Weep For Murtaza

February 9, 2010

Weep For Murtaza

Women at the Cross

February 5, 2010

 The women of Jerusalem who had walked with Jesus to his execution withdrew to a distance while he was nailed to the cross. More women joined them; those who looked after him when he was in Galilee, and others who came from the countryside to Jerusalem with him. All four Gospels mention the presence of these women at the cross.

 John, the only disciple of Jesus who had not run away, was with them.

 In that jeering crowd, these women were there to let Jesus know that, though bewildered by the tragic turn of events, they stood by him.

 Who were these women? Read the rest of this entry »

Through the Barricades

February 4, 2010

(tribute to his wife Mrs. Salma Masud)

Through the long years
I sought peace.

I found ecstasy, I found anguish,
I found madness,
I found loneliness.

I found the solitary pain
that gnaws the heart,
But peace I did not find.

Now all and near my end,
I have known you,
And, knowing you,
I have found ecstasy and peace
I know rest.

After so many lonely years,
I know what life and love may be
Now, if I sleep,
I shall sleep fulfilled.

These are lines, taken from Bertrand Russell, probably the greatest of the philosophers of the last century—mathematician, scientist, educationist, political thinker and a writer of incomparable lucidity, profundity and versatility.

At the moment of the greatest grief in my life, when Salma passed away at 2:20 am on Saturday, 21st April, I could only recall my mentor and guide. At a similar moment, sixty one years ago, when my mother closed her eyes forever, and I stood forlorn and lonely in front of the Gordon College library, our librarian came to my help and gave me Bertrand Russell’s book Conquest of Happiness. This book saved me from spiritual disaster. Read the rest of this entry »

Patrice Lumumba—The Hero of Africa

February 2, 2010

The first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (now Zaire) the radical nationalist leader, Patrice Lumumba, saw his regime disintegrate through a revolt of the army, the secession of its wealthiest province, and invasion by the country’s former imperialist masters. He was evicted from office less than three months after he assumed office and murdered by his political enemies four months later.

Since his death he is hailed throughout the continent as “the Hero of Africa,” and in his own country he has been officially proclaimed, even by the successors who opposed him during his life time, as “the national Hero.” Read the rest of this entry »

Socrates—A Great Teacher

February 2, 2010

Of all the teachers that history has known, Socrates was (in the words of his contemporaries) “the wisest, the most courageous and the most upright.” To him are traced back the diverse schools of philosophy, such as Platonism, Scepticism, Stoicism, Epicureanism, Cynicism. Very aptly, he is called the philosophers’ philosopher. Socrates was a brave soldier, a stone-cutter, sculptor; but above all he was a great teacher. Read the rest of this entry »

Beethoven—Musical Orator of Revolution

February 1, 2010

I know nothing more beautiful than the Appassionata. I could hear it every day. It is marvelous, unearthly music. Every time I hear these notes, I think with pride and perhaps childlike naivete that it is wonderful what man can accomplish.

This is the tribute paid by Lenin to Beethoven—both revolutionaries par excellence, one in politics, the other in music.

The time, the place and the personality combined to produce the artist, sensitive in the highest degree to the impulses of the new democratic era. Nourished by the vision of liberated humanity and the dignity of the individual, thrown up by the French Revolution, Beethoven created the music of a heroic age in unforgettable accents, proclaiming his faith in the power of man to shape his destiny. Read the rest of this entry »

Goethe and the German Enlightenment

January 30, 2010

Goethe best symbolizes the great modern epoch of western culture which marked a period of transition from classicism to romanticism in the arts, from the generalizations of mathematical and physical sciences to the new theories of biology and social science, from monarchy and authoritarian government to social and political democracy. Before him, three other titans of European literature—Homer, Dante and Shakespeare symbolized the ancient, medieval and renaissance periods. Read the rest of this entry »

Ghinwa Bhutto’s Letter

February 9, 2007