India rules Kashmir with the help of bullets and bayonets

January 24, 2016

Nasir Khan, January 24, 2015

This is how the Indian state controls Kashmir. India has long claimed Jammu and Kashmir as being ‘integral part of India’. But when the people of Kashmir ask for the right to self-determination, the answer is the bullets. There are 700,000 Indian armed soldiers spread around every nook and corner of Kashmir. The call for freedom is treason and those demanding freedom are ‘terrorists’ according to the Indian state, who have to brutally crushed.
A helpless and voiceless people can only raise their hands to their God for help. But brutal killings and horrible crimes committed in Kashmir happen due to the actions of the Indian state authorities. They are the Indian soldiers who were ordered to crush the demands of freedom and have been killing people. In my view, no god is responsible for such a situation, whether anyone calls that god a Muslims’ god, Hindus’ god, or Buddhists’ god. These evil situations are created by human beings and only they can find some solution if they follow the way of our common humanity. The good will of Indian rulers can resolve the Kashmir conflict and bring peace to the long-suffering people.


A true warrior works for the good of others

January 9, 2016


Nasir Khan, January 9, 2016


This message of Chief Sitting Bull can stir the conscience of every human being. In any case, this is a hope and wish I have for the for common men and women in the world.

But the situation is not so simple. There are people who are immune to what he says. In a way, they are also prisoners of the conditions under which they live, operate and remain there because they see no way out. They include the rulers of imperial states, occupiers of other peoples’ lands, warmongers catering to the interests of weapon industries and special interest groups, political manipulators of religions, diehard religious fanatics, weapon producers, violators of human rights and the propagandists of imperialism and religious ideologies of fanaticism, etc.


What Chief Sitting Bull says is the essence of being human in a civilised society. How we classify his message and under which category is not so important. In essence, what he says relates to the welfare of human beings in general. In a broad sense, I regard his ideas being the bare essentials of Socialist Humanism.


Killing of innocent people by individuals and by states through wars

January 6, 2016

Nasir Khan, January 6, 2016

President Obamas shedding tears for the US children killed in gun violenceobama


Oh, what a sad sight! The kind-hearted and benevolent US president Obama has shed tears for the US children who were victims of gun violence! But he didn’t shed any tears on the cold-blooded killings of men, women, children and elderly by US drones, which he ordered. Is the gun violence worse than the drone killings and genocidal wars, which he and his predecessors have carried out remorselessly in Iran, Afghanistan and other places? To my knowledge, neither he, nor his predecessors shed any tears then!

For my part, I feel deep remorse and pain on the killing of any child by anyone whether that happens in the United States, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Gaza and the West Bank of the occupied Palestine or Syria, etc. When the killing of innocent people, men, women and children are undertaken by governments and their powerful armies, then the matter is not of some accidental shooting but is a result of state policies. Such killings on large scales are called genocides, and they are war crimes in international law. The United States of America tops the list of the militarist states that have committed genocidal wars and crimes against humanity after the end of the Second World War.

Anyone with common sense will accept that international law can only apply if there was the rule of law in the world. When there is the rule of bombs, guns, tanks and missiles, which the powerful states use to implement their political agendas and policies then the rule of law has no meaning any longer. What we should be doing is not to shed tears on this state of affairs but to find out ways and strategies that can be useful to implement rule of law and influence the militarist powers to seek peaceful ways to resolve conflicts. In this, the United States as the most powerful military power has a special responsibility in the world if it chooses an alternative course as a superpower. However, the chances of that happening are slim.


The need to renationalise the British rail

January 5, 2016

Nasir Khan, January 6, 2016

The privatization of the British rail (BR) has been a great disaster for the ordinary people of the United Kingdom. The only beneficiaries of the scheme that was unleashed first by the Tories, and then followed up by the Labour, were the private companies and their capitalist owners.

