Sunday, May 23, 2010

De-education for everyone

Over the top

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Masood Hasan

The good news is that in a few years we will be able to eliminate whatever education we have still left here and drown all the teachers so that this vice does not spread ever again. A little over a week back, Prime Minister Gilani blazed a new path for the nation when campaigning for our new national hero, Jamshaid Dasti (most babies are now named after him) in Muzaffargarh. He thundered that mere education was nothing as compared to the voice of the people. 

Dasti being the shining example of that, we can now simply supplicate ourselves and burn our degrees unless these were claimed fraudulently in which case they are kosher in Pakistan. Senator Sughra Imam who was at the rally should immediately burn her Columbia University degree, file a case against her mom Chandi for sending her there and get a real degree from Dasti's supplier. The press called Dasti 'a fake degree holder' insulting this illustrious son of the soil and his 147 compatriots who are usually napping in the National Assembly and have genuinely fake degrees. 

There has been a suggestion that Dasti should be asked to take over as minister for education and personally, this is just about the best news I have heard since Chuadhry Shujaat returned my buffalo he mistakenly took as his own. With Dasti taking care of education, we can fast forward to a time when no one will be able to read and write here – this has always been the agenda of all who have ruled here, in or out of uniform, and explains why the molasses industry has done far better than all the schools, colleges, universities and institutes we have allowed to grow like warts on our fair face. 

Rumours that Dasti is unable to multiply two by two are lies because he is pretty good at tables of one. After that tables of two are a piece of cake as we all know. We also know that all the doctors here are not doctors and frankly why should they be? Ask the prime minister and he will give you a perfectly good explanation for that. Mr Babar Awan for example has a doctorate from a university called Monticello which is just as well known as Oxford and offers special courses for aspiring hookers. 

Another doctor – some wags said he was a quack though many of us felt that was rather an insulting thing to say about quacks – was at a university that apparently cannot issue degrees for love or money but the good and learned doctor who transmits heavenly cures for the afflicted of this nation from one of those infernal channels, has plunged ahead making tons of money and selling balms to soothe the tortured souls of the country. 

The president cannot remember where he went to study but it wasn't Cambridge which is a relief. He also is on record as having misspelt God, which might have caused a problem but I guess the good Lord is used to this. El Presidente has no degree although he cannot be faulted for that. Without the burden of that useless parchment, he has made it to the top and given financial aerobics a new dimension. The 147 sleepy Joes erroneously referred to as members of the National Assembly – may be they mean another kind of members, who pass bills faster than horses pass water, are able to do so because they simply do not and cannot read what is on the many papers. However they are able to affix their correct thumbs on their TA/DA vouchers which is encouraging news for the people and a major achievement for those who are the choice of the people. It is a sobering thought that burdened with an education they might have had to read the bills and that might have taken a hundred years give or take a decade or two.

The Pakistan team, we recently learnt, has only one graduate who has already been dropped from the national side – well, side it hardly is, more a national waste of time. The rest contain a couple or so who laboriously clawed their way to intermediate or inter which is of the same standard that you find on Pakistan Railways (are they still running?). The rest gave education a wide miss and made it barely to matric which means being able to read some of the signs on the roads – like 'Do Not Cross'. 

This may also explain that all skippers since Imran lifted the World Cup in 1864, are unable to speak without the standard 'first of all thanks be to Almighty Allah and the boys who is work hard.' Mercifully Ramiz Raja stopped Umar Akmal short by resorting to Urdu. He should have done the same for Al Afridi, who, as skipper, has the same chances of success as the Titanic when it hit the iceberg. 

I wonder what the hockey players do when accosted by a mike. Probably call it a carrot. Will the team play better once they are educated? Probably yes because they will be able to read and understand that cricket is not only played on the ground but in the head as well. However there is nothing to worry about that happening. If Yawar Saeed can be the manager till the year 3000, why should the cricketers think about A – Apple, B – Bat, C – Cot?

I think the biggest mistake I made was to 'read and write' because it has done me no good. I have never been recruited by the ISI, CIA, M5 or IB although I have made no secret of my desire to be with the boyz. I have never won an election and never managed to default a bank. 

A failure in more ways than you can count – I assume there still are some people who can count. Many summers back, a friend of my late brother, called Ezo Massey sauntered into his room in Sialkot which wasn't a hick town in those days. My brother asked Ezo if he had read Dostoevsky to which Ezo replied, 'Khalid you know perfectly well I don't read Urdu literature.' Ezo could have been a good president of Pakistan come to think of it.

The writer is a Lahore-based columnist. Email:

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