S O U T H
A S I A N
Editor Imtiaz Alam Executive Editor Zebunnisa Burki
Contents Earthquake in South Asia
In this Issue
Consulting Editors Bangladesh Enayetullah Khan India K. K. Katyal Nepal Yubaraj Ghimire Pakistan I. A. Rehman Sri Lanka Sharmini Boyle Publisher Free Media Foundation Facilitator South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) Designed by DESIGN 8 Printer Qaumi Press Editorâ€™s Post E-mail: email@example.com
Education in India at the Crossroads
Education Reform: Beyond the Rhetoric
Madrassa: Islamic Rejectionism and Terrorism
Madrassa Reforms in Contemporary India
Pakistan: Devolution and Community Empowerment
Dr Paul Oquist
Politics of Indian War Films
Saba Naqvi Bhaumik
Indian Punjab: Social Regulation of Rice Production
Address 09-Lower Ground, Eden Heights, Jail Road, Lahore, Pakistan. Tel: 92-42-5879251; 5879253 Fax: 92-42-5879254 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website : www.southasianmedia.net
EU-India Relations at the WTO
A Peace Museum on the Wagah Border
Syed Sikander Mehdi
Electricity Demand in Nepal Kamal Raj Dhungel
Earthquake in South Asia After the Indian Ocean Tsunami struck at the bottom of the sea, killing more than 200,000 people in nine counties, the October 8 earthquake that struck the roof of the earth on the southern flanks of Himalaya has brought worst ever death and devastation across the divided Kashmir and northern parts of Pakistan, killing dozens of thousands, rendering more than four million homeless and over a million people jobless. Since the epicenter of the earthquake was about 60 miles northeast of Islamabad, and originated only 6.2 miles deep in the crust, the much greater thrust of shaking forces at 7.6 Richter scale devastated areas closer to the epicenter four districts of North Western Frontier Province, three districts of Pakistani-administered Kashmir and adjoining areas of Indian-administered Kashmir across the Line of Control (LoC). Indian subcontinent's tectonic plate's northward movement, as it collides with Eurasian tectonic plate, produces thrust faults that make earth quake. The same geological forces that produced Himalaya, and continue to create mountains, have now put 50 million people living across the subcontinent at the risk of encountering Himalayan quakes, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan, scientists of the University of Colorado after studying the seismic activities of the region predicted four years ago. They had forewarned of tens of times more powerful earthquake that could kill a million people on the Ganges plain and southern flanks of Himalaya. Where have the authorities been sleeping all these years, especially the two nuclear powers of the subcontinent? They have had spent billions of dollars on the production of weapons of mass destruction, but had no time and resources to study the seismological activities and take precautionary measures to save the people from natural calamities. Their national security establishments have all the contingency plans how to fight full and limited wars, including the nuclear wars, but no such plan existed that could have mitigated the sufferings of the millions this time the unfortunate Kashmiris, over whose territory, controlled by and divided between India and Pakistan, the two have been ready to risk a nuclear war. The October earthquake in South Asia has also brought to the fore, as the last Tsunami, that how unprepared and ill-equipped are Pakistan, India and other sates of South Asia, even if put together, to meet the colossal challenges of such natural calamities. Despite their hectic efforts, the authorities in both Pakistan and India failed to access the far flung villages in a most rugged terrain, termed as logistical disaster, even two weeks after the quake. The infrastructure was so poor, and built not in accordance with the seismically sensitive building codes, on both sides that it all crumbled, leaving no roads, schools, hospitals and administrative blocks on the ground. It required most modern equipments, machinery, sensors, helicopters,
mobile hospitals, tents, blankets, medicines, food and in plenty and promptly to rescue and rehabilitate millions of victims. It left no alternative but to call international community for rescue, relief and reconstruction. And, on Pakistan's call, the international community did respond promptly, whereas it was below India's honor to accept foreign assistance. The past animosity over divided Kashmir has been such that the two neighbors could not agree even on a limited cooperation across the LoC. Neither did Pakistan agree to Indian helicopters flying over devastated areas on its side for relief operations, nor could India allow Pakistani forces to extend helping hand in areas closer to its side of the LoC. A unique opportunity was missed to add first chapter of friendship to an otherwise history of conflict since, in the eyes of the two hostile national security establishments, the people are not important but the territory. The first phases of rescue and rehabilitation operations were marked by a race against time and most who could have been rescued from under the debris could not be retrieved from the clutches of death. However, with the help of international community, an unprecedented relief and reconstruction operation in region's history is underway. But it is not an easy task and requires immense resources and technical assistance. The initial response of the donors and international community is quite encouraging, in the case of Pakistan. Against the UN appeal of $ 312 in 'flash funds', the international pledges made are well over $500. It will require billions of dollars to reconstruct the whole infrastructure and rebuild safe houses, according to the new seismic zoning. It may need more funds than what was spent on Tsunami affected areas ($12 billion) since, in the words of Jan Egeland, UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, South Asian earthquake calamity, in its peculiarity, is worse than the destruction caused by the last Tsunami. The international disaster-relief community is presently over-stretched from New Orleans to Nigeria and Pakistan and is passing through what is being termed as 'donor fatigue'. The internal rehabilitation effort will have to be shared nationally and regionally. There are lessons to be drawn at both national and regional levels. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) should create most modern seismic facilities, in collaboration with international agencies, to share data that cannot otherwise be kept secret from one another, even for typical security reasons, and build a pool of resources to mitigate sudden natural disasters. Natural calamities don't recognize national borders, nor do they distinguish among religions, nations, ethnicities, ages and gender. In their hour of trial, South Asian sates must come forward to help each other without consideration of interstate politics. Already, Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka have sent their relief goods to Pakistan. The good news is that India offered help to Pakistan that it has accepted on its terms. But, given the scale of destruction, they could have, and should, do whatever is possible to overcome the sufferings of the people and set a good example to follow. Pakistan and India must allow the people on both sides of the LoC to share their grief and reconstruction by softening the LoC. The people of the affected areas deserve the compassion and support of their South Asian brethren.
Madrassa Reforms in Contemporary India
Yoginder Sikand, an Indian scholar, surveys Muslim religious schools or madrassas in India with a focus on the changes being brought in curriculum. The madrassas being run by Jama'at-i-Islami and Deoband School, he says, are now increasingly combining modern and religious education. Aware of the fact that the Muslims have been left behind in education and the modern fields, the Muslim organisations are now more inclined to combine modern sciences with traditional education. The author, however, warns against demonisation of madraasas and Muslims and argues to engage Muslim ulema (scholars) and encourage them to undertake the reforms they deem necessary.
Pakistan: Devolution and Community Empowerment
Dr Paul Oquist, Senior Consultant at UNDP, Islamabad, explains the local government reforms introduced and protected by President Pervez Musharraf. While defining the devaluation plan, he sets the principles for devaluation to take place and then evaluates the system that he has helped put together. Sounding sanguine about the success of the system, based on certain surveys, he makes a loud claim that Pakistan's future depends upon this without, however, taking into account that all local governments installed by military rulers vanished along with their authors, leaving behind political culture and political parties in disarray.
Politics of Indian War Films
Saba Naqvi Bhaumik, Bureau Chief of Outlook, India, surveys Hindi films, especially those war films that have been instrumental in fanning jingoism. She critically evaluates such Bollywood films that have been a vehicle for communal hate showing good-Hindus and badMuslims, thus becoming a vehicle of Hindu nationalism or hate-Muslim syndrome. The author reveals how the film industry in India responds to the ebb and flow of relations between India and Pakistan as a cultural instrument of official policy.
In This Issue (The views expressed in this journal are solely those of the authors)
Education in India at the Crossroads
Education Reform: Beyond the Rhetoric
Madrassa: Islamic Rejectionism and Terrorism
Marie Lall, lecturer at the Institute of Education in London, gives a broader picture of India's education system as it has evolved since the Nehruvian period when there was a greater emphasis on secularism and inclusion as opposed to the period of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government when saffronisation of curricula took place. The writer evaluates various echelons of education from higher to primary levels, while critically reflecting upon the difference between access and quality and an elitist character of education that benefits the upper strata of society. Lack of sufficient resources and facilities, she argues, is not helping to overcome illiteracy and face the challenges posed to the education system.
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy, professor of Nuclear Physics at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, provides a critical evaluation of higher education reforms through the prism of his own and his colleague's experiences at the campuses that have lost every sense of an academic environment. Criticising the reforms being undertaken at the moment, he laments the emphasis on quantity and draws attention to more fundamental requirements of scientific inquiry, scholarly standards and knowledgebased research and production. He proposes an alternative with dos and don'ts that, by itself, requires a scientific survey to find out the real reasons behind the decline of standards in higher education in Pakistan.
Khaled Ahmed, Consulting Editor, Daily Times, traces the roots of Islamic rejectionism and terrorism in the indoctrination being imposed by the madrassa (seminary) and its political amplification through mosques. Evaluating case studies, he explores the extremist mind that flourishes along with a literalist interpretation of Islam and a dogmatic emphasis on Shariah. He laments a mindset that rejects reality and takes asylum in denial while sticking to certain tenets that remain unchanged, even if the changing world demands otherwise.
Indian Punjab: Social Regulation of Rice Production
Rupinder Kaur, an economist at the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), New Delhi, looks at rice production, procurement, processing and marketing in the Indian Punjab, while focusing on mechanisms of exploitation of small farmers and contract labour. She identifies the powerful lobbies that
manipulate rules and regulations to their advantage. While concluding her analysis, she raises certain questions for social regulation of rice production to benefit the small farmers and the contract labourers without, however, elaborating such social regulations.
Education in India at the Crossroads1
EU-India Relations at the WTO
Shazia Aziz, a doctoral candidate at Sciences Po Paris, thoroughly analyses the causes behind the tension between the European Union and India over the issues of trade, anti-dumping duties and countervailing measures. In a divide between the developed and 'developing' countries, at the WTO meetings, India leads the cause of 'developing' countries and, consequently, comes into conflict with the EU that, in her view, is the main reason for the lack of progress in EU-India Summits. The author argues in favour of closer coordination between the two to allow greater room for cooperation.
A Peace Museum on the Wagah Border
Syed Sikander Mehdi, professor of International Relations at University of Karachi, presents a unique idea of converting the war post of Wagah/Attari on the IndoPak border into a peace museum to commemorate the memory of those who fought for freedom and people's rights. Against the backdrop of the bloody history of Partition, wars and jingoism, the writer argues for a peace museum as a path to peace. As opposed to war museums, he makes a more humane case for peace reminding both sides to the conflict of their obligation to future generations.
Electricity Demand in Nepal
Kamal Raj Dhungel, senior lecturer at Tribhuvan University, Nepal, says the hydro-power potential of Nepal is about 83000 MW, of which 42000 MW is economically viable. He argues in favour of exploring the regional market while attracting independent power producers. Focusing on theory, he questions the application of OLS method estimating income and price elasticity in a non-stationary time series data framework, which results in biased data. He, instead, favours examining properties of time-series data to determine the income and price elasticity of demand which represent the long term equilibrium.
Marie Lall Introduction India has always aimed to be a global power and a leader in a multi-polar world. This goal has not changed from Nehru's time; however, the means to achieve this end have changed dramatically over the past decades. India's 1991 economic reforms led, after a few teething problems, to rates of 7 per cent annual economic growth. The fast economic growth is a pre-requisite for India's ultimate aim of securing its global place. However in order to maintain such economic growth, India needs to sort out a number of vital domestic issues. At the forefront of this list is maintaining high educational standards whilst simultaneously ensuring equitable access for all. India's education system turns out millions of graduates, many skilled in IT and engineering, each year. It is these graduates who are the backbone of India's economic development. However with 35 per cent of the population under the age of 15, India's education system faces numerous challenges not least the proportional expansion of the system in light of population growth. India is burdened with the world's largest population of illiterate citizens, an estimated 59 million children in the six-14 age group out of school, and the number of job-seekers in the registers of employment exchanges across the country having increased to 41 million2. Successive governments have pledged to increase spending on education to 6 per cent of GDP but actual spending has hovered around 4 per cent for the last few years. While, at the top-end Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and universities produce globally competitive graduates, primary and secondary schools, particularly in rural areas, struggle to find staff and to provide quality education for their pupils. This article will give a brief historical account of the development of the Indian education system since independence. It will then discuss some of the major problems India is facing today including the issues of access, quality and funding, as well as the legacy of the BJP-led NDA government which tried to reform the education system in line with Hindu nationalist ideology. The article will end with a brief description of the current's government's policies in education and evaluation of what challenges they face.
Indian Education Policy: Historical Perspective Since Independence, Indian governments have regarded education policy as a crucial part of India's development agenda. Emphasis has traditionally been placed on universality, pluralism and secularism, while over the years excellence has become a major focus.
At Independence, Nehru envisaged India as a secular democracy with a stateled command economy. Education for all and industrial development were seen as crucial tools to unite a country divided on the basis of wealth, caste and religion, and formed the cornerstones of the anti-imperial struggle. The legacies of this Nehruvian approach to education are considerable. Subsidised quality higher education through institutions like the IITs and IIMs formed a major contribution to the Nehruvian vision of a self-reliant and modern Indian state, which now rank amongst the best higher education institutions in the world. In addition, policies of positive discrimination through reservations in education and employment, furthered the case for access to hitherto unprivileged social groups to quality education. Drawing from Nehru's vision the Kothari Commission3 (1964-66) was set up to formulate a coherent education policy. According to the commission, education was intended to increase productivity, develop social and national unity, consolidate democracy, modernise the country and develop social, moral and spiritual values. To achieve this, the main pillar of Indian education policy was to be free and compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14. Other features included the development of languages based on the three language formula4, equality of educational opportunities (regional, tribal and gender imbalances to be addressed) and the development and prioritisation of scientific education and research. The commission also emphasised the need to eradicate illiteracy and provide adult education. To this day India's curriculum prioritises the study of mathematics and science rather than social sciences or arts. The basis for this lay in the Kothari Commission's argument that India's development needs were better met by engineers and scientists than historians. In 1986, Rajiv Gandhi announced a new education policy, the National Policy on Education (NPE), intended to prepare India for the 21st Century. According to the new policy, the 1968 policy goals had largely been achieved: more than 90 per cent of the country's rural population were within a kilometre of schooling facilities and a common education structure had been adopted by most states. The prioritisation of science and mathematics had also been effective. However, change was required to increase financial and organisational support for the education system to tackle problems of access and quality. The new policy was intended to raise education standards and increase access to education. At the same time, it would safeguard the values of secularism, socialism and equality which had been promoted since independence. To this end, the government would seek financial support from the private sector to complement government funds. The central government also declared that it would accept a wider responsibility to enforce "the national and integrative character of education, to maintain quality and standards"5. The states, however, would retain a significant role, particularly in relation to the curriculum. The central government committed itself to financing a portion of development expenditure and around 10 per cent of primary education is now funded under a centrally sponsored scheme. The key legacies of the 1986 policy were the promotion of privatisation, and the continued emphasis on secularism and science6. Another consequence of the NPE was that the quality of
education in India was increasingly seen as a problem and several initiatives have been developed since in an attempt to counter this7. Other schemes specifically targeted at marginalised groups, such as disabled children, and special incentives targeting the parents within scheduled castes and scheduled tribes were also introduced. In 1992, when education policy was re-examined, the NPE was found to be a sound way forward for India's education system, although some targets were re-cast and some re-formulations were undertaken in relation to adult and elementary education8. The new emphasis 1992 was on the expansion of secondary education while the focus on education for minorities and women continued.
Today's Challenges Today's challenges for India's education system can be grouped under the following headings: access to education, quality of education services, literacy levels, curricular and textbook content, and funding of primary, secondary and higher education. Each issue will be looked at in turn. However, the scope of this article does not allow the issues to be discussed in any depth. Access, quality and literacy Despite efforts to incorporate all sections of the population into the Indian education system, through mechanisms such as reservations, large numbers of young people still do not have access to schooling. Although enrolment in primary education has increased, it is estimated that at least 35 million, and possibly as many as 60m, children aged 6-14 years do not attend school either regularly or at all. Severe gender, regional, and caste disparities also exist. The main problems are high drop-out rates, especially after class 10, low levels of learning and achievement, inadequate school infrastructure, high teacher-absenteeism, large number of teacher vacancies, poor quality of education and inadequate funds. Furthermore, there is no common school system instead children are channelled into private, government-aided and government schools on the basis of ability to pay and social class. At the top end are English-medium schools affiliated to the upscale CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education), CISCE (Council for the Indian Schools Certificates Examination) and IB (International Baccalaureate) examination boards, offering globally-recognised syllabuses and curricula. Those who cannot afford to go to private schools attend English-medium government-aided schools, affiliated to state-level examination boards. And on the bottom rung are poorly-managed government or municipal schools, which cater for the children of the poor majority. Therefore, whilst education for all is safeguarded by the constitution and a majority of people can now access educational resources, the quality of the education that pupils in India receive varies widely according to their means and social background. Literacy has also remained a major issue. India's aim of providing basic education for all stems from the empowering and redistributive impact of education, as high levels of literary allow people to participate successfully in the modern
economy and society9. However according to Dreze and Sen, the 1991 census indicated that about half of the adult population were unable to read or write. Unsurprisingly,
report which concluded that 'the textbooks prepared since 2000 are so full of errors and sub-standard that we find it impossible to recommend their continuation23.' The panel acknowledged that though there are different interpretations with regard to historical facts, at school level the history teaching should reflect a consensus. The text also emphasised that history was not to be used for political purposes: The past has a value of its own and distinctive fact of its own, not to be twisted for present purposes, either of the state or regional predilections of that element of the past as it was, distinct from the past as we would like it to be today24. The Minister of Human Resource Development made a statement in Parliament on July 20th 2004 promising to restore the earlier books in the next academic session. However the exercise has flagged up the flaws in the old textbooks, which were seen as too dry and lacking narrative and emotion. While the government will try to address this in the medium term, in the short term it has to focus on restoring pedagogy 'which helps raise questions and prevents indoctrination'25.
Funding and Issues in Higher Education Under the Constitution, responsibility for education is shared between the central and state governments. The central government sets policy, stimulates innovation and plans frameworks. The state governments are responsible for running the education system on the ground. This has exacerbated problems since states have differing resources to allocate to education. It is the inadequacy of resources which has recently become the most pressing and central issue. In general southern, richer states do better than the poorer, northern states26. According to the Institute of Statistics, UNESCO, India has never spent above 4 per cent, and the average for the past three decades is 3.3 per cent. The world average is 4.9 per cent in this respect, even above our highest score, even though there is repeated talk of spending 6 per cent or more on education. The Tapas Muzumdar committee, in 1999, calculated this cumulative gap between promise and reality, and estimated that it will require an additional investment of Rs. 13,700 crores per year for the next ten years to make up the shortfall in budgetary commitments. which amounts to about 0.6 per cent of the current GDP (merely 60 paisa of every Rs.100)27. In primary and secondary education, states which are performing better economically generally provide not only more educational facilities, but offer education of a higher quality. The number of engineering colleges demonstrates incredible diversity, and has helped contribute to the concentration of high technology industry in southern India. But the disparity between these states and northern states is dramatic; Bihar, for instance, has less than one engineering college for every 10m people in the state; Tamil Nadu has almost four colleges for every million people28. The growth of the IT industry and the concomitant spread of computer use and application in the private sector has had a significant impact on the expansion of the highly skilled labour market, and thus on higher education. In fact, private sector education is a growing field in itself, estimated to make up nearly 2 percent of GDP. Unfortunately, this top quality education is restricted to the ability to pay, as the
private sector higher educational institutions are prohibitively priced. Negotiating the need to share the burden of funding higher education between the public and private sectors has been a continual problem for the Indian government. For example, the 1986 reforms reiterated the independent status of higher education institutions, but led to a gradual decline in government expenditure on higher education. The government faced a serious resource crunch and decided to reduce the subsidisation of higher education by around 50 per cent. Two committees were set up to mobilise additional resources for universities and technical education institutions. Universities were encouraged to raise fees and to turn to the private sector for additional funding29. Consequently, the balance between the public and private sectors becomes almost synonymous with a balance between excellence and access. While it is important for India to produce top-quality graduates, it is equally important that the opportunity to gain a degree is not restricted to privileged communities. The University Grants Commission holds a large degree of responsibility for negotiating this excellence/equity dilemma. It does not simply provide grants to universities and colleges, it also maintains, and tries to raise, academic standards in higher education, frames policies to this end and advises the Central and state governments on the subject of expanding and improving higher education. However, the proportion of the education budget allocated to higher education has gradually decreased from 24 per cent in the 1970s to around 9 per cent today. This is posing a problem as Indian universities and colleges are of varying quality. Widening access is also an issue -- only 6 per cent of those aged between 18 and 23 enter tertiary education30. Aside from the saffronisation measures the current government has to roll back, the expansion of the tertiary education sector also makes it difficult for the new government to create and implement policy in this area. The number of colleges and universities across the country has multiplied from 565 and 25 in 1953 to 15,600 and 311 respectively in 2004. Simultaneously the number of students in higher-level education has risen from 230,000 to 9.28m while the number of faculty employed in higher education has risen from 15,000 to 462,000. India produces over 2.5m university graduates per year31. So far, the commission for the Tenth Plan (2002-7) has set itself the target of identifying and designating 25 universities 'with potential for excellence' across the country. These institutions will be 'funded at a higher level to enable them to attain excellence in teaching and research', according to the UGC concept paper32. Along with a few hundred colleges, they will be given full academic freedom to experiment with the curriculum, introduce innovations in teaching, conduct their own examinations and award joint degrees with affiliating universities33. In addition to the above, quality control issues have resulted in the creation of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council of India (NAAC) in 1994 with the objective of assessing and grading institutions of Higher Education on a scale of 1-5.
These proposals appear to reflect the need to invest in higher education to attain the high quality now demanded by the growing economy. The role of the NAAC is particularly important for achieving increased accountability for publicly-funded institutions. Clearly, the current government understands the need for university subsidies, but it remains to be seen if these subsidies will be directed so as to widen access to those communities traditionally excluded from tertiary education.
The Current UPA Government As long as the Congress-dominated United Progressive Alliance government remains in power, Hindutva inspired policies, as were introduced and propagated by the BJP led NDA alliance will not be implemented. But education will remain a key issue in Indian politics. The new government has to deal with both the inherent problems in the education system and, for its own long-term political survival, it needs to reverse the changes introduced by the NDA. The crucial factor will be to find a balance between what has been labelled 'detoxification' and addressing the basic structural issues. The promise of the Common Minimum Programme of a 2 percent cess on all central taxes to raise additional resources for elementary education was institutionalised in the Union budget presented to Parliament on July 8. Moreover in his budget speech Union finance minister P. Chidambaram committed the 100-daysold United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre to raising the national outlay for education from the current 3.5-4 percent of GDP to 6 percent in the near future. The National Advisory Council (NAC) chaired by Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi has as its top priority the upgrading of the nation's public education and healthcare systems. The main issue here remains the timing by when the actual government investment will reach the promised 6 per cent: Though the finance minister cites shortage of investible resources for implementing the 6 per cent proposal immediately, it is common knowledge that given political will (and sufficient public pressure), additional resources can be deployed into education by trimming non-merit subsidies (estimated at Rs.330,000 crore per year) to the middle class, and reducing defence expenditure (which requires making peace with our neighbours)34. End of August 2004, after around ten years, the Central Advisory Board of Education was reconstituted to revise the 1986 priorities and update education policy making. The meeting included participation of thirty two nominated members from civil society, state level ministers or secretaries connected to education as well as the Minister of Human Rights and Development, Shri Arjun Singh. The Board felt that education policies had to be aware of and respond to the challenges of globalisation and communal tensions. Further, seven committees were formed each focusing on one issue. Their priorities are35: 1. To take a look at the Free and Compulsory Education Bill drafted by the NDA government which is a political declaration of state's retreat from its
constitutional obligation towards education. To review of implementation of the common school system. This was
15. 16. 17. 18. 19.
21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33.
temple commemorating the birthplace of the Hindu god Ram. The NCERT, though an autonomous body, draws up the national curriculum framework and publishes textbooks which are used as models by most state governments. This attempt to 'Indianise' at the university level includes introducing courses like Vedic rituals and Vedic Astrology. Many of the country's scientists and social scientists repudiate the latter as spurious science, and not particularly Indian. (see Sundar 2002). Judgement by Justice M.B. Shah, D.M Dharmadhikari, and H.K. Sema in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 98 of 2002, Ms. Aruna Roy and others vs. Union of India and others. Indian Express, October 6, 2002. 'Archeological evidence should be considered far more important than long family trees given in the Puranas. The Puranic tradition could be used to date Rama of Ayodhya around 2000BC but extensive excavations in Ayodhya do not show any settlements around that date.' (Sharma, p. 198) Interview of M.M.Joshi in Sharma, p. 215-218 Indian Express, 20 December 2001 For a more detailed description of the RSS sponsored Vidya Bharati network see Sharma, R.N. Indian Education at the Cross road. Vidya Bharati institutions function under a variety of names such as: Shishu Vatika, Shishu Mandir, Vidya Mandir, Sarasvati Vidyalaya etc. See 'In Bad Faith? British Charity and Hindu extremism', (2004), Awaaz for a detailed analysis on how the RSS gets international funds to support its activities, including education. Most of the 35 States and Union Territories have their own Boards of Examinations and the textbooks prescribed by these Boards vary from State to State. Report of the panel of Historians, MHRD, June 2004, www.ncert.nic.in (Accessed 08.09.04) Learning History without Burden, A Note to School Teachers, www.ncert.nic.in (Accessed 08.09.04) Italics in the original. Learning History without Burden, A Note to School Teachers, www.ncert.nic.in (Accessed 08.09.04) For a detailed analysis on the dilemmas of resource allocation and planning see Raghavan, J.V. Educational Planning in India, , (Tilak, B.G. (ed.) New Delhi, 2003, pp.49-62 Dighe, S. Divided by - and in class. http://www.indiatogether.org/2005/feb/edunewbill.htm (accesses 06.10.05) http://india_resource.tripod.com/higher-education.html (accessed 15.09.04) Reforms and innovations in Higher Education (2001) Association of Indian Universities, Delhi, p.138-139 http://www.indiatogether.org/2004/may/edu-ugc.htm (accessed 15.09.04) http://www.indiatogether.org/2004/may/edu-ugc.htm (accessed 15.09.04) Nigavekar (2002) Tenth Five-Year Plan in Higher Education http://www.indiatogether.org/2004/may/edu-ugc.htm (accessed 15.09.04) Thakore, D. Vital reform agenda for Indian education http://www.indiatogether.org/2004/dec/edu-reform.htm (accessed 06.10.05) Reconstituted Central Advisory Board meets. http://www.thesouthasian.org/archives/000154.html (accessed 06.10.05) Taneja, N (2004) On History Textbook Review, http://pd.cpim.org/2004/0620/06202004_nalini.htm (accessed 17.07.04) The ministers (from Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Goa) objected to a statement by the federal education minister, Arjun Singh, that distortions should be removed from school text books. This followed claims by the governing Congress-led coalition that the BJP had attempted to introduce a Hindu nationalist agenda through the books. The BJP ministers also said they would not implement a changed syllabus in their states. www.bbc.co.uk (accessed on the 11/08/04) D. Thakore, Vital reform agenda for Indian education
http://www.indiatogether.org/2004/dec/edu-reform.htm (accessed 06.10.05)
35. Reconstituted Central Advisory Board meets. http://www.thesouthasian.org/archives/000154.html (accessed 06.10.05) 36. N. Taneja,(2004) On History Textbook Review, http://pd.cpim.org/2004/0620/06202004_nalini.htm (accessed 17.07.04) 37. The ministers (from Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Goa) objected to a statement by the federal education minister, Arjun Singh, that distortions should be removed from school text books. This followed claims by the governing Congress-led coalition that the BJP had attempted to introduce a Hindu nationalist agenda through the books. The BJP ministers also said they would not implement a changed syllabus in their states. www.bbc.co.uk (accessed on the 11/08/04) 38. D. Thakore, Vital reform agenda for Indian education http://www.indiatogether.org/2004/dec/edu-reform.htm (accessed 06.10.05)
Education Reform: Beyond the Rhetoric Pervez Hoodbhoy Universities are key institutions of the modern world and cradles for knowledge, particularly for modern science, which has produced technology that has changed the world more in the past two hundred years than the previous two thousand years. But universities are not magic boxes that just churn out new science and technology. They are dynamic and complex organisations, whose building blocks are the faculty, students, administration, and physical infrastructure. The purpose of a modern university is to effect the transmission of existing knowledge, create new knowledge, and generate employment skills needed for a modern economy. Its organising principle is that of a self-governing community of scholars engaged in free inquiry, discovery, and teaching. There is no institution yet in Pakistan that comes close to meeting this requirement. What we have are places called universities that are in fact intellectual and moral wastelands. There is deep indifference, even antipathy, to scholarship and knowledge. Anti-intellectualism gags independent thought and action; it mutilates and mocks the spirit of scientific inquiry. There is an absence of basic academic values, and casual acceptance of abysmal ethical behaviour from faculty and students. Incompetence is rife. Resources are wasted at an epic scale. This crisis of universities and higher education in Pakistan is not new. For three decades Pakistani education planners have claimed to recognise the need for reform and have announced grandiose plans that came to naught. In the mid 1980s, Dr. Mohammed Afzal, General Zia-ul-Haq's education minister, swore that he would build MITs and Harvards in the country. Nothing materialised, and for the next 20 years university reform went into the doldrums. Then in 2002, a feeble attempt to formulate a reform plan was made. Known as the Shams Lakha Commission Report, it mutated into the Model University Ordnance 2003. It was summarily rejected by university teachers who had become accustomed to a system that makes no demands upon them. The thought that a university job could be anything less than permanent successfully united teachers who otherwise feuded bitterly on everything else. Enter Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman, chairman of the newly formed Higher Education Commission. He was initially welcomed by many. It seemed that education reform was finally to be seriously taken. Soon he became General Musharaf's wonderman, armed with an endless list of projects. He flew around the world, eloquently arguing that the world of higher education would change if he was given the chance. A massive publicity blitz is underway to announce the 'new era'. Huge newspaper advertisements and multi-page supplements paid for by the Higher
Education Commission declare that the decades-old decline of Pakistan's universities has been finally reversed. The speed and scale of change is breathtaking. In 1947, Pakistan had only one university (Punjab University). Fifty years later, in 1997, it had 24. In just eight years from that time, i.e. in 2005, it had 107 with half of these being in the private sector. State funding for higher education (at the expense of school education) increased, between 2002 and 2005, by a factor of twelve probably setting some kind of world record for the highest rate of budgetary expansion. Yet another possible world record may lie in the accelerated goal of producing PhD degrees: from a yearly graduation rate from Pakistani universities of less than 100 a few years ago1, the current goal has been set at one thousand per annum. Banners bearing the pictures of the HEC chairman and executive director can be found on the streets of Islamabad extolling other achievements: internet connectivity in universities has been expanded; a digital library is in operation; foreign faculty have been hired; students are being sent abroad for PhD training; a massive PhD program at Pakistani universities is under way; links have been forged with foreign academic institutions; faculty salaries are about to be massively increased; and money for scientific equipment is available aplenty. A total of 350 university related projects were announced as of April 2005, which amounts to 25 per cent of the total number of projects being executed by the Government of Pakistan2. Movement has become confused with progress. Given the dire circumstances Pakistani education finds itself in, many have welcomed change. Foreign donor agencies and governments, fearful that an uneducated Pakistan may become an epicenter of terrorism, are tripping over each other as they rush in massive aid for education. But are these really indicators of a revolution in the making? Or, at the least, harbingers of better times to come? Unfortunately miracle-a-day promises are unlikely to be ever met, billions of rupees are disappearing without tangible improvements. The present effort at university reform is rapidly becoming another missed opportunity. In fact, one fears that things may end up no better when this age of wild experimentation comes to an end.
