Monday, 25 February 2008

Destiny and Free Will in Pakistan

It is true that we are free to make our choices and what we get in life is to a large extent their consequence. However, history would be an oversimplified business if free will were the only factor to be shaping it.

In life we sometimes see our best efforts come to nothing – “and, in this upshot, purposes mistook falling on the inventors’ heads.” The twentieth century Western literature developed a tendency to overemphasize this aspect and conclude that life was “a tale told by an idiot… signifying nothing.” Our poet-philosopher Iqbal (1877-1938) offers us a way out.

According to him, everything has a fixed destiny and therefore you can change your destiny by changing yourself: when you change yourself you become eligible for a new destiny. Nations, on the other hand, have "final" destinies that may not be altered easily. Individuals are free to choose what part they want their nation’s destiny to play in their lives.

By this logic, whatever implications there are of Election 2008 will get implemented (and I offered my interpretation as “3 aspects” in the previous post). Whether we, the individuals, benefit from them or not depends very much on our own actions and on our readiness to be "connected" to the collective consciousness of the nation.

In other words, Pakistan will arrive where it is headed to but we need to see that: for our own sakes.

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