Whenever foreign tourists, including many from affluent west European countries, visit Britain and pay sky-high rail tickets they get a shock. They just don’t understand why the British government is so indifferent to the ordinary working class people and their families who have no option but to pay such high prices to travel. This utterly unfair system should be scrapped and the BR should be taken out of the clutches of the private capital and be renationalised. But who can do it? Tories? Blairites? The answer is, No. It can be done only by a government run by people who have concern for the welfare of its citizens.

It is difficult to say how things will develop. If Jeremy Corbyn succeeds to head a Labour government, then the chances of a much-needed change seem bright. He is a worthy and reliable person who can do it. But he has much difficult tasks within the Labour party, which has a hierarchy of the Labour establishment, practically indistinguishable from what the Tories have, who will obstruct him all the way.

Some have more than enough, others have nothing. Why is it so?

January 3, 2016

Nasir Khan, January 3, 2015

The host proudly says: “Thanks Almighty Allah for what what we have on our table! We have more than enough here; no one can go hungry from here!” One could hear a big roar of laughter of the revellers on hearing this.

An old man in his late seventies suddenly appears close to the dining table and politely says to the host: ” Sir! But there are so many hungry and needy people in various places who are your Muslim brothers and sisters including millions of innocent Muslim children.”

The host replies with a smile on his bearded face: “They should eat cakes! Anyhow that’s Allah who is the Provider. He gives to whom He wishes; He leaves some out of all this! Why? Only He knows his secrets. By the way, don’t question the Wisdom of Allah because He knows everything and He knows best. You can be beheaded for your rebellious views.”

“Guards! Show this ignorant man way out of our door and never let him come in again!” (Big laughter again!)

The questioner is pushed out of the premises. The party will go on as usual.

And then the questioner will turn to his computer and start writing his comments and ideas on such injustices he sees on his Facebook Timeline for others to read while the big parties go on.


On Martin Luther’s prescription to inculcate the Bible on the youth

January 2, 2016

— Nasir Khan, January 1, 2016

“I am afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labour in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the heart of the youth.”

― Great church reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546).

The great church reformer, Martin Luther, would be glad to know if someone can pass on this information to him, no matter wherever he may be at present, or in whatever form he may be, that schools and the educational systems in many European countries have faithfully followed his ‘pious prescriptions’ for many centuries. However, some independent thinking was also allowed in European educational system because of the great struggles in the last century by educationists and thinkers.

Meanwhile in other parts of the world – especially in Asian and African countries – people have followed the age-old teaching methods where children and youngsters have been taught in their old dogmas and stories as eternal truths. Such a schooling had and still has a lasting effect on them that can’t be shaken off. Because of such a traditional indoctrination, for most people dogmas and dogmatic thinking are more like their second nature; they cannot liberate themselves from such ways of thinking. Any dogmas internalised at a young age take a permanent hold on the minds of the people.


Maintaining institutionalized ignorance

December 28, 2015

— Nasir Khan, December 28, 2015

Renowned American writer Saul Bellow (1915-2005) says: “A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance.” This pithy saying speaks volumes if we analyse it at greater length. But I will offer only a few fleeting remarks here.

It may surprise some if I say that ignorance is not a simple matter. In fact, a complex phenomenon serves various social, political and religious interests. It is directly related to influence common people and their consciousness of the social reality that surrounds them. However, the task of the brainy purveyors of ignorance is not to inform but to raise the barriers that would not let any truth slip in to the masses! That means if the particular interests are to be protected and masses duped then ignorance has to be institutionalised, fortified and perpetuated by the powerful and the influential people who are at the helm of affairs.

Who can buttress the citadel of Ignorance better than the people who are dubbed as intelligentsia, intellectuals and the ‘educated’ ones that separates them from the ordinary people? There is no doubt, they do an excellent job when they have rich and resourceful people to patronise them and institutions to hire their services. They are closely attached to upholding the interests of the ruling elite and justify their actions and policies. I call them modern-day gladiators!

