of labour
  • All works are admirable Mental and physical labor
  • Work for the love of work
  • Blessings of work
  • A golden example

Work is indeed God’s gift. Without it, life will become meaningless, flat, a useless thing. Work, here, does not stand for every sort of activity. Only useful and noble activity is a blessing. Negative action is a curse. Work is the prerogative of intelligence, the only means to manhood, and the measure of civilization. The sweeper’s work is as much sacred as that of either a lawyer or a shopkeeper. Joseph Conrad rightly remarked, “A man is a worker. If he is not, he is nothing”. In fact, a man cannot live without work.

A busy man is a healthy man. Idleness tells upon health. Even the persons blessed with supernatural powers do some sort of work in order to avoid boredom and sickness. Men do not break down from over-work, but from worry and dissipation. Work always generates optimism. All growth depends upon activity. It is work that leads to self-discovery and self-confidence.

A hard working man may till the ground, work at the mill, střike on the anvil, dig, drive, drag and do a lot of other works to keep his body and soul together. He may find manual labour hard and tedious, but there is no disrespect attached to it formally. The high and the low must do their duty as a matter of course.

King Janaka drove his own plough; the Roman dictators like Cincinnatus found nothing humiliating in tilling their ground and the Czar of Russia worked as a shipwright in the dock of Saardam. Illustrations may be multiplied to show that the highest men never disdained doing the humblest of works. In the words of a poet:

Honour and shame from no condition rise

Act well your part; there all the honour lies

The moment this truth is realized in their hearts, a change comes over working men. No more do they feel themselves depressed or unfortunate; no more does their work appear humiliating to them; a new joy bc is in their face, a new consciousness of power is felt, a new throbbing of life is perceived in them. The labourers now march forward to wield the scepter of the world. Behind the vast organization and power of the labouring class in modern times there is this conviction of the intrinsic value of their work. This has given meaning and significance to their life and activity.

The dignity of labour is now recognized at least in theory. When the workers are fully convinced of it in their heart then shall true salvation come to them? Then shall they learn that genuine work alone work done faithfully and joyously is their real saviour.

And there is more than sufficient reason for this recognition of the value and dignity of manual labour. It depends on the life of the world. If peasants refuse to grow corn and miners decline to dig, if drivers refuse to drive their engines and sailors to take their ship across the infinite seas, the world will topple down like a house of cards. The higher intellectual life is possible only because it is broad-based on manual labour. We cannot always live on the apex of a pyramid.

Moreover, the distinction between one work and another is purely man-made one. All works rank the same with God, because each has its own use and purpose in the organization. The man who drives the plough is as important in his place as he who rules a Kingdom. There are different kinds of work no doubt one requiring more brain and the other more brawn, but that is no reason why one should be regarded as dishonorable or ignoble and other honourable. Each is a necessity and; therefore, each has its own worth.

Behind our admiration for Hazrat Khalid bin Walid, Hercules and Samson of old and of the wrestlers and athletes of modern times, there is an unconscious homage to manual labour. We love, patronize and adore them and yet we look down on an ordinary manual labourer. Nothing can be more perverse than that. People who appreciate feats of strength have no justification for withholding their praise from that labour which clears jungle, sows the seeds, builds cities and roads and makes life happy and comfortable. It is not only perversity but also base ingratitude which denies dignity to labour.

In fact, life is action not contemplation. Man’s worth is only determined by his actions. Not only to know but also to act according to knowledge is the destination of man. Mere brooding will not do; all ambitions are empty unless materialized. For example, Churchill was a man of action and he became immortal because of his active and useful services to his nation and to the comity of nations.

One should work for the love of work and not for money only. Man must work. It will be better if he works gratefully and not grudgingly. He should work as a man and not as a machine. He should put his heart and soul into his work. In short, he should enliven it. Work done in the right spirit leads to happiness says Bertrand Russell, “Consistent purpose is an almost indispensable condition of a happy life. And consistent purpose embodies itself mainly in work”.

Happy is the man who like Sir Syed Ahmad Khan goes from door to door, bearing the torch of peace and non-violence before a war-torn and disillusioned world. And then constructive work provides us with more joy than a destructive one. In destruction, there may be joy, but that emerges from hate and is short-lived, and less satisfying though fierce. Great artists and scientists do work which is in itself delightful.

So Carlyle is perfectly right when he says in ‘Past and Present”, “Blessed is he who has found his work, let him ask no other blessedness”. Disinterested action is the best action. But let us not forget that, an excess of work is always very painful. It should alternate with play. Long fellow, in the following lines, idealizes the working habit of The Village Blacksmith.

Each morning sees some task begun,

Each evening sees it closes;

Something attempted, something done,

Has earned a night’s repose

Surely work is divine. In the words of a great scholar, “a God is there where the tiller is tilling the hard soil and the path-maker is breaking the stones.”

