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The Triangle Space – Page 4 – Stay Informed

The main role of education in changing society

Naveed Hussain Sandeelo

Through this article, I am getting to produce my very own point of view that’s what sort of education system should be introduced in the schools and academies of our country. Which kind of teaching methods are more appropriate and getting involves students in the process of learning? How can they develop their intelligence, and become capable to easily resolve peculiar problems of their private life? Is this prevalent education system satisfactory and competent in bringing up our youth before the challenges and needs of the business-oriented contemporary world? Along with these essential matters, I shall also discuss the basic issue that what sort of knowledge and education systems are more edifying and enlightening to a person, and which are the most ambiguous to peril their minds. For understanding its aims and objectives smoothly I’ve divided my discourse as under:

Knowledge is based on universal and eternal truths

Knowledge kindles light in one’s dark chamber of an ignorant mind. It is more powerful than a wealthy person’s treasures of hoarded money. Knowledge is bliss, ignorance is a curse, it is more beautiful, joyful which brings more wonder and joy in life. One can become more ecstatic and joyful. Though some knowledge is thought relative all knowledge is not relative. Knowledge is often a universal which attempts to succeed at a high level of understanding and tends to go beyond merely opinions and statements. The knowledge problem leads to all other sorts of problems. It’s interesting particularly in finding a way for arriving at real knowledge as different from simple opinion. Amid the diversity of thought, great philosophers had tried to aim to get that which is common to all or any, a ground which can’t be disputed. It had been their great desire to offer a reasonably complete theory of knowledge. For them, sense-perception couldn’t give genuine knowledge. According to them, man should go beyond the limitations of senses to ideas that are produced neither by experience nor dependent upon experience. The soul, it is thought, while coming into the world brings within itself real sort of ideas, which are considered as genuine. Carrying this line of reasoning further we hold that although our experiential world is the genuine world, true knowledge depends on knowing the causes or reasons of things. Our claim of saying that knowledge is universal is because all minds of ours are basically in nature identical and alike. They all have certain kinds of basic categories such as unity, plurality, totality, reality, and the like. All minds possess the same kind of equal common nature; all of our thinking is very considerably alike. 

Commonly scientific knowledge is thought by itself is relative but science is not satisfied with this relative status given to her. It also aspires to be universal and absolute to overcome its relative nature. In this sense, we don’t hesitate to say that knowledge is only based on universal and eternal truths and is a continuous quest for truth and an attempt to ultimate reality. In this sense we can say that achieving knowledge is a continuous process; it is a struggle to fashion theory in the context of experiment and thought. There is no station of learning, nor any stop to its attempts and endeavors. One can learn all the life from cradle to grave. There is no episode, no gap, and no gulf. As life is constantly flowing it moves on and on towards an unending journey one gets new experiences. Every step offers its cognition. From mathematics to music, philosophy, literature, painting, economics, physics, biology, chemistry, history, medicine, engineering, anthropology, and like all sciences play a pivotal and essential part in human learning and educating him.

Purpose of education

Education leads man to enlightenment and wisdom. The aim of education is aware of students’ love for new learning and to foster a real interest in temporary sciences, history, economics, mathematics, and technical skills. Education means the process of learning which brings individual as well as social change. Its basic function should be to spread philosophical-scientific thoughts among the students. Samuel Enoch, writing on John Dewy gives his reference of philosophy of education that “Nothing is more important than in remolding a society. If a man is a creature of habit, education should provide the conditions for developing the most useful and creative habits. The spirit of education should be experimental because the mind is fundamentally a problem-solving instrument. Like science, education should recognize the intimate connection between the action and think, between experiment and reflection.” (Stumpf, 1988, P.425) Including this, the main function of education is to make students confident, self-reliant, and self-sufficient in the order they may become capable to face the challenges in every walk of life. It is to create some clear ideas in students’ minds that they can easily know a lot of things which will make them more wise and appreciative of the achievements of the human race. According to Brezinka, “Education is perceived as a shaping of the soul, as an art which shapes a person in so that receives the proper form.” (Brezinka, 1992, P. 39)

It is to develop critical thinking skills and methods of inquiry in them how to probe the peculiar problems and matter of things. They should be taught that through the use of the tools of rationality and logico-analysis they can secure their quest for truth from any sort of ambiguous conventional thoughts. They should be taught that their thinking should go beyond the limited ideas of regionalism, color, race, and national boundaries, and they must enjoy all blessings of life equally. They should keep aloof from any sort of prejudices that are bound in the narrow streets of nationalism, religion, creed, and region. They should be imparted to strictly believe that all humans are created from one breath of life. Hence, students must be prepared as competent and skilled individuals for the competitive global economy. They are future builders and makers of our next generations, where flowers and fruits of civilization will flourish in abundance.

