We people are the promoters and financers of orthodox and outdated culture. Once it is established, it has to generate its governing laws, culture, and economics. I am afraid, soon, power will replace the argument, and new nexus of the crime-religions-tribalism has to come up with full force
By Zaffar Junejo
‘Noor Masjid’ Tablighi and spread of Coronavirus in Hyderabad, Sindh’ – Almost all media houses including social media carried this news. However, none of them explored the background of these biological bombs – who are they? Why they are always on move? Who facilitates them? The responses to these questions might have supported us creating the bigger picture. But media houses, which are always in rush failed to construct the puzzle.
The cultural history teaches that in every cultural or even religious event there is sociology, and sense of doing a good job also prevails across the board. However, sociology is the grand pattern of the micro-events, actions and retrospective mechanisms. Thus, we may say it a process. Likewise, the social processes’ completion or initiative of a new process needs financial as well as managerial support. Now, we have to think who are the financial and managerial supporters of these self-claimed agents of orthodox ideas? Have you thought about it? Perhaps not.
On the same day, I surveyed though WhatsApp and other communication tools. The questions were simple, and framed to come up with the idea of clustering the identity of the facilitators, and sorted out the purpose of their facilitation i.e., donations. Perhaps, you would be surprised to know that a quick survey revealed that supporters of these Tableghi are: a) Retired Bureaucrats, b) Shopkeepers and c) Landlords – who live in some posh colonies. These are the main donors of these Tableghi gatherings and their hosting places.
The above-donating groups, in their real lives, are wrapped in guilt and sorrow. They are haunted by the betrayal of the dreams of their youth and practice of the contradictory conduct in public affairs. This practice cultivates the sense of emptiness in them. Their decaying lives trigger the fear of death among them. Consequently, most of them avoid contacting the public keeping the distance from old friends and being away from societal responsibilities. They are associated with like-minded people (who are already living in the web of guilt and sorrow). So, unconsciously, they are part of new groups who are socially and even culturally different from their old acquaintances. So, these people are comfortable among new groups, where their introduction is fresh, and they psychologically enlarge their goodness through donating and facilitating these groups i.e. Tablighi Groups. But it is not a solution – the solution lies in the balance. Quite a long time ago in 1983, Krishnamurti in his Bombay Talk told: ‘if you are living with death and life together, there is no change. You are incarnating every day afresh—not you; a new thing is incarnating every day afresh. In that, there is great beauty. That is creation. In that there is tremendous freedom. Freedom implies love. The art of living and the art of dying together bring about great love. Love has its own intelligence, something outside of the brain.’
Another part of the survey was to know what the reasons are for their giving. There is more than one reason. However, one major factor of religious giving is the institutional existence of giving. In the case of Islam, it is Zakat. The quick study of Qasimabad told that above-mentioned groups donate in some socio-cultural frame – these are blocks: a) peer-pressure (neighborhood psyche), b) attendant-compulsion (if you are regular to particular religious gathering or worship place, ultimately you will be donating) c) fellows’- constant-follow ups and d) sense to become useful.
The reasons a, b and c are related to managerial and have the routine mechanism.
However, the most important part of the discussion is to know how guilt-based giving helps them to achieve a sense of usefulness. The instant reply is yes – it happens. But it is temporary and fades away when a new day starts. It is so because a sense of usefulness is liked with the wholeness of the personality. How one could apart from the personality or his/ her being. Is it possible? No, it is not. So, in such a situation confusion occurs, the giver fails to understand where he is the real? There is chaos, it is not known to him or her, so he carries both activities and lives a sad and non-productive life, and continuously sows and cultivates guilt and sadness.
Again, the question is how to stop Tabelghis? There is a civic mechanism. First, all these mosques located in particular colonies or adjacent areas of these colonies, the unions of the colonies could stop these Tablighi groups. Second, these mosques are the property of Hyderabad Development Authority, so it could take the action. Third, the local government and administration could stop or even arrest them. If somehow, we all fail to stop this madness, then its worst sufferers would be women, minority groups and children. Trust, we, people are the promoters and financers of this orthodox and outdated culture. Once, it is established, it has to generate its governing laws, culture, and economics. I am afraid, soon, power will replace the argument, and new nexus of the crime-religions-tribalism has to come up with full force.
Therefore, let me advise our friends that a sense of usefulness comes when you initiate the welfare and charity programs for the development of society. If you are more bent to philosophical ideas, then, in these Lockdown days, you are suggested to read Aristotle’s ‘The Nicomachean Ethics.’ It helps you to know: ‘Happiness depends on acquiring a moral character, where one displays the virtues of courage, generosity, justice, friendship, and citizenship in one’s life.’