January 30, 2010

Baluch nationalism is not the ambition of the few

M.Sarjov

It is wrong to perceive that the Baluch nationalism is the ambition of the few. Pakistan perceive the Baluch struggle in Baluchistan, a) as relic of outmoded traditionalism, doomed to be overtaken by the unwelcome incursions of modernity, b) traditional immovable Sardars obstacle to modernization.

The Baluch tribes have had traditional rivalries among themselves. The Baluch tribes have had encountered each other during the colonial rule. They have been encountering each other during the Pakistan and Iranian colonial rules. Tribal movement always perceived as created and instigated to action by special interests that time and again masked for class privilege.

The very elites who were thought to be leading the people struggle have tribal commitment. The people who were to be leading their people away from tribal affiliations were found to be in the forefront of tribal conflicts. Lack of contemporary utility and onslaught of modern forces make traditionalism survival impossible. The tribal anarchism would lead the nation to the verge of disappearance.

Educated elites, city dwellers, detribalized sector of society were supposed to be leading the Pakistan’s modernization in Baluchistan, were found to be in the forefront of Baluch national struggle for independent Baluchistan. The Baluch national struggle has its deepest roots among educated elite. Ethnic conflict has extended up in urban areas.

The strength of national affiliations among the Baluch and the will of many Baluch who are willing to hold tight to nation values, heritages and right to re-establish the independent Baluchistan, make it impossible to suggest that the Baluch struggle for independent coming to an end.

Pakistan’s and Iranian have dismissed the Baluch nationalism as an artificial, they claims that it has been founded by their respective enemies , but contrary to their dismissal the Baluch national conflict with Persian is reflect on the ancient hostility and bitterness and the hostility toward Pakistan also deep rooted. The national hostilities are of long duration. Memories of recent past genocide by the Pakistan’s armed forces and recent humiliation inflicted collectively upon the Baluch nation will revive and sustain the contemporary condition for national struggle.

Emergence of the Baluch nationalism is a product of social mobilization. Shepherds and peasants which have been uprooted from their traditional villages have moved to the urban areas. Shortages of state resources and rates of social mobilization of the villagers to the urban areas, competition for urban modern resources hostilities against unassimilated new comer by the urban dweller insecurities of the changes derives the Baluch masses to the communal shelter of Nationalism.

The Baluch nation continued to be united because of their capacity to satisfy the demands of their members for the sets of goals. To the degree as the leaders provide benefits to their members, they are able to gain their support and achieve their loyalty.

The Baluch aspirations and expectations have changed; they are no longer mobilized into the tribal loyalties. They are mobilized into the modern economic. The Baluch demands more power, more goods, more recognition.

The Baluch want the same thing as Pakistan and Iran want that is sovereignty over Baluchistan territory, these conflicts will not end here and now. The Baluch nationalism is not resistant to the changes but a part of process of modernity.

It is wrong to perceive that the Baluch nationalism is the ambition of the few. The modern middle class should play the detribalizing roles; by further their interest by invoking support for these who are struggling for national liberation. The Baluch elites and middle classes have unique interest that related to the benefits of modernity.

The Baluch elites and middle classes has to realize that Pakistan and Iran (to less extent) failed to created a single language and culture for respective state and assimilate the rest of population into that culture and language, and divide the population of given state into the stratum. People preserve their identity, that identity give them sense of security, they persist their language because of their capacity to extract goods from it and satisfy their demands, and ethnicity is the collective will to exist. The Baluch has been excluded from the process of modernization by Pakistan for last 62 years and Iran for less than century but Baluch do not ceased to exist.

The smallest nation on the earth will never know of their members, but in their minds of each of them lives the image of their community. The nations are sovereign because enlightenment and revolution has destroyed the legitimacy of religious, hierarchical dynastic sphere. Nation is conceived as comradeship. Up to now there have been shortages of imagination.

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