The peculiar purpose of schools

Schools are considered as organized institutions, whose primary responsibility is to transmit to the next generations, the knowledge, and wisdom of all the prior generations. The primary function of education institutions and academies is to maintain the basic elements of human culture. It is the essential duty of school they must provide students such kind of learning they need to play role in liberal arts and sciences to introduce a democratic and liberal society. Not succeeding to transform these needed subjects and skills puts nation and culture in peril. This fundamental learning includes the art of reading and writing, arithmetic, and the subjects of history, biography, mathematics, science, language, and literature. The fundamental purpose of schools is to teach their students what is required for their individual development as well as in the interest of society. But here the case is different. The emphasis here is on what the governments think is best; not necessarily what is best for the students. 

Schools do teach too much and overburdening the students with huge information and knowledge. They don’t prepare them to seek wisdom and real knowledge. This is literally concerning quantity. They don’t focus on high quality and essentially required a galaxy of great ideas. Many schools in our country are not concentrating and aspiring students for creativity, but in contrast, they are fully focusing on preparing and emphasizing them to memorize huge kinds of information which is not best for them. In a real sense, learning is doing, doing for the best of life. In the world of work, what is often called into play is the person’s ability to examine situations and make quick decisions. But here the student is not prepared for. During their career many look with hatred at their bosses and superiors for exact guidance. It takes time to get rid of that they have to be properly guided on what to do. One of the glaring examples is the subject of economics. All students almost are overflowing at the end of the course that they have scholarship over the subject and know everything about it. They are fully informed about all the theories of economics and their utility at the grand international level. But if any ask them for applying all that theoretical knowledge to open a small business, they do not even know the starting point. But on the contrary, we have quite often observed the unschooled persons, using their unlettered mind alone do well in business – and they know nothing about the economic theories of Adam Smith and David Ricardo.

What should the curriculum contain?

The curriculum is the central guide for all educators as to what is essential for teaching and learning. It includes some basic skills, essential subject matter, history, mathematics, language, science, and literacy in computer science. Every student has excess to the rigorous academic experience. The curriculum should contain practical knowledge and it should include basic learning, skills, and subjects to make students capable of their practical life. Moreover, while structuring a curriculum strictly requires careful attention and teaching must follow certain efficiency. The prevalent method of only depending on textbooks teaches students nothing except depending on others. The role of textbooks is essential and they have a very important function in the process of teaching and learning. What we educate in schools is based on the nature of texts that how are these developed and what they tell something about the under learning subjects. Textbooks are the greatest tools to keep education within boundaries. Students relying only on textbooks and merely memorizing to pass examinations, learn only what the authorities in them too. For example, the writer who went to school during the colonial period learned what a great man Robert Clive, of India, was. That was the British version. The Indian history books write volumes about Clive’s villainy in India. What is treacherous and traitors of time are officially taught Valiants and heroes of history. This is all of the other sides of education which is not based on facts and figures; this has always jeopardized young minds. 

A more pragmatic and helpful method, to some extent, perhaps would be scientific. They must be taught how to think and reason themselves. This means that teachers teach them some necessary tactics and skills, let them learn the rest of best by themselves. There should be included great books, classics, and critical dialogues to develop critical thinking. Through classical books, they will enrich their consummate thought and different kind of approaches towards things. 

Relationship between teachers and students

There are two sacred and great relations on the earth, one is of a teacher and the other is of the student, one is teaching other is learning, learning the ups and downs, pros and cons, beauties and benedictions, truth and morals to make oneself a complete man. In our Indian society, the status of the teacher is like Guru (a respected trained master) whereas the student is considered a Chelo (an obedient disciple) who always sits near the feet of a master for learning new things and art of how to follow a complete life. Teachers are also seen as spiritually respected parents who carefully guide their students and treat them as their children. What are the requirements of an ideal teacher he must know one’s profession thoroughly? He must know his subject far beyond the point he intends to teach. He needs to be an expert. For example, if he is teaching philosophy, he shall know all the dialogues of Plato – or at least most of them, rather than just the dialogue he is teaching. He can then makes cross-references and answer all the questions that arise in the minds of his students. 