What Are Universities For? Broadly speaking, a modern university is its faculty, students, administration, and physical infrastructure. Its purpose is to effect the transmission of existing knowledge, create new knowledge, and generate employment skills needed for a modern economy. In essence, a good university is a self-governing community of scholars engaged in free inquiry, discovery, and transmission of knowledge. Let us disaggregate and consider each function of a university in turn. Research function: Modern universities treasure critical inquiry and regard it as the basis of all scholarship. The results of research are published in journals that exercise rigorous standards of scholarship. Citations of published work by other scholars provide the most important estimation of an individual scholar's achievement in
research. Unimportant work sometimes also achieves publication, but is not (or rarely) cited. Economic function: Universities produce a large fraction of the technical knowledge essential for the production of goods and services. The economies of modern states are essentially knowledge based. Universities prepare not just philosophers and mathematicians, but also engineers, doctors, economists, business managers, and other professionals needed to fulfill the stringent demands of technological development and management. Social function: Universities create an informed and knowledgeable citizenry capable of responsible, reasoned, decision making. Broadly speaking, they help to create thinking minds, organise and initiate research in subjects that are important but are not of immediate economic utility, create discourses on social and political issues, and raise the cultural and aesthetic level of society. Whereas the Soviet and Chinese models concentrated largely on utilitarian goals, western universities or at least the better ones among them were able to successfully create a balance between scholarship and more direct needs. Whether the subject of study is science, engineering, economics, literature, or any other discipline, high quality of instruction is crucial. A person in possession of a good degree is expected to thoroughly understand, and to be able to apply over his or her lifetime, those principles learned at lower rungs of the educational ladder. Ideally a graduate should be capable of scientific inquiry, be able to reason mathematically, should possess the capacity to organise one's thought in a logical way, have some understanding of culture and history, and be capable of coherent expression in speech and writing. The key point that makes a graduate valuable in a modern society is adaptability. He or she manages to find a niche in academia, industry, or elsewhere, because of a broad range of interests and knowledge. For example, a recent survey showed that two-thirds of all U.S. PhDs in physics now work in areas very different from that in which they did their theses. Fresh PhDs in theoretical physics from leading US universities are eagerly sought as analysts by firms on Wall Street and offered starting salaries at par with, or better than, those offered to MBAs. A welltrained mind in any discipline develops habits and attitudes of critical reasoning. These habits, learned in one environment, can be equally valuable in another. Educational quality is the key. Having defined the criteria by which any higher education system is to be judged, let us now turn to the state of Pakistani public-sector universities. The remarks below shall apply to public sector universities only, where about 80 per cent of Pakistani university students are enrolled3.
Pakistani Universities: Where Lies The Problem? Public sector universities in Pakistan are characterised by extreme poverty of scholarship, intellectual timidity, irrelevance to societal needs, and physical violence.
The teaching environment is authoritarian and reflects the experience of teachers when they were students in public schools. Teachers wield enormous power, and the
In Punjab University, which is effectively run by the Jamaat-e-Islami, males and females must sit in separate sections of the classroom. A male and female student were once “caught red-handed” while holding hands and severely beaten with wooden clubs. A fanatical student mob ransacked the Department of Visual Studies of Karachi University, destroying musical instruments, sculptures and paintings because these are forbidden by orthodox Islam. Student activists from universities rove the streets in Peshawar and Lahore, throwing paint on billboards showing women's faces. With such restrictions, a generation of Pakistanis has been culturally neutered. Actually the process starts during earlier stages of formal, as well as social and cultural, education. A kind of lumpen student is abundantly produced in schools and colleges who then makes his way up to the universities. He or she enters the university with poor reading and writing skills, is ignorant and uncurious, cannot coherently articulate an argument, and readily flocks to the call of ethnic and religious demagogues. The political environment of Pakistani universities has undergone enormous changes over three decades. The global intellectual ferment of the late 1960's and 70's had a stimulating impact on Pakistani campuses. Political consciousness was at its highest point, with teachers and students participating in intense ideological disputes, and to explore ways of moving Pakistani society forward. Relatively speaking, intellectual, scientific, cultural and literary activity also flourished. Young Pakistani scholars gave up potential careers in the West to come to Pakistani universities. But in November of 1981, just days after three QAU teachers had been caught with antimartial law and pro-democracy pamphlets, General Zia-ul-Haq thundered on television that he would “purge the country's universities of the cancer of politics”. General Zia succeeded brilliantly. Today all student unions are gone they have been outlawed and do not have even an underground existence. Ideological disputes of the 60's and 70's have evaporated into the thin air, and students have simply “tuned out” from every kind of social reform issue. Left versus right politics has been replaced by a simple tribalism. Pakistan's public universities, including the so-called “big names” -- Punjab, Karachi, QAU -- are ruled by murderous ethnic and religious thugs who constitute the lumpen element on campus. Now Punjabi students gang together against Pakhtoon students, Muhajirs versus Sindhis, Shias versus Sunnis, etc. Some campuses have Rangers with machine guns on continuous patrol. On occasion, student wolf packs attack each other with sticks, stones, pistols, and automatic weapons. There are many campus rapes and murders. The tribalism is not new but it was greatly accentuated by the banning of student unions over 15 years ago on grounds they brought national politics into educational institutions.
A Comparison with Neighbours Few Pakistanis get to visit India, the so-called “enemy country”, and fewer still to independently assess the development of science and education across its hugely diverse regions. I had the exceptional good fortune to make such a visit recently, made possible by a UNESCO award that included a 4-week lecture tour which took me around India: Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bhubhaneswar,
Cuttack, Calcutta, and then back to Delhi again. I gave several lectures daily at schools, colleges, universities, and research institutions. My impression was that many Indian universities have a cosmopolitan character and are world class. Their social culture is secular, modern, and similar to that in universities located in free societies across the world. (In Pakistan, Aga Khan University and the Lahore University of Management Sciences would be the closest approximations.) Male and female students freely intermingle, library and laboratory facilities are good, seminars and colloquia are frequent, and the faculty engages in research. Entrance exams are tough and competition for grades is intense. Some “deemed universities” and other institutions I visited (TIFR, IISC, IIT's, IMSC, IICT, IUCAA, JNCASR, IPB, Raman Institute, Swaminathan Institute,…) do research work at the cutting edge of science. A strong tradition of mathematics and theoretical science forms a backbone that sustains progress in areas ranging from space exploration and super-computing to nanotechnology and biotechnology. As a Pakistani, I could not but help compare Pakistan's premier public sector university (QAU) with those in its neighbors' capitals.
Misdirected Reforms Oases of academic competence, integrity, and freedom have steadily become fewer and further apart in Pakistan's academia. Nevertheless, for those in authority, the problem of higher education is simply a quantitative one: they do not tire from underscoring that there is insufficient student enrollment, far too few PhD degrees are awarded, the number of research papers published is miniscule for a country the size of Pakistan, etc. It is, of course, a painful truth that less than 3 per cent of Pakistan's eligible population has access to a university education. One wishes that this number, as well as other quantitative indicators, could be improved. A long-term strategy, beginning with reform at the school and college level, is essential. But to artificially jack up numbers amounts to printing counterfeit currency that can only have an overall negative effect. The problem is a far more serious one than those in authority are willing to admit, nor are they willing to go beyond the routine calls for jacking up numbers. One notices the absence of exhortations calling for a more open and liberal campus environment, to exercise greater rationality and higher standards of academic ethics, to generate useful knowledge, or to create greater social understanding or awareness. The decision to concentrate on numbers, has led to the following quick fixes:
First to the east: Jawaharlal Nehru University, and the Indian Institute of Technology, in Delhi. Their facilities are simple and functional, nothing like the airconditioned and well-carpeted offices of most professors at QAU. And, more importantly, every notice board is crammed with notices for seminars and colloquia, visitors from the very best foreign universities lecture there, research laboratories hum with activity, and pride and satisfaction are written all around.
Make yet more worthless universities: The HEC's first big idea behind reforming education in Pakistan was that the country needed more universities. So today all it takes is a piece of paper from the HEC and some paint. Some colleges have literally had their signboards taken down for repainting, and been put back up changed into “universities” the next day.
Conflict on campuses does exist -- communist and socialist students battle with Hindutva students over the Gujrat carnage, Iraq, Kashmir, and the BJP doctoring of history. Angry words are exchanged and polemics are issued against the other, but no heads are bashed. I was impressed by the fearlessness and the informed, critical intelligence of the students who questioned and challenged me. I cannot imagine an Indian professor having a similar reception in Pakistan.
By such sleight of hand the current tally of public universities, according to the HEC website, is now officially 47, up from the 23 officially listed in 1996. In addition, there are eight degree awarding public sector institutes. But this is a sham. All new public sector universities lack infrastructure, libraries, laboratories, adequate faculty, or even a pool of students academically prepared to study at the university level.
Now to the west: After attending a conference on mathematical physics some years earlier, I came away with the impression that Teheran's Sharif University of Technology, and the Institute for Theoretical Physics and Mathematics, are impressive institutions filled with professional activity, workshops, and seminars. Like the institutions I had visited in India, they do not represent the entirety of Iranian universities but do contain something that is common to Iran.
The government's “generosity” extends even into largely illiterate tribal areas. There are so-called universities now in Malakand, Bannu, Kohat, Khuzdar, Gujrat, Haripur, and in many other places where it is difficult to detect the slightest potential for successfully establishing modern universities. The absence of vital elements is complete and total -- these “universities” lack not just libraries and laboratories, but also students who are academically equipped to study at the university level as well as teachers.
Even as they maintain good academic standards, Iranian university students are heavily political and today are spearheading the movement for freedom and democracy. Iranian students make it to the best US graduate schools. Although it is an Islamic republic, bookshops are more common than mosques in Tehran. Translations into Farsi (Persian) appear in just weeks or months after a book is published in the western world.
Be more tolerant of fake universities and fake degrees: Private “universities” have boomed because of the limited capacity of public sector universities. Although there are a handful of elite universities, there are many fly-by-night operations where money spinning is the only concern. These few-room, shoddily equipped, inadequately staffed, academic non-entities have become part of the urban scenery. Preston University branches have mushroomed in Pakistani cities. But, according to
the Chronicle of Higher Education, an unaccredited Ph.D. degree can be had for $7,500 from American Branch of Preston University. Preston is accredited to the
found myself quietly black-listed by the HEC and received no more proposals to referee. Other colleagues, whose integrity and judgment can be trusted, have also found themselves similarly sidelined. The HEC authorities apparently had no difficulty finding more pliable referees to fund the various scientific-sounding junk projects that are now present on the HEC website, and which the reader may peruse at leisure. Turn on the propaganda machine and declare fake successes: An HEC “Best University Teacher” program has been extensively advertised, and cash awards of Rs 100,000 are handed out yearly to dozens of persons. Excellent, one might say, because good teaching does need to be recognised and rewarded. But in choosing the “best teacher”, no student was asked whether a particular teacher knew his or her subject well, had the necessary communication skills, or could create enthusiasm for the field. Instead, department chairmen and deans were asked to nominate the best teachers. Some nominated their favorites. Others were more direct -- they simply named themselves. Rewards for research are similarly problematic. The production of knowledge remains small, and papers published by Pakistanis are rarely cited the only indication of genuine worth. A poorly thought-out, and dangerous, HEC scheme involves giving massive cash awards to university teachers for publishing research papers. Although these stimulants are said to have increased the number of papers published in international journals by a whopping 44 per cent, there is little evidence that this increase in volume is the result of an increase in genuine research activity. The fact is that only a slim minority of Pakistani academics possesses the ethics, motivation, and capability needed for genuine scientific discovery and research. For the majority, the HEC incentives are a powerful reason to discover the art of publishing in research journals without doing research, to find loopholes, and to learn how to cover up one's tracks. There are locally produced science journals where the editor will publish gibberish, either to oblige a friend or for payment, without batting an eye. Often the “journal” will comprise no more than half a dozen issues before it ceases publication and goes into oblivion, but this may be enough for the contributors and editor to chalk up enough publications for their promotions. Fraud in international journals is common: one may choose journals of little repute (mostly Indian and Polish), resubmit one's previous work in some slightly altered form, cook up data without having performed any experiment, hide negative results but state positive ones, plagiarise the work of others and quote without reference, and so on. All this has increased after the HEC broadcast the message: corruption pays. How prevalent is academic fraud? Nobody can really know, but several “wellreputed” Pakistani scientists have been caught red-handed by the international community. It has had not the slightest effect upon their status and career they continued to thrive. Society at large does not understand the fine points, and there is no real academic community in this country that cares. So academic fraud is not thought of as really wrong; it's just a part of life.
What Is To Be Done? The government's “reform strategy” offers false remedies by playing the numbers game and concentrating upon glitzy things like internet access, digital libraries, virtual learning, etc., while refusing to acknowledge the dreadful diseases that eat into the fabric of education and Pakistani society.
At the PhD level, if the HEC is at all serious about standards, it should make it mandatory for every Pakistani university to require that a PhD candidate achieve a certain minimum in an international examination such as the GRE. These exams are used by US universities for admission into PhD programs.
So what needs to be done? The policy don'ts are clear: stop feeding the ogre of religious fanaticism; stop the creation of worthless new universities; stop funding and rewarding research that really isn't research; stop dishing out useless PhDs; and stop rewarding academic corruption. Of course it is important to increase access to education, but the increased access carries meaning only if there is a certain minimum quality as well.
Given the state of student and teacher knowledge, and the quantity and quality of research in Pakistani universities, selection through GRE subject tests would have the welcome consequence of cutting down the number enrolled in HEC indigenous PhD programs from 1,000 per year to a few dozen. The present safeguard of having “foreign experts” evaluate theses is insufficient for a variety of reasons, including the manipulations commonly made in the (highly opaque!) process of referee selection.
The dos are far more than can be discussed here. Broadly speaking, they can be divided into two mutually distinct sets. One set must deal with creating a freer university environment, controlling campus religious vigilantes, and stopping campus violence. Another set must be aimed at raising the level of general competence of teachers and students by ensuring that they actually have an understanding of the subject they teach or study, and with increasing the amount of research in specific disciplines.
Entrance tests for university faculty must be made mandatory. The system has remained broken for so long that written entrance tests for junior faculty, standardised at a central facility, are essential13. Without them, universities will continue to hire teachers who freely convey their confusion and ignorance to students. Most teachers today never consult a textbook, choosing to dictate from notes they saved from the time when they were students in the same department. No teacher has ever been fired for demonstrating incompetence in his/her subject.
Entrance tests for students are critically important. First, there must be university entrance examinations at the national level to separate individuals who can benefit from higher education from those who cannot. No such system exists in Pakistan. Only local board examinations -- where rote memorisation and massive cheating are rampant -- are used to select students. Reform of these boards is essential, but no progress has been made although many grand plans have been in existence for nearly fifteen years. Instituting such centrally administered entrance tests everywhere will not be easy. In the NWFP, street demonstrations organised by the Jamaat-i-Islami demanded scrapping a proposed admissions test for university admission, arguing that students from tribal areas would suffer a disadvantage if they had to compete against students from urban areas. Similar protests have taken place in the interior of Sind.
Be harsh and uncompromising in matters of academic fraud and corruption: Academic crime flourishes in Pakistan's universities because it is almost never punished. Even when media publicity makes action unavoidable, the punishment amounts to little more than a slap on the wrist.
But, on our borders, both Iran and India have centralised university admissions systems that work very well. Although corruption in India is perhaps as pervasive as in Pakistan, admissions to the IITs have nevertheless retained their integrity and intensely competitive nature over several decades. Honest examinations are presumably also possible in Pakistan, provided extreme care is taken. Having such university entrance examinations would be important for another reason as well -- they would set the goal posts for colleges and high schools all over Pakistan. In the U.S., the Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT), centrally administered by the Education Testing Service in Princeton, are extremely useful for deciding student aptitude for university education. The “A” level examinations in Britain have similar importance.
Better, more transparent, and accountable ways to recruit vice-chancellors and senior administrators are needed. Pakistan has a patronage system that appoints unqualified and unsuitable bureaucrats or military men as vice-chancellors, and that staffs universities with corrupt and incompetent administrators. While a tenure-track system for faculty is currently under discussion and may allow for breaking with the system of life-long jobs independent of performance, there is no corresponding system being contemplated for the top leadership. But without good leadership, and people who can set an example, no institution can be reformed. Students must be permitted, even encouraged, to self-organise. It is crucial to bring back on to the campuses meaningful discussions on social, cultural and political issues. To create the culture of civilised debate, student unions must be restored, with elections for student representatives. They will be the next generation of political leaders. Such a step will not be free from problems; religious extremists rule many Pakistani campuses although all unions are banned. They would surely try to take advantage of the new opportunities offered once the ban is lifted. Political parties have also been less than responsible. But the reinstatement of unions -- subject to their elected leaders making a pledge to abjure violence and the disruption of academic activity -- is the only way forward towards creating a university culture on campus.
Ultimately, reasonable voices, too, will become heard. As an interim step, the government should allow and encourage limited activities such as community work,
Q. Isa Daudpota, 'Fake Degrees for the Big Boys in Pakistan', www.chowk.com , November 28, 2004 and 'Dubious universities and the future of higher education', The News, November 03, 2004. See A.H. Nayyar, Letter to the Editor, Dawn, 30 March, 2005. Technically, Daudpota's contract was not renewed and so he was not literally fired. For some remarks regarding this incident see, Wajahat Latif, 'A Dime A Dozen', The Nation, December 10, 2004. Also, Wajahat Latif, 'Seedy Side Of Higher Education', The Nation, April 29, 2005. Presentation by the HEC chairman to the World Bank on April 26, 2005. www.siteresources.worldbank.org/PAKISTANEXTN/Resources/2930511114424648263/Session-V-Atta-Ur-Rehman.pdf Up to a maximum of 8 students. Supervisors may tap non-HEC sources for numbers in excess of this. The rules are posted on the HEC website www.hec.gov.pk and have changed a number of times. Pervez Hoodbhoy, Islam and Science Religious Orthodoxy And The Battle For Rationality, (London: Zed Books, 1991). In Italy, passing the centrally administered 'concorso' examinations is necessary for the appointment of junior faculty. A sample lecture must also be delivered on a topic given to the candidate a day earlier.
Madrassa: Islamic Rejectionism and Terrorism Khaled Ahmed A federation of religious madrassas in Pakistan, Ittehad Tanzeemat Madarisi-Deeniya (ITMD), on 23 September 2005, agreed to register around 9,000 seminaries with the government following an assurance that certain changes would be made to the Registration of Societies Act, 1860, aimed at bringing the seminaries in Pakistan out in the open. The madrassas were reluctant to register for fear of being investigated on terrorism-related charges. Finally, an agreement on the issue of registration was reached at an hour-long meeting between the ITMD's leadership and Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Shaukat Aziz. The government is supposed to have assured the ITMD, an alliance of five organizations overseeing some 13,000 seminaries across the country, that it would take a 'lenient view' on the issue of foreign students studying in these institutions. Prime Minister Aziz later said that the government would extend full support to seminaries for their modernisation and bringing them into the mainstream education system. But he warned that 'the government would not tolerate it if any seminary violated the law and indulged in activities other than imparting education'. The process of registration was to be completed by 31 December 2005. ITMD spokesman Mufti Munibur Rehman said the alliance had agreed to join the registration process and added that the issue had been resolved upon the government's assurances that dome of the ITMD 'reservations' would be removed. The government let it be known that it had agreed to further amend the Registration of Societies Act to the effect that the comparison between religions and sects would not be treated as spreading of 'hate material'. The government also agreed to introduce 'some other minor changes' to the act1. The above agreement has sought to remove the 'unexpressed' view that the seminaries even they don't breed terrorists do inculcate a mental discipline based on isolationism and rejectionism. The fact that the seminarian remains cut off from society in a residential madrassa for eight years makes it possible for the clericteachers to indoctrinate him against a secular system that is seen to defy the irreducible mandate of an Islamic state. Although no part of the curriculum of the madrassa, the process of rejectionism takes place verbally through the role model available in the personality of the head of the madrassa who is given to issuing aggressive statements in the national press. It is ultimately the process of rejectionism that is sought to be removed from the religious schools. The injection of secular subjects will ultimately lighten the intensity of the recidivist appeal of Dars-eNizamiyya. In the past, the isolationism bred by the madrassa curriculum was perhaps suited to the apolitical asceticism of the seminarian; today, the same insulation from society suits only the highly politicised religious organisations and parties challenging the state. The fact that hundreds of madrassas belonging to such banned organisations as Lashkar-e-Tayba are functional in Pakistan further
underlines the importance of the issue. According to a report by Islamabad's Institute of Policy Studies, Pakistan has 6,761 religious seminaries where over a million young men are taking religious training. The Ministry of Religious Affairs has given out similar numbers in its report. But Herald (November 2001) says: 'According to the Interior Ministry, there are some 20,000 madrassas in the country with nearly 3 million students'. In 1947, West Pakistan had only 245 seminaries. In 1988, they increased to 2,861. Between 1988 and 2000, this increase comes out to be 136 per cent. The largest number of seminaries are Deobandi, at 64 per cent, followed by Barelvi, at 25 per cent. Only 6 per cent are Ahle Hadith. According to a 2002 report of the International Crisis Group, there are around 1.5 million pupils being trained in 10,000 seminaries in Pakistan. The report came to the conclusion that the Pakistan government had failed to carry out reform of its madrassas under the UN Security Council resolution 1373. The Deobandi dominance of the madrassas is ominous because the Deobandis are traditionally antiShia and their influential Sipah Sahaba party has called for the 'official' reduction of all Shias to non-Muslims. An offshoot of Sipah Sahaba, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, has been killing local and foreign Shias in Pakistan. A recent report by the US Congressional Research Service2 pointed out that 'although President Pervez Musharraf had vowed to begin regulating Pakistan's religious schools, and his government launched a five-year, US$113 million plan to bring the teaching of “formal” or secular subjects to 8,000 “willing” madrassas, no concrete action was taken until June of 2002, when 115 madrassas were denied access to government assistance due to their alleged links to militancy'. The deadline set by the Musharraf government for the registration of the seminaries came and passed in December 2002. In November 2003, the government decided to allocate about US$50 million annually to provide assistance to registered seminaries, especially by paying the salaries of teachers hired to teach non-religious subjects. In July 2004, Pakistan's then-education minister announced government agreements with private companies to provide computer education at all of the country's public schools. She later declared Islamabad's intention to provide financial grants to madrassas that seek to 'impart modern-day education'. According to the CRS report, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) was implementing a five-year, US$100 million bilateral agreement, signed in August 2002, to increase access to quality education throughout Pakistan, with an emphasis on the Balochistan and Sindh provinces. USAID education-related projects in Pakistan included efforts to improve early education, engender democratic ideals, improve the quality of assessment and testing, provide training to educators, and construct or refurbish schools in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. By 2005 very little of what Musharraf had promised had been delivered. There was no crackdown on the more extremist madrassas in the country, and there was little concrete evidence that he had done so. Most madrassas remained unregistered, their finances unregulated, and the government had yet to remove the jihadist and sectarian content of their curricula. Observers thought that Musharraf's reluctance to enforce reform was because of his desire to remain on good terms with
Pakistan's Islamist political parties, 'which are seen to be an important part of his political base'. The truth is that when in July-August 2005 he tried to revive his campaign against the 'extremist' madrassas, the ruling party Pakistan Muslim League (Q) publicly opposed the project by declaring that it was not correct to ask the foreign students taking training in the madrassas in Pakistan to leave the country. Musharraf however took a firm stand and insisted on the ouster of foreign students from Pakistan. He also took in hand the task of arresting the banned jihadist organisations who were still in the field after changing their names. For this he seems to have gone over the heads of the provinces, addressing the senior police officers personally. The new campaign was assigned to the federal education minister, ex-ISI chief and retired General Javed Ashraf Qazi. The subject of education however remained provincial and no seminaries can be reformed without the cooperation of the provinces, including the NWFP and Balochistan, where the clerical parties were either ruling or were in ruling coalition.
Is the 'Madrassa link' to Terrorism Exaggerated? A World Bank report, issued on 1 March 2005, debunked the 'popular' reports in the Washington press and objected that 'none of the reports and articles reviewed based their analysis on publicly available data or established statistical methodologies3. The authors found the existing estimates 'inflated by an order of magnitude'. The report found that madrassas accounted for less than one per cent of all enrolment in the country and there was no evidence of a dramatic increase in recent years. The educational landscape in Pakistan had changed substantially in the last decade, but this was due to an explosion of private schools, an important fact that had been left out of the debate on Pakistani education. 'Moreover, when we look at school choice, we find that no one explanation fits the data. While most existing theories of madrassa enrolment are based on household attributes -- for instance, a preference for religious schooling or the household's access to other schooling options -- the data show that among households with at least one child enrolled in a madrassa, 75 per cent send their second and/or third child to a public or private school or both. Widely promoted theories simply do not explain this substantial variation within households'. The authors of the report also found that the fraction of children enrolled in madrassas had been overstated by a factor of 10 in The Los Angeles Times (2003), and 33 in the report by the International Crisis Group (2002)4. There are no hard statistics available for any 'professional' conclusions drawn on the contribution of the seminaries to extremism in Pakistan. Peter Bergen and Swati Pandey have stated that they 'examined the educational backgrounds of 75 terrorists behind some of the most significant recent terrorist attacks against Westerners. They found that a majority of them were college-educated, often in technical subjects like engineering. In the four attacks for which the most complete information about the perpetrators' educational levels was available the World Trade Centre bombing in 1993, the attacks on the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, the 9/11 attacks, and the Bali bombings in 2002 53 per cent of the terrorists had either attended college or had received a college degree. As a point of reference, only 52 per cent of Americans had been to college'5.
In July 2005, President Musharraf moved against the Lal Masjid seminary in Islamabad6. The seminary was Deobandi with male and female population of 6,000
Ulum in Karachi was suicide-bombed. On 24 June 2005 Mufti Rehman and Maulana Irshad leaders of the Deoband-Sunni headquarters, Banuri Mosque madrassa in Karachi, were target-killed11. The terrorists who tried to kill President Musharraf in 2003 came from various backgrounds, including the armed forces. But all of them were connected one way or another to the madrassa. The armed forces and the police have been indoctrinated in the past by religious leaders who had graduated to jihad from the madrassa. In 1995 an unsuccessful military coup was staged in Rawalpindi. The officers were all Islamists and their co-accused was one Qari Saifullah Akhtar, head of the largest Pakistani jihadi militia Harkat-e-Jihad-e-Islami. Akhtar was a graduate of the Banuri Mosque madrassa in Karachi. He was let off in the 1995 unsuccessful military coup and not punished because of his following in the army. Clearly, the madrassa was dominant in the rank and file because of him and many like him who represented the penetration of the madrassa into the army. In 2004, the ISI staged what has been claimed as a tour de force. It captured from Dubai the same Qari Saifullah Akhtar for planning and executing the attempt on the life of President Musharraf. One army man convicted of trying to kill President Musharraf has been hanged12. Qari Saifullah Akhtar led the Harkat militia from Kandahar and was the spearhead of the Taliban irredentist sallies into Central Asia and the Caucasus. Akhtar's militia later merged with Jaish-e-Muhammad, led by another graduate of the Banuri Mosque Madrassa, Maulana Masood Azhar. The suicide-bomber who nearly succeeded in killing President Musharraf in 2003, Muhammad Jameel, belonged to Jaish-e-Muhammad. Similarly the suicide-bomber who tried to kill prime minister Shaukat Aziz at Attock in 2004, Hafiz Irfan, was a graduate of a madrassa before he came to the mainstream education. It should, however, be noted that he found no employment as a B.Com graduate and was leading prayers in a mosque in Lahore. Personnel from police, air force and the land forces, made contacts with the militias connected to the madrassas before 'running away' to Afghanistan for 'training' before 9/1113. In the following pages we will examine the dominance of the madrassa graduates in the terrorist meta-history of Pakistan. Another example how a terrorist may be related to a madrassa is the case of Abdullah Mehsud. The man who kidnapped two Chinese engineers at the Gomal Zam Dam on 11 October 2004 in South Waziristan, was an old Banuri Masjid warrior, Abdullah Mehsud. After all negotiations failed, the kidnappers were stormed, which resulted in the death of one Chinese engineer. Abdullah was helped by five kidnappers, two of them from South Waziristan and three from Afghanistan. Mehsud who was released from Guantanamo Bay by the Americans in March 2004 after two and a half years demanded the release of five of his friends from jail in Pakistan as ransom. Abdullah was born in South Waziristan, was educated to FA but could not obtain commission in the army like his cousin who retired as major and is now trading in Wana. After failing to join the army, Abdullah went to Karachi and lived among the Afghan refugees and also arose to the leadership of the Pushtun transport mafia. He was taken into Deobandi seminary of Banuri Masjid by its chief Mufti Shamzai. He stayed there for three years and came under the influence of Mufti Jameel who taught there. Mufti Jameel was a close adviser of Mufti Shamzai and the
two were representatives of the Taliban interest in Pakistan. When in 2001 ISI chief General Mehmood took a delegation to persuade Mullah Umar to desist from terrorism Mufti Jameel was also in the delegation. Fifty-two-year old Mufti Jameel was at that time information secretary of the JUI and was a member of its Shura. He ran 150 Iqra religious schools where 50,000 took instruction. Abdullah Mehsud after coming close to Mufti Jameel was given the job of Mullah Umar's personal bodyguard. Abdullah was already a veteran of the war against the Northern Alliance. In October 2001 when America attacked Afghanistan he was once again at the battlefront, from where he was captured and sent to Guantanamo Bay. The Americans failed to link him to Al Qaeda and released him in March 2004. Upon reaching Pakistan he went straight to Banuri Masjid in Karachi and paid his respects to Mufti Jameel. Wana Operation was on then. Mufti Shamzai of Banuri Masjid had been murdered. While Abdullah lay low in South Waziristan, another incident took place. Someone killed Mufti Jameel on 9 October 2004 along with Khatm-e-Nabuwwat cleric Maulana Taunsavi. Abdullah struck two days later and kidnapped the Chinese engineers from the Dam. Abdullah Mehsud got to know Uzbek warrior Qari Tahir Yuldashev, a madrassa-educated cleric of Uzbekistan, and Ahmadzai Wazir Nek Muhammad intimately during his training in the Al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan.
The Curriculum of the Madrassa Institutions Pakistan's mainstream education is in an abysmal state. In a survey conducted in 1997, only 57 per cent of the citizens of school-going age were registered, 90 per cent of whom were in the state-owned schools where 20 per cent of the teachers did not attend and 60 per cent of the pupils dropped out before completing primary school. The teachers were not trained and could not use the teaching aids provided to them with precious state funds. Knowing that the system is dysfunctional the state rightly does not spend on education, thus making Pakistan more backward in education than India and Bangladesh, the latter achieving better results while spending less on education than Pakistan. While budgetary outlays are important, they can be useless if the state does not want to educate. A comparison between government and private primary schools in the Punjab districts reveals that the private schools perform better than their state-owned counterparts, both in teaching and learning. Over 80 per cent of the schools in Punjab are state-owned, but despite the discovery in the 1990s of thousands of ghost schools the Punjabi ideologues want the private institutions equated to government schools, especially in regard to syllabi. Political interference which destroys merit among pupils and teachers; lack of monitoring of performance at all levels; abysmal lack of quality of syllabi pushed out by ministries and provincial textbook boards; total professional incapacity to conduct exams and mark papers, are so9me of the factors that set the stage for the rise of madrassas in Pakistan. Prof A.H. Nayyar told the story of the madrassas in pre-1947 India in a paper written in 199715. Baghdad started the seminaries in 1067 which contained the new sciences as well, like maths, physics, chemistry, medicine, and astronomy along with Quran, hadith, tafseer, etc. In India the first seminary was set up in 1200 by King Muhammad Ghori which removed the sciences from the syllabi and remained in force for 200 years. With Akbar, maths and other science subjects crept back in, but he rejected the printing press which had come to Goa with the Portuguese in 1576. The
great spiritual leader Shah Waliullah opposed the sciences and the seminaries were made purely religious. The famous Nizamiyya syllabus was put together by Mullah Nizamuddin under Aurangzeb from the Farangi Mahal seminary in Lucknow. Later the seminary of Deoband made it universally acceptable in South Asia. The great seminaries that came into being in modern times all died down, leaving the three now observed in Pakistan: Deobandi, which is followed by the Taliban; Barelvi, which was assumed to be the dominant strain in Punjab; and Ahle Hadith of the Hanbali school, which is followed by the Saudis. Deobandi and Barelvi seminaries all follow the Nizamiyya system but the former have emerged the most disciplined exponents of religious instruction in Pakistan. By 1988, a Barelvi-dominated Punjab in terms of population had more Deobandi seminaries (590) than Barelvi seminaries (548). Since then, the balance has tilted further, which accounts for the generally more puritanical approach of the judiciary. The NWFP and Balochistan are almost exclusively Deobandi, but the number of young men learning the Deobandi dars (course) are more in Punjab than in the other two provinces put together. The ulema have so far prevented the state from diversifying the dars to make it more suited to the job market; therefore, the madrassa graduates can only become clerics. What started as the rising trend during the Afghan war has now become the dominant trend in education. The 'secular' state-owned education is heavily Islamised under influence from the madrassa; the madrassa has accepted little influence from the secular system. The curriculum followed by the madrassas however is quite uniform, the syllabi having been chosen in light of the fiqh of the given seminary. The curriculum is described in the following manner. Yearly Curriculum of a Madrassa; Year 1: Biography of the Prophet (Seerat), Conjugation-Grammar (Sarf), Syntax (Nahv), Arabic Literature, Chirography, Chant illation (Tajvid). Year 2: Second Year Conjugation-Grammar (Sarf), Syntax (Nahv), Arabic Literature, Jurisprudence (Fiqh), Logic, Chirography (Khush-navisi), Chant illation, (Tajvid). Year 3: Quranic Exegesis, Jurisprudence: (Fiqh), Syntax (Nahv), Arabic Literature, Hadith, Logic, Islamic Brotherhood, Chant illation: (Tajvid), External study (Tareekh Millat and Khilafat-e-Rashida these are Indian Islamic movements). Year 4: Quranic Exegesis, Jurisprudence (Fiqh), Principles of Jurisprudence, Rhetoric, Hadith, Logic, History, Chant illation, Modern Sciences (sciences of cities of Arabia, Geography of the Arab Peninsula and other Islamic countries). Year 5: Quranic Exegesis, Jurisprudence, Principles of Jurisprudence, Rhetoric, Beliefs (Aqaed), Logic, Arabic Literature, Chant illation, External study (History of Indian Kings). Year 6: Interpretation of the Quran, Jurisprudence, Principles of Interpretation & Jurisprudence, Arabic Literature, Philosophy, Chant illation, Study of Prophet's traditions. Year 7: Sayings of the Prophet, Jurisprudence, Belief (Aqaed), Responsibility (Faraez), Chant illation, External Study (Urdu texts). Year 8 Ten books by various authors focusing on the sayings of the Prophet16.
