Pakistan’s original sin
It is its treatment of Ahmadis. It needs to overcome that anxiety to liberate itself on several fronts
Written by Pratap Bhanu Mehta | Published: December 1, 2017 12:15 am
Supporters of the radical religious party Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah chant religious slogans at a sit-in protest in Islamabad, Pakistan (AP Photo/File)
Most nations often labour under the shadow of an original sin. This is a form of injustice that inflects the nation’s identity. It often acquires a power of its own such that it rears its head even in attempts to overcome it. Its shadow continues to govern and distort politics in deep ways. Race and the legacy of slavery are such issues for the United States; arguably caste and communalism arising from the shadow of Partition for India. In both these cases, the state and political culture have tried to overcome them, with some success. But the afterlife of these original sins still matters, subtly distorting our politics. In countries where the state itself perpetuates its original sin, however, there is likely to be chaos. A good example of this is Pakistan.
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