Friday, April 4, 2008

Brutalization of a University Professor

Dr. Zahoor H. Baber

It was unbelievable to see a university professor Dr. Riaz Ahmed of the University of Karachi, standing severely injured inside the campus gate few days ago. His associates and students who saw his condition were appalled, many eyes became wet. Innumerable questions were raised; the academic mind was in great turmoil. How can this happen? Why? And for what purpose? And so on.

The inquiry was set forth, procedures started following, committees began forming. The crisscross of defenders and offenders is the norm of the situation now. Protests are launched by teaching communities and civil society through out the country. However, the incident has left deep wounds in the hearts and minds of associates of Dr.Riaz, who is known for his commitments towards the teaching community, academic institutions, and a liberal society.

The deplorable state of affairs in the academic world of Pakistan
demands a revaluation of the whole academic setup and its authentication. The cruel behavior towards a vigilant and profound thinker, a brilliant researcher and a highly conscientious member of the society, within the premises of his institution, reveals the hidden facts. It exposes the anti-intellectual and irrational mind-set working against any one who is committed towards liberalism, open-mindedness, justice, and freedom.

Dr. Riaz Ahmed’s incident symbolizes the conflict of a society struggling against itself, and thus never being able to come out of its own nostalgia. Where as the high profile educationists and policy makers will keep on falsely intellectualizing their success in bringing the academic world at par with the west, the really committed people like Dr. Riaz Ahmed will always be condemned and crushed for their courage and wisdom in their struggle against authoritarianism, and in their fight to bring the working class up to the standards of humanization and freedom; thus defeating imperialist structures imposed on a developing nations.

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