Case Study: Mind of the Madrassa Student It is important at this point to look at the mindset of the students that attend Pakistan's three school systems. This is gleaned from a survey carried out by Pakistani scholar, Dr Tariq Rehman17. Carried out in December 2002 and January 2003, the
survey was based on a sample 488 students of class-10 and 192 teachers of Urdumedium, English-medium and religious schools or madrassas. On militancy, the
Tim McGirk states21: 'Islam doesn't get more radical than the version taught at the Binori town mosque and seminary, which educates more than 9,000 students at branches across the city. There, in the feverish days after Sept. 11, sermons reviled President George W. Bush as a decadent Pharaoh and lauded Osama bin Laden as an Islamist hero. The school counted top Taliban commanders as alumni and served for years as a favourite rendezvous for al-Qaeda men passing through Pakistan en route to Afghanistan. In response to 9/11, the U.S. denounced these schools, or madrassas, as terrorist-training academies and called for strict controls on their incendiary teachings. The U.S. hoped the newly cooperative regime of President Pervez Musharraf would rein them in.' The founder of the Banuri Mosque complex was Maulana Yusuf Banuri (1908-1977) who was born in Basti Mahabatabad near Peshawar, son of Maulana Syed Muhammad Zakariya who was in turn the son of a khalifa (pupil-inheritor) of Mujaddid Alf-e-Sani22. He was educated in Peshawar and Kabul before being sent to Deoband where he was the pupil of Shabbir Ahmad Usmani. He returned to join the seminary of Dabheel. In 1920 he passed the Maulvi Fazil exam from Punjab University. In 1928, he went to attend the Islamic conference in Cairo. He migrated to Pakistan in 1951 and started teaching at Tando Allahyar. He founded the Jamia Arabiya Islamiya in Karachi in 1953 while he led the attack against Pakistani Islamic scholar Dr Fazlur Rehman. He was involved in the aggressive movement of Khatm-eNabuwwat from 1973 onwards and was made member of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) by General Zia on coming to power. Maulana Mufti Rasheed Ahmad (1928-2002) was a companion of Allama Banuri and was a co-founder of the Banuri seminary. Rasheed became famous after his Al Rasheed Trust was banned for being linked to Al Qaeda. He became Sheikhul Hadith of the seminary and was greatly revered for his fidelity to the original Deoband seminary in India. He compiled 40,000 fatwas on different issues and authored 60 books. He set up Al Rasheed Trust in 1996, the time of the arrival of Osama bin Laden back to Afghanistan. Al Rasheed Trust had 40 branches in Pakistan after two years and collected charity second only to Edhi Foundation. Mufti Rasheed began the journal Zarb-e-Momin which became the mouthpiece of the most radical jihadi outfits including Jaish-e-Muhammad23. Al Rasheed spent its funds in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Kosovo in the west and Arakan in Burma in the east, helping struggling Muslims. The largest amount of money (Rs 20 million) was given to the Taliban government. The Trust was banned in 2001. The most well known head of the Banuri complex was Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai who was counted as the most powerful man in Pakistan during the rule of Mullah Umar in Afghanistan. (He was target-killed in 2004.) Among his 2,000 fatwas the most well known was the one he gave against America in October 2001declaring jihad after the Americans decided to attack Afghanistan. He had earlier in 1999 already deemed it within the rights of the Muslims to kill Americans on sight. (The fatwa was later modified in explanation.) He was the patron of the foremost Deobandi jihadi outfit Harkatul Mujahideen and was seen as an elder by the two leaders of Harkat: Fazlur Rehman Khaleel and Masood Azhar. In 1999, after his release from an
Indian jail, Masood Azhar quarrelled with Khaleel and formed his own Jaish-eMuhammad. Shamzai was clearly inclined to favour Masood Azhar and became a member of the Jaish shura (governing council). He was already a member of the shura of Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) of Maulana Fazlur Rehman. The most famous alumnus of the Banuria seminary was Maulana Masood Azhar, leader of the banned Jaish-e-Muhammad. He is the son of Allah Baksh Shabbir, a teacher of Islam, of Bahawalpur. He has five brothers and six sisters. The family background is that of pre-1947 Ahrar. Masood was born in 1968 and completed his religious training at Banuri Mosque of Karachi and then taught there for two years till 1989. He was inspired to undertake jihad while at Banuri Mosque. Masood's brother Ibrahim Masood went to Afghanistan at the age of 19. Later he took along his father too. A sister Rabiya Bibi has been working for the Taliban government in Afghanistan. His elder brother is a computer salesman in Bahawalpur but has made many trips to Afghanistan for jihad. Brother Ibrahim Azhar held the Bahawalpur office of the banned Harkatul Ansar and is said to have participated in the hijack of the Indian airplane that sprung Masood Azhar from a jail in India. Masood is the author of 29 jihadi tracts and was the organisational genius behind Harkatul Mujahideen, for which he toured abroad and collected funds. He was caught carrying fake dollars at Jeddah airport during one of these trips. He was instrumental in getting Harkatul Mujahideen and Harkat-e-Jihad-e-Islami to merge for some time and was also the man behind creating a collective organisation named Harkatul Ansar. He was in Somalia in 1993 while Osama bin Laden was based in Sudan. Masood was caught in Anant Nag in Held Kashmir in 1994 while trying to coordinate Harkatul Ansar. He went to Saudi Arabia on Pakistani passport, then from there he went to Dhaka. When he flew to Delhi from Dhaka he was carrying a Portuguese passport. Masood is said to have met Osama bin Laden in Madina in 1994 when both were disguised. Masood's mission was to bring his jihadi organisation under the aegis of Al Qaeda. In 2000, after release from jail and returning from Afghanistan, he immediately announced the foundation of Jaish-e-Muhammad. Masood Azhar was devoted to Maulana Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, the fanatically anti-Shia and anti-Iran founder of Sipah Sahaba who was murdered in 1990, which in turn led to the murder of an Iranian diplomat in Lahore, thus starting the great sectarian war of the decade of the 1900s, attracting Arab funds to Deobandi warriors. Masood Azhar's Jaish first claimed the attack on Indian parliament in 2001, then went back on it, but it remained the most aggressive fighting arm of jihad in Pakistan together with Lashkar-e-Tayba. It is said that his separation from Harkatul Mujahideen forced his co-leader Fazlur Rehman Khaleel to move close to Osama bin Laden, but the truth is that Masood Azhar's trail in Somalia in 1993 links him with the adventure the Harkat recruits participated in from Sudan which resulted in 24 Pakistani troops (as part of a UN peace force) killed in ambush by warlord Eidid that Osama bin Laden was supporting. Later in 1999, the kidnapper of Daniel Pearl in Karachi, Umar Sheikh, joined him and confirmed the strong bond between Al Qaeda and Jamia Banuria. Daniel Pearl's beheaded corpse was found in a property owned by Al Rasheed Trust.
The next renowned graduate of Banuri Mosque is Qari Saifullah Akhtar, born in 1958 in South Waziristan The leader of Harkat-e-Jihad-e-Islami, Qari Saifullah Akhtar first came to public view when he was caught in the 1995 unsuccessful army coup by major-general Zaheerul Islam Abbasi, but saved his skin by turning state witness. (Some say he was defiant but was still let off.) After that he surfaced in Kandahar and from 1996 was an adviser to Mullah Umar in the Taliban government. His fighters were called 'Punjabi' Taliban and were offered employment, something that other outfits could not get out of Mullah Umar. The outfit had membership among the Taliban too. Three Taliban ministers and 22 judges belonged to the Harkat. In difficult times, the Harkat fighters stood together with Mullah Umar. Approximately 300 of them were killed fighting the Northern Alliance, after which Mullah Umar was pleased to give Harkat the permission to build six more maskars (training camps) in Kandahar, Kabul and Khost, where the Taliban army and police also received military training. From its base in Afghanistan, Harkat launched its campaigns inside Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Chechnya. The Harkat called itself 'the second line of defence of all Muslim states' and was active in Arakan in Burma, and Bangladesh, with well-organised seminaries in Karachi, and Chechnya, Sinkiang, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Because of their common origin in the Banuri seminary, Harkat al-Jihad al-Islami and Harkatul Mujahideen were merged in 1993 for better performance in Kashmir. The new outfit was called Harkatul Ansar, the first to be declared terrorist by the United States after one of its commanders, Sikandar, formed an ancillary organisation Al Faran and kidnapped Western tourists from Kashmir in 1995. Qari Saifullah Akhtar fled from Kandahar after the fall of the Taliban and hid in South Waziristan for some time before being reportedly whisked away to some safe place in the Gulf by one of his Arab friends. Umar Sheikh, the British national now under death sentence for the murder of Daniel Pearl, had his beginning in England with the now-banned-in-Pakistan Hizb al Tahrir. He was caught in India trying to exchange British tourists that he had kidnapped in New Delhi for Harkatul Ansar terrorists held by India. He was released together with Masood Azhar in 1999 after the hijack of an Indian plane. Masood Azhar mentioned the episode in his book Muskuratay Zakhm. After his release, Umar Sheikh tracked Daniel Pearl and got him kidnapped in Karachi with the help of Jaish activists. Pearl was later kept by Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, the top Al Qaeda fundraiser, who is said to have beheaded him. Umar Sheikh was also said to have been involved in Khalid Sheikh Muhammad's transfer of funds to the terrorists who flew two aircraft into the World Trade Center buildings in New York on 9/11.
Conclusion An Islamic state will always be confronted with rejectionism from the clergy. Every legislation brought in to enforce the shariah will be found lacking in one aspect or the other. In Pakistan, after shariah was enforced by General Zia-ul-Haq in the 1980s, immediately another bill surfaced in the Senate which in a way rebuked the 'inclusive' nature of the amended Constitution: this inclusive principle was embodied by the Federal Shariat Court mandate removing only those laws which were found to be
repugnant to the Quran and Sunna. The drive for an 'exclusive' shariah surfaced with great ferocity in the 1990s when former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had to table his
of modifying one's own behaviour to harmonise oneself with the prevailing circumstances; there is belief in them that the situation must be changed to suit the tenets imbibed from shariah. Some writers have likened Islamism and Al Qaeda to Western anarchism of the late 19th century which gave rise to political terrorism well into the 20th Century28. Muslims' faith-based refusal to accept the nation-state may be akin to some of the 'state-less utopianism' of the anarchists which later became a part of the Communist theory of the classless state-less society. Many Muslims believe in the umma, not the nation-state. They tolerate the nation-state as a contingent reality which must disappear with the victory of a pan-Islamic entity ruled by a caliph. When President Musharraf began his 'Pakistan first' campaign, the reaction against it came from intellectuals of all stripes. Former president Rafiq Tarar said in Lahore on 13 Match 2003 that the thinking behind the idea of 'Pakistan first' was opposed to the basic Islamic tenet of Muslim akhuwat (brotherhood). Pakistan's foremost thinker Ashfaque Ahmad declared that the slogan of 'Pakistan first' was produced by inferiority complex and fear. He said Pakistan was a part of the Islamic world and was a big power. Putting Pakistan first would lead to the putting of the provinces first and ultimately putting one's town first, which would be destructive of the state. Other opponents of the 'Pakistan first' slogan interpreted it as a flight from the clash of civilisations in which the Islamic world was pitted against the West. The people of Pakistan were told that America would not only grab the Iraqi oil, it would also occupy the most sacred city of Islam, Madina in Saudi Arabia29. This 'Islam first' view threatens the civilisational nation-state solidarity within the Islamic world. Its outward focus is not entirely positive as its exponents would have us believe. It is in fact highly critical and revisionist. Take the Pakistani perception of the Islamic community state by state. The Pakistani Islamist view of Saudi Arabia is extremely critical, almost subversive in its intensity. It is considered a monarchy defying the basic tenets of Islam, which therefore must be overthrown if the umma is to be saved. The same kind of criticism is applied to the Gulf States too where princely rulers allegedly look to their own personal interest rather than the Islamic cause. This view ignores the fact that hundreds of thousands of Pakistani expatriate workers have found jobs in the region and Pakistan's economy is not a little dependent on their remittances. The nation-state of Pakistan doesn't tire of expressing its gratitude to these states, but the common man in Pakistan would rather have the monarchies removed, which would probably lead to despotic republicanism, in turn leading to the ouster of all Pakistani workers from there. That is where Islamic anarchism finds its origin today. The roaming jihadist believes in it and terrorism draws its strength from it. The Muslim state of mind makes it vulnerable to the teaching and indoctrination of the madrassa at all times without regard to which stratum of society an individual may belong.
(Khaled Ahmed is Consulting Editor of Daily Times, Pakistan)
End Notes 1. 2.
Daily Times, Lahore, 24 September 2005. Khalid Hassan, Daily Times, 3 March 2005: The report produced by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and written by its Asian affairs analyst K. Alan Kronstadt, notes that President Musharraf set a December 31, 2002 deadline for the seminaries to register with the government or face closure. Khalid Hassan reported in Daily Times Lahore, 2 March 2005. See Omar R Quraishi in Dawn, 27 March 2005: Titled Religious School Enrolment in Pakistan: A Look at the Data, the report by Tahir Andrabi of Pomona College, Jishnu Das of the World Bank and (assistant professor) Asim Ijaz Khwaja and Tristan Zajonc of Harvard University takes a detailed look at the number of students enrolled in Pakistani madrassas, examines their accuracy and comes to the conclusion that the data sharply contradicts the figures quoted in the press on just how many students are enrolled in Pakistan. It says that articles in various international newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post, have quoted figures for madrassa enrolment in Pakistan that are much higher. The disagreement between ICG and the World Bank study authors became particularly acrimonious in April 2005 when ICG issued a press release from its Islamabad office that questioned the motivation of the World Bank study since its policy impact had been that the Pakistani government was perceived to become more complacent about the matter. The World Bank authors asserted that ICG should at least acknowledge the numerical error and strongly resented any aspersions cast by ICG. The US government was also rather defensive about the matter and the 9/11 Commission commented that they had relied on more than just anecdotal accounts in their findings and the head of ICG, Pakistan, Dr. Samina Ahmed was asked to testify before the congressional Foreign Relations Committee on April 19, 2005. New York Times, 15 March 2005. The News, Lahore, 31 July 2005: 'The killing of 56 civilians in the London blasts has had a direct bearing on Islamabad's policy statements as well as actions. This has led to detention of hundreds of suspected militants from banned outfits and raids on seminaries. The more controversial among them was a raid on the Jamia Hafsa affiliated with Lal Masjid -- a female madrassa in the heart of Islamabad having an estimated 2,200 female students on its rolls. What was the specific intelligence on the basis of which the raid was carried out and what objectionable material was recovered by the police from Jamia Hafsa is not clearly known. The police did not make public as to who it wanted to arrest and on what charges. Those arrested were subsequently released and the clergy man the police was apparently trying to get hold of is perhaps no more required by the security agencies. No charge sheet against him has been issued and his movement since the incident remains unrestricted. Maulana Abdur Rashid Ghazi, who heads the network of seminaries attached with Lal Masjid, was said to be the prime target of the police on Tuesday July 19'. Hassan Mansoor, The Friday Times, 10 December 2004. Figures obtained by TFT reporter (see above) from the officials of Abu Bakr Islamic University, located in Karachi's Gulshan-e-Iqbal, showed a total of 142 foreigners, around 15 per cent of the total took admission there. Out of this number, 69 (49 per cent) foreign students came from Thailand, while 17 each belong to Malaysia and Uganda. Eight pupils each come from Indonesia and Somalia, five each from the Philippines and Ghana, four from Cambodia, two each from Djibouti, Nigeria and Maldives and one each from Niger, Cameroon and Kenya. Mohammad Sifaoui, Inside Al Qaeda: How I infiltrated the World's Deadliest Terrorist Organisation (Granta Books 2004). 'In Paris, the Omar and Abubakr mosques are in the use of the Arabs while Ali mosque is where the Pakistani connections to Al Qaeda are available. Karim represented GSPC, a salafist group, led by a Yemeni, Hassan Hattab, and controlled by a cleric in Saudi Arabia, Shaikh Salman, who directed the Al Qaeda activities
14. 15. 16.
20. 21. 22. 23.
in France. Hattab had belonged to the GIA till 1997. The literature the salafists read was Ibn Taymiya, Abdul Wahab, Syed Qutb, Hassan al-Banna and Sheikh Bin Baz. FIS, which was formed at its base, the Bin Badis mosque in Algiers, was the home of Ali Belhadj who radicalised the FIS with a salafist leavening and is now in prison in Algeria. Sifaoui somehow got Karim to say in front of the camera that once the African Arab states succumb to Islamism they will get together and target Europe, that the Taliban alone followed the true Islam, and that contrary to the claim in Thiery Meyssan's book debunking the American version of 9/11, it was Osama bin Laden who had carried out the 9/11 act of terrorism. Center for Religious Freedom, Freedom House, Washington, January 2005, Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology fill American Mosques. The booklet covers only Saudi material. A Boston Pakistani-dominated mosque the writer visited in 2004 had a nonclerical leader of prayers haranguing the followers on how the Quran had banned friendship with Christians and Jews. The speech upset many Pakistanis. Khaled Ahmed, 'The Trouble in Gilgit', The Friday Times, 8 July 2005, . Daily Times, 20 August 2005: 'Muhammad Islam Siddiqui, a member of the Pakistan Army, will be hanged today (Saturday) in New Central Jail Multan. Siddiqui, who belongs to a poor Hari family from Jacobabad, was tried in court martial and was sentenced to death for plotting to kill Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Pervez Musharraf. He made a mercy petition to the president and the vice chief of army staff, but the petition was turned down.' Mushtaq Ahmad from the air force, convicted and sentenced to death for trying to kill President Musharraf was successful in escaping from air force custody in Karachi on 25 December 2005. He had madrassa contacts and escaped after delivering a touching sermon to his guards. Journalist Tanvir Qaiser Shahid in daily Pakistan, 26 October 2004. Pervez Hoodbhoy (ed.), Riasat aur Taleem: Pakistan kay Pach-chas Saal, (Lahore: Mashal, 1997). Saleem H. Ali, Islamic Education and Conflict: Understanding the Madrassahs of Pakistan, Draft report prepared for The United States Institute of Peace (2005). Dr Ali of University of Vermont and Brown University, confirmed the curriculum with Wifaqul Madaris in Multan. Dawn, Karachi, 23 February 2003, under the title Tolerance and militancy among schoolchildren. This alienation is natural but Dr Rehman did not elaborate if this alienation was based on the rejection by the English-medium students of the intolerance of the other two systems. Dr Rehman's other writings tend to denigrate this trend among the English-medium students. Terry McDermott, Perfect Soldiers, (Harper/Collins, 2005). The book explains the secular origin of Muhammad Atta, then describes the alienation and culture shock he experienced in Germany while training as an architect. This is what happened to the others of the Hamburg Cell. The contact with the Moroccan cleric at Al Aqsa mosque in Hamburg was crucial in their final terrorist orientation. Atta's misogynist last will and testament betrays indoctrination imparted by the Al Aqsa mosque cleric. John K. Cooley, Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America, and international Terrorism, Time,7 September 2003. Daily Jang 14 June 2003. Umar Ahmad Sheikh, awarded death sentence the Daniel Pearl murder case, is often held up as an example of non-madrassa convert to terrorism. The fact is that while in Karachi he helped publish Zarb-e-Momin the journal linked to Jaish and thus to Banuri madrassa. Shariful Mujahid, Ideology of Pakistan, Islamic Research Institute, International Islamic University Islamabad 2003: 'Maulana Zafar Ahmad Ansari (1908-1991) wrote on the Islamic concept of sovereignty in his celebrated articles in Dawn in 1955 answering the
objections of many who thought that sovereignty could only belong to the people and not to Allah as premised in Islam. Before Ansari became an important factor in the debate on
knowledge, Maududi claimed, they would be able to impress people of other faiths with the 'truth' of Islam. Consequently, the latter would either willingly become Muslim or else accept Muslim leadership1. This, in turn, Maududi believed, would help pave the way for the eventual establishment of an 'Islamic state'. Modern knowledge was thus regarded as indispensable for a very political purpose.
Madrassa Reforms in Contemporary India Yoginder Sikand
In recent years, particularly after the demolition of the Babri Mosque in 1992 and the ensuing anti-Muslim pogroms, Muslims in India are increasingly recognising the need for modern education if they are not to be further marginalised and effectively consigned to the status of the 'new untouchables'. Today, this urge for modern education has taken the form of numerous schools set up by Muslims in various parts of the country that seek to combine religious with secular education. It is also reflected in the increasing willingness on the part of many traditional madrassas (religious schools) to widen their curriculum and include the teaching of a range of modern subjects. This paper provides a broad overview of the pace and pattern of these reforms in a range of madrassas in contemporary India.
Bridging the Din (faith) and the Duniya (world) Questioning the dualism that has developed between 'religious' and 'worldly' knowledge, many advocates of madrassa reform see both forms of knowledge as part of a comprehensive whole. Accordingly, educational institutions run by such activist groups in India have incorporated a range of modern subjects into their curriculum, thus helping to bridge the educational dualism that has characterised Muslim education for almost two centuries. Among the most enthusiastic to embrace modern subjects and include them in their syllabi are schools associated with the Jama'at-i Islami Hind. The Jama'at was founded in 1941 by the scholar-cum-activist Sayyed Abul 'Ala Maududi. Maududi saw the Jama'at as spearheading the struggle for the establishment of an Islamic state, strictly ruled in accordance with the shari'ah. A number of Muslims, including both madrassa-trained ulema as well as some who had received a modicum of modern education, were attracted to the Jama'at in its early years. One of Maududi's major concerns soon after founding the Jama'at was to formulate a new system of Islamic education, which he presented as an alternative to both the traditional madrassas as well as regular schools. In 1944, he organised a meeting of top Jama'at functionaries at the organisation's headquarters at Pathankot in Punjab. At the meeting he presented the outlines of an ambitious educational programme, based on a system of primary, secondary and high schools. Rather than produce professional ulema, a notion that Maududi seemed to view as un-Islamic for being akin to a class of priests which Islam condemned, the proposed schools were to train a new generation of Muslims rooted in their faith but at the same time experts in various modern disciplines, capable of taking up a range of occupations, and, above all, leading the movement for the establishment of an Islamic state of Maududi's dreams. If committed and pious Muslims were to excel in every field of modern
The Partition of India in 1947 led to the division of the Jama'at, with the majority of its members, including Maududi himself, migrating to Pakistan, although Maududi had throughout opposed the Muslim League, regarding its agenda of Indian Muslim nationalism as a gross violation of the principle of universal Muslim brotherhood. The Jama'at now split into two separate wings, one each in Pakistan and India. In Pakistan the Jama'at registered itself as a regular political party, while in India, where Muslims were a beleaguered minority, the re-christened Jama'at-i Islami Hind functioned as a cultural and religious organisation, keeping aloof from party politics. In September 1948 top Indian Jama'at leaders gathered at the movement's headquarters to discuss the setting up of a system of Muslim primary education. It was felt that if Muslim children were left to study at government schools they would slowly, yet inevitably, lose their distinct Muslim identity. Hence, Jama'at leaders stressed the need for Muslims to set up their own schools, at least at the primary level, where their children could study modern as well as Islamic subjects in a 'proper' Islamic environment. At the meeting a provisional syllabus for Muslim school education was approved. The curriculum for the primary level consisted of general Islamic studies, nazira (recitation) of the Qur'an, basic Arabic, Urdu, Hindi, English, mathematics, general knowledge, history and geography. For higher classes the syllabus included the Qur'an, Hadith, fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), principles of fiqh and Arabic, along with English, general knowledge, political science and economics. Shortly after this meeting, the Jama'at set up its own publishing house, the Markazi Maktaba-i Islami, which was given the task of publishing suitable textbooks for teaching these various subjects. The books were prepared by a committee of Jama'at activists and supporters, including ulema who had received a madrassa education as well as men who had studied at regular schools. Some 75 textbooks -- in English, Hindi, Urdu and Arabic -- were published in subsequent years, and these were regularly revised and updated2. In line with Maududi's programme of the 'Islamisation' of knowledge, modern subjects were presented in a suitable 'Islamic' framework. Thus, for instance, the mathematics texts contained sums related to the payment of zakat and intricate calculations related to the rules of division of inheritance according to the shari'ah (Islamic law). The natural science texts described the laws of nature as God-given, and referred to verses of the Qur'an that were said to predate significant scientific discoveries by centuries. In this way, the books sought to legitimise the acquisition of knowledge of modern subjects in Islamic terms. In 1949 the Jama'at sought to put its educational programme into action by setting up the Markazi Darsgah ('Central School') at Rampur. As its name suggests, it
was envisaged as a regular school (darsgah), in contrast to a traditional madrassa. It aimed at training activists for the Islamist movement who were rooted in their faith but were also aware of developments in the world around them. It was seen as an alternative to state-run schools that were regarded as being opposed to Islamic beliefs and as teaching infidelity and irreligiousness3. The school functioned under the auspices of the Jama'at till 1960, when it was closed down due to administrative and financial problems. In 1986 it was restarted, managed now by a committee of nine persons, headed by Maulana Yusuf Islahi, senior member of the central committee (majlis-i shura) of the Jama'at. The Darsgah appears to have inspired the setting up of several other similar educational institutions in other parts of the country that also adopted its syllabus. According to a Jama'at source these included 1617 primary, 65 secondary and 51 high schools, as well as 15 institutes for technical education4. Today, the darsgah provides education till the sixth grade, after which students generally join regular schools. Plans are being made to extend it to the higher secondary level in the near future. In line with the Jama'at's vision of Islam, students at the Darsgah are taught a combination of Islamic and modern subjects. The Islamic Studies course includes several texts penned by Maududi himself. In contrast to traditional madrassas, it steers clear of maslak (sect) and fiqh (jurisprudence) divisions, seeking to promote an understanding of Islam that is based directly on the Qur'an and the Hadith. It thus stresses the unity of all Muslims, irrespective of fiqh differences, which, while recognised, are to be tolerated. Hence, admission is open to students irrespective of mazhab (religion) or maslak, and the school has had some non-Hanafi teachers on its rolls as well. The darsgah has produced a number of students who have gone to occupy leading positions in the Jama'at-i Islami and in various other Islamic organisations and movements. Several other of its graduates have completed higher education at regular universities, such as the Aligarh Muslim University and the Jami'a Millia Islamia, and now work as doctors, engineers and journalists5. Another interesting Jama'at-sponsored educational initiative is the Jami'at ul-Falah, located at Bilariyaganj, near the town of Azamgarh in eastern Uttar Pradesh. It was set up in 1962 by a group of Jama'at activists and sympathisers. It was structured on the lines of a modern school, with a seven-year primary course and a higher course of another seven years, including a five-year 'alim degree programme and a two-year fazil course. The fazil course included a number of optional subjects, such as journalism, calligraphy, comparative religions, Islamic missionary work, Hindi and elementary Sanskrit, social welfare and teacher's training. Falah saw itself as training ulema as social activists to struggle for the cause of Islam as a 'complete system', as envisioned by Maududi himself, and to combat 'unIslamic' ideologies as well as 'wrong' practices followed by many Muslims6. In this way, its students were trained, as its official publicity brochure puts it, to 'present Islam, with adequate proofs, before the world as the only means for success in the Hereafter'7. Furthermore, Falah saw as one of its principal tasks the creation of a class of ulema who, the brochure proudly announces, 'clearly understood the issues of their time'8. Hence, it included a number of modern subjects in its syllabus, believing that
these were essential for preparing a class of educated Muslims who could lead the community in all spheres of life, and not simply as religious specialists as narrowly construed. It sought to provide its students with a broader outlook, free from the prejudices of rivalry between the different Muslim malsaks so characteristic of most madrassas9. Muslims of all sects and schools of thought were eligible for admission, and the school had a number of teachers from different maslaks, including from the Deobandi and Ahl-i Hadith traditions, besides the Jama'at-i Islami's10. In contrast to most other madrassas, it did not promote any particular school of fiqh. Rather, it sought to cultivate an open attitude on matters of jurisprudence, seeking to take from each legal school what it thought to be in accordance with the primary sources of Islamic law, the Qur'an and Hadith, and insisting on the need for ijtihad to cope with modern issues and challenges11. In another significant departure from traditional madrassa education, it did not teach any of the medieval Qur'anic commentaries. Students were encouraged to try to understand the Qur'an on their own, with the help of dictionaries, although they were free to study the medieval commentaries as well. Today, Falah is one of the largest and better-organised madrassas in India. In 2003 it had an estimated 5000 students on its rolls, including some 2700 girls, who study in a separate wing. It had more than 120 teachers, several of whom were graduates of the madrasa and had then gone on to regular universities for higher education in a range of disciplines. It has considerably restructured its course of study, extending it to the graduate and post-graduate levels. Till the junior high school level it uses the government-prescribed syllabus and textbooks prepared by the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), supplemented with selected books of its own choice. Thereafter, students do a seven-year specialised course in Islamic studies and Arabic, with English, geography, history, comparative religions, political science and sociology as additional subjects. The school also offers a two-year diploma course in Hindi. It has recently started a computer section, and computers are now a compulsory part of the curriculum. Falah thus claims to provide a broad-based education, devised in such a way that its students receive a general grounding in both religious as well as modern subjects. This, in theory, enables them to choose, once they graduate, either to go on to regular universities or else to pursue further Islamic education. However, the quality of teaching of modern subjects leaves much to be desired, because of which the madrassa's claim of producing ulema well versed in modern disciplines seems somewhat far-fetched. Yet, the management and teachers at Falah actually welcome their students going on to enrol at regular universities once they graduate. Dismissing an oft-heard argument against madrassa students joining universities, a graduate from Falah, now a teacher in a college in a town in Uttar Pradesh, says: 'Some ulema argue that if madrassa students go to universities they would lose their Islamic character. They would begin to drink alcohol and smoke and wear Western clothes. They would stop saying their prayers and keeping the fast in Ramzan. I don't agree with this argument at all. If madrassa students are given proper intellectual and spiritual training and their faith is firm and secure, there is no reason why this should happen. In fact, I know of many madrassa students who are now
studying and even teaching in universities in India and abroad. They are still as good Muslims as they were when studying in the madrassas. More than that, they are also setting a good example for the other students in the university, who admire them for their piety, simplicity, honesty, dedication and discipline. In this way they can play an important role in communicating the message of Islam to people of other faiths'. Likewise, a student presently studying at Falah, who hopes to enrol in a university after he graduates, says: 'One often hears this argument that if madrassa students begin to join universities and then train to become doctors or lawyers or anything other than a traditional maulvi, the very purpose of the madrassa system would itself be defeated. This, however, is completely false, because in Islam there is no contradiction between the demands of religion and the demands of the world. If a madrassa student becomes a doctor he can still remain a pious Muslim, and can even help the cause of Islam through his service to people of other faiths. After all, the Qur'an clearly says that there is no monasticism in Islam and that one's faith must be expressed in one's actions in all spheres of life. So, if you are a doctor and serve people in accordance with the teachings of Islam that is also a form of worship. Unfortunately, however, some misguided so-called 'ulama make a rigid distinction between religion and the world and wrongly claim that the two are opposed to each other, and that the only way one can serve Islam is by sitting in the mosque and counting beads'. Falah's degrees are now recognised by a growing number of universities in India and in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. This has allowed for its graduates to seek further education in regular universities, opening up for them new job opportunities not available to graduates from traditional madrassas. Today, a growing number of Falah students, or 'Falahis' as they are called, work as lecturers in colleges, journalists, translators, and as employees in business firms and Islamic institutions in India and in the Arab world. It is estimated that more than half of the students who pass the 'alimiyat examination at Falah go on to take admission in regular universities, with less than a third staying on to complete the fazilat course. In contrast to many smaller madrassas, Falah provides its students with facilities for a range of extra-curricular activities. It has a large sports field, and students are encouraged to play a variety of games after school hours. The Jami'at ulTulaba, Falah's students' organisation, organises regular debates and essay competitions and brings out a college magazine containing articles written by the students themselves. The madrassa arranges for professors (almost all Muslim) from universities to lecture to the students occasionally on subjects of contemporary concern. Falah boasts of a library containing over 20,000 volumes, housed in a new three-storeyed building, which also houses a well-equipped computer centre, a large seminar hall and several reading rooms. Similar educational experiments inspired by the Jama'at-i-Islami have come up in various other parts of India. In Kerala there are estimated to be some 40 high schools associated with the Jama'at, where students train for the 'alim course and
simultaneously prepare for a bachelor's degree from a state university. Likewise, in other states a number of regular schools, such as the Zikra High School (Hyderabad), the Millat High School (Jalgaon), the Iqra School (Aurangabad) and the Milli Model School (New Delhi), have been set up in recent years by members or activists of the Jama'at. Some of these are English-medium schools and use the regular government syllabus, with extra classes for Islamic Studies, for which they use textbooks prepared by the Markazi Maktaba-i Islami. Although not affiliated to the Jama'at, the Islamic International School in the crowded Dongri district in Mumbai shares, in many ways, a similar vision of Islamic education. Founded in 2001, it is run by the Islamic Research Foundation, a missionary organisation headed by the noted Islamic scholar Zakir Naik. Naik is India's most well known Muslim polemicist. He specialises in debating with leading Christian theologians, and his admirers claim that he has worsted them all in numerous public rallies, in India and abroad. The International Islamic School is not a traditional madrassa. In fact, it seeks to distinguish itself from a madrassa in significant ways. Its brightly painted classrooms are equipped with blackboards, tables and chairs, and colourful posters decorate their walls. In contrast to the simple classrooms in madrassas, which often do not even possess fans, all the rooms in the school are air-conditioned, a luxury that only few schools in India can afford. Monthly fee amounts to 3000 rupees, which is well beyond the budget of an ordinary Indian Muslim family. Again, unlike most madrassas, the school is not affiliated to any particular Muslim maslak, being open, in theory, to Muslims of all sectarian backgrounds. In this way, it seeks to present an ecumenical image that transcends narrow sectarian barriers that are so deeply inscribed in the traditional madrassa system. An employee of the Foundation explains the aims of the school, pointing out how it differs from traditional madrassas in many ways: 'We want to produce a class of pious Muslims, men as well as women, who will be able to represent Islam in all domains of life. We want to train good Muslim doctors, engineers, lawyers and scientists who would be able to show the world what Islam has to offer in all these spheres. Ours is not a madrassa in the traditional sense of the term. Unlike many traditional madrassas, where students have little or no understanding of the complexities of modern life, we want our students to be well aware of both Islam and the world around them. This is why we are not affiliated to any particular sect or school of fiqh. Instead, we go straight to the Qur'an and the Hadith for inspiration, because we see divisions based on fiqh and sect as inimical to Muslim unity'. The school aspires, as its name suggests, to 'international' status by providing English-medium education using modern teaching methods and aids, but in what its publicity brochure proudly describes as an 'Islamic' environment. The school is geared to a clientele of rich Muslims who seek a suitably 'Islamic' yet modern education for their children, for many of whom the education provided in general schools is
culturally inappropriate and alienating. Students learn the usual school subjects in addition to Islamic studies, which are taught with the help of primers published by Islamic organisations in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, South Africa and Saudi Arabia. The school presently promises education upto the second standard, but soon plans to expand to the high school level.
and translators in Arab countries and in South Africa, which is home to a large and relatively prosperous Deobandi Muslim community. Two graduates from the centre manage the Markaz's website and on-line fatwa dispensing unit based in Mumbai. Several of the centre's graduates are now studying at regular universities, pursuing research in Arabic, Urdu and Islamic studies14.
