As Priyanka mentions below, today is the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi and several Indian English-language dailies devoted columns and articles to the independence leader. Pakistan’s English newspapers have largely ignored the significance of the day, with no utterance of the occasion in their news nor in their opinion columns.

Now, many would point out that wasn’t Gandhi India’s national leader, and so why should Pakistan care? The obvious fact is that Gandhi’s movement not only led to the freedom of modern India but also of Pakistan. For decades, Pakistan’s school syllabi and public thinkers have discarded his contributions to independence as well as Pakistan’s millenia-old Hindu and Subcontinental roots. This is part of a systematic islamization of the country, which has deprived the country of non-violent ideologies and a plural historical identity–and has allowed sectarianism and religious extremism to flourish.

-Fez

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