The teacher must promote the love of his subject among his students. This he will do by first of all loving the subject himself. His enthusiasm and love for his subjects catch on with his students and if they learn to love a subject, they can learn it better. A bad teacher, usually by his lack of enthusiasm and interest, will cause his subject to be hated. A teacher has the responsibility to develop the characters of the students in his life. From time immemorial, teachers have been pillars of society. Like great Socrates, it is our teachers’ moral responsibility to construct in students great ideas. Mr. Allan Orenstein and Daniel Levine say that “To empower their student’s teachers must first empower themselves as professional educators.” (Ornstein, Allan C., Levine, Daniel U., 2007 P.179)

A teacher should create awareness in each student of ultimate responsibility for his or her education and self-definition. For Mayer, “Teacher shouldn’t be given corporal punishment and do dictatorial control this act of teacher prevents real learning and makes the student rebellious.” (Mayer, 1951, P. 548)

References and Citations

Brezinka, W. (1992, P. 39). Philosophy of Educational Knowledge. Springer-Science+Busness Media, B.V.

Mayer, F. (1951, P. 548). A History of Modern Philosophy. New York: American Book Company.

Ornstein, Allan C., Levine, Daniel U. (2007 P.179). Foundations of education (Tenth Edition). Wadsworth Publication.

Stumpf, S. E. (1988, P.425). Philosophy History and Problems. Mc Graw-Hill Book Company.

Structuralism and Linguistics.


The writer is an assistant professor in English at Mehran University of engineering and technology Jamshoro. Twitter@Lohar 



This study focuses on the basic assumptions about structuralism as proposed by Ferdinand Saussure through his ideas of structure, language signs, the synchronic and diachronic study of language and langue, and parole. It also incorporates the criticism of Saussurean thought from different intellectual quarters. The study takes a background view of the life of Saussure and his intellectual legacy and attempts to explain in simple terms before indulging in the technicalities of the topic.   


Structuralism, since its inception, has extended itself to various other fields and disciplines due to its wider applicability. However, this assignment only covers its relation to the field of Linguistics where it was born. The work undertaken here is aimed at focusing on the interpretation of structuralism theory as proposed and discussed by Saussure and his school of thought as well as the emergent new concepts about structuralism. The sign system in language, langue and parole, and other related concepts would be taken into consideration.   

Structuralism owes its origin to Ferdinand Saussure (26 November 1857 – 22 February 1913). He is renowned for his revolutionary ideas about the fields of linguistics and semiology. His founding role in semiology is only compared with the role of Charles Sanders Peirce. Saussure gave a new status to the understanding of language.  He believed that language should be approached not from the view of rules and regulations for correct or incorrect expressions rather it should be looked at from the angle of how people actually use it. He asserted that linguists should find out facts about language. He thought upon the language facts of meaning changes and sound changes. He discovered the internal sign system within the language. He regarded language as an integral part of human existence. He mentioned that language permeates every action, feeling, and experience of humans. It is inescapable. Humans are prisoners of the language. Unfortunately, he never wrote any book. It was only through the notes of lectures his students took that we came to know his linguistic theories in detail. Structuralism has undergone significant changes and modifications over time. It has bred post-structuralism to inform new learnings on its own system of ideas. Later the structuralism theory was extended to philosophy, psychology, sociology, and anthropology. In linguistics many linguists are still called as Sausurean, anti Saussurean, post Saussurean or non Saussurean. This proves that Saussure has laid such a foundation mark upon linguistics that no new theory can escape the given orbit of Saussure.

Roy Harris, the translator of his works, talks about Saussure’s role in linguistics:

Language is no longer regarded as peripheral to our grasp of the world we live in, but as central to it. Words are not mere vocal labels or communicational adjuncts superimposed upon an already given order of things. They are collective products of social interaction, essential instruments through which human beings constitute and articulate their world. This typically twentieth-century view of language has profoundly influenced developments throughout the whole range of human sciences. It is particularly marked in linguistics, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and anthropology.