Alternate Forms of Islamic Knowledge
A similar experiment is the Dar-ul-'Umoor, based at Srirangapatanam, near Mysore, in the southern state of Karnataka. Founded as a registered trust in 1998, it is run under the auspices of the Tipu Sultan Advanced Study and Research Centre, the brainchild of Ziaullah Sheriff, one of the biggest architects and builders in Bangalore. It is located in a sprawling 40-acre campus adjacent to the tomb of the eighteenth century Muslim ruler of Mysore, Tipu Sultan. It takes its name from a similarly named institution set up by Tipu Sultan to promote scientific innovations. It sees itself as imparting what it describes as 'an integrated educational programme both in Islamic Science and modern science and technology' so as to train a new class of socially involved ulema15.
Besides the new sorts of Muslim schools described above, in India today a growing number of madrassas are incorporating modern subjects into their curriculum. A good example of a modernising madrasa is the Markaz ul-Ma'arif Education and Research Centre, Mumbai. It was established in 1982 by Maulana Badruddin Ajmal, a graduate of the Deoband madrassa and a member of Deoband's central advisory committee. Originally from Assam, Ajmal is a prosperous Mumbai-based merchant and philanthropist. He represents a new, emerging breed of socially engaged ulema, setting up social work projects and also promoting religious education using innovative means. The Markaz runs a number of institutions in Assam and some other states in northeast India. These include, or so its publicity pamphlet claims, 10 English-medium schools, 550 part-time maktabs, three orphanages, a modern hospital and several vocational training centres. The Markaz claims to fund several small social work centres that are engaged in various developmental activities. It has a publishing wing, which has produced a considerable amount of Islamic literature in various languages, including Assamese, Bengali, Urdu and English. It is also engaged in a limited form of inter-faith dialogue work, and has liberally contributed to various 'national' causes, making substantial donations to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund and the Army Central Welfare Fund, with the purpose, as its publicity brochure puts it, of helping the cause of 'martyrs who laid down their lives for the cause of the country'12. In 1994, after consultation with the elders at Deoband, the Markaz decided to set up a centre in Delhi to train a selected number of madrassa graduates in English, computer applications and comparative religions. The principal objective of the programme was, as its publicity leaflet puts it, to enable madrassa graduates 'find a suitable place in the world' and also to 'reason scientifically and put forward convincing arguments before the masses about the positive teachings of Islam'13. Till it was recently closed and shifted to Mumbai, every year the Markaz selected some 20 students, mostly graduates from the Dar ul-'Ulum, Deoband, for a two-year course. The course involved intensive study of spoken and written English. Students were also taught various computer application skills, such as desktop publishing and web designing, expertise they that would need in their future profession as missionaries. In addition, they also learnt about the basic beliefs of other faiths in order to better equip them in missionary work. Several graduates of the Markaz are now employed as English teachers at various madrassas, including two at the recently launched department of English at Deoband. A number of them teach Arabic in government schools in Assam, West Bengal and Bihar. Others work as journalists in Urdu as well as English papers brought out by different Muslim organisations. Yet others have found jobs as teachers
In 2002 the Dar-ul-'Umoor launched a one-year course, jointly prepared by university professors and ulema from the Nadwat-ul-'Ulama, Lucknow. Till date most of its students have been drawn from the Nadwa itself. Education, boarding and lodging are provided free of cost, and each student are given a small monthly stipend. A major focus of the course at the Dar-ul-'Umoor is the learning of English and computer applications. Other subjects are also taught, by visiting lecturers, including university professors, scientists, journalists, social activists, ulema, politicians and retired bureaucrats. Visiting lecturers have spoken on a range of issues at the school, including inter-faith relations, modern fiqh issues, community development, conflict resolution, Indian history, personality development, information technology, mass media, and global politics. In addition, every Thursday the students are expected to undergo practical training, such as visiting schools, non-governmental agencies, scientific institutions and museums, as well as churches and temples to interact with Christian and Hindu priests. Students submit regular reports and articles, some of which have been published in local Urdu newspapers. All students are also simultaneously pursuing their master's degree in Urdu from the Karnataka Open University, Mysore. 'Abdur Rahman Kamaruddin, the amiable chairperson of the Dar ul-'Umoor, explains how the school seeks to promote a new breed of ulema who are cognizant of the world around them: 'Through the exposure that the students gain by interacting with experts in different fields, we want to prepare ulema who can play a constructive role in community affairs. If they are made aware of the problems and concerns of the world around them they would be in a better position to interpret Islam in order to meet new demands and challenges. They might also be able to influence the madrassas once they finish their studies here. In that way reforms can begin from within the madrassa system, instead of being imposed from the outside. Some students will return to madrassas to teach, sharing their knowledge and skills with other ulema. Others
might be absorbed by various Muslim social welfare organisations or by Muslim magazines and newspapers as journalists. Yet others would work as preachers in mosques, and one of their principal tasks would be to deliver sermons on issues of contemporary relevance. In this way, we feel that the work that we are engaged in will have a multiplier effect and lead to a gradual transformation of the madrassa system as a whole'16. The Dar-ul-'Umoor has made efforts to popularise its programme in different madrassas, seeking to make them aware of the need for reforming their syllabus and methods of teaching. For this purpose, in 2001 it organised its first four-day orientation programme at the Nadwat ul-'Ulama, attended by a number of leading ulema and social activists. Speeches were delivered on a variety of issues of contemporary importance. The students and teachers at Nadwa apparently responded with enthusiasm, evincing considerable interest in the future programmes of the centre. The centre has contacted several other madrassas and has offered to conduct similar workshops with their students. Another similar experiment, hailed as a unique and pioneering effort to combine Islamic and modern education, is the Jami'at ul-Hidaya, located in a Muslim-dominated village on the outskirts of Jaipur. Established in 1986 by the Naqshbandi Sufi shaikh and 'alim, Maulana 'Abdur Rahim Mujaddidi, it is affiliated to the Deobandi maslak, although it is open to Sunnis of all schools of thought. Maulana Mujaddidi is a soft-spoken man, probably in his late sixties or early seventies. He is one of India's most ardent champions of modern education in the madrassas. He is initially reluctant, in true Sufi fashion, to speak about the achievements of his madrassa, but on being prodded he explains: 'Our madrassa provides its estimated 700 students a traditional Islamic education. This is supplemented with compulsory modern education till the tenth grade level. For this we use textbooks published by the NCERT. Thereafter, we have a four-year 'alim course, during which students learn a range of subjects, including the Qur'an, Hadith, tafsir, fiqh, and Arabic literature. Arrangements are also made for lectures by visiting ulema and university professors to speak on issues of contemporary concern. Students doing the 'alim course must also learn a skill that would enable them to earn a gainful livelihood after they graduate. After all, we need to think about their future employment prospects as well. We don't want them to be a burden on the community. They need to stand on their own feet. Among the technical trades that we have arrangements for are computer applications, mechanical and electrical engineering, electronics and communications'. Several of the graduates of the madrassa, the Maulana explains, have now set up small businesses of their own, and some have even got jobs in companies in India and in Gulf countries. Other students of the madrassa, estimated at half the total number of graduates, have gone in for higher Islamic education, in India and abroad, and yet others have joined regular universities for higher studies.
The Maulana 'Abdur Rahim Education Trust, which runs the Jami'at ulHidaya, also manages three English-medium schools in Jaipur city, catering largely to boys and girls of poor Muslim families. In association with some professors of the Aligarh Muslim University the Trust recently set up the Al-Hidaya Study Centre at Aligarh in order to train Muslim students to appear for competitive examinations for various government services. The Trust has set a list of ambitious plans for itself, including launching a full-fledged faculty of commerce, as well as starting courses in refrigeration, air conditioning, pharmacy, automobile engineering and journalism. It is also in the process of establishing a training centre for madrassa teachers, which would be the first of its kind in the country.
Reforms in Existing Madrassas Besides relatively recent specialised institutions, such as the above, that combine Islamic with modern education and are meant for madrassa graduates, recent years have also witnessed a growing willingness on the part of several traditional madrassas to incorporate some sort of modern teaching in their curriculum. Although the standard of teaching of these subjects leaves much to be desired, owing principally to the lack of funds for employing suitably trained teachers and for acquiring appropriate teaching aids, this development points to an increasing recognition on the part of sections of the ulema of the importance of modern forms of knowledge and the need to integrate them into the madrassa system. Stirrings of change have not left even madrassas considered as the bastions of 'orthodoxy' unaffected. Recently, as pointed out in the previous chapter, the Dar-ul'Ulum Deoband launched two new departments, of English and computer courses. This was considered a particularly radical move, given the widespread perception of Deoband's hostility to 'Western' knowledge and culture. More open to change is the 200-year old Jami'at-us-Saifiya at Surat, the principal madrassa for the Bohra Shi'as, which conducts an eleven-year course for boys and girls, combining religious and modern subjects, including natural and social sciences. Not all of its students go on to become professional ulema several of them go on to universities for higher secular education, while others are now successful traders and industrialists, in India and abroad17. Numerous madrassas run in Uttar Pradesh by the Dini Ta'limi Council today teach both religious as well as secular subjects. Students then get a certificate that allows them to carry on education in regular schools thereafter18. Certain other madrassas may not be able to afford to arrange for providing modern education to their students, but, instead, have facilities for training them in some craft or trade. This is the case, for instance, with the Jami'at-ul-Islamia Khair ul-'Ulum at Domariaganj, in eastern Uttar Pradesh, which provides Islamic education till the fazil level, and also has a workshop where students can train to become welders, tailors and automobile mechanics19. Other madrassas that have few or no arrangements for modern education have modified their admission policies, timings and the structure of their courses in such a way that allows their students to study in regular schools alongside their religious studies. Such is the case of the Jami'a Nazmia in Lucknow, one of the premier Ithna 'Ashari Shi'a madrassas in the country. It encourages its students to pursue education in regular universities simultaneously with their madrassa education. Almost all its students at the final year level have done or are
doing a graduation degree course at Lucknow University, mostly in the departments of Arabic, Urdu, Persian and Islamic Studies. Another Shi'a school in Lucknow, the Madrasa Imania Khadijat ul-Kubra, runs a two-year course for girls' who are enrolled in regular colleges or universities. Timings are adjusted in such a way that the girls can pursue regular studies along with their religious education. Another way in which growing numbers of ulema are seeking to bridge the divide between religious and modern education is by setting up modern schools, where basic Islamic education is also imparted, these being run along with traditional madrassas under a common management system. The Dar ul-'Ulum Deoband, has spawned some interesting initiatives in this regard. Recently, one of its senior management committee members, Maulana 'Asad Madani, considered to be the man who actually holds the reigns of power at the madrassa, inaugurated a polytechnic for girls in Deoband. His son runs the Madani Memorial English-medium School, also located at Deoband. Similarly, the Ahl-i Hadith's Jami'at us-Salafiya madrassa in Varanasi also runs the Ummahat al-Mu'minin girls' higher secondary school, which it now plans to upgrade into a regular arts and science college providing education till the graduation level. In Srinagar, Kashmir, the Sayyed Mirak Shah Educational Trust, runs a primary madrassa, as well as a chain of regular primary and high schools which are affiliated to the educational board of the government of Jammu and Kashmir. In Kerala, the Markaz us-Shaqafat us-Sunniya runs one of the largest shari'ah colleges in the state, in addition to several modern schools, a technical training centre, a clinic and two orphanages20. The Delhi-based 'Abdul Kalam Islamic Awakening Centre, affiliated with the Ahl-i Hadith, runs a number of educational institutions, including two high schools (one each for girls and boys) and a large madrassa. In Kishanganj, Bihar, the All-India Ta'limi-o-Milli Foundation, established by a leading Deobandi 'alim, runs a chain of maktabs, a girls' high school and an engineering college21. Numerous more such examples could be cited. In these diverse ways, a small, yet growing, number of ulema and ulema-based groups are today making efforts to bridge the dualism between the madrassa and the modern school system. As these instances show, madrassas in India today are responding in diverse ways to the challenges of contemporary life, and cannot be said to be completely hostile to change. True, change maybe slow in coming, and it may not always occur in expected or desired ways. Yet, inexorably, the pressure for reform and modernisation is making its presence felt even in the secluded portals of the most traditional madrassas. However, the concerted campaign to discredit the madrassas as 'dens of terror', part of a larger anti-Muslim agenda that is gaining increasing stridency today in India, has posed major problems for madrassas that seriously wish to reform. Considering themselves under siege, appeals for reform are seen by many ulema as representing hidden 'conspiracies' to destroy the religious character of the madrassas or even to uproot Islam from India. Naturally, this has worked to dampen enthusiasm for madrassa reform on the part of many ulema. This suggests the urgent need for sincere dialogue with the ulema of the madrassas, for it is only by working together with them that any meaningful change in the madrassa system can actually come about.
(Yoginder Sikand writes regularly on Islam and Muslims in contemporary India) End Notes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.
19. 20. 21.
For details, see Afzal Husain, Jama'at-i Islami Hind Aur Dini Ta'limi Tehrik, (Delhi: Markazi Maktaba-i Islami), n.d., pp.1-7. Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmad, 'Jama'at-i Islami Ka Ta'limi Nizam', in Mulk-o-Millat Ki Ta'mir Aur Dini Madaris, (Bilariyaganj: 1994), pp. 137-39. Markazi Darsgah-i Islami, Rampur: Ek Ta'aruf, Rampur: Markazi Darsgah-i Islami, n.d., p.1. Ibid., p.141. Interview with Salman Asad, Director, Islamic Studies and Research Academy, New Delhi, 4 January, 2002. Jami'at ul-Falah: Ek Ta'aruf, Bilariyaganj: Jami'at ul-Falah, n.d., p.1. Jami'at ul-Falah: Aghraz-o-Maqasid, Bilariyaganj: Jami'at ul-Falah, 1997, p.1. Jami'at ul-Falah: An Introduction, Bilariyaganj: Jami'at ul-Falah, n.d., p.1. Nisab-i Ta'lim Jami'at ul-Falah, Bilariyaganj: Jami'at ul Falah, 2001, p.3. Interestingly, it had no Barelwi 'ulama as teachers, probably because of the Barelwi insistence that the Jama'at-i Islami was outside the pale of Islam. Interview with Maulana Rahmatullah 'Asri, Principal, Jami'at ul-Falah, Bilariyaganj, 29 March, 2003. Markaz ul-Ma'rif: Report on Activities Till March 2000, Hojai: Markaz ul-Ma'rif, 2000. Ibid., p.11. Interview with Maulana 'Atiq ur-Rahman, Assistant Manager, Markaz ul-Ma'arif, Mumbai, 2 October 2002. Dar ul-Umoor Tipu Sultan Advanced Study and Research Centre, Bangalore: Dar ulUmoor, n.d. Interview with 'Abdur Rahman Kamaruddin, Chairman, Dar ul-'Umoor, Srirangapatanam, 6 October, 2002. Maqbool Ahmed Siraj, 'The Best of the Old and the New', Islamic Voice, February 2002. H. U. 'Azmi, 'Contribution of Deeni Ta'limi Council to Muslim Education in Uttar Pradesh', in A.W. B. Qadri, Riaz Shakir Khan and Mohammed Akhtar Siddique, Education and Muslims in India Since Independence, (New Delhi: Institute of Objective Studies, 1988), pp.147-50. Al-Jami'at ul-Islamia Khair ul-Ulum Educational and Technical Society, Domariaganj: AlJami'at ul-Islamia Khair ul-'Ulum Educational and Technical Society, n.d.. K. Hamza, 'The Sunni Cultural Centre in Calicut' (www.milligazette.com/Archives/01-52000/the_sunni_cultural_centre.htm). All-India Ta'limi-o-Milli Foundation, (Delhi: All-India Ta'limi-o-Milli Foundation, n.d.)
Need for Devolution in Pakistan
Pakistan: Devolution and Community Empowerment Dr. Paul Oquist
Concept of Devolution Devolution of power leads to a system of co-responsibility between institutions of governance at the central, regional and local levels according to the principle of subsidiarity. This consists of elected local authorities having the authority and responsibility to address all problems that are within their legal mandate and ability to solve. This increases the overall quality and effectiveness of governance and increases power and capacities at sub-national levels1, as well as representation and participation for citizens. Elected local governments accompanied by citizen participation mechanisms can contribute to community empowerment and political ownership of devolved local government, a crucial element for democracy. Fiscal and administrative decentralization consist of the transfer of authority and resources to local officials2. Devolution and decentralization are a global trend3. Most developing countries are embracing them whether in Latin America, Africa or Asia. Devolution is a worldwide phenomenon for at least three reasons. First, there is the need for political stability through the transfer of formal state power, authority, and resources, to elected local officials. This is because of the declining effectiveness of the power of the centralized state, a phenomenon that has been accelerated by globalization. Devolution is a strategy to maintain political stability in a world of rapid and often unpredictable change accompanied by power deflation at the national level for most developing countries. Increasingly it is only at the local level where citizens, communities and civil society can still affect policies that affect on the quality of peoples' lives. Second, there is greater space for citizen participation that can lead to community empowerment. Third, devolution and decentralization can provide better protection of rights and services and more effective and efficient service delivery. They are expected to achieve higher economic efficiency, better accountability, stronger resource mobilization, lower cost of service provision and higher satisfaction of local preferences4. Devolving resource allocation decisions to locally elected leaders can improve the match between the mix of services produced by the public sector and the preferences of the local population. Decentralization is particularly beneficial for rural development in disadvantaged jurisdictions. It usually entails a net transfer of fiscal resources from richer to poorer areas and leads to an increase in the quantity and quality of expenditures in these areas. Pakistan's devolution process aims at bringing the above-mentioned benefits to its population.
Devolution is long overdue for Pakistani society, especially for the poorer groups. Many reports, including the government's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), point out that Pakistan's social indicators lag behind those of countries with comparable per capita incomes. Poverty in Pakistan increased from 23 per cent in 1987-88 to 33 per cent in 2001-02 and is continuing to increase. Trickle down of macroeconomic benefits has had little or no positive effect on the poor. Cross-country comparisons illustrate that, in Pakistan, growth is associated with fewer improvements in key health and education outcomes than in comparable developing countries, (particularly in relation to the widening of male-female literacy gap and infant mortality)6. Given the track record of social sector service delivery in Pakistan, it is tempting to assert that almost any reform in governance arrangements would produce better results. However, most reforms in government fail. They generally do not fail because they yield unsatisfactory outcomes. They rather fail because they never get past the implementation stage at all. They are blocked outright or put into effect only in tokenistic, half-hearted fashion7. This tendency to resist change in any shape or form is one of the major reasons for poor achievements in the social sectors which can also be attributed to the prevalence of post-colonial institutions and systems. These relics have become entrenched in national policy mechanisms, further aggravating the breakdown of basic service delivery mechanisms through corruption, staff absenteeism, and poor maintenance; lack of accountability, transparency and politicization of personnel selection and resource allocation; concerns regarding the effectiveness of the legal system and its ability to provide an enabling environment to promote social and economic development and public safety; lack of, or selective, enforcement of rules; poor co-ordination among government departments as well as among donor agencies; poor morale and work ethic of the civil service. An equally broad range of institutional issues negatively affect development efforts in natural resource and public infrastructure management. Army monitors identified 3,600 ghost schools in Punjab in 1999, 50 per cent of which were inoperative while the remaining 50 per cent were nonexistent but on the budget. Illiteracy was being reproduced with children aged 5-9 who did not attend school (female school attendance was at 39 per cent)8. The link between increased funding and better education or health indicators is equally weak. The Social Action Program had previously been the Government of Pakistan's most concerted effort at improving its pro-poor social expenditures. During the two phases of the program (SAP Project 1, 1993/9496/97, and SAP Project 2 1997/9899/00), a total of approximately US$9 billion was spent, with 80 percent being contributed by the government. The program aimed at increasing the physical availability and improving the quality and efficiency of services, especially for the poor and for women, in elementary education, basic health care, family planning and rural water supply and sanitation. Outcomes were disappointing, particularly in education, which received roughly two-thirds of the allocations. Overall net enrollment rates declined from 46 percent in 1991/92 to 42 percent by 2001/02, while net enrollments
in rural areas (a SAP focus) fell from 41 percent in 1991-92 to 38 percent in 2001/0210. There was, however, some provincial variation around this declining national trend -the situation in Sindh, and especially Balochistan, was particularly disturbing, while NWFP showed some moderate progress. One of the key reasons cited by experts for this avoidable failure of the SAP programme to deliver, was centralization and lack of devolution11.
1983, the Local Government Commission observed that “a local government as a third organ of the state as distinct from the provincial and federal governments should grow as independent self-reliant institution”. This view was reiterated in the report of the Sixth National Finance Commission of 1997: “the federal and provincial governments should make efforts to strengthen local bodies institutions in their respective jurisdictions by sharing revenues and jurisdiction of functions”.
Countries with a high level of patronage politics and patrimonialism in government need a comprehensive institutional reform programme to 'correct patrimonial distortions in the institutional environment, the incentives framework, and the performance of core government institutions'12. In like vein, other theorists have called for new models of reform such as 'transformational capacity development'13, which essentially takes in all institutions relevant to governance, including civil society. The institutional environment of developing countries in particular calls for a greater degree of decentralization than needed for an industrialized country14.
NRB put forward the Local Government Plan in year 2000. According to this plan, “in the existing system of governance at the local level, the province governs the districts and tehsils directly through the bureaucracy at the division, district and tehsil levels. And the local government for towns and cities exist separately from those of the rural areas. The provincial bureaucratic set-ups are the designated 'controlling authorities' of the local governments, and tend to undermine and over-ride them, which breeds a colonial relationship of 'ruler' and 'subject'. The separate local government structures engender rural-urban antagonism, while the administration's role as 'controlling authorities' accentuates the rural-urban divide. These two structural and systemic disjoints, coupled with the absence of horizontal integration and the consequent inadequacy of functional coordination between the line departments at the division, district, and tehsil levels, lead to inefficiency and corruption, and are the root causes of the crisis of governance at the grass root level. This crisis appears to have been addressed through over-concentration of authority, particularly in the office of the Deputy Commissioner, which besides creating the potential for abuse of authority, diffuses operational focus and results in the expedient handling of routine functions through crisis management”.
The on-going devolution process has also met stiff resistance with numerous arguments being forwarded to try to thwart of roll back the process. A long-serving District Management Group officer analyzed this in the following fashion in the 2004 World Bank-Asian Development Bank-DFiD report on devolution in Pakistan: “Devolution is not opposed because of capacity constraints, shortage of technical manpower, the quality or awareness of local elected leaders or any such thing. It is opposed simply because it created such a huge disruption in the political economy of corruption”15.
Devolution Policy Formulation In October 1999, the politically elected government was overthrown as the military took over power in Pakistan. The military government immediately pronounced a “Seven Point Agenda” to address the institutional crisis and to advance national reconstruction. It set as objectives: i) rebuilding national confidence & morale; ii) strengthening the federation while removing inter-provincial disharmony; iii) reviving and restoring investor confidence; iv) ensuring law and order and dispensing speedy justice; v) depoliticizing state institutions; vi) devolving power to the grass root level; vii) ensuring swift and across the board accountability.
The system described above has been transformed through the Local Government Ordinances promulgated by the provincial governments in August 200116 as per the model ordinance drafted by the NRB. They provide the legal framework for devolution and decentralization of this model. According to the Plan, “the system is designed to ensure that the genuine interests of the people are served and their rights safeguarded through an enabling environment, people's participation, clear administrative responsibilities without political interference and making it answerable to the elected head of the district. At the same time it promises checks and balances to safeguard against abuse of authority”.
Devolution Implementation Following are the key changes brought about under the new local government system:
Consequently, the National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB) was created with the task of undertaking the institutional restructuring process. Its first reform was devolution of power to the local and grassroots levels which has consisted of devolution of power including empowerment of citizens, decentralization of administrative authority, de-concentration of functions, and distribution of financial resources to the provincial and local governments, with checks and balances against misuse of power and authority through the diffusion of the power-authority nexus. This policy came to be known as the five “ds” of devolution. Prior to NRB, there had been official calls for decentralization. In its report of
l Removal of the district administration system, one of the last holdouts of the
colonial order and creation of three countrywide levels of governments i.e. districts (Zila Councils headed by Zila Nazim), tehsils (taluqa in Sindh and town in City Governments, headed by Tehsil Nazim), and union councils (headed by Union Nazim). l Placing locally elected leaders in charge of local bureaucrats, although until 2005 the provinces remained responsible for their postings, transfers and promotions. l Reserving one-third of Council seats for women. l Reserving Council seats for other marginalized groups like peasants, workers,
minorities, etc. l Providing local councils with the right to obtain information on departmental operations and to sanction non-performance. l The institution of Citizen Community Boards (CCBs) has been created to enable the proactive elements of society to participate in community work and development related activities, thus providing official recognition for community based organizations. l Citizens organized into Citizen Community Boards (CCBs) to gain direct access to a proportion of the local councils' development budgets by reserving 25% of all local development projects for CCB projects. l Creating a 'municipal functions' entity responsible for maintenance and development of basic municipal services such as water, sanitation, streets, lighting, parks, and business regulation. l Distribution of financial resources to local governments through formula based provincial fiscal transfers and decentralization of specified taxation powers to enable local governments to effect credible development and service delivery. l Creation of city governments in the provincial capitals with the possibility of allowing others to join later, as has happened beginning in 2005. l The division as an administrative tier ceased to exist. l The colonial posts of Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner, as well the Executive Magistracy were abolished (the executive magistracy allowed government executive officials to try and jail people for up to 7 years through 1997 and 3 years thereafter). l Elected local governments were created in 97 districts, 350 Tehsils and 6022 Unions.
Devolution Results The impacts of devolution are now clearly apparent, although incipient in several spheres. There are multiple monitoring and evaluation loops that allow timely evaluation of progress. They receive data from the following: The National Reconstruction Information Management System (NARIMS), National Information Monitoring and Analysis System (NIMAS)18, the Federal Bureau of Statistics, two Social Audit cycles that have been conducted by CIET Canada (contracted by NRB and Devolution Trust for Community Empowerment with additional Canadian CIDA support as well), in 2002 and 2004, which measure citizen satisfaction with government service delivery mechanisms. Gross enrollment at primary levels went up from 72 per cent coverage in 2001 to 87 per cent in 2004, while gross enrollment at middle levels went up from 41 per cent to 47 per cent and at the matriculation level from 42 per cent to 57 per cent during the same time period19. Major sources of drinking water (piped water) have increased from 25 per cent coverage to 35 per cent from 2001 to 200420. In terms of health services, the utilization rate of First Level Care Facility (FLCS) increased from 113 per cent in 2001 to 120 per cent in 2004, whereas during the same time period the FLCS not experiencing the 'stock-out' of any one of 5 key supplies increased from 28 per cent to 35 per cent21.
With regard to citizen satisfaction, the two Social Audit cycles22 have also revealed highly positive improvements within a two year window of devolution implementation. Satisfaction with government sewerage/sanitation services increased from 13 per cent to 20 per cent, satisfaction with roads increased from 31 per cent to 38 per cent. A composite index of health and education reveals that levels of citizen satisfaction with these District Social Services rose in 2004 as compared to 2001200223. Satisfaction is still less than 50 per cent but the tendency has changed to an upward slope. Levels of citizen satisfaction with Tehsil Municipal Services increased in 2004 as compared to 2001-2002. An index of those services (water, sewage, garbage, and roads) in the 89 districts where comparisons are available reveals that citizen satisfaction advanced in 69 districts and declined in 2024. Most importantly, on being asked “whom they would contact if they needed something done for their community”, the answer was “the nazim or a councilor” in 47 per cent (n=53,029) of households in 2004 while the next most frequent responses were community members (16 per cent), for a combined total of 63 per cent between elected local government and community delf-development. Local government and community participation are becoming the preferred channel for addressing community problems. A total of 7 per cent said that they would take problems to a Member, National Assembly (MNA), or a Member, Provincial Assembly (MPA). Of those who have actually contacted a member of Union Council (including the Nazim who is a member), the figure for males is 25 per cent in 2004 (up from 22 per cent in 20012002), while the figure for females is 13 per cent (up from 10 per cent in 2001-2002). Thus there is concrete evidence that local government has clearly begun to be consolidated as an expanding channel for “citizen voice”, but this process is still incipient.
Community Empowerment Dr. Phil Bartle's concept of community empowerment is well suited for our purposes. He views it both as a process and as an outcome. According to him: “While increased democratization may be helped by Government devolving some law making power to the community, its capacity to make use of its legal decision making depends upon it having practical capacity, i.e. the ability to make decisions about its own development, to determine its own future. The empowerment of a community is an increase in its strength, improvement in its capacity (ability) to accomplish its goals. The empowerment methodology, in contrast to the charity approach, aims at strengthening the community rather than encouraging it to remain dependant upon outside resources. The empowerment methodology, therefore, does not make everything easy for the community, because it accepts that struggle and resistance, as in physical exercise, produce more strength. Community empowerment goes well beyond political or legal permission to participate in the national political system. It includes capacity to do things that community members want to do.” Dr. Bartle views sixteen elements25 of a community that change as the community gets stronger:
Altruism: The proportion of, and degree to which, individuals are ready to sacrifice benefits to themselves for the benefit of the community as a whole (reflected in degrees of generosity, individual humility, communal pride, mutual supportiveness, loyalty, concern, camaraderie, sister/brotherhood).
community? Do outside or internal sources of charity increase the level of dependency and weaken the community, or do they challenge the community to act and therefore become stronger? Is the intervention sustainable or does it depend upon decisions by outside donors who have different goals and agendas than the community itself?
