Monday, December 15, 2008

Rising Dawn

Over the last couple of weeks I pointed out a couple of times, with examples, that The Dawn of Pakistan is overall a balanced and sensible newspaper. Many of my Indian readers knew this already, while others were greatly surprised by the discovery (though there's no greater surprise in finding some balanced, intellectually honest and secular people across the border than there is in finding unhinged, illogical and communal people on this side!!).

Well, the last week has seen the publication in The Dawn of an interview with the father of the captured terrorist Ajmal Kasab who has positively identified his son. While it appears that the initial investigation was done by a British newspaper, the fact that The Dawn would unearth and publish this information attests to their journalistic standards. There is little doubt that they will have been condemned by Pakistani fundamentalists and their supporters as "unpatriotic" for this, very much as sections of the press in India are reviled for exposing anything the Hindutva crowd doesn't want exposed.

Earlier one of my readers, in a comment about this posting of mine, cited a particular Op-Ed piece in The Dawn and concluded "It just goes on [sic] to show what sort of a phoney newspaper Dawn is!". As I've said before, there are articles in The Dawn that I disagree with, but this is true too of any Indian newspaper you can name. What is striking is that it carries so many courageous and brutally honest articles at a time when its country is on the defensive and a siege mentality is being propagated there. So, I think people who are looking at this newspaper for evidence that everything and everyone Pakistani is "phoney", might be better off looking in the mirror...

1 comment:

Anant said...

Maybe someday I will make a separate post on this subject, but for the moment I will stick to the following comment, although the scope will be enlarged to a general problem. The issue I think is one of a blind spot in the consciousness of Indian people. This blind spot is simply called Pakistan. It is an inability to to see anything right with what is arguably our most important neighbour. It is also refusal to see that the issues and problems that we face here are mirrored there. It is a fact that today two countries exist, no matter what the painful history of their birth is. One chose for its foundations a religious-political identity while another a secular identity. Whether or not one agrees with these, the fact is that they exist. These two countries will be neighbours until days end and it is best for all parties to accept that they must accept one another. It is clear that bigots on both sides would like to see the other side wiped out. I have nothing to say to such characters as it is a waste of time. My issue is really with our liberals: why the blind spot when it comes to Pakistan? I have no doubt that they have as many shades of opinion as we do on this side of the border. Why not recognize the Dawn as a brave and independent voice when there is so much evidence? Why the smugness when it comes to ourselves and only patronage when it comes to the other? Open your eyes, for God's sake.