(Roy Harris, 1988) 

Language versus reality and idea: background debates before Saussure

Humans have the ability to express themselves through the agency of language. There may be various factors while relating to the experience of interpreting the phenomena. There would be different working elements like reality, idea, and sound, image, activity, et cetera. Language may mislead. This skepticism about language is quite an interesting debate in philosophy. There may occur failure between the word used and the reality. Let us think that we talk about anything does our expression precisely or correctly present our idea. Does our idea confirm the reality? Here is an example:

In previous times the earth was thought to be flat. In those days its dictionary meaning was “a flat terrestrial body inhabited by the human race.”  Now we know this definition is an example of a geological error. We can say there was no failure between the idea of that generation and the language. But the problem was between language and reality

In the English language definite article is used with the nouns to distinguish them from other nouns of the same kind. Hence it is a way to save it disappears in the plurality of that noun. Hence houses may be many but adding the with the house gives it limitation: the computer, the school, the star, the car (to pick one for reference out of many. But when we know the singular existence of a thing or person there is no need of adding the in this way. Hence in English, Earnest Hemingway wrote Farewell to Arms. No adding of the with Hemingway or Farewell to Arms, both being proper nouns. However, Italians do employ definite articles with certain proper nouns like Dante. This is not because there are many authors of Divine Comedy but because of certain queer usage of the Italian language. 

Roy Harris (1988: p.4) calls the former instance factual misrepresentation and the latter conceptual misrepresentation. Therefore for the nineteenth-century linguists, there was a double gap between languages and the truth. One was between idea and the language expression and the other was between idea and fact. It was also believed that languages were the accidental byproduct of the culture. They established that there was no connection between thought and linguistic expression. The language was arbitrary and dynamic. It keeps changing so how it could be reliable to approach the truth.  How could one repose trust in rational debates of philosophy? To approach truth through human language has always been a matter of debate among philosophers. . In the same way how could linguists call it a scientific study if the language itself as a tool was unreliable scientifically? Saussure worked upon these problems and came forward with his theory on signs and abstract structures in languages.

Diachronic and Synchronic study of language

Saussure compared language with the game of chase to stress the synchronic way of studying the language. During the game of chase, the state of the chase board constantly changes. But at any given point in time during the game, one can easily describe the position of the board by looking at the position of the items of the board at that time. There would be no need to understand that state of the board by bringing back in mind the previous moves of the items on the chessboard. This is the same with the studies of the languages when choosing between diachronic or synchronic approaches.   

His major concern was to reconstitute the science of linguistics as a systematic study that focuses on both the structural and functional features of the language. The basis of that systematic studies, he believed, should be the synchronic analysis of the state of the language at any given point in time, the formal and functional description of the regularities and laws which govern speech. Linguists must also engage, however, in the diachronic study, he argued, in the examination of the dynamic forces which produce language evolution.  

  (Susan Witting, 1975, p.145)

Saussure on sign system in Language

Humans live life to make sense of their every activity and experience. And prominent linguists have termed their thinking process as an effort to create signs for everything that humans do or feel. Peirce (Peirce 1931-58, 2.302) says that humans think only in signs. Saussure exactly thought like that. He gave more attention to the synchronic study of language than the diachronic studies which were prevalent in the field of philology of that time.

Language, Saussure, is defined as a twofold thing: 1) an inherited social system of arbitrary signs and 2) the active individual use of that system. Sign (word) he defines as the bond joining a concept and an acoustic image. The sign is arbitrary because the meaning of the word is not inherent in the sounds comprising that word but depends solely upon the conventional use of the word by the community.

(Waterman, 1956, p. 307) 

Saussure in his book, Course in General Linguistics, forms the central ideas about his structuralism in the first six chapters. He talks about the linguistic signs, which according to him is the basic unit of the language. He regards language as a large body of signs related to one another. The internal system of these signs is binary. It comprises a sound segment (signifier) and another segment, “thought” he termed as “signified”. The signifier is essentially a sound image than merely a sound. A particular sound image relates to a particular thought.