Common Values: The degree to which members of the community share values, especially the idea that they belong to a common entity that supersedes the interest of members within it. The more that community members share, or at least understand and tolerate each others values and attitudes, the stronger their community will be. (Racism, prejudice and bigotry weaken a community or organization).
Leadership: Leaders have power, influence, and the ability to move the community. The more effective its leadership, the more stronger is a community. (Lack of good leadership weakens it).
Communal Services: Human settlements facilities and services (such as roads, markets, potable water, access to education, health services), their upkeep (dependable maintenance and repair), sustainability, and the degree to which all community members have access to them. Communications: Within a community, and between itself and the external environment, communication includes roads, electronic methods (eg telephone, radio, TV, InterNet), printed media (newspapers, magazines, books), networks, mutually understandable languages, literacy and the willingness and ability to communicate in general (which implies tact, diplomacy, willingness to listen as well as to talk). Confidence: While expressed in individuals, how much confidence is shared among the community as a whole? i.e. an understanding that the community can achieve what ever it wishes to do. Positive attitudes, willingness, self motivation, enthusiasm, optimism, self-reliant rather than dependency attitudes, willingness to fight for its rights, avoidance of apathy and fatalism, a vision of what is possible. Increased strength includes increased confidence. Context (Political and Administrative): A community will be stronger, more able to get stronger and sustain its strength more, the more it exists in an environment that supports that strengthening. This environment includes: (1) political (including the values and attitudes of the national leaders, laws and legislation) and (2) administrative (attitudes of civil servants and technicians, as well as Governmental regulations and procedures) elements. When politicians, leaders, technocrats and civil servants, as well as their laws and regulations, take a provision approach, the community is weak, while if they take an enabling approach to the community acting on a self-help basis, the community will be stronger. Information: More than just having or receiving unprocessed information, the strength of the community depends upon the ability to process and analyse that information, the level of awareness, knowledge and wisdom found among key individuals and within the group as a whole. When information is more effective and more useful, not just more in volume, the community will have more strength. (Note that this is related to, but differs from, the communication element) Intervention: What is the extent and effectiveness of animation (mobilizing, management training, awareness raising, stimulation) aimed at strengthening the
Networking: It is not just "what you know," but also "who you know" that can be a source of strength. What is the extent to which community members, especially leaders, know persons (and their agencies or organizations) who can provide useful resources that will strengthen the community as a whole? The useful linkages, potential and realized, that exist within the community and with others outside it. The more effective the network, the stronger the community or organization. (Isolation produces weakness). Organization: The degree to which different members of the community see themselves as each having a role in supporting the whole (in contrast to being a mere collection of separate individuals), including (in the sociological sense) organizational integrity, structure, procedures, decision making processes, effectiveness, division of labor and complementarity of roles and functions. Political Power: The degree to which the community can participate in national and district decision making. Just as individuals have varying power within a community, so communities have varying power and influence within the district and nation. Skills: The ability manifested in individuals that will contribute to the organization of the community and the ability of it to get things done that it wants to get done, including technical skills, management skills, organizational skills, mobilization skills. Trust: The degree to which members of the community trust each other, especially their leaders and community servants, which in turn is a reflection of the degree of integrity (honesty, dependability, openness, transparency, trustworthiness) within the community. (Dishonesty, corruption, embezzlement and diversion of community resources all contribute to community or organizational weakness). Unity: A shared sense of belonging to a known entity (i.e. the group composing the community), although every community has divisions or schisms (religious, class, status, income, age, gender, ethnicity, clans), i.e. the degree to which community members are willing to tolerate the differences and variations among each other and are willing to cooperate and work together. Citizens must, therefore, be posited as the true custodians rather than merely the beneficiaries of the devolution reform. There is a large body of research that suggests that in the absence of an active demand for power and a demonstrable capacity to use it, supplying power to the grassroots through an exclusively top-down modality is futile.
The success of bottom-up pressure is widely recognized. The UK Citizen's Charter (or Service First) is a prime example of an effort to mobilize bottom up public pressure for better services. Similarly, the 'participatory budgeting'26 approach adopted by a number of municipalities in Brazil, has also yielded remarkable results in a relatively short period of time, most notably in Porto Alegre, Río Grande do Sul. Both Shah27 and Azfar28 attach the highest priority to mechanisms for citizen voice participation and community empowerment as one of the prerequisites rather than the precipitants of any devolution reform exercise. A study by UNDP29 involving nine countries describes the role of participation in improving service delivery: “Enhanced community and neighborhood participation, if appropriately structured and implemented, are often critical in improving successful local government activities.” Devolution cannot and should not be treated only as increased representation through politicians and improved administration through the bureaucrats. If devolution was limited to the interplay between politicians and bureaucrats, certain aspect of devolution including checks and balances, transparency, accountability, anti-corruption, and protection of citizen's rights, the assumption of responsibilities, and improvements in service delivery would be weakened. Moreover, the creation of a proactive citizenry through participation in community development would not take place. This would impede the construction of grassroots pluralism, a more satisfactory state/citizen interface, and the construction of bottom-up democracy. It is therefore necessary for the achievement of the results and impacts sought by devolution to combine increased political representation and improved public administration with expanding community participation that can lead to community empowerment. This is what has the potential to reduce the deprivation that leads to despair and political alienation, as well as rekindle hope amongst the poor and other largely excluded groups such as women.
Community Empowerment Enabling Environment As far as the State is concerned two key elements among those described by Dr Bartle hold special relevance i.e. intervention that is based on challenges rather than charity, and an enabling political and legal context or environment. The Government of Pakistan recognized that the devolution process will not fulfill its potential without implementation of the enabling environment for citizen participation and community empowerment as contemplated in the LGO 2001, Chapter X, Section 98: “In every local area, groups of non elected citizens may, through voluntary, proactive and self help initiatives, set up any number of Citizen Community Boards. Such Citizen Community Boards shall be setup for the purposes of, inter alia, energizing the community for development and improvement in service delivery, development and management of a new or existing public facility, identification of development or municipal needs, mobilization of stakeholders for community involvement in the improvement and maintenance of facilities, welfare of the handicapped, destitute, widows and families in extreme poverty, establishment of farming, marketing and consumer co-operatives, and reinforcing the capacity of a special Monitoring Committee, at the behest of the concerned Council; provided that grants shall be available subject to the provisions of section 119.”
A Citizen Community Board (CCB) therefore, is a voluntary non-profit organization of at least 25 civic minded, non-elected citizens who seek to energize their communities for the defense of their rights and for improvements in infrastructure and service delivery. They simply need to register as a CCB and abide by a simple set of rules and procedures to undertake voluntary, proactive, self help initiatives for the development of their communities. The CCB may also participate in the activities of local council monitoring committees to improve government performance in their areas. They can also directly formulate and execute community development initiatives and collect voluntary contributions for this purpose. They may also present projects to local councils for support as part of the district-level bottom-up planning process, as Chapter XII Section 119 describes the bottom-up planning and the ownership incentive system: “A local government may grant to the Citizen Community Boards within its local areas up to eighty percent of the budgeted amount of an approved development scheme…” To ensure ownership a CCB must deposit 20% of the amount required for a project from its voluntary contribution funds. Upon approval the local council will finance the remaining 80%. At least 25% of local council development budgets in all three tiers of local government (union, tehsil, district) must be allocated by law to community development projects prioritized by CCBs. If these funds are not spent in a given year(s) they accumulate in cash until they are utilized for their legally intended purpose, as specified in Chapter XII of the LGO 2001, Sections 109: “…not less than twenty-five percent of the development budget shall be set apart for utilization in accordance with the provisions of Section 119…”. This is the first institutionalized, constitutionalized state/citizen interface which allows citizen participation, in interaction with elected local government to generate community empowerment in the history of Pakistan. These provisions are legally binding and may not be amended without presidential approval till the year 2009, according to the 6th Schedule of the Legal Framework Order (LFO) to which the LGO 2001 was added through the Constitution (17th Amendment) Act, passed December 2003. The LFO is a list of: “laws that are not to be altered, repealed or amended without the previous sanction of the President.” Rather than the archetypal donor/NGO approach of erecting parallel structures, this system actively involves government functionaries in what is essentially their job and puts them in touch with the community they serve and vice versa. This system is therefore a unique, worldclass, cutting-edge, homegrown solution to the lack of bottom-up demand for good governance.
Community Participation Implementation Inasmuch as the community empowerment elements of the LGO 2001 are not selfactivating, especially where community participation is not a common practice, the “Devolution Trust for Community Empowerment (DTCE)” was founded as a nongovernmental organization designed to activate the citizen participation potential of devolution. DTCE aims to create a more proactive citizenry through participation in community development that can form the foundation for grass roots democracy and
a moderate, pluralist political culture in Pakistan. The provision of secular solutions to life's problems vastly improves rights, services and relations between citizens and government. This involves the move from patronage politics to a right to development. This is to be accomplished through strengthening community basedorganizations and civil society in general, particularly through the outsourcing of most of the DTCE awareness raising, capacity building, and project management activities to Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). These CSOs are in turn involved in publicprivate sector partnerships with other elements of civil society, for example, Bar Associations and Press Clubs and local governments. This web of relations working for the common objective of a CCB movement builds social capital for development. Over 20,000 CCBs have now been formed in Pakistan through 2005, and some networks and associations are beginning to appear, but the concept of a CCB movement is still incipient. However, it will occur as it forms part of the logic of this type of social organization everywhere, and Pakistan will not be the exception. The DTCE vision is of empowered communities of proactive citizens engaged in self-development with the support of local governments. The DTCE objective is to create a new relationship between the citizen and the state based on shared rights and responsibilities for community development, and activate citizen participation and community empowerment in each of the 6022 unions of Pakistan. The LGO 2001 has given the community access to 25% of all local council development budgets which amount to Rs. 16 billion (US$ 266 million) over the last four years. At current budgeted rates Rs. 4 billion (US$ 66 million) will be added each and every year. This creates a governmental, renewable source of national financing for community based organization. It also decreases civil society's high level of dependency on foreign donor aid. However, two thirds of these funds are at the district level, and a little less than one-third at the Tehsil level, with less than 10% at the level of 6022 unions. For this reason DTCE is priming the community development project pump with grant seed funds at the grassroots union level. In effect the government, the donors, and most importantly the people have pooled financial, technical, and human resources for development that is rights based and people centered. These funds now fuel a system of bottom-up planning that permits regular, renewable, domestic resources to incentivize citizen participation and community development, while maintaining ownership through a democratic approval process.
Community Participation Results The results are clearly apparent on-ground. In the period March, 2004 to June, 2005, the number of CCBs nationally for all districts of Pakistan, grew from 5,836 to 19395, an increase of 232%. In the 95 districts where DTCE has not yet intervened, the number of CCBs rose from 4429 in March 2004 to 11682 as of June 2005 indicating an increase of 164%. In the 13 districts where DTCE has a direct presence, there are a total of 7713 CCBs as of June 2005, as compared to 1407 CCBs in March 2004, indicating an impressive increase of 448%. Additionally, there are 6 districts amongst these where the increase amounts to well over 1000%, with Swabi ranking the top performer, registering an increase of 2406% in the number of CCBs over the same
period under consideration. Compared with the national average increase of 232%, and the aggregate increase of the non-DTCE districts 164%, the 448% increase in the 13 DTCE programme districts is a distinct and outstanding achievement. The value added of the DTCE social capital building approach is confirmed, and the vast potential of its expansion to the universe demonstrated. A veritable social movement of bottom-up demand for greater transparency, accountability and responsiveness to citizen and community demands is a possibility in Pakistan. It is hard to think of anything that could advance democracy more effectively in the country. It, however, is not guaranteed, inasmuch as political uncertainties and lack of donor coordination present constraints and challenges. There are now up to 500,000 households with 3,500,000 family members involved in what is still an incipient CCB movement nationwide. To further investigate the dynamic behind this success DTCE has conducted 2 research surveys in 2005; the first covering 150 CCBs in 5 of the 13 districts which have been activated by DTCE; and the second covering a sample of 297 CCBs in 12 districts with relatively high CCB growth where DTCE has not yet intervened. This qualitative research involved the application of questionnaires which were designed to reveal the actual authenticity of people's participation, level of commitment and activity, and the flow of benefits to the community. The results have shown that in DTCE programme districts the indicators of community empowerment, genuine people's involvement, and the status and number of beneficiaries of development projects is far more positive, as compared to districts where DTCE is not active. In these latter districts, research findings highlight issues such as lack of conceptual clarity, elite capture of the CCBs by public officials, contractor's mafia, and strong patron client relationships. In sum, DTCE programme districts are superior to the national average not only in terms of the 'quantity' but also the 'quality' of the CCB movement.
Devolution and Community Empowerment Opportunities-2005 Devolution in Pakistan has been based on five principles, the 5 “d's”, as previously described. They are devolution of power, decentralization of administrative authority, deconcentration of management functions, diffusion of the power-authority nexus and distribution of resources to the district level. As with all major reforms that imply changes in power structures devolution has met with resistance to change on the part of vested interests and entrenched power structures. The five “ds” of devolution are matched by the 5 'ds' of antidevolution. They are delay, dilute, distort, derail, and destroy. The groups opposing devolution possess important resources and great experience in applying each one of these “ds” to the fullest. The opponents of devolution propose no alternative other than a roll back to the status quo ante. History teaches us that major structural, systemic, and institutional transformations can only take place once in a generation, and it takes a generation to fully reap their benefits. The status quo ante of perennial governance crisis, slow economic growth, and increasing poverty is not an option for Pakistan in a highly competitive 21st century. The future of the country depends on institutional restructuring to roll back systemic, endemic, syndicated corruption and to construct more viable political institutions.
In the four year period 2001-2005, local government in Pakistan was largely consolidated. Contrary to predictions in 2001 that local governments would be too weak to operate in the face of bureaucratic and provincial opposition and that service delivery would collapse the situation in 2004-2005 is quite different. At the end of the first tenure of local governments, the provincial governments have not considered that local governments are too weak but rather that they are too strong with the Chief Ministers seeking more checks and balances over them. The strength of local governments can also be seen by the fact that numerous members of the National Assembly and many more Members of the Provincial Assembly who have aspired to candidacies for Nazim posts at the district level. It is now generally recognized in political circles that Zila Nazim is a powerful and politically meaningful post. A total of 2,66,427 nomination papers have been filed to date in both Phase I and Phase II of the 2005 elections30. When politically powerful local nazims are elected they will fight for fiscal decentralisation and other necessary safeguards for the autonomy of local governments. Already, there are numerous examples of nazims taking initiative, and displaying creative and innovative problem solving abilities, to strengthen their resource base by improving the collection of property taxes to boost the revenue collection of their governments, and reduce their dependence on provincial fiscal transfers. In Tehsil Jaranwala, District Faisalabad, the Tehsil Nazim in collaboration with the 'Strengthening Decentralized Local Government Faisalabad' project funded by DFID, UK, has constructed a comprehensive database of the existing infrastructure, including, for example, the number of water outlets, pipes, drains, connections, joints and other details of sewerage, gas and telephone connections. This database was integrated into a GIS system and used to prepare a master plan of the town. This technology has dramatically increased TMA Own Source Revenue from Rs. 100 million to approximately Rs. 125 million from 2002/3 to 2003/4. As a proportion of total revenues own source increased from 35 per cent to 58 per cent in the same period31. Another example is Tehsil Rawalpindi which increased its revenue generation from Rs. 216 million in 2001 to well over Rs. 617 million in 2004-05, (an increase of almost 186 per cent)32. There are success stories of Nazims leveraging their financial authority to benefit the CCB movement and firmly establish and concretize the autonomy of their governments. The Tehsil Nazim of Chiniot increased the CCB quota of the development budget from the mandatory 25 per cent to 40 per cent, which stimulated growth and sustainability of the CCB movement in that area. There has been a marked increase in the resource generation of the Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) in that Tehsil leading to an increase in both the size of the pie and the percentage available for CCB community development projects. Additionally, these elections have brought an epochal development for mainstreaming women participation in the political process throughout Pakistan. As many as 56,753 nominations have been received by women candidates contesting in the local body elections, which means that 3,634 more women have contested this
year as compared to the last local body elections of 200133. After four years of political training at the local level, the majority of women councilors who have filed their nomination papers for the two-phased polls are now more politically confident than they were 4 years ago34. Even in problematic areas such as the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) where the participation of women has traditionally been weak and suppressed, empowered women have managed to break free of the prevalent fundamentalist stranglehold and take charge of their political destinies. Sixty nomination papers have been filed by women in Timergarah, Lower Dir an area where in the last local body elections only 18 women had filed papers in 34 local councils in, while 196 seats had remained vacant35. Mrs. Nilofer Bakhtiar, the Advisor to the Prime Minister for Social Welfare and Women Development has hailed this achievement as “a great breakthrough for women's empowerment in Pakistan”36. A group of more than 100 women from Nowshera district of NWFP demonstrated on the 22nd of August, 2005 in front of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in the capital, Islamabad, demanding a re-election in their district, where their participation had been effectively banned by powerful local contingents. Two days later, the acting Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) issued a press release declaring the elections held on 18th August, 2005, as “null and void at seven polling stations of Nowshera and Swabi districts where women voters were not allowed to cast their votes.” He further instructed District Police Officers, Nowshera and Swabi districts to initiate legal proceedings against the persons involved “in the aforesaid illegal act of preventing women to cast their votes37.” These developments signal a major inflection in the social and political trends at the grassroots level, culminating in a much more powerful role for the civil society as a mechanism for amplifying citizen voice. As Naeem Mirza, project director with a leading women's rights body, the Aurat Foundation puts it: "For the first time in the country's history, civil society groups, rights activists, media and other bodies have come up with a collective campaign for women electoral rights38.” In today's Pakistan, there is no end to what can be achieved by civil society coming together in the defense of citizen's rights and the amplification of citizen's voice. Civil society facilitation of innovations has also emerged. The Devolution Trust for Community Empowerment (DTCE) is piloting police-community relations seminars for all of the police in a given district, barring none; the sharing of Social Audit feedback information with all of the police; Police-Community Relations Centers with MIS and GIS systems to make transparent police activities and encourage police-community dialogues; Khuli Kuchehris open houses in each Union to give the community the opportunity to raise issues related to the police; and MoUs between Union Council Public Safety Committees and the police thanna that serves the Union on community set objectives for the police that will lead to rewards as performance incentives if they accomplished in a time bound fashion. All these activities are part of a Police Welfare and Community Relations Initiative that DTCE is facilitating. Another initiative is a Local Citizen Information Network (LCIN) to factor into the community empowerment mix the power of information through community public service media for the first time in Pakistan. This is based on the DTCE LCIN discovery of a virtual national television network at the Tehsil level
through local cable television operators with extensive coverage. LCIN Programming is being shown on a pilot basis, various times a day through this low-cost medium with locally relevant governance content in the vernacular. There are also enabling environment opportunities as a result of the 2005 amendments to LGO 2001. The relative autonomy of local governments has been challenged not only in terms of fiscal issues but also by civil service issues that have constituted the overwhelming majority of the tensions between the districts and the provinces. This is because, while the civil servants were placed under the elected local officials in accordance with LGO 2001, they remained provincial service cadre whose postings, transfers, and promotions, are decided by provincial departments. This not only weakened the influence of the nazims but provided a mechanism to disrupt and punish nazims not favorably looked upon at provincial levels39. In order to tide over the bottleneck in the smooth functioning of the local governments, the amended Ordinance, 2005 has given authority to nazims to discipline civil servants and in Section 140A for the creation of a district service: â€œâ€Ś the government shall, in every district, create a District Service comprising all posts of local governments grouped into district and Tehsil cadres, for decentralized local government functions and groups of offices with adequate monetary benefits and incentives for promotion and performance40, no later than 31st December, 2005.â€? The new district civil services will provide a solution to a good part of the tensions between the provinces and the districts. It will take two to three years to fully implement the District Service and Tehsil Municipal Services, but at the end of this period the local governments should be able to determine for themselves the terms and conditions of employment including performance contracts and performance pay. Another element will be the agreement as part of the amendments that there will be a reorganization of the provincial departments to make them more compatible with the office groups headed by Executive District Officers (EDOs) at the district level. This will further facilitate provincial-district relations as the provinces assume their policy, standard setting and inspection roles and discontinue direct service delivery where it persists as the result of vertical programs, some of which are donor driven. By substantively increasing the job satisfaction of the average government functionary, and bringing it closer to his/her counterparts in the private sector, this also has the potential to improve the morale, performance and integrity of local civil servants. This increase will be complimented by an increase in the accountability of their performance through the activation of Monitoring Committees and other public accountability mechanisms envisaged LGO2001 but not fully implemented in the first term of local governments elected under LGO 2001. Monitoring Committees will allow for continuous feedback from the citizens concerning access and quality issues related to rights and local service delivery. There are several community participation aspects of LGO2001 that can also be activated in the second term of local governments to allow another level of effective check and balance mechanisms that can add accountability to information and voice as part of the generation of community empowerment41. These include the District Ombudsman (Zilla Mohtasib),
a union level alternative dispute resolution mechanism; Musalihati Anjuman (Reconciliatory Body); the creation of a Public Prosecutor's Office separate from the police, a measure with the potential to greatly enhance respect for human rights; and multiple auditing mechanisms including Public Accounts Committee at all three levels of local councils. In sum, elected local governments will be strengthened by the political ownership of established political heavyweights and the creation of a district civil service is the most significant civil service reform in Pakistan's history. However, the long-term sustainability of devolution and community empowerment after 2009 when LGO 2001 will no longer enjoy the presidential and constitutional protection of the 6th Schedule and the 17th Amendment will be whether it is politically owned by the people. This is the only thing that can make it irreversible. That, in turn, will depend to a large extent on whether the community empowerment potential of devolution is realized, making local communities largely masters of their own development destinies. This is what can generate a politically owned institutional revival, and the future of Pakistan depends on it.
(Dr Paul Oquist is Senior Governance Advisor for Asia, UNDP & Chief Technical Advisor, Devolution Trust for Community Empowerment (DTCE). The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of UNDP or DTCE). End Notes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.
UNDP, Decentralization: A sampling of definitions, 1999. J. Manor, The Political Economy of Democratic Decentralization, World Bank, 1999. World Development Report 1999-2000 Azfar et al. (2001) Social Development in Pakistan; Annual Review 2004, SPD World Development Indicators, 2004, World Bank Caiden 1991; Kiggundu 1998 Paul Thornton, The SAP Experience of Pakistan, DFID SAP Coordinator Easterly: 2003; Operations Evaluation Department: 2002 Pakistan Integrated Household Survey (PIHS) data Social Policy & Development Centre, Review of SAP, 1997 Dia 1994;19 Kiggindu 1998 Anwar Shah, Balance, accountability and responsiveness: lessons about decentralization, World Bank, 1998 15. Manning et al. 'Devolution in Pakistan - preparing for service delivery improvements', 2003 16. Sindh/Balochistan/North West Frontier/Punjab Local Government Ordinance 2001 17. NARIMS is a powerful information management system designed and executed by NRB for collecting, storing, retrieving, transforming, editing and displaying spatial data from real world for any particular set of purposes. It has to facilitate the Provincial government, District government, Public representatives and the general public as a whole. The NARIMS enhances the following functions: Financial management, Planning and development, Administration, Evaluation, and Performance incentives. 18. NIMAS is a software based system designed by NRB to provide support in monitoring and
19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26.
27. 28. 29.
32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41.
assessing the state of devolution, by accessing timely relevant data from all possible sources by employing all available means. The objective of NIMAS is to help eradicate teething problems faced in the implementation of the devolution process through the retrieval and analysis of information. Federal Bureau of Statistics / Economic Survey Table 4.3, Page 44. Ibid Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), Second and Third Quarter Progress Report, 2005 2001/2 baseline included 57,321 households covering 433,147 people, while the 2004/5 follow-up included 53, 485 households and 421, 107 people Levels of citizen satisfaction rose in 54 out of 89 districts, while 12 districts had increases in citizen satisfaction of over 10% and 5 districts had decreases of over 10%. There were 9 districts where it increased by more than 10% and only 1 district where it decreased by more than 10%. Elements of Community Strength by Phil Bartle, PhD, http://www.scn.org/cmp/modules/mea-ele.htm Participatory Budgeting is a process through which citizens present their demands and priorities for civic improvement, and influence through discussions and negotiations the budget allocations made by their municipalities. Anwar Shah, Balance, accountability and responsiveness: lessons about decentralization, World Bank, 1998 J. Manor, The political economy of democratic decentralization, World Bank 1999 UNDP 2002, The Role of Participation and Partnership in Decentralized Governance: A Brief Synthesis of Policy Lessons and Recommendations of Nine Country Case Studies on Service Delivery for the Poor Election Commission of Pakistan, Press Releases, 21st July and 30th July, 2005. Note: Own source revenues include local taxes, UIPT (Urban Immovable Property Tax, 85 percent), rent, water rates, deposit money, retention money, fines, and user charges, and exclude opening balances. While UIPT is a shared tax, and not strictly OSR, the tax is classified as OSR under the LGO 2001. Other examples of increases in own source income include Mandi Bahaudin 148%, Bhakkar 131%, and Bhawal Nagar 103% and Tehsils the size of Rawalpindi 80% and Sialkot 64%. Source: ADB/DFID/WB Devolved Service Delivery Report Dataset 2from 2002/03 revised estimates and 2003/04 budget estimates. Daniyal Aziz, Pakistan Development Forum, 2005 Election Commission of Pakistan, Press Releases, 21st July and 30th July, 2005. Shehar Bano Khan 'Women councilors in local polls', Dawn, 9th August, 2005 Dawn, 28th July, 2005. 'Women aspirants zeal in LG polls to bolster national development', Pakistan Observer 1st August, 2005 Election Commission of Pakistan, Press Release: 24th August, 2005. 'Women aspirants zeal in LG polls to bolster national development', Pakistan Observer 1st August, 2005 Masood H. Kizilbash, Dawn, 25th July, 2005 Emphasis added. For the last 10 years the devolution and community empowerment literature has stressed that voice by itself falls short of community empowerment and only reaches that threshold when accompanied by mechanisms that make government accountable to communities for the rights and services to which they are entitled. This also implies that the citizens much accept the responsibility of proactive community oversight, thus enhancing citizenship and enriching democracy. In the case of Pakistan this underscores the revolutionary nature of giving the community a quarter of the development budget for its own projects, the importance of the potential role of the CCBs before local government monitoring
committees, the immense value of the five years of guaranteed follow-up of the social audit and the taking of the social audit to the tehsil level through intense district social audits parallel to the national effort which is representative to he district level, as well as the great significance of Union Public Safety Committee/Kuli Kucheris MoUs with the police as part of the DTCE promoted Police Welfare and Community Empowerment Initiative. All of these measures add government accountability to the voice of the citizen. See for example. J. Ackerman, 'Co-Governance for Acountability Beyond Exit and Voice', World Development., (2004) for Brazil, Mexico, U.S. and India; H. Blair, 'Participation and Acountability at the Periphery; Democratic Local Governance in Siz Countries', World Development, (2000) for Bolivia, Honduras, Mali, the Philippines and Ukraine; Richard C. Crook and James Manor, Democracy and Decentralization in South Asia and West Africa: Participation, Accountability and Performance (Cambridge University Press, 1998). J. Fox, 'How Does Civil Society Thicken? The Political Construction of Social Capital in Rural Mexico', World Development, (1996, 6); A. M. Goetz and J. Gaventa, 'Bringing Citizen Voice and Client Focus into Service Delivery', Working Paper 138, IDS, U. of Sussex, which is concerned with identifying means of amplifying citizen voice such at that it is engaged with the State and moves beyond consultative processes to more direct forms of influence over policy and spending decisions; P. Heller, 'Moving the State: The Politics and Democratic Decentralization in Kerala, South Africa, and Porto Alegre', Politics and Society, (2001) which operationalizes democratic decentralization as 'an increase in the scope and depth of subordinate group participation in authoritative resource allocation processes'; C. Johnson, 'Decentralization in India: Poverty, Politics, and Panchayati Raj', Working Paper 1999, Overseas Development Institute (2003); C. Madon and S. Sahay, 'Democracy and Information. The Case of New Local Government Structures in Bangalore', Information, Communication, and Society, (2000); R. Micthinson, 'Devolution in Uganda: An Experiment in Local Service Delivery', Public Administration and Development, (vol. 23) which holds that the rationale for decentralization is that poverty is the overriding problem and the best way to tackle it is by the empowerment of people to provide the services they judge necessary and to decide their own local allocation of resources, all of which depends on the ability and desire of government to provide the local authorities with at least the same levels of resources as the previous service providers (Ed. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT UGANDA IS THE CLASSICAL CASE OF DONOR VERTICAL PROGRAMS UNDERCUTTING DEVOLUTION AND COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT DUE TO THE INABILITY OR UNWILLINGBESS OF KEY DONORS TO FOLLOW GOVERNMENT POLICY AND DECENTRALIZE THEIR PROGRAMS); N. Sundar, 'Is Devolution Democratization', World Development, (2001) which argues that what matters is not the degree of government intervention, more or less devolution, or the degree of social capital among local communities but state accountability, and this can only be ensured through addressing questions of political reform; E. Willis, 'The Politics of Decentralization in Latin America', Latin American Review (1999), that posits that in systems with centralized political parties the central government exercises greater control over resources and uses than countries with decentralized parties , in which subnational politicians exercise strong influence over legislators, and explores this hypothesis through a comparative analysis of decentralization in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico.
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H. Blair, 'Participation and Accountability at the Periphery; Democratic Local Governance l in Six Countries', World Development, 2000. l Gerald Caiden, Administrative Reform Comes of Age, 1991. l Richard C. Crook and James Manor, Democracy and Decentralization in South Asia and West Africa: Participation, Accountability and Performance, 1998. l Dawn newspaper issue, 28th July, 2005. l Mamadou Dia, Civil Service Reform: The African Experience, 1994. l William Easterly, The Cartel of Good Intentions: The Problem of Bureaucracy in Foreign Aid, 2003. l Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Press Releases dated 21st July, 30th July, and 24th August, 2005, www.ecp.gov.pk l Federal Bureau of Statistics, Statistics Division, Government of Pakistan, Basic Education, Pakistan Integrated Household Survey (PIHS) Round IV: 2001 2002 l J. Fox, 'How Does Civil Society Thicken? The Political Construction of Social Capital in Rural Mexico', World Development, 1996. l A. M. Goetz and J. Gaventa, 'Bringing Citizen Voice and Client Focus into Service Delivery', Working Paper 138, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, 2001. l P. Heller, 'Moving the State: The Politics and Democratic Decentralization in Kerala, South Africa, and Porto Alegre', Politics and Society, 2001. l Pedro Jacobi, Challenging Traditional Participation in Brazil: The Goals of Participatory Budgeting, Woodrow Wilson International Center For Scholars, 1999. l C. Johnson, 'Decentralization in India: Poverty, Politics, and Panchayati Raj', Working Paper, Overseas Development Institute, 2003. l Joint UNDP-Government of Germany Evaluation Working Paper of the UNDP Role in Decentralization and Local Governance (1999) Decentralization: A sampling of definitions l Shehar Bano Khan, 'Women councilors in local polls', Dawn newspaper, issue 9th August, 2005 l Moses Kiggundu, Civil service reforms: limping into the twenty-first century, 1998. l C. Madon and S. Sahay, Democracy and Information. The Case of New Local Government Structures in Bangalore, Information, Communication, and Society, 2000. l Manning et al. (2003) Devolution in Pakistan - preparing for service delivery improvements, (1) Nick Manning, World Bank (2) Doug Porter - Asian Development, Bank (3) Jackie Charlton - UK Department for International Development, (4) Musharraf Cyan Asian Development Bank, (5) Zahid Hasnain-World Bank (A working paper prepared for the Forum on Intergovernmental Relations and Service Delivery in Pakistan 27-29 June 2003) l James Manor, The Political Economy of Democratic Decentralization, World Bank, 1999. l R. Mitchinson, 'Devolution in Uganda: An Experiment in Local Service Delivery', Public Administration and Development, vol. 23. l National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB), Government of Pakistan, Devolution Plan 2000, www.nrb.gov.pk l National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB), Government of Pakistan, Local Government Ordinance 2001, www.nrb.gov.pk l National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB), Government of Pakistan, Police Order 2002, www.nrb.gov.pk l Operations Evaluation Department, World Bank Group (2002) 2002 Annual Review of Development Effectiveness (ARDE) - "Achieving Development Outcomes: The Millennium Challengeâ€? l 'Women aspirants' zeal in LG polls to bolster national development', Pakistan Observer, 1st August, 2005 l PRSP Secretariat - Finance Division, Government of Pakistan, (June 2005) Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), Second Quarter Progress Report for the Year 2004-05
PRSP Secretariat - Finance Division, Government of Pakistan, (September 2005) Poverty l Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), Third Quarter Progress Report for the Year 2004-05
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l N. Sundar, 'Is Devolution Democratization', World Development, 2001. l Paul Thornton, (2000) Social Action Program (SAP) Coordinator from 1996-1999 Review of the Social Action Program 2000, Department for International Development (DfID)
l United Nations Development Programme (UNDP, 2002) The Role of Participation and Partnership in Decentralized Governance: A Brief Synthesis of Policy Lessons and Recommendations of Nine Country Case Studies on Service Delivery for the Poor l E. Willis, 'The Politics of Decentralization in Latin America', Latin American Review , 1999. l World Bank Group, (1999/2000) Entering the 21st Century, World Development Report l World Bank (2004) World Development Indicators database: Pakistan Data Profile The author expresses his gratitude to the graduate student Ms. Mehr Latif for her assistance with this bibliography of the relevant literature.
