Monthly Archives: April 2010

Libraries go out of fashion

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

APRIL 23 was the World Book and Copyright Day. We have to be grateful to DawnNews for taking up the subject of books in its programme `

Bolna zaroori hai`.

The media doesn`t find books an exciting topic to discuss. Books don`t carry the same attraction as cross-border weddings of sport celebrities. Some television channels were kind enough to carry reports in their news bulletins on how Book and Copyright Day was observed.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Books, Education |

Change for the better?

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

THIS little book is the story of the `Third Estate` of the world. Borrowing the term from French history, Prof Jamal Naqvi uses it to refer to the Third World, that is the poor countries that were decolonised in the post-war years.

They shared the characteristic of being underprivileged, deprived and oppressed as were the masses in pre-revolutionary France who were dominated by the clergy and the nobility.

Prof Naqvi was deeply involved in the politics of the Left in Pakistan until 1990. He has not attempted to trace the history of Asia, Africa and Latin America in the ideological context in the book under review.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Book Reviews, Economy |

Homage to a teacher

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.— Kahlil Gibran

HOW many university teachers in Pakistan would fit this definition? Today there are over 46,000 academics in our universities and the quest for better standards in our institutions of higher education is endless.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Education, Notable Personalities |

Technology for transparency

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

A NEWS item in this paper datelined Lahore informed us last week that the Punjab government will be allowing online access to all its laws, rules and regulations in two months.

This should be welcomed as one of the most positive moves to be considered by any government in the country — assuming this actually happens. In a state which claims to be democratic, transparency of governance is the foremost requirement if citizens are to be part of the process of governing themselves.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Politics |

The power of language

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

THIS was in the days when computers and the Internet did not rule the world of communication and only a few people in the West had the facility of what was then popularly called electronic mail.

A gentleman from the International Labour Organisation commented that he did not know how to handle a computer and that made him feel like an illiterate person who lacked access to the knowledge available on the World Wide Web.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Language |