Tag Archive: feminist


The Pashtunwali

Pashtunwali dates back to ancient pre-Islamic times but is still widely in use, especially by the rural tribal society. It is not only practiced by members of the Pashtun diaspora but also by some non-Pashtun Afghans or Pakistanis who live in close proximity with Pashtuns.

Now my interest in this topic dates to the fact that there was quote that one heard during childhood ( pashtun or Pathans as they are called in India are integral part of Indian society pre-dating Islamic origination which goes back to ancient times, so as a group they are talked about often in the Pan-Indian society even though many associate them from Afghanistan which may be a more “modern” source point ).

The quote was :

You will never find a more noble, Honorable and Loyal friend

and Neither you will find a more Honest and fierce enemy.

Obliviously the whole quote got me thinking. I mean is it just the pashtuns who have these features or there is something else ?

Do they follow some type of code or lifestyle which evokes such response ?

Then while browsing over the net I fell upon a word called Pashtunwali.The word holds deep importance to the Pashtun culture and those who lived around them. It is said that a true Pashtun abides by this line of ethics. The great Badshah Khan tried to revive or more importantly tried to reignite it barring the badla ideology (which means revenge) . It was epitomised in the poetry by his son Khan Abdul Ghani khan, the Mad poet as he was called.The Red shirts were very prominent in telling about the pashtunwali culture in british era. One such line of his poetry reflects the deep pride he had of Pashtun culture.

“Pashtun is not merely a race but, in fact, a state of mind; there is a Pashtun lying inside every man, who at times wakes up and overpowers him.”

Imran Khan in this present era by his methods is trying live that great Pathan ideology but his ideology has got more to with moderate Pan-Pakistan (which is drawing hostility from urdu based parties especially PPP and Pakistan Muslim League (N).) He is in one way a by product of Pathan culture but of a Niazi Pashtun Tribe which settled in urdu speaking Punjab region during the Mughal rule. I however guess that his thinking is more in trying to mix both old and new. In order to give a balanced view point of Pakistani Moderates (which is creating a rockstar style status among youth of Pakistan, not that he isn’t already a rockstar. Someone even said that he is Mick Jagger of south Asia)

I therefore compiled a list of the points in Pashtunwali (hope I have covered all).

  1. Melmastia (hospitality) – Showing hospitality and profound respect to all visitors, regardless of distinctions of race, religion, national affiliation as well as economic status and doing so without any hope of remuneration or favour. Pashtuns are widely considered to be the most hospitable people in the world and a Pashtun will go to great extents to show his hospitality.
  2. Nanawatai (asylum) – Derived from the verb meaning to go in, this is used for protection given to a person who requests protection against his/her enemies. The people are protected at all costs, in many cases even people running from the law must be given refuge until the situation is clarified.
  3. Badal (justice) – To seek justice or take revenge against the wrongdoer. This applies to injustices committed yesterday or 1000 years ago if the wrongdoer still exists. Justice in Pashtun lore needs elaborating: even a mere taunt (or “Paighor”) is regarded as an insult – which can only usually be redressed by shedding of the taunter’s blood (and if he isn’t available, then his next closest male relation). This in turn leads to a blood feud that can last generations and involve whole tribes with the loss of hundreds of lives. Normally blood feuds in this all male dominated setup are then settled in a number of ways.
  4. Tureh (bravery) – A Pashtun must defend his land/property, family and women from incursions wherever he or she might reside. A Pashtun should always stand brave against tyranny and he should always be able to defend his property, family, women and the honour of his name. Death can follow if anyone mistreats these traits.
  5. Sabat (loyalty) – Loyalty must be paid to one’s family, friends, and tribe members. Loyalty is a must and a Pashtun can never become disloyal as this would be utterly shameful towards themselves and their families.
  6. Imandari (righteousness) – A Pashtun must always strive towards thinking good thoughts, speaking good words and doing other good deeds. Pashtuns must behave respectfully towards all creations including people, animals and the environment around them. Pollution of the environment or its destruction is against the Pashtunwali.
  7. Isteqamat – Trust in God (known as “Allah” in Arabic and “Khudai-ta-Allah” in Pashto). The notion of trusting in the one Creator generally comports to Islamic idea of belief in only one God (tawheed).
  8. Ghayrat (self honour or dignity) – Pashtuns must maintain their human dignity. Honour has great importance in Pashtun society and most other codes of life are aimed towards the preservation of one’s honour or pride. They must respect themselves and others in order to be able to do so, especially those they do not know. Respect begins at home, among family members and relatives.
  9. Namus (Honor of women) – A Pashtun must defend the honor of Pashtun women at all costs and must protect them from vocal and physical harm.
  10. TOR: Pashtuns are sensitive about the honor of their women folk and slight touching of the women is at times considered a serious and an intolerable offence. The cases of adultery and illicit relations are put down with iron hand in and no quarter is given to culprits either male or female. Casting of an evil eye on woman is tantamount to imperil one’s life. Both sexes, therefore, scrupulously avoid indulgence in immoral practices.
  11. TEEGA OR KANRAY: Teega or Kanray is cessation of bloodshed between contending parties. Teega (putting down of a stone) in other words means a temporary truce declared by a Jirga. The word stone is used figuratively as actually no stone is put at the time of the cessation of hostilities. Once the truce is enforced, no party dares violate it for fear of punitive measures.
  12. GHUNDI: Ghundi is a classic case of balance of power in tribal areas. It is derived from Pashto word Ghund, meaning a political party but it is used for an alliance. As modern states enter into bilateral agreements for promotion of trade, cultivation of friendly relations and mutual defense, similarly various sections of a tribe align themselves in blocs or Ghunds to safeguard their common interests. Ghundi is entered into defeat the aggressive and nefarious designs of a hostile neighbor. In tribal fighting the Ghundi members espouse their mutual interests against their common enemy and act as a corporate body with all the resources at their command.

Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan tried to eliminate the Badla aspect for which many term him Bachcha Khan too. The revenge culture however of Pashtun is such that it is passed from generation to generation. The term that “ Revenge is dish best served cold” was imbibed from this tradition and the Britishers took that quote and made it famous. Though now the whole world thinks that British invented that “fascinating” sentence. (It is sometimes funny how the world goes round, reminds me of “It’s awataur moron” dialogue by the “high-flys”.)

Ps: It sad to see that the real faces of Pashtun society being marginalized and only Taliban phenomenon is being made the face of Pashtun identity. There was a time when Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan was the spiritual leader (and many in this age have forgotten his name ) and now it is Mullah Omar the spiritual head of Taliban( The hardline Wahhabi ideologue, however poverty and neglect of Pashtuns has got to do alot with it).  Though what is sad more is that these days Militant feminist or Fem-Nazi as they “belovedly” are called in world. Identify anything which is not according to them as a Taliban phenomenon not to mention the entire pashtun race as such and those alike, just so that they could score some brownie points on media channels without even understanding the whole story.( Now does that make me uneducated for raising that question.I Do not know but just don’t shoot the messenger is all I ask. 🙂 )

The word feminist in dictionary means the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men. Like most of the causes it also started out as a noble cause to make sure a large amount of work force doesnot goes untapped and could be payed equally.

The question how ever remains is with the multiple waves of feminism and the militant form of feminism emerging (which consider “all men as pigs of worst kind”). How will a boy be raised by women with such ideology in comparison for a girl ?

Will he be subjected to same “atrocities” as a chauvinist does to a female child or like “true feminist” say they will become “real balancers” for gender equality ?

A Quote which must be seen carefully, stating the feminist ideology :

We need to politicize motherhood and to recognize the work that mothers do – we need to claim that work for feminism, to learn its strategies, so that we might convince mothers that as much as feminism needs motherhood, mothers also need feminism. (Quoted from Hirsh 367 on page 254)

Can a feminist do justice to being a mother of a boy child by not making him a feminist by not influencing him(or not allowing her husband to make him a chauvinist) but rather letting him become a true chivalrous gentleman with traditional ideologies ?

In most of the debates that I have seen online and in live audiences either the woman stops being a feminist (out of protectiveness for the male child) or makes the life of the male child worse, by being extra strict.

I can’t help but notice a very similar type of behavior pattern for feminist of today and chauvinist who they are trying to “uproot”. If you would listen to their lectures and watch them talking you can get a sense of how they want the world to be: A matriarchy (as though that will set everything right). No wonder there are faults being “discovered” where men are “running the show“. It is but all “fair” if they fight the “so called oppressors”. The problem arises when they target the future generations and their desire to cripple the other gender and particularly target young boys, so that they can “balance” the world.

The case where the apparent feminist might have a son and a daughter, the question is how much she would “cut the boy to right size” and “upgrade the girl enough” so that she feels it equality has prevailed ?

Additionally can a mother of “daughters only” give an expert opinion on how boys should be raised and treated by her girls ?

Shouldn’t that be a bastion best left to people who actually have a male child or those with no real experience of raising a male child be experts in pointing to the way a male child must be raised(since she believes that she is  an expert after receiving a bad relationship from her male relatives) ?

The whole idea of feminism revolves around the fact of woman rights only ( as many scholars have time and again said that woman rights and child rights are two separate topics completely as women are abusive towards kids, in this case the weaker of the two lot ), so for a mother obsessed with woman rights, will the rights of a boy be considered equally and given paramount importance ?

The big question however is that feminism always say men are exploiters but will they become exploiters themselves so that they could “nullify male superiority” for the future female generations ?

A girl child might be allowed to do things which a boy child might be refused (citing the behavioral pattern that the feminist mother might feel about boy and thereby “training the animal right”). A boy might be disallowed to talk to girls or be friends with them, go out at nights or even go for adventurous trips (if they don’t follow the code of conduct prescribed by their feminist mother) but certainly a girl might be allowed to interact with the opposite sex and allowed to “find herself“. The girl might be allowed to do all the “wild” things men are suppose to do/have done and boy child would be made to sit at home getting lecture at how bad men are.