Politics of Indian War Films Saba Naqvi Bhaumik The genre of war films has come full circle in India. Between 2000 and 2005, more war films were released in India than ever before. The unfolding of the peace process and the defeat of the Hindu nationalist party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in elections in May last year had a profound impact on national cinema. No big budget war film is currently on the floors in Bollywood (term used for the Mumbai film industry). Trade analysts now say that Pakistan bashing war films are no longer a safe proposition for producers. Such films are currently out of favour with film financers because of the shift in the national mood since the change of environment in the sub-continent. In her book 'National Identity in Indian popular Cinema' film historian Sumita Chakravarty writes: 'Bombay cinema has responded to India's conflicts with neighbouring states but it has not cashed in on the war genre to the same extent as Hollywood'. There are good reasons for this. One, India is not as brittle a nation as the U.S. that has responded to terrorism with hysteria. In spite of the efforts of the Hindutva brigade to generate nationalist hysterics, India has been able to absorb so called terrorist strikes with a degree of fortitude. In the US, Rambo is a cult figure who some commentators say has had a subliminal influence on George W. Bush's foreign policy. There are no Rambos in India but many Heroes. Indians obviously prefer to see them singing around trees rather than swinging from them in pursuit of the enemy ala Sylvester Stallone. Given the fact that India continues to make the largest number of feature films in the world, the output of war films is quite small. One reason for this is the reluctance of Bollywood producers to finance anything but escapist fare. The war genre requires a gritty realism that Indian film-makers are not comfortable with. How on earth do you introduce six songs and three comic routines in a battlefield? And it's not as if Indian directors haven't tried but the end result has been more absurd than gripping. Frankly, it's just easier to make a romance or comedy with some action sequences thrown in during the climax. Some Indian commentators have argued that there is an 'innate secularism' in the film industry. They cite the huge presence of Muslim actors, directors, writers, lyricists and choreographers in Bollywood as being an important factor. There is no doubt that in recent years some individual stars like Shahrukh Khan have publicly refused to be part of any Pakistan bashing or Muslim bashing project. Yet it cannot be forgotten that the film industry is there to make money and if there is money to be made in jingoistic fare, producers would cash in. The Indian film industry is as secular as money.
The past decade in particular is significant as it successfully explodes the 'secular' myth. The Mumbai film industry produced several films during this era that openly vilified Muslim and Pakistani characters. These films marked a significant break from the earlier genre of war films produced in the 1960s and 1970s. That era saw the release of classics such as Haqeeqat and Hum Dono that carried a message of peace even though they were gritty depictions of military conflict. But the films of the last decade sprung from the hyper-jingoistic Hindu-centric ideology of Hindutva. Some of these films may not actually have been about war but they were about India's engagement with Pakistan. In the age of some of the worst communal riots in India, it is no coincidence that Muslim characters were usually traitors and villains in these films. The juxtaposition of Muslim-terrorist-Pakistanis was crudely done. Since popular culture is now accepted as an indicator of public mood and Hindi cinema considered the most powerful vehicle of mass media in India, it is worth deconstructing some of these films and analysing their success or failure in recent years. The mother of war films is undoubtedly Gadar (chaos) released in 2001 soon after the Kargil war. This was a film that quickly went down in the record books as one of the biggest hits ever delivered by the Mumbai film industry. The national mood at the time of its release certainly had a role to play in its success Gadar played on the subliminal communal emotions and the heightened climate of hate post-Kargil. This film did not even put up a faรงade of secularism or tolerance. It did not hesitate to depict every Muslim character, Indian and Pakistani, as fundamentally flawed. It is no coincidence that such a film broke all records at a time when the BJP's popularity was at its height. The Hindu right's ideology was being blatantly propagated, the Kargil war had taken place a year ago, the media was being encouraged to play up every terrorist strike, and India-Pakistan relations were completely frozen. Enter the Sikh hero played by actor Sunny Deol (veteran actor Dharmendra's son) in Gadar. The tone for the film is set in the opening sequences of the Partition. A train-load of corpses arrives from Pakistan. On the train it is written in blood: 'Hinduon, hamse kaatna sikho (Hindus learn to kill from us)'. Once it is established that Muslims are butchers, the plot moves on. A Muslim girl is left behind as her family flees to Pakistan. The Sikh truck driver protects her, they fall in love, marry, settle in a village in India's Punjab and have a son. Then some years later the girl gets news of her family in Pakistan and goes for a visit. Her parents imprison her and try to get her remarried. The hero then goes on a mission to destroy the very state of Pakistan. Not only does he single-handedly take on all Pakistanis--who are all depicted as caricatures of bearded mullahs, our hero also delivers long lectures on the fundamental superiority of 'Hindu' India. 'You Pakistanis would have had nothing if Gandhiji had not insisted that we release your gold reserves,' he thunders at a thousand Pakistanis who seem unable to stop the rampage of one man. And when the hero declares: 'Pakistan, Hindustan tera baap hai (Oh Pakistan, India is your father)' there were catcalls and whistles in cinema halls across India. Every Muslim and Pakistani character in the film is depicted as evil and treacherous. The sole exception
is the heroine, but then she soon learns to hate Pakistan and love India. A well-known Indian psychologist has described commercial Bollywood cinema as 'a collective fantasy' as opposed to an individual fantasy. In a paper titled 'The Ties That Bind', psychologist Sudhir Kakar writes: 'Cinema is a prism that reflects dominant psychological concerns, especially the hidden unconscious concerns of millions. Thus I approach Hindi cinema as a collective fantasy, a group daydream in which the balance between imagination and reality, the inter-mixture of fantasy and experience, is complex. Popular films address the hidden wishes of a vast number of people.' In the case of Gadar, the film crudely plays on subliminal communal stereotypes perpetuated by propagandists of the Hindu right. After the 2001 success of Gadar, more war films were released in the following three years than in the entire history of Bombay cinema. The same year saw the release of Maan Tujhe Salaam (Mother I salute thee) also starring Sunny Deol. The unabashed Pakistan bashing action film was a flop. In 2003 Hero was released by the producers of Gadar. Predictably about Pakistan-backed terrorism, the film did average business as an action flick. Post Gadar, several B-grade production houses also jumped into the fray making tacky films in which kohl eyed atankwadis (terrorists) wearing patently false beards always get their comeuppance at the hand of the Indian. Most such films sank without a trace. But the real shock message was delivered when the very expensively mounted LOC, with a mile long star cast, did not even get a decent opening in 2004. The result was that many war films were quickly shelved by the formula obsessed industry. The last ditch effort by the Gadar team was Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Sathiyon (Now the nation is in your hands, brothers) released in December 2004. The multi-starreer included the likes of Amitabh Bachchan. Yet it flopped. There is however an interesting anecdote attached to the film. One of its stars, Akshay Kumar, threatened to walk out of the film if he was made to mouth strong anti-Pakistan dialogues. He said publicly: 'I have fans in Pakistan. Why should I incite hatred against them.' Yet given the response to the film, the audience was clearly bored with Pakistan-bashing. While nationalism can never really go out of fashion, unbridled jingoism that targets the 'other' appears to have become passĂŠ about a year ago. The only war film to do average business after the change of regime in New Delhi last year was Lakshya (Goal). Directed by Farhan Akhtar, the son of scriptwriter and lyricist Javed Akhtar, the film is about war but not about the enemy. The beautifully framed film shot in Ladakh is about the transformation of a young boy who joins the army on a whim. As war breaks out the care-free youth becomes a motivated man. The film seems more inspired by Hollywood hits about military conflict marking the rite of passage from boyhood to manhood. The boy does fight Pakistani soldiers but the enemy is never denigrated. This film is not about the good Indians versus the bad Pakistanis. The worst that can be said about the film that did average business in urban multiplexes is that it did not have the big emotions that are the necessary ingredients of a successful Bollywood potboiler. It earned a review in Time magazine but did not really click in the Indian hinterland.
Meanwhile, the big message from the film industry last year was that it is peace not war that is striking a chord with the Indian audience. The last offering from Bollywood touching the India-Pakistan theme was Veer-Zaara that turned out to be one of the biggest commercial hits of 2004-2005. Briefly, the plot is about Veer Pratap Singh, an Indian army man who falls madly in love with Pakistani Zaara Hayat Khan. Naturally, the cross-border romance is jinxed. It takes 22 years, and 10 songs for the now middle-aged Veer and Zaara to be united. What is noteworthy about the film is the depiction of the Pakistani characters. Director Yash Chopra has steadfastly refused to succumb to the temptation of stereotyping Pakistanis as the evil 'other'. Embedded in the film are symbols about the essential unity of people on both sides of the border. At its heart Veer-Zaara is a film about the unity of the Punjab. And the film would not have been possible without the commitment of Shahrukh Khan, clearly the biggest star in India today, and Yash Chopra, the doyen of Bollywood and the grandfather of treacle-sweet romance. Shahrukh has said in several interviews that he would never be part of a Pakistan-bashing film. 'We have so many problems in India. Why go bashing someone else. Inshallah, I want to make films that generate positive emotions -- films that my children can see when they are older.' This consciousness was visible in Shahrukh's home production, Main Hoon Na, another hit film released earlier this year in which he plays Major Ram who lands up in a college campus to subvert the plans of a band of terrorists. In an unusual twist the leader of the terrorists is a Hindu named Raghavan whose main aim is to sabotage Operation Milap, a step of friendship between India-Pakistan, which involves the exchange of prisoners. Raghavan is shown as an ex-military man who is thrown out of the Indian army because he massacres innocent Pakistani villagers who stray across the border. Yash Chopra, who has lived through the Partition, recently said in an interview to Outlook magazine: 'There can be no feasible relationship between the two countries except friendship. We are basically one people. And though cinema cannot solve political problems it can create a favourable atmosphere.' In 1961 Chopra had made Dharamputra about a Muslim child raised in a Hindu home. After four decades he delivered Veer-Zaara, at a time when people in both nations are inclined towards peace. Film-makers like Yash Chopra are not driven by the need to bring about a social change but by the very reasonable goal of making lots of money. He remains one of the top producer-directors in India because of an uncanny knack for sensing the public mood. With Veer-Zaara he has hit the bulls-eye and also shown other filmmakers that it is eminently possible to make a film about Pakistanis without depicting them as evil incarnate. Moreover, unlike other peacenik films, there is no effort in Veer-Zaara to assert any moral superiority of the Indians. The journey from Gadar to Veer-Zaara is significant. Has India rediscovered its secular soul in a span of a few years? After a dramatic rise, the forces of Hindutva are now clearly in decline. Hate, bigotry and war are currently out of fashion. Yet given the sub-continent's troubled history, the cycle of hate can always be restarted.
As India travelled full circle with Hindu nationalism, other films on war and conflict were also released. One of the most significant was Border, a paean to the Indian military that did reasonable business in the late 1990s. But when the same director returned with the much-hyped LOC a year ago, the mega-starrer sank without a trace. Hurling abuse at the neighbour is no longer evoking applause; it is often being met with repulsion. Indeed the war films that are even today remembered as classics were made in the 1960s. The most significant is Haqeeqat (Reality) made in 1964, directed by Chetan Anand with a moving performance by Balraj Sahni, both left leaning and socially conscious individuals. Haqeeqat explains why India was so unprepared for the border attack by China in 1962 and why it lost the war. Nehruvian ideals of nonalignment and pacifism are extolled in the film. Dedicated to Pandit Nehru, the film depicts the value of humanism and sacrifice in the midst of war. The plot is largely about a small platoon of Indian soldiers presumed dead but rescued by Kashmiri gypsies and by Captain Bahadur Singh (a young Dharmendra) and his girlfriend. The two die keeping the Chinese at bay though their comrades are saved. The film also deals with political issues, such as the split in the Communist Party of India, between the Beijing and Moscow aligned groups, after the Chinese aggression. A soldier is shown spearing Mao's Little Red Book. The commanding officer (Sahni) denounces the Chinese to documentary footage of Chou En-Lai landing in Delhi and being given a guard of honour. A beautiful song written by poet Kaifi Azmi plays over documentary footage of Pandit Nehru addressing troops on the Republic Day parade, when we honour the acceptance of the Indian Constitution three years after independence. The words of the song are remembered by most Indians: 'kar chalen hum fida jaan-o-tan saathiyon/ ab tumhare hawale watan saathiyon (Now that I have sacrificed my life, brother/ the nation is in your hands, brothers)'. Haqeeqat evokes strong nationalistic sentiment among Indians without inciting hatred for the enemy. It has the innocence and idealism of the Nehruvian era when it would have been difficult to conceive that a hate-filled film like Gadar could even be made. Every film historian agrees that Haqeeqat remains the defining war classic produced by the Hindi film industry. War is also the stage for another classic from the 1960s, Hum Dono (Two of Us) made in 1961 starring the evergreen Dev Anand in a double role. The war this time is the World War II when India as a British colony had to fight with the allies. Issues of colonialism are not really explored in the film but war is the catalyst for creating moral and spiritual crisis. War becomes an occasion for performing one's duty and dharma and in that sense it is about the transformation of a young man. But Hum Dono is also a classic tale of love in the times of war. The two women cast opposite the two Dev Anands sing bhajans (devotional songs) while tearfully waiting for the men to return. It helps that one of these bhajans remains a timeless classic and a symbol of Hindu-Muslim fusion in popular cinema. Written by Sahir Ludhianvi and put to music by Jaidev the song is beautifully rendered by Lata Mangeshkar: 'Allah
tero naam/ Ishwar tero naam' (Allah, in your name/ Ishwar, in your name) Indeed today many remember Hum Dono for its beautiful tunes and lyrics instead of the war theme. While Hum Dono remains a loved film even today, Manoj Kumar's Upkar (Good Deed) made in 1967 is more significant in its treatment of war and the soldier. Kumar cast himself as Bharat, the good Indian versus the bad westernised brother. Bharat is a farmer who surrenders all his property to join the army. The setting is the 1965 war with Pakistan but our hero is not under so much threat from the Pakistanis but from the villainous Indians who follow him to the battlefield to wreak revenge. It is a composite character named Malang Baba, drawn from the tradition of Bhakti-Sufi saints, who saves him. Still, there is a great deal of nationalistic fervour in the film -- it creates the Jai Jawan Jai Kisan (hail the soldier/hail the farmer) slogan. The film's nationalism is encapsulated in its theme song that remains popular today 'mere desh ki dharti sona ugle (the earth of my motherland produces gold). Another film often described as a war classic is Saat Hindustani or Seven Indians (1969). It is also important in cinema history for being one of the first films in which Amitabh Bachchan got a significant role. The stage is the Goa liberation struggle against the Portuguese. Six men from different parts of India join Maria, a native of Goa to take on the Portuguese colonisers. In the process they forget their regional and religious differences and find unity in the new nationalistic credo. Saat Hindustani has been described as a non-violent variation of Hollywood's Dirty Dozen (1967). Yet it is a very Indian saga, once again a film made by the idealist K.A. Abbas with lyrics by Kaifi Azmi. There is an innocence in this film whose makers clearly believe that they must impart some idealism to their work. The moral message is that Indians must overcome differences of language, region, caste and religion in order to build the nation. It is no coincidence that all the films described as war classics were made in the 1960s. In fact in 1973 came Zanjeer, the first film to cast Amitabh Bachchan as the angry young man, which changed the language and idiom of mainstream cinema. As more and more Indians moved from villages to urban slums, the outsider as the angry young man was born. In subsequent films like Deewar, Muqaddar ka Siqandar, Amar Akbar Anthony, the character of Bachchan as the angry young man was more finely honed. He fought his lonely battles against an unjust society, often becoming a vigilante for justice or else the head of the underworld, the ultimate tough guy. The old morality and idealism of the 1950s and 1960s were forgotten. Because society would not give this man his due he would snatch it. After the creation of Bangladesh in 1971, the war genre soon became passĂŠ for an Indian audience. But there was a war of sorts on celluloid -- it was urban warfare. The chaos of booming cities, crowded slums was the stage for the Bachchan starrers. Village life was now rarely depicted except perhaps for a song sequence or a visit to the all-suffering mother. The battleground was the new emerging urban India. The exception perhaps is Sholay (1975), Bollywood's most popular film to date, patterned on a curry western. But the two principal protagonists of the film played by Bachchan
and Dharmendra are big city crooks who land in a village to hunt down a dacoit. The urban jungle and gang wars would be the stuff of Bollywood right though the 1980s as Bachchan became a colossus who single-handedly insured a film's success. The new stars like Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan began to emerge in the 1990s with candy-floss romances devoid of any social context that appealed to a newly prosperous urban audience after the opening up of the Indian economy. But this was also the decade when the Babri mosque would be demolished on December 6, 1992, culminating in horrific communal riots in Mumbai and other parts of India. The rise of the BJP also placed its own pressures on the film industry. The pandora's box of caste opened by the release of the Mandal Commission report and the subsequent rise of low caste politicians and parties was too complex an issue for the black and white reality depicted in commercial Hindi films. Bollywood responded to the rise of Hindu nationalism in its own way. There were some films about the Mumbai riots of 1993. The most popular at the box-office was Krantiveer (Revolutionary Brother) released the next year in 1994, not a particularly well made film that was elevated to cult level by the riveting performance of actor Nana Patekar. The setting is the riots and Nana basically delivers a long and moving sermon blaming politicians for creating boundaries that lead to so much bloodshed. I recall audiences standing and clapping at the film's climax. Nana Patekar deservedly picked up the best actor award for his performance. Award winning director Mani Ratnam released Bombay in 1995, two years after the riots. Although technically flawless, the film's treatment of communalism was controversial. A Muslim girl falls in love with a Hindu, marries him and they move to Bombay. Then the riots take place and their twin sons are lost. The film was attacked by some critics for misrepresenting facts to blame Muslims for starting the riots. (it is a recorded fact that Muslims were systematically targeted by the Shiv Sena). There was further controversy when Mani Ratnam released the film in Bombay only after getting a 'clearance' from Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray. Even more problematic was the fact that at a time when Hindu communalism was on the rise the film equated the 'voice of reason' with the majority community. Overtly all such films lay claim to spreading the message of communal harmony. But often it is the more slickly made films aiming to be consciously secular that have been problematic in recent years. Take the 1999 release Sarfarosh. On the surface it is a finely crafted film made by a young director with Amir Khan turning in a memorable performance as Assistant Commissioner of Police Ajay Singh Rathod who is fighting domestic terrorism. His most reliable cop is a Muslim who is tormented by the fact that his patriotism is often questioned. While the Indian Muslim dilemma is sensitively handled, the villain turns out to be a Pakistani Urdu poet and ghazal singer played by the award winning actor Naseeruddin Shah. In presenting all Pakistanis as uniformly bad, the film unfortunately attacks the kind of individual who has become a symbol of people-to-people contact between the two nations. Director Vidhu Vinod Chopra also made Mission Kashmir (2000) with all
good intentions. But in his anxiety to show that an Indian Muslim police officer can be more patriotic than his Hindu counter-part, he loses the plot as far as the complexities of Kashmir are concerned. Both Sarfarosh and Mission Kashmir simplify issuesthe baddies are always from 'kareeb ka mulk' (neighbouring country) who have misled some Indians. The big movie moguls also responded to the Hindutva era by making many feel-good 'model Hindu' family dramas. Since the escapist Hindi film industry prefers to avoid tricky issues, an alternate genre was developed to extol nationalism and India. This was done through the home-coming of the non-resident Indian (NRI). Two of the biggest block-busters of the 1990s were Pardes (Foreign lands) and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (The big-hearted shall take the Bride), both Shahrukh Khan starrers about an NRI rediscovering the many splendours of India. Indeed it is worth listing some of the hit films of the 1990s to drive home the point about how apolitical the film industry has become -- Kabhi Khushi Khabhi Gham (Sometimes happy Sometimes sad), a Bachchah-Shahrukh starrer about a family saga that takes place in both India and the United Kingdom; Devdas, a period tragedy based on a Bengali novel where the hero Shahrukh literally drinks himself to death. The biggest hit ever delivered by Salman Khan is Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (Who am I to you), a song and dance drama about a family wedding. Similarly Aamir Khan's biggest commercial and artistic success has been Lagaan, (the Tax) a period film about a group of villagers who learn the game of cricket and defeat their colonial British masters. An hour long cricket match is the highlight of the film. Yet in spite of the overall escapist nature of the Indian film industry, issues of nationhood do get reflected in popular cinema. And the state of relations between India and Pakistan inevitably impacts mainstream cinema. If the mood is hostile, films propagating war and denigrating Muslims get made. If the national mood changes to one of peace, and if people to people contact increases, such films fail to find receptive audiences and are not produced (current scenario).
(Saba Naqvi Bhaumik is the Bureau Chief of Outlook, one of India's leading weekly newsmagazines. She has written extensively on the rise of Hindu nationalism, national politics, and issues of caste and religion in the Hindi heartland). Bibliography Sudhir Kakar, 'The Ties that Bind: Family Relationships in the Mythology of Hindi l Cinema', India International Centre Quarterly, Special Issue, vol. 8, Number 1, March 1980. l Ashis Nandy, 'The Popular Hindi Film: Ideology and First Principles', Indian Popular Cinema, Myth Meaning and Metaphor, IIC quarterly 1980. l Sumita S. Chakravarty, National Identity in Indian Popular Cinema, (Oxford University Press, 1998). l Ashis Nandy, The Secret Politics of our Desires: Innocence, Culpability and Indian Popular Cinema, (Oxford University Press, 1998). l Fareeduddin Kazmi, How Angry is the Angry Young Man? Published in The Secret Politics
of our Desires, (OUP, 1998).
l Ashish Rajadhyaksha and Paul Willemen, Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema, (Oxford University Press, 1995).
l Namrata Joshi, 'Love Hurts Love Bites: Veer-Zaara and Love in the times of Indo-Pak Amity', Outlook, December 6, 2004.
Indian Punjab: Social Regulation of Rice Production Rupinder Kaur
Introduction China and India produce about 55 per cent of the total crop. In 1999-2000, nearly 45 million hectares of gross cropped area (GCA) in India was under rice cultivation. This constitutes more than one-fourth of the total GCA and 36.5 per cent of the GCA under food-grains. The estimated production of rice in 1999-2000 was around 90 million tonnes. The area under rice cultivation in India is nearly 29 per cent of the total area under rice in the world. However, due to its lower yield per hectare, India's share in world production is around 22 per cent. There has been a sizeable increase in the proportion of the cultivated area under rice in Punjab during the last three decades -from little over 6 per cent in 1960s to over 31 per cent in the 1990s. Rice production in India has increased at the rate of 2.73 per cent per annum since the early 1950s, which is a little higher than population growth. During the same period, output in Punjab has been increasing at a much higher rate of around 12 per cent per annum. A large part of this expansion in the state is due to area increase, but contribution of yield growth is also substantial; nearly 4 per cent per annum, highest among the states. However, in the 1990s yields were almost stagnant. With a low consumption of just 10 Kg per head per annum the state has the largest surplus over consumption and contributes nearly 40 per cent to the central procurement of rice for Public Distribution System. The focus of this paper is on social regulation of production relations in Indian Punjab where rice production has increased very rapidly during the last three decades. The sources of data include both primary survey of rice processing units from Punjab and secondary information available on the subject. Both quantitative and qualitative information (for the period 2001-02) has been collected from 50 processing units in year 2002-03. This paper also draws upon conversations with people associated with rice cultivation, processing and trade and with some of the officials of the government agencies engaged in food-grains trade, processing, storage and distribution to extract information about the actual working of the system. Farmers' leaders were also contacted to get information about the working of the grain markets. Based on these facts, this paper proposes a system of social regulation in rice cultivation and processing in Punjab.
Conditions of Production and Market Access In Punjab, as in other parts of India, land distribution is unequal. However, due to the higher average size of operational holdings (3.61 hectares in 1990-91 compared to 1.55 for India as a whole) nearly three-quarters of Punjab's farmers cultivate more than 1
hectare of land. The proportion of farmers cultivating more than 4 hectares is around 30 per cent. Farmers with less than one hectare land cultivate only 4 per cent of the land area and nearly two-thirds is farmed by those operating above 4 hectares. Moreover, 96 per cent of the gross cropped area is irrigated. The level of mechanisation of agriculture is high in the state. With a little over 1 million operational holdings, there are nearly 0.9 million tube-wells and about 0.4 million tractors. Interestingly, inequality in holding size is marked by caste: cultivators from all size classes largely belong to the one caste, jats. However, nearly half the labour in crop production in the state is hired. In rice cultivation especially, migrant labour from Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, which is experienced in rice cultivation, plays an important role. In fact, the continuous flow of migrant labour in the years of rapid agricultural growth of the 1970s and early 1980s kept wages in check, thus helping the rich farmers in their accumulation of agrarian wealth. A study shows that the annual income of the average cultivator in Punjab has risen from approximately two times to four times that of casual agricultural labourer between 1970-71 to 1987-88 . Another important factor contributing to the growth of rice cultivation in the state is the completion in 1975-76 of rural electrification. This was an effective precondition for the installation of tubewells. Diesel engine tube wells are costlier than electric motors as prime-movers. Tube wells, in turn, are a necessity for paddy cultivation in the state, which receives scanty rainfall. Decline in agricultural electricity charges relative to the average electricity charges from almost equal in 1980-81 to just around 16 per cent of the latter in 1990-91 in the state and since 199798 provision of free electricity for tube-wells has further boosted rice cultivation 1. More or less assured market for the crop is another incentive for rice production. Punjab, a relatively small state in the Indian Union with little over 12,000 villages, is well provided with market infrastructure having 663 regular market sites (Rangi and Sidhu, 1998). In addition, the Punjab Marketing Board establishes temporary procurement (purchase) centres during the peak marketing season. In 2002, the total number of market places/purchase centres established for paddy procurement was 1661. Government procurement agencies2 operate in these market places and temporary procurement centres. No farmer needs to travel more than 10 km to sell paddy. Moreover, all-weather metalled roads connect all the villages in the state. Since 1973-74, uniform support/procurement prices for paddy have been announced for the country as a whole, abandoning the earlier practice of fixing separate prices in each state on the basis of their average farm harvest prices during peak marketing months. Under that earlier system, prices in each state had reflected the demand and supply conditions in each state thus benefiting the producers in deficit states. With the introduction of the practice of uniform support/procurement prices the highest benefits accrue to the producers of surplus states like Punjab.
Rice Processing, Trade Associations and Food Bureaucracy The production of paddy in Punjab increased ten-fold since 1970-71; from 1.3 million
tonnes in 1970-71 to 13 million tonnes in 1999-2000. Rice processing being a weight losing industry, its location is often determined by the location of paddy production. Thus it is reasonable to expect that along with fast increase in paddy production the number of rice mills would also increase rapidly. However, official data about the number of rice mills has not been published since the early 1960s as rice is classified under the category 'all food products'. Information compiled from the Directorate of Industries, Punjab for some years since 1991 shows a steady growth in the number of rice mills during the period. From 1562 rice mills in 1991 the number has increased to 2130 (as on 31 March 2002) in Punjab, an increase of 36 per cent. In fact, the growth is higher since the mid-1990s. Comparing the two periods -- 1991-1995 and 19952002 -- the simple average annual growth of 3.05 per cent in the number of mills in the latter period is higher than the 1.75 per cent in the earlier period. Trade liberalization measures, including deregulation of inter-state movement of food grains, abolition of stock holding limit, removal of restrictions on exports of non-basmati rice and the abolition of minimum export price in case of basmati rice introduced in the rice sector may be one of the reasons. Along with permission to export non-basmati rice, high international rice prices, during 1995-98 period, also contributed to this growth. However, earning of super profits by mill owners in Punjab by manipulating the elaborate system of state regulation of custom milling to their best advantage using fraudulent practices, seems to be the most important reason behind growth. The employers' associations play an important role in fixing of (piece rate) wages and other contractual terms with workers and transportation charges with the association of transporters. However, it is widely believed that they are most active in lobbying for benefits from the state and in putting the system in place to evade rules. These associations work at three different levels; central, state and district/local level. Government agencies occupy an important position in the commodity chain (as purchasers of paddy from farmers and of levy rice from mills, as suppliers of rice to exporters, and distributors of rice through the Public Distribution System to consumers) especially in the state of Punjab. Networking with the government brings significant gains to the members of these associations. Associations are also active in lobbying on labour related issues: for example, the need to have greater flexibility in the labour market, easier retrenching, withdrawal of rice milling industry from the Employees Provident Fund scheme, exemption from Employees' State Insurance Scheme in the case of casual workers (e.g., see Rice India, January 1998, October 2001). They have also lobbied on matters related to the official specifications of rice fixed by the Food Corporation of India (FCI). A major share of the paddy in Punjab is purchased by the state agencies, which get it custom milled from the private rice mills. Networking and lobbying thus becomes crucial at the state and the district level to scuttle rules related to custom milling compliance which raises costs. At each stage, starting from the allotment of a mill to a particular agency, to the delivery of rice and receipt of payment, mill owners bribe the staff of the agencies and in return invariably deliver to the FCI rice of more inferior quality than specified. The codification of bribe rates for each stage in the process is an important task performed by these associations.
Corruption in such dealings is not a new phenomenon. Nevertheless, its scale has increased considerably. Recent unearthing of scandals in the industry amounting
When work is available, each worker earn between Rs. 80 and 90 in a typical working day of 10 to 12 hours. According to the Minimum Wages Act, which is applicable to casual labour, piece rate payments should be decided in such a way that a worker should be able to earn at least the minimum wage, presently Rs. 85, with 8 hours of work. Workers are entitled to Provident Fund but do not get this benefit. (Actually, even those workers employed for a full season are denied this facility because P.F. account in the bank becomes a proof of employment, which mill owners try to avoid). These migrant workers work for 6 to 8 months in rice processing units and after meeting expenses of food etc., each save around Rs. 8 to 9,000. Mill owners provide first aid in case of small injuries or medical aid for the first few days in the event of a serious accident. No other protection is available. Cultural ties among migrant workers results in a strong solidarity and they help each other, especially in an emergency. But this solidarity does not empower them for collective bargaining. Lower wages, extreme poverty and deteriorating job opportunities in their native places makes them wary of any action that might jeopardize their employment. Political parties are also not interested in helping these temporary migrants, who are not 'voters'. Labour department officials also find it more 'lucrative' to align with (local) employers rather than supporting 'outsiders'. In fact, this availability of migratory labour in abundance increases the bargaining power of employers' vis-Ă -vis local labour. Advocates of flexibilisation of labour, in academia and among policy makers, in India, are arguing for legalizing this labour flexibility under the pretext of labour reforms. It is claimed that flexibilisation of labour will lead to economic growth and creation of more jobs. Labour rigidity in terms of strong unions and protective labour legislation is blamed for poor economic performance. A Government of India document on medium term export strategy insists that to give a boost to exports through foreign investment infusion, labour policies have to be made more flexible. In fact, world over, the ideology of neo-liberalism, in its drive towards globalisation, has portrayed its policy of free market as one where capital is no longer restrained by government. It has sought to free capital from any social and public restraints, while at the same time removing social protection for labour rights. In the ongoing struggle between capital and labour, for the division of social product, latter is losing ground to the former.
Conclusion It emerges from the above analysis that rich Punjabi farmers have made immense gains in rice cultivation. Guided by the objective of self-sufficiency in foodgrains, state support has played an important role in the fast expansion of rice cultivation in Punjab since the early 1970s. Demand for rice has very little impact on the price of paddy. The Minimum Support Price (MSP) is fixed through bargaining between farmers lobbies (supported by the governments of rice-surplus states) and the Central Government. At times, this process is conducted with little regard for the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). Relatively weak coalition governments in the Centre since 1996 have been more amenable to the pressure for high prices exerted by surplus states. Farmers in Punjab normally sell paddy at the official MSP and around 40 per cent of the total rice
procured by the FCI is from the state. Experience of the last couple of years shows that market prices of paddy in the states where government purchases are negligible are 10-20 per cent lower than the MSP. The second group, which has gained a great deal, is rice mill owners. The government, being an important player in the rice chain, is actively lobbied at all levels by trade associations to secure (undue) advantages. A large part of the paddy, purchased by government agencies, is custom milled by the private mills. The private sector rice mills, in collaboration with the food bureaucracy and politicians, are defrauding the public distribution system. Workers gain the least in the industry. A large majority of them are employed in the rice mills processing for the government agencies. A few among them get PF entitlements but no other service benefits. In fact, some are even denied minimum wages. Weak bargaining position and vulnerability of the workers restrain them from forming unions. Casual workers employed through contractors earn daily minimum wages in 10-12 hours work. But most of these estimated 143 thousand workers employed in the sector, despite all odds, are able to earn the income, which brings them out of extreme poverty. This flexible supply of contractual labour absolves the mill owners from any liability, while they exert strong control over labour.