Truly has Scott said “Labour is the condition which God has imposed on us in every station of life”.

In fact, God is work and work is God

Life is a long and continuous obligation and there is no other way of achieving success in it. In the first flush of youth, we may dream and dream, but soon we shall be rudely awakened to acknowledge with the poet:

I slept and dreamt that life was beauty,

I worked and found that life was duty

The stream of time flows on at unbroken pace, men are born and pass away, empires rise and crumble, human institutions, customs and manners grow and undergo constant modification. Work is necessary to move forward in life and no progress or development is possible without it. A golden example can be presented here regarding the importance of work:

“A man came to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) begging for anything to live on. The Prophet gave him an axe and a rope and advised him to collect some wood and sell it and live on its price. He further told the man to come back and report to him how he fared after the job entrusted to him. The next day, the man came to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and said that the hard work of felling trees gave him contentment and pleasure. The bread earned through his sweat was the sweetest he ever relished. He would never beg again”.

Now, some misguided people may be inclined to say that the above-mentioned tradition is just an individual example of no significance in the twentieth century. But such logic is surely a naive one. Actually Islam prescribed the sense of responsibility and ensured work for the man fourteen centuries ago and it is completely supported by the most modern economic and political theories. But where the state is unable to find work for the unemployed, the Public Treasury should support him until their circumstances improve.

Man is the heart and soul of universe. He has been bestowed with limitless capability, authority and potential. He is as deep as sea and as high as mountains. To do nothing negates the very philosophy of his presence on the earth. The impossible is often the untried. Therefore, we should work, work and work and we are then bound to succeed in life.

Tea – Addiction Essay

Outline:

  • Meaning and origin of tea
  • Advantages of tea addiction
  • Myths about the origin of tea
  • Japanese tea etiquettes
  • Tea in the sub-continent
  • The art of tea making
  • Caution

Tea is the most universal of man-made beverages. There is no place in the world where the habit of taking tea is not found or is not on the increase. The word “Tea” is of Chinese origin. It comes from Chinese local Amoy dialect word “Te”, pronounced “Tay”. In Cantonese, it becomes “Cha”, pronounced “Chah”. The name traveled in this form to Japan, Persia, Russia,” England, America, Europe and the Indo-Pak sub-continent. Tea is the king of the drinks. It has permeated our daily life for half the century to such an extent that its importance to the tea addicts cannot be minimized.

Taking tea has become a social institution throughout the world. People can do without meat, fish, vegetables and other edible goods for days to come but cannot do without taking tea even for one single day. How much and how frequently people take tea depends upon thermometric fluctuations and seasonal changes. We have bed-tea, breakfast tea, tea at “Teatime” and tea at any time to entertain the guests. In Pakistan, the city of Karachi has acquired the distinction of the largest consumer of tea. Here almost every citizen takes tea at least 10 to 12 times a day.

The first and foremost advantage of this innocent addiction is that unlike so many other addictions, there is no harm in taking it. It has no intoxicating effect. It does not lead a man to a delirious state. People who take alcohol and other drugs either soar to the skies or oscillate in the air. But there is no such thing in Tea. Tea makes men serious and thoughtful. Taking Tea does not make them unconscious of selves or the surroundings. It keeps them on the mother earth. A tea taker is always safe in his stance and sure of his ground.

Tea is taken with equal zest and interest by the rich and the poor, the pious and the knave, the king and the clown, the peer and the plebian, the plutocrat and the proletarian, the head of the state and a common citizen, a lady of fashion and a working woman, a convalescent and a healthy person. The people in the Torrid Zone or the Frigid Zone, in the North Pole or the South Pole, equally relish tea. It is equally welcome in the frightful mood of anger and in the grips of lethargy and monotony. Tea is equally taken in all moods-in the moments of thought, reflection, worry, care, anxiety, grief, and in time of mirth, fun, recreation and jollity. It is welcomed in times of danger and in times of happiness. It has the quality to warm up the lethargic and cool the choleric. No person has ever claimed or complained to be allergic to tea. Dr. Samuel Johnson, the literary giant of the English language and literature speaks highly of Tea and asserts that taking tea vacillates from grim earnestness to pleasant merriment and still maintains light whimsicality. About his own habit of tea drinking he writes, “I am a hardened and shameless tea-taker, who for twenty years diluted his meals with only the infusion of the fascinating plant, which with the tea amused the evening, with tea solaced the midnight and with tea welcomed the morning”. Historically, it is said that tea began as a medicine and has grown into a beverage.