We can also say that every name that we think of any activity or entity is simply a sign. A sign is composed of:

  • Sound, image, flavor, act, smell, any other sensory experience termed as signifier; and
  •  the concept that we attach with that signifier

Saussure further thinks that how the same sign is used for different purposes. He gives the following example to understand the phenomenon:

We speak of the identity of two 8:25 p.m. Geneva to Paris trains that leave at twenty-four-hour intervals. We feel that it is the same train each day, yet everything, the locomotive, coaches, personnel, is probably different. If a street is demolished, then rebuilt, we say that it is the same street even though in a material sense perhaps nothing of the old one remains. Why can a street be completely rebuilt and still be the same? Because it does not constitute purely a material entity; it is based on certain conditions that are distinct from the materials that fit the conditions, e.g., its location, with respect to other streets. Similarly what makes the express is its hour of departure, its route, and in general, every circumstance that sets it apart from other trains.

(Saussure. et al, 1974)

Langue and Parole

Saussure goes beyond the concept of sign and further thinks of two broader aspects of language. He divides language into langue and parole. The more recent comparison between the two terms can be seen in Chomsky’s terms of competence and performance or that of information theorists: “code” and “message”.

According to Saussure langue is the system of signs and is an integral part of linguistics. It resides in parole. Historically, parole precedes langue. If langue is situated in parole then it should be a historically and culturally situated thing.

By langue, he meant the forms and system of language that included grammar, syntax, and spelling.

La langue is what individuals assimilate when they learn a language, a set of forms (D.Culler, 1986, p.40), or” hoard deposited by the practice of speaking in speakers who belong to the same community, a grammatical system which, to all intents and purposes, exists in the mind of each speaker”(Saussure, 1974, p.40). By parole, Saussure means speech acts of the people. However, the difference between the two is quite difficult. Saussure mainly relies on the psychological and social theories of Durkheim which can account for its ambiguity. Language too is a very ambiguous word when we consider the translation of la langue into English. The relationship between langue and parole is also complex enough. 

Suppose we were to propose as a provisional definition of “English” the following: the English may be defined as the set of utterances produced by speakers of English when they are speaking English. We see the ambiguity immediately. When we say of someone that he “speaks English” ( or is a “speaker of English”) we do not imply that he is actually speaking English on any one occasion. It would be quite reasonable to say of a parrot, in the appropriate circumstances, that it is speaking English”, but not that it “speaks English”. Let us follow de Saussure, and say that all those who “speak English” (or are “speakers of English’) share a particular langue and that the set of utterances which they produce when they are “speaking English” constitute instances of parole.

(Lyons, p. 51) 

Therefore, langue is a matter of multi-intelligence capacity in humans. It is a collective ability of all humans. On the other hand, parole is individual intonation, the pitch of voice, the particular set of words of the habit of an individual which makes his or her identity. These utterances or acts of speech combine the thought of the individual with the sound pattern of the words. In this way, in structuralism, every utterance has underlying laws which run those processes of utterances. However, the intimate correlation of those underlying laws is inexplicable as to why are they the way they are.  

The linguist Roman Jakobson suggested that we can understand language functions through the phenomena of the interaction of paradigmatic and syntagmatic axes of language. However in the coming years more comprehensible terms were created to understand the difference between langue and parole like language as a system and language in use, or competence and performance as by Chomsky.

Criticism on Saussurean Structuralism

Bakhtin gave a longer life to the legacy of Saussure by criticizing him. Bakhtin’s method was polemical. He was a literary critic and philosopher. He was interested in matters of aesthetics. His approach was Marxist as opposed to Russian Formalism and Saussurean Linguistics. He said that Saussure presents language as abstract and static which ignores its social and dynamic dimensions. Saussure construed the role of language in society as irrelevant. This assertion comes from Saussure’s last sentence of the Course in General Linguistics where Saussure says that “The true and sole object of linguistics is language considered in and for itself.”

This statement of Saussure earned for him the denouncement of Marxists.

However, it provided an easy target for the Marxist philosophers and the theoreticians of linguists who were keen on denouncing Saussure as an icon of bourgeois intellectual order. This attitude was to be perpetuated by the subsequent literature inspired by Marxism in which it became commonplace to refer to Saussure as the repulsive pole of ideological error and intellectual sin.  

(Bouissac, 2010, p. 133)

Derrida, a philosopher, rejected all the philosopher icons of his day, including Saussure whose popularity was increasing at the time.

Derrida who had only a superficial knowledge of linguistics brashly reversed the hierarchical relationship of spoken to a written language that was the basis of Saussure’s linguistic stand, and paradoxically claimed for writing an absolute primacy over speech.

(Bouissac, 2010, p. 133)


Saussure clearly gave a new beginning to the field of linguistics. He introduced it as a science and; hence, gave it a new epistemological foundation. 