How can a feminist mother keep “true” to her feminist ideology and at the same time be “true” to her son as a mother,since he will be at the receiving end or a combination of innovative approach with a mix feminist-Traditionalist ideology (which many people also term as humanity) be a new outcome of raising a boy child by her. In this process the father’s role is being subverted throughout . By keeping in dark or just using  a male’s sperm to get impregnated not becoming an act of “use and throw” approach which the earlier feminist use to abhor deeply ?

In order to address such situations feminist have been having their intense debate within and some women with the good hearts have undoubtedly said that feminist have made young men confused at to what they should do( and in reality bit overdone this victim-hood non-sense), as most of them wanted to convert their society into feminist one( with everything coochi coochi). In this process extincting the “male masculinity” and “machoness”. Eventually then getting bored and disliking the “tamed and well groomed metrosexual man(beast)” that they have created.

The point being the boys feeling subverted/manipulated to “groom” him right and girls feeling “enraged” to empower her. Can these simple act not be classified as abuse of    the right of boy in the process of being a man ?

Feminism in developing world usually take a leaf out of the “developed” world (as they can teach the “right” thing and not visa versa) , but do these developing world feminist are willing to understand what boys feel or is it too out of the world for them( and additionally accept their flaws too). It has been widely understood that woman become feminist out of oppression of themselves in the hands of their male peers of elder males in the families since they cannot understand their “feeling”. It may be so that in process of being a man in order to not get affected by emotions in decision making ,they needed to subvert their feelings. A phenomena which has been successful to men for thousands of years.(but how can a man expect a feminist to understand this feeling, after all it is always other way round)

After reading the question many feminist would say that they can be good mothers and provide their male child with the right education, but who decides what the right education for being a man is, someone who is not even a man ?

These question though insignificant to some but are relativity important in terms of parenting and specially parenting a male child by a hard core feminist or at least feminist sympathizer . The pink male population might give it a pass by not getting involved in order to get married to “set” of women who “looks beautifully right” but has a underlining agenda for a matriarchy dominated society is just ridiculous. Using young boys as guinea pigs to “realize” their dreams by such “beautiful women” is equally ridiculous.

I watched a lecture once where a “ex-feminist” was saying that rather being a feminist and chauvinist first movement, it should human rights movement at whole as the whole idea is so misplaced. Since if you propagate human values then “everything” should come under rights and if someone wishes to be complacent in this approach then, morality in asking or telling what is “right” is certainly lost.

In this war against boys concept where a feminist is picking on a young boy rather than fight a man(to settle their scores), so that she may protect a better future for a girl is completely despicable.

I always wondered that in  societies across world, it is always said that female are looked down upon and are victimized by the men especially their male relatives. They are not given adequate opportunities , position of power, not listened to etc.

What if it is other way round too ?

Scenario 1 :

A female because of  “partial ” treatment meted out on her decides to take things in her hand  and chooses to do partiality in context of her son and daughter, she is more partial of her daughter in little things and avoids giving his son the “powers”, therby denying him something that was done to her.

It might be her own way of  ” balancing ” the world but would that amount to abuse ?

Scenario 2 :

Young girls picking on a boy, well that is something which we must have witnessed through out our childhood, must have seen a guy been picked on by a group of females or even your self. There is a theory that girls from all girls school are far more aggressive and adventurous compared to those from co-ed education. Though there are many individuals who consider this theory to be a fluke too( but that is for another day).

Scenario 3:

There are then cases of female pedophiles who use their gender to escape the punishment from the law. Now the “politically” correct male and fem-Nazi female will never accept such phenomenon and blame males for all sexual abuses. The question still however remains, are we all living in  a denial ?

.

Scenario 4:

A female boss hell bent at making males under her suffer more than females , well just for the reason she despises them and they cannot be ” Trusted“. ( A case of bringing personal issues to the table)

Scenario 5:

Where a female demands more of the money and accolades  with less of the work, citing her gendre and her role in society. I got an interesting video in this regard.

One knows that many would not agree especially in India because they seem to have a phobia of associating “mother” or Females with something like this and if they find the mother is under some illness (Psychological)then the whole family is sidelined.

One just wonders can’t women in powerful position be accused of something similar of what men do ?

Though in their case the amount of power they control can be an issue. Over the years many things seem to have come in light in the change of a  female behavior: her taking to smoking and drinking, leading a single life with multiple partners, never having a baby, terrorist activities ,pedophiles etc. ”  in lines of a male behavior “…..

Can we still on a general level classify them as the victims ? It is a question that reverberates in my mind ? Though still to a larger extend woman are in prostitution or in bad marriages etc but that can’t take away the fact that some women “choose” to be “different”.

It has been into the foray especially after the feminist movement came into the being. Surely during the period it was done females were deprived lots but over the period of time as they have gained powerful spots and were raised in an environment  of “equality”  their behavioral response to various subjects have also changed.

Though one does not wishes to take credit out of the genuine women who work and help their families get better but it seems our world isn’t Bipolar any more in terms of of female behavior and activities, some call it “inflation” which is necessary ,some just get angry of changing scenario and some are indifferent.

What ever it may be but one thing is sure that that the world it use to be 10 or even 20 years back is no longer same in terms of woman rights and their behaviors or their response systems and if a woman can comment on how bad a man treats her, the days are not far when same charges will be started to be made on females in times to come.

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