For the Chinese, tea is symbolic of earthly purity requiring the most fastidious cleanliness in its preparation, from picking tea leaves by the women, prying and preserving to its final infusion and drinking, easily upset by the slightest contamination of dirty or oily hands and cups. There goes a story about the eminent Chinese scholar, Chou Wentu, that he was so much enamored of tea that he himself prepared and drank tea about ten items daily at fixed hours. He loved his tea-pot so much that in his will, he desired his heirs to bury his tea-pot with him when he died. All the connoisseurs of tea in China prepared and drank tea with loving pleasure, religious ritual importance and distinction.

Tea, a friend of all seasons and moods, has been much glorified by the writers, poets, politicians, saints and philosophers. There is a strange legend about the origin of Tea. It is said that once Bodhidharma, an Indian saint, fell in deep slumber during his contemplation and meditation. On awakening, he was greatly upset to know that his meditation was interrupted by sleep. Offended as he was, he cut off his eyelids and threw them on the ground. These eyelids took root and after some time there grew up a bush, the leaves of which when dried and infused in boiling water produced a beverage that could banish sleep. So, in the early period, some apothecaries have been using it as “herb for abolishing sleep”. The scholars, who sat on their desks to burn the midnight oil, kept themselves awake by drinking Tea. There is another legend about a Chinese traveller who went to India where he stayed with an Indian couple. Once he feared that his hosts might assassinate him in order to possess his wealth. He planned to run away as soon as he collected his credits from his clients. He was so scared that he did not want to go to sleep. So every evening he boiled the tea leaves and ate them up in secrecy. He would throw the water in which the leaves were boiled. One evening it so happened that the Chinese traveler had to go out on urgency and forgot to throw the water of tea leaves. The hostess, taking the water to be some beverage, drank it out of sheer curiosity. This is how, it is said, and that tea was introduced in India. There is yet another legend, which places the introduction of tea-drinking in the reign of mythological Chinese Emperor, Shen Nung about 2737 B.C. So, the use of tea is thus traced to the pre-historic period.

The people of Japan are very fond of taking tea. There Tea-drinking has developed into an aesthetic ritual. With their inherent artistic sense, the Japanese have developed tea taking into the finest form of social custom. They usually observe strict rules of etiquette during the tea parties. They wear their graceful costumes, take off their shoes and sit solemnly around low tables covered by the artistically embroidered tablecloth, with elegant teacups and saucers. They maintain complete tranquility in the atmosphere and discourage noisy affairs during tea drinking.

Tea is very popular with the kings and queens and in the elite society. Anna, the Duchess of Bedford in England, introduced. Afternoon tea as a regular ceremony. It is said that the constant work and vigilance of state affairs tired her by the afternoons and she felt depressed. After taking tea, her spirits were refreshed and she felt better.

In the beginning, people took tea in different forms. It was not taken with sugar or milk. Still in the west as well as in the Middle East, people use tea without sugar and milk but in the Indo-Pak subcontinent, people take tea with sugar, and sometimes with cream, milk or lemon. Now-a-days, cold-tea is also becoming popular.

The sub-continent is very rich in tea-plantations. Bangladesh produces the finest tea in Sylhet Tea gardens and the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Sri Lanka and Kenya also produce a very fine quality of tea but the tea grown in China itself is of the best flavour. In Pakistan, tea is being grown in Sind but it is not of a good quality. There is something in the nature of tea, just like wine, which leads the tea – addicts to a world of companionship. It is best enjoyed in the select company.

More than half of the art of making good tea lies in the quality of water. A good tea addict sees to it that the tea-mixed boiled water is not allowed to stand in the pot for too long. Recent researches have pointed out that if tea water is allowed to stand in the waiting for a longer period than necessary, it produces nicotine, a poisonous element that is detrimental to human health.

Like all good and fine things in acceptability, tea too has faced bitter opposition. Henry of Sanville in 1675 denounced taking tea as a filthy habit. Some people oppose tea taking because they suspect that tea-drinkers lose their vigor and personality. Womon tea-drinkers lose their physical charm and beauty. Older people characterize it as a ‘hellish water’ which burns the intestines and benumbs the intellects. Some people oppose it on the pleas that it amounts to sheer waste of money and inculcating a bad habit. In spite of all opposition, the habit of tea drinking is increasing with unbelievable rapidity. Not individuals but families, cities, nations and generations have become addicted to it. The coffee Houses of modern times, of history and of literature, are nothing but Tea Houses. They are pleasant resorts for wits, conversationalists, rumourmongers and gossipmongers. The giants of English literature like Addison, Steele and Alexander Pope beguiled themselves over their cups of tea in the coffee houses. They asserted that taking tea makes one self-conscious of one’s humanity and encourages the habit of contemplation. In the East, tea is taken with certain amount of relaxation and eases, which is characteristic. However, let us take the word of Caution that excessive tea drinking is not good at all. In the present times when the prices are constantly rising, tea drinking is becoming an expensive process. It is burdensome on our economic structure and we should try to adopt moderation in tea drinking.