The young Saussure entered linguistics at the time of a paradigm shift, at the point of divergence between the naturalistic view of language and a novel, scientific approach to languages conceived as directly and indirectly observable phenomena. 

(Bouissac, 2010, p. 127)

It is unfortunate that Saussure never himself wrote a book. All we get about his views on language is either through his notes or the students who preserved his ideas while his lecture. While he was still a young man he had become a very active member of the Neogrammarian movement of his time. He just made a wave when he published his monograph on the system of Indo-European vowels. His ideas, in this regard, had to lead to the theory of phoneme. .  Greimas developed semi or-linguistics whose seeds he claimed to have found from the theory of signified of Saussure.  Saussure would attract large attendance of students and foreign scholars in his lectures. It was due to his innovativeness in his thoughts. His ideas are not a kind of well-organized theory that can constitute an authoritative book.

Thus, when during the 1960s, in the wake of Structuralism, semiology (semiotics) became the order of the day in France, Saussure was celebrated as the founding father of the new philosophy signs that stimulated a massive wave of publications in cultural analyses from architecture to music, and from literature to film, advertisement and fashion, to name only a few of the domains that were construed as a system of signs to which structural linguistic models could be productively applied.

(Bouissac, 2010, p. 132)

In this way, the structuralist view of Saussure in linguistics has a broader impact on various generations of linguists and scholars of diverse fields. 


Roy Harris (1988) Language, Saussure, and Wittgenstein: how to play games with the words. London: Routledge.

Susan Witting (1975). The Historical Development of Structuralism. Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol. 58, No. 2. Penn State University Press

Peirce, Charles Sanders (1931-58): Collected Writings (8 Vols.). (Ed. Charles Hartshorne, Paul Weiss & Arthur W Burks). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 

John T. Waterman (Oct. 1956). Ferdinand de Saussure-Forerunner of Modern Structuralism. The Modern Language Journal, Vol. 40, No. 6. Wiley on behalf of the National Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations.

Ferdinand de Saussure: Jonathan. D. Culler; Charles Balley; Albert Sechehave; Wade Baskin. (1974). Course in General Linguistics. London, Fontana: Collins.

Jonathon.D.Culler. (1986). Ferdinand Saussure. Cornell University Press.

John Lyons. (1968). Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics. Cambridge University Press

Bouissac, Paul. (2010). Saussure: A Guide For The Perplexed. Continuum International Publishing

C. Fellowman

10th October – World Mental Health Day

Sarmad Khoso. Teacher and writer

The World Health Organisation recognizes “World Mental Health” Day on 10 October every year. Every year the theme of this day is different. The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day, set by the World Federation for Mental Health, is ‘Mental health in an unequal world’.

World Mental Health Day is also a chance to talk about mental health in general, how we need to look after it, and how important it is to talk about things and get help if you are struggling.

World Mental Health Day is an international day for global mental health education, awareness, and advocacy against social stigma. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries.
The overall objective of World Mental Health Day is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health.

The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.

Mental health problems affect 10–20% of children and adolescents worldwide. Despite their relevance as a leading cause of health-related disability in this age group and their long-lasting effects throughout life, the mental health needs of children and adolescents are neglected, especially in low-income and middle-income countries. In this report, we review the evidence and the gaps in the published work in terms of prevalence, risk, and protective factors, and interventions to prevent and treat childhood and adolescent mental health problems. We also discuss barriers to and approaches for, the implementation of such strategies in low-resource settings. Action is imperative to reduce the burden of mental health problems in future generations and to allow for the full development of vulnerable children and adolescents worldwide.

Mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders are very common among young people. Because they are still in growing age, aggressive, and unaware about most of the hard realities of the world. So they use drugs and even suicide in many cases.

Mental health is a very big problem for every age group. Although stigma is identified as a major barrier to the use of mental health services among the peoples.

It is unfortunate that globally, more than 70% of people with mental illness receive no treatment from health care staff. Evidence suggests that factors increasing the likelihood of treatment avoidance or delay before presenting for care include:
(1) lack of knowledge to identify features of mental illnesses.
(2) ignorance about how to access treatment.
(3) prejudice against people who have a mental illness.
(4) expectation of discrimination against people diagnosed with mental illness.