(Rupinder Kaur is an Economist, National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), New Delhi. The responsibility for opinions expressed in the paper rests solely with the author. The author is extremely grateful to Dr. Barbara HarrissWhite for her very useful comments on an earlier version of the paper). End Notes 1. 2.
3. 4. 5.
Since October 2002, some minimal fixed electricity charges have been re-introduced. But farmers' organizations are resisting this change. These include Punjab Food and Supplies Department, Markfed (Punjab State Co-operative Supply & Marketing Federation), Punsup (Punjab State Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd.), Punjab State Warehousing Corporation, Punjab Agro Industries Corporation and Food Corporation of India (FCI). See for example Punjabi Tribune, 17 January, 5 February, and 15 August 2003. Out of the 2,130 rice mills in Punjab in the year 2002 only 10 were in the co-operative sector, rest all private. There were around 40 basmati rice processing mills in Punjab.
Bibliography l G. S. Bhalla and Gurmail Singh, Indian Agriculture, Four Decades of Development, (New Delhi: Sage Publication, 2001).
l Govt. of India, (1998) Agricultural Statistics at Glance, New Delhi. l Govt. of Punjab, Statistical Abstract of Punjab, Chandigarh, for the years 1984,1999, 2000 and 2002.
Lower wages and refusal to give workers' their entitlements are not the result of competitive pressures because most mill owners in Punjab earn high profits. Labour is already flexible, long before the introduction of labour reforms permitting employers to adjust the numbers as per their requirements. In the mid-1960s, the Food Corporation of India was created to protect the interests of both farmers and consumers. In a situation of persistent food shortages and lack of competitive markets private foodgrains traders were fleecing the small farmers and consumers by lowering the prices during the harvest time and raising them in the post-harvest period. Food security was another issue. These issues are important even today. A vast majority of Indian farmers are poor, unable to withhold supplies, and rural markets in most areas are still manipulated. Widespread poverty also made it imperative for the state to protect the consumers. Though better monsoons during the decade of 1990s (along with poverty of the consumers) has resulted in huge food stocks yet the drastic fall in foodgrains out put last year from 212 million tonnes in 2001-02 to 183 million tonnes in 2002-03 is a reminder that food security is still a vital issue. However, the unholy alliance of food bureaucracy with mill owners is swindling the public money. Losses incurred by the government agencies are discrediting the public distribution system and strengthening the hands of those favouring privatisation of food-grain trade.
l Barbara Harriss-White, India Working: Essays on Society and Economy, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003).
l R. Munck, Globalisation and Labour; the new 'Great Transformation', (London: Zed books Ltd, 2002).
l M. Raghavan, 'Some aspects of growth and distribution of rice in India', Social Scientist, 27(5&6), May-June, 1999, pp.62-85.
l P.S. Rangi and M. S. Sidhu, 'Role of Punjab Mandi Board in Marketing Development', Indian Journal of Agricultural Marketing,12 (3), 1998, pp.1-20.
l A. J. Singh (et.al.), 'A Study into the Economics of farming in the Punjab', Department of Economics and Sociology, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, 1993.
l A. J. Singh, 'Capital formation in Indian Agriculture with Special Reference to Punjab', Paper presented in a seminar on Agricultural Policies and Perspectives in the Northwestern Region of India, held at the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, 1993. l H. Singh, Green Revolutions Reconsidered: The Rural World of Contemporary Punjab, New Delhi: OUP, 2001). l K. Singh and S. Kalra, 'Rice Production in Punjab: Systems, Varietal Diversity, Growth and Sustainability', Economic and Political Weekly, 2002 vol.XXXVII, No. 30. pp.3139-3148.
Does the complete privatisation of foodgrains trade a solution? What would be its implications in terms of distributional consequences? Is it possible to work out some institutional mechanism to improve the efficiency of public sector agencies? These are issues not yet settled and belief that market is panacea of all ills is unfounded.
EU-India Relations at the WTO Shazia Aziz Introduction Summit level talks between the European Union (EU) and India have taken place every year since 2000 and this Summit is preceded by the EU-India Business Summit. These developments have given a new impetus to the EU-India relations, which had first begun in 1963 when India set up diplomatic relations with the then European Economic Community (EEC). There are several reasons for EU's interest in India. First, the EU recognises India's growing economic potential and status not only at the regional but also at the global level, especially it's influence on WTO issues and at the UN. This is by far the most important factor which has turned the European Union's attention towards India. Second, the EU is interested in making its presence felt in South Asia in general and in India, in particular, and also to some extent with Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar1. Third, India has a vibrant and growing middle class whose potential the EU wants to tap through trade. The officials realise that the EU-India trade has not exploited its full potential; India ranks as EU's 14th trading partner2. India too can no longer ignore the fact that the EU is today not only the world's largest exporter of goods but also the second largest importer. EU is India's biggest trade partner and also its biggest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). India also wanted to engage with the EU to make a point to Washington about India's ideas of a multipolar world, where India would be one of the strong poles. The need and will for cooperation is mutual and it was not very difficult at their first Summit for them to come up with several important and relevant areas where they could cooperate. On the 20th of June, 2000 began a new era in EU-India relations. For the first time an EU-India Summit was held in Lisbon. The European Union has summit level discussions only with five other countries, China, USA, Russia, Canada and Japan. The Indians felt that the Europeans were finally recognising the growing power and status of India. They felt even more elated when the EU proposed to upgrade their relations to a 'strategic partnership' at the 5th EU-India Summit. The upgradation of the relationship to Strategic Partnership is a milestone in the history of India-EU relations. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, describing India and EU natural partners, said, 'in recognition of India 's growing stature and influence, the European Union has proposed a strategic partnership with India. We warmly welcome the development3.'
Chris Patten also used the same words, 'natural partners' during his visit to India in February 2004, declaring: 'if there is a natural partner for Europe in South Asia, then surely it is India'. On the 13th of July 2005, the, European Parliament adopted it's own report about strengthening the EU-India strategic partnership. This shows the EP's engagement to supporting EU-India partnership. With all these factors working for the EU-India rapprochement, one expects thriving cooperation for common goals and interests, including booming trade. But sadly enough, this is far from true. Although EU is India's largest trading partner, India is the European Union's 14th trading partner, lagging far behind China, South Korea, Russia, Brazil and South Africa. Trade with the EU represents almost a quarter of India's exports and imports. But it is just 1.6 per cent of total EU imports of goods and 0.8 per cent of import of services. EU invests 10 times more in China and its trade is 5 times larger than India. Romano Prodi, in his speech in New Delhi at the 4th EU-India summit in 2003 , said: 'No doubt about it: India needs the EU and the EU needs India.' In spite of several cooperation promoting institutions the European Union and India have trouble cooperating, which is evident at international forums like the WTO, which become battling grounds and where all talk of cooperation, negotiation, are forgotten. There are three bones of contention which hamper EU-India cooperation at the WTO level: i) Trade Defence Measures, ii) the Pakistan factor and iii) the Indian leadership coalitions against the EU.
EU-India Discord at the WTO India is busy representing the developing world and EU is doing the same for the developed world. And it was mainly because of these differences in the demands of the developing and the developed world championed by these two that the Cancun ministerial meeting in 2003 collapsed. After the Cancun failure, the EU floated the idea of negotiations on certain thorny issues only on a voluntary basis. It remains to be seen how this idea is accepted at the upcoming Hong Kong ministerial meeting in December4.
Trade defence mechanisms One of the biggest sticking points between the EU and India are the trade defence measures they use against each other. These trade defence measures can be in the form of tariff barriers, non-tariff barriers and most importantly in the form of antidumping measures. Although EU and India are now strategic partners, these issues, when not dealt with urgently, will continue to hamper any real progress in trade and cooperation. As a result of these trade defence measures, each year, Indian exports to the EU are decreasing by 1 per cent5. In the year 2004, Indian exports to the EU amounted to 21 per cent of it's total exports, In the year 2003 it was 22 per cent and in the year 2002, it was 23 per cent. This implies that slowly and steadily, India is exporting more and more to the other countries. The two most important trade defence measures, which spoiled EU-India relations in general, and EU India relations at the WTO in particular are anti-
dumping measures and subsidies. Anti-dumping measures and subsidies Anti dumping laws, in existence since 1904, are the biggest irritant among trading countries. These measures are the legal forms of protectionism and the EU as well as India use or misuse them to the fullest extent. Prusa6, uses an analogy of 'Dumping=Disease' and 'Anti-dumping= Medicine'. Trading partners feel attacked by this disease 'dumping' and their most trusted medicine 'anti-dumping measures' are used to fight it. But of course as stressed by Prusa, this analogy cannot justify the whole truth. While dumping does occur as international trade widens and opens up, most of the anti-dumping measures are not about measures against 'dumping' but measures to protect domestic industry from external competition. When countries join the WTO they are expected to compromise on the reduction of tariffs. This reduction of tariffs brings the domestic industry to face international competition and so as a 'legal' protective mechanism, countries use antidumping measures to ward off unwanted competition. They recognise that these tariff concessions can be easily undone through these fabulously legal mechanisms. India and the EU are always at loggerheads at the WTO concerning these measures. The EU has initiated 26 anti-dumping cases against India7 and it accuses India of misusing the anti-dumping laws, of not following the correct procedure while hearing anti-Dumping allegations from the exporters in the domestic industry and of not giving enough evidence to the European companies for them to defend themselves, of levying high tariffs which are not in line with the WTO rules and regulations. They approach the Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO only when no solution can be reached through bilateral discussions. Let's consider the example of the textile sector. Currently, more than half the anti-dumping measures by India as well as the EU are in this sector alone. Normally India and the EU are complementary in this respect. India is one of the largest exporters of raw cotton and the EU is one of the largest exporters of ready-made garments. But textiles is a sector which is bitterly fought over. The European cotton producers lobby is extremely active at the European Commission and the Indian ready-made garment producers are equally active in the Indian context. In 1997 the European Council decided against using anti-dumping measures on all cotton fabrics coming from India at the recommendation of the European Commission, which was strongly lobbied by Eurocoton, the European cotton producers association. In the EU, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy essentially produce cotton fabrics. A simple majority is required for a European Commission proposal to be accepted by the European Council8. And the majority of the European Union countries import a considerable part of their cotton from India. Eurocoton tried once again, this time not on all cotton fabrics but only on unbleached cotton. They got the green signal from the European Commission but again the European Council decided against the imposition of anti-dumping measures. The Eurocoton did not stop at that. They went to the European Court of Justice fighting on the basis that the European Council did not give reasons to the
European Commission about why it rejected the measures9. The biggest casualty of these measures are not the big companies but the small exporters, a majority of whom
products from India and decided that Indian goods not meeting sanitary standards would not be destroyed.' But given the social and fiscal policies of the EU member states, it is highly unlikely that any opening of it's markets will take place sometime soon, within the framework of the WTO18. Kamal Nath in his speech said, 'India seems to have borne the brunt of the EU's Trade Defence Actions which affect 3.5 per cent of Indian exports to the EU, as against the average global incidence in the EU of 0.5 per cent only. It is rather odd that a developing country like India should be facing nine out of the 20 Anti-Subsidy actions in force in EU'. But while these discussions were going on, European shoe manufacturers were in the process of filing another anti-dumping case against India. It remains to be seen when a food manufacture lobby decides to take up this issue. The destruction of entire Indian consignments is another sticking point between the two. Mr. Mandelson informed that the EC would soon announce its decision not to destroy contaminated consignments but to return them to the exporting country, thereby resolving a longstanding issue, which India had been raising with the EU. Sanitary and phytosanitary measures This is the second significant bone of contention, which is posing a threat to India's exports to the EU. These non-tariff barriers are not just trade restricting but also a source of great irritation to the Indians since they have no idea how to bypass them. These are the SPS agreement Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures. Any country can put up these measures to protect its plant, animal and human life19. These non-tariff barriers faced by Indian exporters in the EU are in the areas of standards, testing, labelling and certification. The Indian government is as responsible for them as the European Union is since both of them do not recognise each other's standard setting institutions and export inspection agencies. As a result, the EU legislation relating to sanitary and phytosanitary and food safety are causing enormous concern to the Indian exporters of food products20. The Indian exporters accuse the European Union of refusing and on top of that destroying their consignments from India, if they do not happen to meet the European sanitary and phytosanitary conditions. According to the Indians, the European companies conduct minor tests on the products and do not wait for confirmatory results before rejecting and indeed destroying the whole consignment. They have started a system of rapid alert whereby they signal the Indian products not fit enough for consumption. Each month there is an average of 10 red alerts coming from the EU. And the Indian exporters bear the brunt of this anomaly. With the lack of any sort of harmonisation of safety standards it is no surprise when a product, which may be deemed fit for export is not able to pass the tests of the EU standard setting institutes. There have been several calls by the food exporters to have their products tested either in India or in the EU but neither of the two have taken any steps to start such a procedure. In line with the WTO statutes, India has a standard setting institution, which informs India's trading partners about the existing Indian standards, and also how
these standards are different from the other trading countries. This Institution is called the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). But the BIS sets standards voluntarily and these standards may or may not be made obligatory by the government. There is very little coordination between the BIS and the Ministry of Commerce of India and even lesser between the BIS and the food exporters. What's painfully lacking is a national notification system in India. No wonder Indian and European exporters lobbies are frustrated and the best way to vent this frustration is at International forums like the WTO. The Pakistan factor This factor plays a major role in India's relations with the rest of the world and EU is no exception. The EU signed a cooperation agreement with Islamabad in November 2001, while India watched on with suspicion. India usually keeps a close watch on any developments which remotely concern Pakistan. And they watched with more suspicion than usual this latest development since it concerned not just Pakistan but also their biggest trading partner, the EU. And this biggest trading partner did not share India's views of Pakistan. India would like the EU to declare the Pakistani hand in the terrorism activities in Kashmir, but the EU has never made such a statement and on the contrary and to India's chagrin, patted Pakistan for taking action against drug trafficking, against the Al Qaeda network and the Taliban. Their view is not shared by India and New Delhi obviously would have liked them to make some strong statements against Pakistan21. During the third EU-India Summit in 2002, they could not agree on the right wording for a statement on Kashmir. Till this time Pakistan was just an irritant between the two. But the situation took a turn when the EU granted Pakistan its Generalised System of Preference (GSP)22. This concession to Pakistan directly affected exports of ready-made garments from India as imports of these items from India into the EU had to face a duty of 9.6 per cent, while Pakistan enjoys duty free access. India retaliated immediately by complaining to the Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO. This case was bitterly fought between the two. India declared having lost â‚Ź300 million because of this 'unfair' GSP to Pakistani Textiles exporters. The European Union stood up to it's claim that it had granted that GSP because Pakistan was fighting against Drug trafficking in the country23. The timing couldn't have been worse. The EU granted the GSP during the Doha Round of negotiations when India and EU were pitted against each other. This coincidental timing politicised the issue even more. But the issue would anyway not have gone down easily with the Indians, with or without a Doha round. The WTO passed a ruling in favour of India agreeing to the Indian claim that generalised system of preferences have to be non discriminatory, generalised, nonreciprocal and unconditional for developing countries. But EU appealed and won the case justifying the concession it made to Pakistan for combating drug trafficking. India watched with furore when EU applied anti-dumping measures to the Indian bed linen, and did not do the same to the Pakistani one. The Indians felt targeted and were
upset that Pakistan was left off the hook. Apart from the trade rivalry, India gets wary of Pakistan when it plays the terrorism card and just how many efforts it is making against it. But India gets even more wary when the EU plays right into it. As a result India could never have a joint communiquĂŠ with the EU accusing Pakistan of allowing cross-border infiltration. The press statements of all the summits usually have a small reference to terrorism in general, and no particular reference to the Pakistani contribution to this terrorism. In the 6th EU India Summit on the 8th of September 2005, the position remained unchanged. Coalitions at the WTO ministerial meetings At the WTO, India inevitably finds itself forming coalitions with other developing countries for a common cause and for fighting a common enemy -- the developed world. And not surprisingly, these coalitions are almost always pitted against the EU. India becomes the leader of the developing countries and the EU and the U.S. lead the developed world on the other side. Although the EU and the U.S. have big trade disputes but when it comes to making a deal at the WTO the EU and the U.S. usually find each other in the same camp. India feels the need for this coalition formation since it realises that it can never face up to the might of the developed world on its own. The European Union is wary of these coalitions, which comprise 17, 20 or even 77 countries, joined together for the common purpose of showing to the developed world that they will not agree to propositions or be bullied into accepting unjust trade practices. When Pascal Lamy visited India in March 2003 to discuss the Doha round, he was fully aware of this Indian tendency. He said in his speech that he had come to India to narrow differences on issues for negotiation in the Cancun ministerial meeting. He tried awkwardly to woo the Indians by saying that they needed better coordination to avoid anti-dumping measures, that they needed better marker access for agriculture. But all this wooing was not successful as Cancun was a failure and more importantly, it was a failure directly linked to India as the leader of developing countries and the EU as a representative of the developed world. India led a coalition of 22 countries, including China and Brazil. This coalition further added other coalitions making it a group of G90, completely overshadowing the EU and the US coalition with Canada and Japan24. Since 1947, India proclaimed to be self-sufficient and was not in favour of being a part of any regional and economic groupings. It has had a tradition of preferring bilateral relations to multilateral arrangements25. India has belatedly realised the importance of these in the past few years and is forging numerous alliances26. It is looking East towards ASEAN, trying to make SAARC more meaningful27, forming alliances with Latin American countries, also building relations with China, it's long neighbourly enemy28. And surprisingly enough at the WTO, India and China and even Pakistan get together to 'defeat' the developed the world. And the EU is quite understandably watching in alarm the growing importance of this Asian elephant that, according to the critics, has now begun to run and gather speed.
Reasons for this Discord
3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
11. 12. 13.
20. 21. 22. 23. 24.
www.europa.eu.int/comm/trade/issues/bilateral/countries/india/index_en.htm (last visited 23rd August 2005) On the Deutsche-Welle Website (http://www2.dw-world.de/southasia/eu-southasia/ 1.109047.1.html) Andrew C., Variable Geometry for the WTO: Concepts and Precedents, UNCTAD, 2004. Government of India, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Official Website http://commerce.nic.in/eidb/ergn.asp Thomas J. Prusa, 'Anti-Dumping: A growing problem in International trade', The World Economy, vol. 28 n° 5 May 2005, p, 683. The website of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Government of India gives full details of these cases. http://commerce.nic.in/dgad/website/chap7.htm More on this in Simon J. Evenett and Edwin Vermulst, .The Politicisation of EC AntiDumping Policy: Member States, their Votes and the European Commission., The World Economy, vol. 28, n°5 May 2005. Ibid, 'This motivation requirement arguable makes it more difficult for the European Council to disagree with a Commission Proposal to adopt definitive measures because f the European Council does so, it will have to explain why', p, 705 James Smith, 'Inequality in international trade? Development Countries and Institutional Change in WTO Settlement', Review of International Political Economy, vol. 11, n° 3 August, 2004, p, 548. In Willem van der Geest, 'Anti-Dumping and law', Bulletin of the European Institute for Asian Studies, vol. 7 n°12, December 2003, p 16 Prusa, p, 699 Some of the retaliatory measures used by the states are discussed by Asim Imdad Ali in his article 'Non- compliance and Ultimate Remedies under the WTO Dispute Settlement System', Journal of Public and International Affairs, vol. 14 spring 2003, pp, 1-19. 'We like India, do believe agriculture is different-intimately tied up with our rural economy, our rural society, indeed the whole rural landscape- and that therefore there are limits to the international division of labour in agriculture'. He focused on lowering agricultural subsidies and the way forward and asked his counterpart, 'To what extent can our people compete with high subsidy economies'. More on the failure of the Cancun Ministerial in Bert Kerremans, 'What went wrong in Cancun? A Principal Agent view on the EU's rationale towards the Doha round', European Foreign Affairs Review, vol. 9 issue 3 Autumn 2004. Also called IBSA standing for India, Brazil and South Africa. For more on the EU and the WTO, please refer to Richard Senti, 'The Role of the EU as an economic actor within the WTO', European Foreign Affairs Review, vol. 7 n°1 spring 2002, pp 111-117 SPS used by the European against India are very thoroughly studies by Mohammed Saquib in his article, 'Technical barriers to trade and the Role of Indian Standard Setting Institutions', Aaditya Mattoo and Robert M. Stern, India and the WTO, (New Delhi: Rawat Publications, 2005) pp, 269-298 Mohammed Saqib writes in detail about the problems faced by the Indian exporters because of these SPS measures. Jean Luc Racine, 'Europe and South Asia', South Asian Journal, January-March, 2004. The GSP grants developing countries preferential access to EU markets. It's supposed to be the main EU instrument to support developing countries. R. L. Chawla, 'India and the WTO', India Quarterly, vol. 59, n°3/4, July December 2003, pp 256-277 These coalitions were 1. G22 led by India 2. Alliance on strategic products and special safeguard mechanisms including Pakistan, Turkey, Zambia
25. 26. 27.
Group of four western and central African countries. Mali, Benin, Chad and Burkina Faso 4. ACP-African, Caribbean, Pacific 5. LDC 6. African Group All this combination made a group of G 90 developing countries had finally put their foot down. G90 brought victory to the developing countries in Cancun. Amrita Narlikar, 'Collapse of the WTO: A Cancun Post-Mortem', Third World Quarterly, vol. 25 n°3, 2004. The article is about coalition formation at the WTO at Cancun. A Z Hilali discusses in detail India's foreign policy options in, 'India's Strategic Thinking and it's National Security Policy', Asian Survey, vol. 41 n°5 2001, pp. 737-764 Most major economies are a part of some meaningful trade block. India belongs to SAARC which far from being meaningful. India's changing policies and the reasons behind them are critically analysed by Walter Anderson in, 'Recent Trends in Indian Foreign Policy', Asian Survey, vol. 41 n°5, 2001 pp 765-776 India's changing policies and the reasons behind them are critically analysed by Walter Anderson in 'Recent Trends in Indian Foreign Policy', Asian Survey, vol. 41 n°5, 2001 pp 765-776 Colin B Picker, 'Neither here nor there', The George Washington International Law Review, vol. 36 n°1 2004. Eyal Benveniste and George W Downs, 'Distributive Politics and International Institutions: The Case of Drugs', The Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, vol. 36, n°1 winter 2004. Gajendra Singh in 'India and the European Union : New Strategic Partnership' goes one step further and says that: 'Former Communist members who used to get orders from Moscow have little tradition of working in a give and take system of EU'. Punjab and Gujarat have set up expert committees whose main task is to assess the impact of the WTO rules on their economies. Rob Jenkins, 'How federalism influences India's Domestic Policies of WTO Engagement and is Itself Affected in the Process', Asian Survey, vol. 43, n° 4 July-August 2003, pp, 598621. Christina R Sevilla, 'The WTO's North-South Conflict', National Interest, Winter n°74, 2003/2004, p, 124.
Bibliography l Asim Imdad Ali, 'Non-compliance and the ultimate Remedies under the WTO Dispute Settlement', Journal of Public and International Affairs, vol. 14 spring 2003, pp 1-19.
l Walter Anderson, 'Recent Trends in Indian Foreign Policy', Asian Survey, vol 41 n°5, 2001, pp 765-776
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l Anne Sophie Coleman, 'Transparency Trap: Anti-dumping and the pursuit of closer Trade Cooperation within the EU and the WTO', Collegium, winter, n°29, 2004, pp, 49-77.
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A Peace Museum on the Wagah Border Syed Sikander Mehdi War museums, in both developed and developing societies, glorify past heroic war deeds and promote jingoism and militarism. In contrast, peace museums are only very few in the world and even these were created in the 1980s. In fact, until recently, museums focusing on issues related to building peace were a few even in the West (The US got its first peace museum in Chicago in 1981). Furthermore, even though the movement for establishing peace museums has gained considerable momentum in recent years and a number of such museums have already been built in the developed countries, information about peace museums is not readily available. But clearly the highly unstable, fragmented, conflictual and violent societies of the East need peace and peace museums no less, if not more, and perhaps a region which needs both peace and peace museums the most is South Asia -- still a highly militarised, nuclearised and conflict-torn region. The concept of peace museum is of recent origin, coming into mainstream consciousness during the last 25 years. The first known proposal for establishing the peace museum was made a little over 200 years ago by an eminent physician of Philadelphia, Dr.Benjamin Rush. In 1798, he proposed the appointment of a U.S.Secretary of Peace as well as the organisation of exhibits to assist him in his work for advancing the abolition of war. Rush called for placing exhibits at the lobby of the war office to depict the horrible and unspeakable evils of war (Dungen, Peter van den 1999: 692). It is generally agreed that the first peace museum was established way back in 1902 when the Polish- Russian entrepreneur Jean de Bloch founded the international museum of war and peace in Lucerne, Switzerland. However, the idea really gained popular attention when peace museums were established in Japan to highlight the effect of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings and, finally, when the United Nations published a comprehensive guidebook book, Peace Museums Worldwide in 1995. The concept of peace museums is still fairly unknown in contemporary South Asian societies. Peace movements originating from the region or studies on peace in this region have failed to focus on the feasibility, role and potentials of peace museums. Some in South Asia may argue that the idea for the establishment of a peace museum on India-Pakistan border is a little premature. The idea of a peace museum at Wagah border may also be brushed aside as na誰ve and it may be argued that such a museum on a poisoned, heavily garrisoned, and violence-spitting border is unrealisable -- for a long time to come. But is it really so? Don't the South Asian societies need peace and peace museum? Don't they know what damage a war can do?