Remarks on old gods and One God

December 27, 2015


— Nasir Khan, December 27, 2015

I assure the followers of one Supreme God who belong to different religions, both monotheistic (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) and others (Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, etc.) that old gods and goddesses were not ‘real’. They were only man-made and existed in the imagination of their believers. However, it is important to point out that for their believers they were ‘real’ and they worshipped them in earnest.

As luck would have it, Jews found one god, Yahweh, who became common in the Middle East under different names. This happened at a certain stage in history and the evolution of divergent theologies, finally culminated in the concept of one God. Consequently, one universal and omnipotent God replaced the old tribal gods.


In this context, we should not forget the role of the Egyptian emperor Akhenaten (c. 1351 BC – c. 1336 BC) who also introduced one god in his realm. But he met much opposition from the powerful priests and the followers of traditional gods. After his death the old gods were reinstated and the memory of the ‘heretic’ emperor and his one god banished.

Courtesy: Mark Stephens

The three daughters of the Semitic god, Hubal. From left to right: Al-Uzza, Al-Lat and Menat formed a holy trinity in Ancient Arabia. They were widely worshipped: from Nabatean Petra in the North to the legendary Kingdoms of Arabia Felix in the South, including Saba, the Biblical Sheba; as far east as Mesopotamia and Persia.

  Mark Stephens's photo.

How we get religions and politics

December 24, 2015

Nasir Khan, December 24, 2015

“In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.”

― American author Mark Twain (1835-1910)
In Norway, people say if you discuss religion and politics then your social contacts with your friends will have a short life. I am acutely aware of this dilemma because I often discuss religion and politics in my articles and comments that I share with many. No wonder if I can count the number of my close friends on the fingers of only one hand! (What a sad loss!)

Both religions and politics have their long lives that outlive us as individuals. In fact, both religions and politics share some common concerns that make them appealing to their followers. We follow religions because our ancestors have done so. In our childhood, we may ask some odd question but soon we find that the social pressure to conform prevails and we fall in line with the common traditional practices in our inherited religion. Western societies may have found some middle way, but the vast majorities of Afro-Asian societies follow the traditional pattern in matters of religion.

Some people may be modest not to proclaim the superiority of their religion, their religious beliefs or ‘their’ God/gods. But they are limited in numbers. Most followers of a religion take a different course. They may say something that amounts to this: ‘Other religions are false and based on wrong beliefs, but my religion is real and the best’, ‘our God is the only true God because he is not man-made as some others have’, and so on.

In politics, we have more or less the same. For instance, in the United States, there are only Democratic and Republican parties that have monopoly over power. You are either a Dem or a Rep by birth! Only a few may cross the party lines but the vast majorities of the two parties remain loyal to the party they inherited from their parents. Therefore, I find the traditional attitudes towards religion and politics Mark Twain referred to be empirically accurate.


Why generalising is needed

December 22, 2015

Nasir Khan, December 22, 2015

“An idea is always a generalization, and generalization is a property of thinking. To generalize means to think.”

— German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831)

Hegel is spot-on the interrelationship of thinking and generalising. We all think about various things in our daily lives. Out from our observations and experiences we also draw some general conclusions, or generalise that is more of an evaluative process.

We also meet people who hold an opinion or view to be only a ‘generalisation’; therefore, by calling it a generalisation what they imply is that it should be cast aside as ‘non-factual’ or ‘illusory’.

However, that’s a simplistic view. On the contrary, in the hands of thinkers and mature observers their views are based on empirical data and a rational analysis of such data. As a result, for them to offer generalisations is  an essential part of communicating some facts that are part of a cognitive process.

No wonder, all thinkers and mentally mature people generalise; that helps many of us to see their views as empirically verifiable. But all generalisations do not meet this criterion. By adducing evidence, we can show the erroneous assumptions on which such generalised views may be based.



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