Mental health stigma operates in society, is internalized by individuals, and is attributed to health professionals. This ethics-laden issue acts as a barrier to individuals who may seek or engage in treatment services. The dimensions, theory, and epistemology of mental health stigma have several implications for the social work profession.

If we look at the history of mental health, then Hysteria is undoubtedly the first mental disorder attributable to women, accurately described in the second millennium BC, and until Freud considered an exclusively female disease. Over 4000 years of history, this disease was considered from two perspectives: scientific and demonological. It was cured with herbs, sex, or sexual abstinence, punished and purified with fire for its association with sorcery, and finally, clinically studied as a disease and treated with innovative therapies.

However, even at the end of the 19th century, scientific innovation had still not reached some places, where the only known therapies were those proposed by Galen. During the 20th century, several studies postulated the decline of hysteria amongst occidental patients (both women and men) and the escalating of this disorder in non-Western countries.

So, it is needed for the time that we must take care of our mental health. In this way, we can care about other people also, which are part of our society. I would if we are mentally easy and fresh, then we can perform our duties very well and if we are mentally upset then we can not do anything properly.

Pandora Leaks: The case of Morality

Aijaz Ali Mangi

Engineer, Traveler, and writer.

All ill-doings become legitimate if someone has nothing to do with morality. Morality in the broader sense is a figurative term, manifested by actions and acceptable to larger sections of the societies among the world e.g. Truth.  Storing the illegal money offshores is a moral deficit but it is defended by wrong-doers on many accounts, as it’s a conspiracy against them to damage their personality. Andrej Babis, the Czech Republic’s prime minister and second richest man, who used intricate offshore arrangements to purchase a mansion in the south of France in 2009, has accused unnamed forces of seeking to undermine him ahead of this week’s election. This is the rhetoric excuse by many.

The spokesperson of Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky has denied all the allegations of transferring property to his friend when he acquired power in 2019. The presidents of Azerbaijan and Kenya are uncommunicative over the Pandora leaks, but the Russian president’s spokesperson has questioned the veracity of the papers, where many of his close friends are named including Svetlana Krivonogikh, allegedly the mother of Putin’s daughter.

Sheer deniability is the old tactic in the playbook of Putin, but what happened to King Abdullah of Jordon who has purchased a multi-million dollar mansion in California, cited the Pandora leaks as exaggerated facts and inaccuracies.

Pakistan is no exception where top media men, generals, and politicians are named in the Pandora papers. Several sitting ministers of the current cabinet are cited and it does not come as a surprise when PM Imran Khan played down the tone through his information minister. Fawad Chaudhary has categorically said action will not be taken against the ministers until proven guilty. The high-powered cell has been set up to investigate the matter. When Panama papers were leaked there was the continuous and vociferous demand from Imran Khan to constitute a judicial commission to look into the matter. The commission handed over the verdict to Nawaz Sharif to leave the office of the Prime minister. This time same is being repeated, high-profile persons are alleged in the Pandora papers but there is no intention to form the Judicial Commission. This is also the issue of morality. What you demand others to do and you deny the same actions when the same situation appears with you. What will be the outcome of the High-powered cell, most of us are conversant with history.

Accountability in Pakistan is a distant dream. The first act was promulgated in 1947 — The Prevention of Corruption Act— it has never worked. Pakistan is suffering from something more serious — what, Herbert Feldman, an early chronicler of Pakistan in the late 60s identified as “an insidious disease, difficult to trace in its early stages, difficult to check, and difficult to eradicate”. Many acts, ordinances, bills remained ineffective when it comes to making accountable the powerful.  Wrong-doers go untouched, and they are given safe passages.

Come to the freedom of expression!