War is not something unknown to the people of India and Pakistan. They have experienced the wars of 1948, 1965, and 1971 fought between these two former British colonies. They are also the victims of protracting conflicts over the Siachen Glacier and Kashmir and are hostage to their nuclear weapons. Nonetheless, indoctrinated for years by the academic and research institutions teaching hate and violence, by a mass media promoting conflict and disharmony, by politicians, military and other hawkish elements and by the militarised societies spitting violence, the common people have remained hostage to war slogans for a long time. In India and Pakistan, the concept of a peace museum is alien to the masses. Some may, of course, argue that peace museums have existed, in one form or the other, in all the societies and in all eras of human interaction. What else are temples, mosques, churches, gurdwaras and the worship houses of other religions if not peace museums? In the Indo-Pakistan context, it may also be asserted that the Ashrams, Gandhi foundations, Shanti Nikitens , religious seminaries, public charity houses , folklore, eternal songs of love and harmony and narratives of peace preserved in the memory houses of generations are nothing but moving exhibits of peace. However, a number of temples and mosques and other religious seminaries have been used in India and Pakistan for hate-preaching, conflict-fuelling and communal and sectarian killing. Likewise, there are Gandhi museums in India which are less focused on peace and nonviolence and more on promoting Hindu fundamentalism and militancy. A peace museum, simply defined, is an anti-war museum. But since peace is more than absence of war, so a peace museum, as it is understood today, is much more than a mere anti war museum. For Ikuro Anzai, Director and Professor of Kyoto Museum for World Peace, peace museums are the 'facilities for social education functioning to dispatch values of peace to the community'. 'Peace in this definition', Anzai adds, 'is understood not only as 'absence of war' in its narrow sense of the word but also as 'absence of structural violence' in its wider sense, including those issues of starvation, poverty, social discrimination, environmental destruction, poor quality of education and hygiene that are the fundamental social factors preventing full-scale development of human ability.â€?' Hence there is an element of inclusiveness in the peace museum concept and peace museums are now increasingly perceived as a phenomenon encompassing a range of diverse museums and institutions. There are museums that promote the antiwar drive and document the tragedies of war. In addition to these are the ones that focus on peace education through visual arts and then there are the issue-based museums formed in response to specific events like the museum of holocaust and interpretative centres at the many former concentration camps or those dealing with nuclear bombing on Hiroshima and Nagssaki or genocide. Then there are those focusing on the humanitarian nature of individuals or group of individuals or on nonviolence or human rights. Irrespective of how it is named, a museum which concentrates on peace issues has the potential to serve as a museum of peace. The primary objective of establishing such a museum is to promote the idea of co-existence and togetherness,
harmony and tolerance, happiness and creativity. While every region of the world needs peace museums, South Asia needs it most. Almost seven years ago, in 1997, Dr Mahbub ul Haq Human Development Centre, Islamabad, published its first annual report on human development in South Asia and made certain startling revelations. Some of these, in brief, are as under:While South Asia contains one-fifth of humanity, and the annual increase in its population exceeds the total population of fifty smaller UN member states, it is the poorest region in the world. Nearly 40 per cent of the world's poor live in this region. With 46 per cent of the world's total illiterate population, South Asia is the most illiterate region of the world. This is the most malnourished region. According to a UNICEF report, half the children in South Asia are underweight compared to 30 per cent in Sub-Sahara Africa, though it has much higher GNP growth rate. South Asia has the highest human deprivation. About 260 million people lack access to even elementary health facilities; 337 million lack safe drinking water; 830 million have no access to basic sanitation facilities; and over 400 million go hungry every day. South Asia is the most militarised region. Two of the largest armies in the world are in this region and the region spends twice as much each year on the purchase of hightech arms as does Saudi Arabia. Again, it is the only region in the world where military spending (as a proportion of GNP) has gone up since 1987: it has declined substantially in other parts of the world after the end of the cold war. Things, for the common people of India and Pakistan, do not seem to have changed for the better since these observations were made years ago. They have, in fact, become worse and India and Pakistan, the two dominant member states of the region, have continued to play havoc with the people and peace. The subsequent annual reports of the Mahbubal Haq Centre for Human Development, reports of different UN agencies including UNDP and UNICEF, World Bank, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch clearly indicate that political, ethnic, communal and sectarian violence remain rampant in India and Pakistan and both the countries remain hostage to war thinking and war preparation . Worse still, both India and Pakistan have gone nuclear. While India had exploded a nuclear device way back in 1974, it did not acknowledge that its programme was for military purposes. But when New Delhi exploded a series of atomic devices during early May 1998, it made it clear that its programme was to acquire the status of a nuclear-weapon state. Pakistan, on its also exploded a number of nuclear devices at Chaghi in the province of Baluchistan in the same month of 1998 and called for its recognition as a nuclear-weapon state. These nuclear tests were welcomed with great fan fare in different parts of the two states and the mass media, under the patronage and directives of the governments in New Delhi and Islamabad whipped up mass hysteria in favour of these deadly weapons. With the testing of the bomb by the two countries, jingoism, militarism and nuclearisation soared up in India and Pakistan. Bombs in hands, they went for a bloody war at Kargil in 1999 and then massively deployed their armies on the borders
soon after the terrorist attack on Indian Parliament in December 2001. The standoff continued for more than a year and peace remained precariously dependent on chance alone. There has been remarkable improvement in Indo-Pakistan relations since the former Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpaee extended a hand of friendship to Pakistan during a public address in Indian-administered Kashmir on 18 April 2003 and especially since the 12th SAARC summit held at Islamabad in January 2004. It seems as if the unthinkable has begun. Infiltration in Kashmir has diminished and this has been publicly acknowledged by the Indian officials. War hysteria is no more being whipped up in both the countries and war mongering has almost stopped. High level government officials are frequently meeting and addressing a wide range of issues adversely affecting bilateral ties. Delegations of writers, politicians, judges and lawyers, film makers and film artists, businessmen, women and children, cricketers and cricket watchers, students, teachers, ,journalists, retired military officials and bureaucrats and peace activists are frequently crossing the Wagah border (Lahore) and boldly expressing their views in favour of friendship, harmony and confidencebuilding between the two countries . In this fast changing scenario, the absurdity of religiously clinging to a policy of non-cooperation toward one another becomes all the more glaring when the Siachen conflict is discussed in its proper perspective. Since 13 April 1984, Indian and Pakistani troops have confronted each other, eye ball to eye ball, for the control of the 76 kilometer long glacier. This is the longest-running armed conflict between two regular armies. Fighting at an altitude of over 22,000 feet in the minus 60 C temperatures, both India and Pakistan bear enormous cost for their unwillingness to take the peace route. Tragically enough, there is little realisation of the madness and both the countries have continued to waste their human, material and financial resources on a senseless conflict without any regret. “This ”, observes Stephen Cohen, a leading South Asian expert at Brooking Institution, Washington D.C., “ is like a struggle of two bald men over a comb”. He adds: “Siachen is (the) epitome of the worst aspects of the relationship. These are two countries that are paired on a road to Oslo or Hiroshima, and at this point they can go either way”. Indeed, so comprehensively militarised are the Indian and Pakistani societies that their citizens -- over a billion people -- have little realisation that much of their deprivation, marginalisation and powerlessness is because of the prevalence of militarism and nuclearisation in their countries. In such societies, the need for peace, human rights and disarmament education, and the need for anti nuclear, anti-war and anti-militarism movement for political and social change cannot be ignored. The peace museums in the territories now comprising India and Pakistan may also project the great nonviolent struggles waged by the people of the two states for peace, democracy and human rights in both the countries. Any serious study of nonviolent political action for the millennia cannot afford to ignore the great
achievements of ancient or modern India for the cause of peace. An example would be King Ashoka (e.273-236 B.C.), the peace King of the Maurya Empire. More than 2500 years ago -- many years before the advent of Ashoka as the peace King of India -- Gautama, son of king Shuddhadana of Kapilvastu, left his palace and all earthly belongings and traveled all over the land, teaching opposition to the oppressive and suppressive order based on discrimination, injustice and violence. He developed the concept of Ahimsa (non violence) and Karma and founded the religion of Buddhism. He was a great apostle of peace from South Asia. The peace museums of India and Pakistan can display the achievements, sayings and contributions of Buddha and Ashoka and many other leaders of other religions, cultures and political thoughts. They can also have works displaying the lives of hundreds of campaigners who fought against British colonial rule in undivided India and for the rights of the people. When the colonialists departed and India and Pakistan emerged as independent, sovereign states, new goals, tasks and challenges engaged the visionaries, artists, scholars, social reformers and peace activists. This was in response to the nature of the evolving peace process. Prominent peace educator and scholar from Columbia University, USA, Betty Reardon, observes: 'The ways in which peace is achieved and maintained change with time and circumstance. Peace is not a fixed goal. It is the challengable, positive social and political circumstances in which goals can be pursued and differences resolved without harm to others or the environment”. 'It has been said', she adds, 'that 'peace is a process, a way of solving problems', and that 'there is no way to peace. Peace is the way'. After August 1947, both Indian and Pakistani societies experienced tremendous change and the states became more powerful and more oppressive and repressive. The continued confrontation between the two -- three wars in twenty five years (1948, 1965 and 1971), bloody battles on the roof tops of Siachen (1984) and at Kargil (1999), escalation of defense budgets, phenomenal increase in the number of the forces of the two states, unsatiable lust for weapons, acquisition of nuclear weapons, considerable increase in the power and number of hawks and fundamentalists in the corridors of power in both the countries and the temptation to checkmate each other, settle scores and embarrass each other in international fora -- have all contributed to the rise of a warrior culture and violence in the subcontinent. However, there is also the subsequent rise and expansion of the constituencies of peace in both India and Pakistan. An ever increasing number of individuals, NGOs, politicians and professional groups in the two countries challenge the national security state, call for people to people contact and for peaceful resolution of all disputes. They also demand for global and regional nuclear disarmament and for the empowerment of the marginalised sections of the societies -- women, children and minorities. Demands for a visa-free regime in South Asia and lifting of all restrictions on travel within the region and on trade relations have also been raised. The emerging
constituencies of peace and human rights in both the countries include former ministers, retired military officials, retired bureaucrats, businessmen, judges,
lethal weapons only and societies cannot flourish where a culture of violence is allowed to flourish. For a long time, they have suffered the consequence of wars, conflict and war preparation. In this scenario, a peace museum at Wagah should be established to rekindle their hopes in a peaceful future. Wagah, one may add, is also a witness to the bloody violence which took place on the eve of the subcontinent's partition in August 1947. Indeed, among the four famous 20th Century partitions -- Ireland, India, Palestine and Cyprus, all of which were accompanied by wholesale violence and large-scale population displacements -- the partition of India caused the greatest migration in human memory. Never before or since have had so many people exchanged their homes and countries so fast? In a span of a few months in 1947, more than 12 million people moved between India and Pakistan. By far the largest proportion of these displaced people -- more than ten million -- crossed the western border, dividing the province of Punjab. Here, Muslims travelled west to Pakistan and Hindus and Sikhs east to India. On the roads, in the paddy fields and on the railway tracks awaited violence, rape and death for these migrant Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. In only three months between August and October 1947, the entire Punjab was seized by a communal civil war involving some of the largest ethnic cleansing campaigns in history. Estimates of death caused by slaughter, malnutrition and contagious diseases vary between the British estimate of 200,000 and the Indian estimate of 2 million. On both sides of the Punjab, houses, shops, office, schools, and the paddy fields were attacked and torched. Men, women and children were abducted, raped, gang-raped and often killed. Many buses and trains carrying families from either direction were attacked by the frenzied and violent crowds and the caravans of the refugees crossing the Punjab border on foot and bull carts were frequently subjected to all sorts of acts of violence. Being a witness to partition violence, Wagah is clearly an appropriate place where a peace museum may be built up. It can depict the brutalities of mob violence, and record and portray one of the most ignored aspects of partition history: the lifesaving role of the Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. One may stress here that while the members of all these three religions communities were involved in partition orgies and human killings, there were those brave and noble men and women belonging to all these three communities who did not lose their humanity before, during and after the partition carnage and helped save the lives, property and honour of persons belonging to rival religious community. Then there were the artists, writers, poets, peace activists, social reformers and relief workers who worked for the victims in both the countries and who condemned violence and risked life for promoting communal harmony, brotherhood and peace during those weeks, months and years when partition hatred had poisoned all perspectives and ties. The memory house of the proposed peace museum at Wagah may preserve the memories of their noble acts to inspire the succeeding generations living in innocence and ignorance on both sides of the border. The galleries of the peace museum at Wagah can display portraits of the
various rulers, social and religious reformers, poets, yogis and jogis, leaders of nonviolence and peace activists from India and Pakistan. In addition, the museum may introduce those who have worked relentlessly for democracy, freedom, justice, equality, tolerance and peace in these post-colonial societies. Finally, the peace museum can catalogue and preserve the record of the great movements for peace and understanding between India and Pakistan, for communal and sectarian harmony and for the human rights of the most marginalised in both the states. Indeed, Wagah is the place where such a museum should be built, because this is the place where peace is being actively pursued. A lot of cultural activities have been taking place for over a decade at Wagah and elsewhere to bring the two countries closer, to diminish militarism and to promote peace and harmony. Wagah, although a military outpost today, is evolving into a peace signpost, a junction where all the peace trains coming from different directions may converge one day. For the past several years, the peace activists, anti-nuclear groups, prodemocracy groups, human rights activists and women groups from India and Pakistan have been converging at Wagah on the night of August 14-15 and on the night of 31 December-1 January. Holding lit candles and colourful banners, they greet each other from both sides of Wagah and recite poems for peace and friendship between the two states. Again, it is from the city of Lahore that a train travels to New Delhi via Amritsar. The train has been named Friendship Train. Likewise, a bus service via Wagah between Lahore and New Delhi was introduced soon after former Prime Minister Vajpaee's visit to Lahore in February 1999. Both the bus and train services were suspended after the terrorist attack on Indian Parliament in December 2001 and large-scale Indian and Pakistani troops were mobilised on the long borders. However, peace seems to finally be around the corner, with a newly fuelled initiative taken by both governments to promote peace and cooperation between the two countries. And this is the time when a peace museum at Wagah can be created. Perhaps the governments of both the countries would be reluctant to take on this project, but a peace museum cannot be built at Wagah without their support. However, this should not pre-empt the launching of the movement. A peace museum at Wagah was almost unthinkable a couple of years ago, but it is clearly not so now. After all, various unthinkables such as: the formation of a South Asian Free Trade Area, adoption of a common regional currency for South Asia, establishment of a visa-free region, introduction of bus service between Srinagar in Indian-administered Kashmir and Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, another bus service between Lahore and Amritsar, ferry service between Karachi and Mumbai, promotion of trade between the two countries and enhancement of collaboration in different fields have also been talked about. Although not all are in place yet, they have entered the â€œpossible' zone. Perhaps lessons from history may be instructive. One should appreciate that times change, and so do the scenarios and the futures. How many, for instance, could
expect even after the end of World War II that Germany and France would one day be able to be cooperate this closely? Likewise, not many could visualise only a few decades ago that a day would come when the Caen Memorial Museum (established in 1988) and the World Center for Peace, Freedom and Human Rights at Verdun (1993) would be constructed on the 20th Century battlefields. Again, how many could think that a Lindau Peace Museum documenting the tragedies of war could be built-up in 1980 at the meeting point of three countries: Austria, Germany and Switzerland? Hence, what has turned out to be possible for other countries cannot be brushed aside as impossible for India and Pakistan. However, a series of concerted and sustained efforts would be required to make the proposal for a peace museum at Wagah realisable. To begin with, a comprehensive study on different aspects of the proposal is an absolute necessity. Further, interaction between and among the peace scholars and activists need to be enhanced at international, regional and national level to exchange ideas and critically examine the feasibility of the proposal. As a matter of fact, sustained campaigns in support of peace museums in different parts of India and Pakistan would also be required. And finally, consciousness-raising through lectures, seminars, media campaigns, music, plays and paintings highlighting the peace-promoting role of peace museums in the two states are required. Once the movement gets going in India and Pakistan, a peace museum at Wagah would become possible and achievable.
(Syed Sikander Mehdi is a Professor of International Relations at the University of Karachi. His areas of speciality are peace movements and non-violent action in South Asia, nuclear disarmament, and refugee issues). Bibliography Ikuro Anzai, 'Museums for peace in Japan and other Asian countries', in Peter van den l Dungen and Terence Duffy (eds.), Exhibiting Peace: The Proceedings of the Third International Conference of Peace Museums, (Kyoto, Japan: Kyoto Museum for World Peace, Ritsumeikan University, 1999). l Elise Boulding, Building a Global Civic Culture :Education for an Independent World, (Syracuse , USA: Syracuse University Press, 1990). l Terence Duffy, 'Museums of War and Peace: Two Recent Japanese Case Studies', http:// soc.nii.ac.ip/psaj/enltxt/duffy.html. Last accessed 03.04.2003. l Terence Duffy, 'Peace Museums :Creating a Culture of Peace for the Millennium', Peter van den Dungen & Terence Duffy (eds.), op. cit. 1999. l Peter van Dungen, 'Peace Education: Peace Museums' Lester Kurtz and Jennifer Turpin (eds.), Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, Conflict, 3 vols, vol.2, (San Diego, Califorina: Academic press). l Johan Galtung, 'The Theory of Peace and the Practice of Peace Museums', Peter van den Dungen and Terence Duffy(eds.). op .cit, 1999. l Mahbubul Haq, Human development in South Asia, 1997, (Karachi,Pakistan : Oxford University Press, 1997). l Paul Holmes, 'Tea and tedium at the Wagah border', www.cgi.rediff.com/cgiprograms/print/printpag.cgi. (Last accessed 29.04. 2003). l Claudia Kolker, 'India Pakistan ritual puzzling to outsiders',
www.chron.com/cs/cda/printstory.hts/world/1199614, (Last accessed 29.4.2003).
l Syed Sikander Mehdi, 'Refugee Memory in India and Pakistan' in Trans Europeannes ,
address such issues.
Electricity Demand in Nepal Kamal Raj Dhungel Introduction The concept of energy fuel demand forecasting started in the mid-20th century. Prior to this, no accurate record of the use of power and other related energy fuel had been maintained, probably due to the lack of proper scaling technique. The study of demand forecasting did not keep up with the increasing use of commercial energy worldwide, and it was not until the 1980s that the theoretical studies of medium to long-term electricity demand had begun. Since then econometric modelling has been used to estimate electricity demand. The purpose of estimating electricity and other energy demand is to provide information on income and price elasticities. Such estimations are bound to be flawed unless proper account is taken of the time series properties of the variable used in the investigations. The size and nature of the samples from which the data is obtained should also be considered in the investigations. Various studies have addressed the problem of cointegration among variables primarily by using error correction methods. Some of these studies have addressed the issue of estimation of demand for energy in developing countries (Munasinghe 1990, Dahl 1994, Eltony 1995, Lin 2003). A unique feature of the Nepalese economy is the overwhelming use of traditional energy (fuelwood, crop residues and animal dung). The share of traditional energy in the total energy consumption was 87.8 per cent during the fiscal year 2002/03. The consumption of commercial energy was rather disheartening. However, the use of commercial energy in the nation has increased over time. In the last 20 years, petroleum products have played a significant role in meeting the commercial energy requirements of the people and it will continue doing so in the years to come. Of the mere 12.2 per cent contribution of commercial energy, the share of coal, petroleum and electricity was 13.4, 73.8 and 12.9 per cent respectively. The theoretical hydropower potential of the country is estimated to be about 83000 MW, out of which about 42,000 MW is said to be economically feasible. However, in contrast to this potentiality the total installed hydropower capacity in 2003 was only 571.2 MW producing in an average 3100 GWh per annum. Currently, hydropower represents 86 per cent of the installed capacity in the country. The average growth rate of electric energy consumption during 1980-2002 is 10.6 per cent. This reveals that demand for electricity has been increasing more rapidly and is expected to continue growing. To meet the rising demand, Nepal must address issues such as how to meet the resulting enormous requirements, how to explore the regional market for its sale in case of large hydro-projects and how to prevent environment deterioration. Good understanding of the electricity demand will help to
Electricity, as the most versatile form of energy, is the prime driver of an economy. Healthy economic growth requires a large unit of electricity. A large proportion of the Nepalese population, estimated at around 75 per cent is still nonelectrified, meaning that the demand for electricity is likely to register high growth in Nepal in future. Hopes of proper harnessing of such high hydroelectric potentiality of the country definitely require systematic management of demand. Accurate projection of electricity demand is the precondition for successful implementation of power system planning, which will have a significant impact on GDP growth in the future. So far there has been no empirical test of the aggregate demand of electricity in Nepal. The current econometric models for forecasting electricity demand on national level usually include GDP only. Electricity prices and population growth also are the main variables. Nepal, for the last nine years, is facing an intense civil war. This ongoing conflict is also a major variable in the model for the reason that the flow of displaced people from rural to urban areas may significantly change the state of electricity demand. Therefore, conflict is considered as an independent dummy variable to see its impact on electricity demand in the long run. Similarly, electricity efficiency, defined as the ratio of the unit of electricity to produce a certain level of output, is considered as another major variable. In this connection, this paper attempts to fill the gap in the estimation of electricity demand by incorporating the impact of efficiency improvement as well as conflict and political instability on electricity demand. However, the non-stationarity of macro variables involved in such investigations hinder proper estimations of demand for electricity. Moreover, due to the small sample sizes available for data analysis, estimates are also likely to be plagued by small sample bias. Such inconsistencies in the time series data involved in the analysis lead to the violation of classical assumptions of standard regression methods and most likely to spurious estimates. To work around such problems in energy demand estimation, this paper uses the most recent advances in modelling long run or co-integrated relationships.
Factors Affecting Electricity Demand In general, economic theory proves that two factors -- GDP (as a proxy variable for income) and tariff -- determine electricity demand in an economy. Electricity acts as an input in the production process in the industrial sector. It provides energy to the residential sector for lighting, heating, pumping and other various end-use purposes. It follows that electricity is bought for the end-use service it provides. In the Nepalese context, beside income and tariff, electricity demand is apparently associated with the change in weather. The demand for electricity in winter is higher than in summer. The incorporation of annual weather changes in the electricity demand function is rather difficult. Therefore, it is assumed that changes in weather do not have significant impact on annual electricity demand as it resembles only the small share of residential electricity demand.
Various factors in an economy affect the demand for electricity. The weather condition, level of urbanisation, modernisation, industrialisation and structural changes (liberalisation, privatisation and deregulation etc) are the additional variables while determining the demand for electricity. It is essential to consider these factors in a model to determine the electricity demand in an economy. However, this paper considers the following five factors, which have been identified for their significant contribution to long-term electricity demand in Nepal. i. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) GDP is considered as the proxy variable for income. It is one of the major components that affect the electricity demand because it represents the aggregate national income of a country. The rise in per capita GDP will raise the electricity demand. In this context, the correlation between per capita electricity consumption and per capita GDP will be direct and positive. ii. Electricity Prices Income effects in the electricity demand in the household sector and in the industrial sector may be more responsive. It implies that the small increase in income will lead to high increase in the electricity consumption. In contrast, price changes will affect the demand for electricity, in a slow and steady manner. The government administers the price of electricity as the state exercises monopoly power in the distribution of power. The price of electricity more or less reflects the true cost of supply, with some cross subsidy built into the tariff structure for some consumption categories. The Electricity Tariff Fixation Commission (TEFC), a quasi-independent regulatory body to regulate the prices of electricity, approves the electricity tariff proposal put forward by the electric utility. Tariff levels vary significantly from residential sector to industrial, streetlight, religious and service sector. Beside this, tariff rates differ significantly according to the end-use of KWh. Therefore; it is not possible to provide estimated national average. In this study, the fuel, light and water index published by the Nepal Rastra Bank is used as the proxy of electricity prices. It is expected that there exists a negative correlation between electricity demand and fuel, light and water price indices. iii. Population Growth In Nepal, the annual population growth is registered at 2.24 per cent in 2001. This high growth rate of population and increasing living standard has a significant impact on electricity consumption. Therefore, higher population growth is expected to increase electricity consumption and hence, a positive correlation between population growth and electricity demand is expected. However, this study aims to eliminate the impact of population growth on electricity demand by undertaking the data of GDP and electricity consumption in per capita terms. iv. Efficiency Improvement Annual average per capita electricity consumption in Nepal is very low at 0.005 tonnes (t) of oil equivalent (toe) in 2001. The energy efficiency per unit of $1000 in the industrial output sector is evaluated for determining energy efficiency. Therefore, energy efficiency improvement, by industry, is considered to be another important variable that determines electricity consumption. The value added nature by
production of industry is considered as a explanatory variable. A negative correlation between electricity consumption and efficiency factor is expected. v. Dummy Variable Recent trend shows that the nation is plagued by conflict. Conflict and political instability are the central issues in Nepal. It is assumed that the ongoing conflict has a significant impact on electricity demand as the country faced civil war since 1996. Thus, the model includes independent dummy variable to see the impact on electricity demand by representing the level of conflict and political instability in the country.
The Model and Data The variables selected for analysis are the basis of selecting a model in hand. Based on the above discussion, four explanatory variables are chosen to assess the electricity demand in the long run. A long-run electricity demand function for Nepal could be established as: EC = f(GDP, P, EF, D)
Where, EC = Electricity consumption in per capita terms in thousand tonnes of oil equivalent (toe), GDP = Gross Domestic Product in per capita terms (1995/96 = 100), P = Electricity price (1995/96 = 100), EF = Efficiency factor, D = Dummy variable for conflict and political instability. Model (1) can be put into logarithmic form in order to obtain income and price elasticity directly. Thus,
lnEc = รก0 + รก1 + lnGDP + รก2 lnP + รก3 lnEF + รก4 D + error.
Where, ln refers to natural logarithm and i refers to the parameters to be estimated. The data for this study are taken from the statistical year and pocket books published by Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), Economic Survey, various issues published by Ministry of Finance and yearly reports of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), etc. Water and fuel indices are used as a proxy for electricity prices to incorporate the role of price electricity. Water and fuel price indices are projected on their historical trends.
Specification of the Theory of Johansen's Cointegration Methods Cointegration analysis and error correction models (ECM) have become the standard technique for the study of electricity demand. Engle and Granger (1989) applied these techniques to forecast the electricity demand after two years of the formal development of the cointegration technique by the same authors. Since 1987, subsequent developments related to this approach have relied on the use of new techniques to identify cointegrating relationships. As a result of this, Johansen's method 1988 is the new improvement in the theory of cointegration analysis for
Xt=A1 Xt-1 +A2 Xt-2+………………, Ak Xt-k+ t 3) Where Xt is (n*1) and each of Ai is (n*n) matrix of parameters. This type of VAR model has been advocated mostly by Sims (1980) as a way to estimate dynamic relationships among jointly endogenous variables without imposing strong priori restrictions. The system is in the reduced form with each variable in Xt regressing on only lagged values of both itself and all the other variables in the system. Thus, Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) is an efficient way to estimate each equation since the right-hand side of each equation comprises a common set of (lagged and thus predetermined) regressors. A vector error correction model (VECM) can be obtained by reformulating equation (3). Thus,
The Granger representation theorem states that if the coefficient matrix has reduced rank r<n, then there exists n*r matrices and , each with rank r such that = and 'Xt is stationary. r is the number of cointegrating relations (the cointegrating rank) and each column of is the cointegrating vector. The elements of are known as the adjustment parameters in the vector error correct model. The Johansen method is to estimate the matrix in an unrestricted form, then test whether we can reject the restrictions implied by the reduced rank of . The cointegrating vector is solved as the eigevectors associated with the r largest statistically significant eigenvalues is tested using two test statistics, namely, “Maximum eigenvalue statistic” ( l max) and “trace statistic” ( l trace) . l trace tests null hypothesis that the number of cointegrating vector is less than or equal to r against an unspecified alternative. If l trace = 0, when all the l I = 0, so it is a joint test. In the similar manner, l tests the null hypothesis that the number of cointegrating max vectors is r against an alternative of r+1. The test statistics for cointegration are as follows.
Where, T is the sample size and l r+1 is an estimated eigenvalue.
Graphical View of Stationarity and Non-stationarity of Time Series Data Non-stationarity occurs when a series exhibits no affinity for a mean value. Many macroeconomic series exhibit non-stationarity due to an upward drift over time. When estimating electricity demand it is first necessary to derive a stationary series. If non-stationarity is existent in the raw series, a technique such as first difference of the original is employed to obtain a stationary series. ACs and PACs for the sample period are examined to check whether the series is stationary or non-stationary. Accordingly the following figures represent the plots of the original and first difference of the raw data. The plot of the original data reveals the series under consideration to be nonstationary which is shown in figures 1, 3, 5, and 7. The first difference of the original, non-stationary data, plotted in figures 2, 4, 6, and 8 is stationary.
Figure 1: Real GDP of Nepal (1980-2002)
Figure 2: Real GDP of Nepal (Plots of First Difference)
Cointegration is a phenomenon that each component xi,t, where i = 1, 2, …..k of a vector time series process, xt is a unit root process, possibly with drift, but certain linear combinations of the xi,t's are stationary. Consider a vector xt of n potentially endogenous variables within which specification of data generating process is possible. Again consider xt as an unrestricted vector auto regressive (VAR) model involving up to k lags.
Where T is the sample size and l i = l 1, l 2, ……… ën are the estimated n-r smallest eigenvalues.
analysing time series data in the log-run.
150000 100000 50000 0 1980
8000 6000 4000 2000 0
Figure 3: Electricity consumption in '2000 toe (Plots of First Difference)
14 Rlectricity Consumption in '000toe
Flectricity Consumption in'000 toe
140.00 120.00 100.00 80.00 60.00 40.00 20.00 0.00 1975
12 10 8 6 4
Where t is a linear time trend and m is chosen to achieve white noise residuals, t. The results of two tests are reported in table 1.
2 0 1975
Table 1: ADF and PP unit root tests for time series period, 1980-2002.
Figure 6: Fuel Light and Water Indices (Plots of First Difference)
Figure 5: Fuel Light and Water Indices 600.00
500.00 Consumer Price Index
Consumer Price Index
attempts are made to examine the time series data by applying two well known testsaugmented Dickey Fuller (ADF) and Phillips-Perron (PP) unit root tests on the stationarity of the levels and first differences of the variables. In a nutshell, for any variable yt, testing the null hypothesis of yt~I(1)is equivalent to testing yt being stationary. The ADF unit root test procedure is based on the OLS regression (Lin, 2003).
Figure 4: Electricity consumption
400.00 300.00 200.00 100.00
-10 -20 -30 -40 -50 -60 -70
Figure 8: Electricity Efficiency (Plots of First Difference)
Figure 7: Electricity Efficiency 300.00
As shown by the ADF and PP tests, it is not justifiable to reject the null hypothesis that the level series is non-stationary. Further, all the series under considerations are checked by running on all the variables in their first differences. Both the tests results under consideration suggest that all the variables are first difference stationary. It means I(1). This shows that they satisfy the condition to construct a cointegration system.
The possibility of cointegration between the variables included in model (2) is examined by estimating the cointegrating regression initially by OLS. The regression results are reported in Equation 6 and in Table 2.
0 Electricity Efficiency
250.00 200.00 150.00 100.00
-10 -20 -30 -40 -50 -60
-70 0.00 1975
Unit Root Tests Estimation of demand function without testing stationery of the time series data may lead to the biased results. The classical theory of econometrics assumes that the data were stationary time series, containing a constant mean, variance and auto covariance. However this is not true that in a growing economy OLS estimation might not satisfy the long-run models. In such a perspective, examination of the properties of time series data is a necessary part of the demand analysis. In this context,
EC = -3.41 + 0.69 GDP - 0.10 P - 0.37 EF + 0.01D
The statistically significant coefficients shows that the long run income elasticity is 0.69 implied that 1% change in income will change the electricity demand by 0.69 %. The change in electricity demand is less than proportionately associated with the change in per capita GDP. The electricity price elasticity is less responsive at a mere 0.10. It implies that the electricity price changes (increases) by one percent will decrease the electricity demand by 0.10 %. Given that electricity is such an important part of daily life and very few substitutes exist often reveals low response in price changes. Although the coefficient is significantly different from zero, the magnitude implies very inelastic demand. The coefficient of electricity efficiency factor is -0.37. It implies that one percent increase in the energy conservation measures will tend to decrease electricity efficiency by 0.37 percent. And the coefficient of dummy variable is 0.01 meaning that the change in conflict and political instability will change in the electricity demand by 0.01 percent. In a multivariate system the Johansen method of testing for cointegration between a set of variables is preferred over the Engle-Granger two-step procedure. As suggested by Bo Q Lin (2003) the Schwarz information criterion is used to determine the number of cointegrating vectors in the model. The optimal lag orders equal 3. No deterministic trend in the data is assumed. The results of the Johansen's cointegration test procedure are reported in Table 3 and 4.
The empirical finding of Johansen Cointegration tests (Table 3 and 4) reveals that both tests indicate there exists a consistently cointegrating vector or long run equilibrium relation among variables during the sample period of 1980-2002. The coefficient estimates of the cointegration vector are as follows. รก' = (1.00, -1.004, +0.21, +0.40, -0.04) The coefficients estimated from cointegration vector are normalised for EC, GDP, P, EF and D. They reflect long run elasticity coefficients as the variables are in logarithms. The substitution of these values in equation (2) will provide a long-run estimation of electricity demand. Thus, EC = 1.004 GDP 0.21 P 0.40 EF + 0.04 D
Equation (7) reveals the long run elasticity coefficients, which are statistically significant. The electricity income elasticity is 1.004. It shows that there is a proportionate change in the electricity demand associated with the proportionate change in the level of per capita income. The electricity price elasticity is only - 0.21, however, this coefficient is different from zero. It shows that the demand for electricity is inelastic. It is convenient to say that a few substitutions are available for electricity. It follows that consumers are bound to use electric energy in spite of the increase in price. In an open economy, the substitution for electricity such as gas and kerosene could not ruled out to consumers' preferences for the reason that electric energy is in the versatile form and represent a highest ladder. The energy efficiency coefficient is -0.40 implies that the electric energy conservation measures would make efficient electricity use by 0.40 percent. An insignificant change in the electricity demand is perceived due to the change in political instability and conflict. A mere 0.04 percent increase in electricity consumption is explained by this variable.
Policy Implications Nepal is endowed with huge potential of water resources from which thousands of megawatts of electricity can be generated. The exploitation of this vast potentiality of hydropower has become a necessity of the time as the nation commits to achieve a certain level of economic development with high growth that supports in reducing poverty. Additional generation of electricity depends upon its demand pattern and in turn rising demand pattern depends on the level of urbanization, modernization and improvement in the living standards of the people concerned. First of all, it is necessary to overlook at the domestic demand patterns to determine the quantity of output to be produced in an economy. Thus, in this juncture, a systematic and comprehensive assessment of the demand patterns of electricity consumption can provide a basis for the formulation and implementation of systematic power planning. The hydropower policy (2001) of the government of Nepal emphasised on to attract the independent power producers (IPPs) from both the domestic and foreign investors. Capitalisation of the private sector participation in power generation requires
systematic and reliable demand estimation which is possible only after examining the demand patterns that can provide the basis of market possibility in the long-run and substantial room to assess expected profit margins in their investments. Thus, the estimation of electricity income and price elasticities helps the policy makers and planners to prepare guidelines for implementing systematic power planning as it examines the long-run demand pattern of electricity. From the above analysis it is found that income elasticity of electricity demand is unitary elastic (see equation 7). It resembles the equal proportion of the change in per capita electricity consumption associated with the change in per capita income of the people. The price elasticity of electricity demand indicates that the demand for electric energy is highly inelastic. It means the demand for electricity is not sensitive to the small or large change (increase/decrease) in the price of electricity. It provides a basis for examining the consumer's willingness and ability to pay for it that helps to determine the electricity tariff. The tariff rate of electricity should cover the supply cost of electricity. Actual tariff rate can be determined on the basis of scrutinizing electricity price elasticity. Thus, accurate estimation of electricity price elasticity is the prerequisite of the fixation of tariff that resembles the supply cost covering O&M cost, a certain level of profit margins and recovery cost of the project.
As observed in the empirical results, it is evident that the electricity demand function is unitary income elastic. It shows that electricity is a versatile form of energy with few substitutes. Consumers' preferences cannot be ruled out by replacing other form of energy in its place for the reason that it represents the highest ladder among the available sources of energy. People use more electric energy because it is environment friendly and cleaner than other forms of energy as their living standard rises. Similarly, the electricity demand function is price inelastic. It follows that in spite of the rise/fall in the price level it does not decrease/increase in the long-run electricity demand.
(Dr Kamal Raj Dhungel is senior lecturer at the Central Department of Economics, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal). Bibliography Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) 2003. Statistical Year Book, Kathmandu, CBS. l l Carol Dahl, 'A Survey of energy demand Elasticities for the Developing World', The Journal of Energy and Development, 1994, vol. 18, pp. 1-47. l K. R. Dhungel, Readings in Nepalese Economy, (New Delhi: Adroit Publishers, 2004). l K. R. Dhungel, 'Income and Price Elasticity of the Demand for Energy: A Macro Level
Empirical Analysis', Pacific and Asian Journal of Energy, 2003, 13(2), pp. 73-84. l R. F. Engle and C. W. J. Granger, 'Cointegration and Error Correction: Representation
The estimated demand function of electricity reveals that there is a greater scope of improving energy efficiency by increasing the price of electricity. Low electricity tariff may provide room for its misutilization. Consumers' intensity to save fuel from wastage will tend to low at the low level of energy price. As seen in the empirical results, any small steps/efforts/measures if taken timely to conserve, electric energy would increase the electricity efficiency in a considerable manner.
Estimation and Testing', Econometrica, 1987, vol. 55, pp. 251-76. l M. Eltory and N. Al- Mutari, 'Demand for Gasoline in Kuwait an Empirical Analysis Using
Cointegrating Techniques', Energy Economics, 1995, 7(3), pp. 249-259. l W. H. Greene, Econometric Analysis, (New Jersey, Prentice Hall, 2000). l http://econ.la.psu.edu/~hbierens/EasyRegTours/COINTJ.HTM l http://www.mines.edu/students/j/jhodge/Papers/Energy%20Elasticities.pdf l S. Johansen, Likelihood Based Inference in Cointegrated Vector Autoregressive Models,
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1995).
Planners and policy makers need a systematic future demand pattern of electricity to determine the future growth pattern of GDP, which mainly depends on the adequate and reliable supply of electricity. The future electricity demand patterns in order to determine GDP growth is estimated on the basis of the estimated demand function. In order to forecast the future electricity demand the primary task is to project the GDP, Consumer Price Index of fuel, light and water and efficiency factor on their historical trends.
l S. Johansen and K. Juselius, 'Maximum Likelihood Estimation and Inferences on
Cointegration with Applications to the demand for Money', Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 1990, vol. 52, pp. 461-72. l B. Q. Lin, 'Electricity Demand in the People's Republic of China: Investment Requirement and Environmental Impact', ERD Working Paper Series No. 37, Asian Development Bank, 2003. l Ministry of Finance (MoF) 1998, 2001, 2003. Economic Surveys, Kathmandu, MoF. l M. Munasinghe, Energy Analysis and Policy, Selected Work, (London: Butterworths, 1990).
Conclusion Energy demand forecasting has been popular since 1980's. Econometric models are employed to estimate the income and price elasticity of the energy forms without examining the properties of time series data. As seen in the figures (1, 3, 5 and 7) above the data of variables under consideration have an upward trend over time. It indicates that the data are non-stationary. If we employ OLS method to estimate the income and price elasticities, we may arrive at the biased result. Therefore, it is most essential to examine time series property to arrive at the estimation of coefficients. So, the most recent method of examining properties of time series data is employed to estimate the income and price elasticities of demand. The estimated demand function reflects the long-run equilibrium.
South Asian Journal, a quarterly periodical of South Asian journalists and scholars, October-December 2005. Editor Imtiaz Alam