Zahida Abro. Editor and Publisher Humsari Magazine

Aerial View

 The freedom of expression in any country and society assures that this country and its system are in the same vital right to live with their people and are responsible for it.  Also, it should be noted that people in a country where the press and media are not free are not considered as a free nation.
Presently, our federal government is trying to bring a new authority called PMDA (Pakistan Media Development Authority) to press, media, motion pictures, and social media.  It is intended to integrate electronic, print, digital media, and films under the same central regulatory authority.
This seems to be true, but the purpose of the drafting of the Authority’s law, which is distributed to journalists, is not good: The agency will investigate complaints against individual journalists, media outlets, except for licensed entities.
Under the authority of the PMDA, its Complaints Commission can investigate and review complaints made by any individual or organization against any view of newspapers, magazines, news, movies, and online programs.  The voices can be suppressed.
Yet all this seems dishonest: the government considers freedom of expression against itself, and only considers the truth that the official print and electronic media offer.  The net of the PMDA has been flown in to suppress the sound of genuine and free opinion so that media platforms can be registered and monitored.
Cyber laws apply to them and their news should be suppressed.  As the government enforces stringent regulations on the media, it can receive arbitrary news and analysis, even if it has nothing to do with reality.
The ban on expressionism is nothing new in Pakistan.  Ever since our country came into being, it has always been the policy of the government of our time that the press should be banned and the voice of truth and truth should be suppressed.  All of the martial law regimes are under the era of press censorship, even though they were periods of repression.

Head of all Issues

Military courts, convictions, falsehoods – even journalists of the country, the elite, the democratic politicians, are competing against this steam.  They never believed in any law against freedom of expression.  Now in the 21st century, we have a democratic government, but its behavior has been against the press and free opinion.
The government is failing because of its style of governance.  As a result, it is sometimes used by accounting firms in their own right, sometimes in print and electronic media.  It is clear that like any fascist government it is not ready to tolerate the truth, yet it is bringing in institutions like PMDA.
There are currently more than a dozen separate agencies in the country that are watching over the media, but in May this year, the federal government decided to merge them into one, and a new agency called “Pakistan Media.”  Development Authority “and the required legislation.
This action against freedom of expression has fueled concern not only in the country but also in international journalists and human rights organizations and has raised a voice against the authority that Pakistan already has in the 180 countries in the World Freedom Index.  And Pakistan is on the 145th number.
Instead, a Draconian law is being introduced to improve it.  Without that legislation, there has been strong censorship of journalism in the country in the last two years.
Press advisories are issued on what they want to publish or what they have to offer on electronic media.
In the past two years, many journalists have been kidnapped, tortured, and killed.  When it comes to the law, it will be difficult for true journalists and people in the country to write.
As the history of our country has been a history of oppression, as well as its history of struggle.
While the struggle of journalists has been the norm during various periods, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and other journalist organizations have launched a movement against the PMDA.
They also co-operate with the HRCP (Human Rights Commission of Pakistan), civil society, and the opposition political party.  The PFUJ and other journalists and electronic media organizations turned up in front of Parliament on Sunday night, September 12, 2021, and continued during the annual address of the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on September 13.
During the meeting, the Press Gallery of Parliament was also closed for the journalist.  This inappropriate step was taken for the first time in Pakistan’s parliamentary history.  The government then had to give various specifications on the closure of the press gallery.
The journalists also addressed journalists, civil society representatives, key figures in the electronic media, and opposition politicians.  It was also a kind of new demonstration in its nature and clear in its objective too.
There has been so much pressure on the federal government that it is not currently rushing to set up a PMDA authority. 

Never the less…

Congratulations to journalists and representatives of civil society on their struggles, which have forced the government to back down and have given their conviction for freedom of expression.
Also urging the federal government to stop blacking out the law against freedom of expression in the case of PMDA, and remember that journalists and elites have struggled for journalistic freedom even in the past.  For them, the struggle against oppression is not new.

The people of Pakistan are proud of their media over this struggle and believe that no one can stop the freedom of expression of the people of Pakistan’s billions.

Spider Sail by Steve Ihde

Steve Ihde. retired professor of art from EDMC,

Arlington, Virginia, United States

Perhaps this sail is four inches wide, perhaps an inch or more,
While swaying in fair morning’s breeze, the spider spins no more,
Though bending like a low carved wooden bowl set on its side,
The spider clings to the middle, with hairy barbed legs she does ride,
Her silk creation, so fragile, so strong, is her domicile made in a day,
Patiently she waits, at rest from her labors, or does she think of the play?

Does this spider enjoy spinning her web, or is it all for labor,
To prepare for a meal that gets trapped by the glue, is there a savor,
That draws some insect into a net, spun and hanging in the air,
What prompted this spider to spin from a corner, setting her lair,
To span a space from umbrella to a bush, and to the chair also,
Three anchors to hold her creative gesture, a temporary goal?

For how long this holds in assault of wind, or of the forest rain,
Or if by accident I forget, and take an errant step, and do break the chain,
That stretches from seat to umbrella rib, would I then regret,
The end of such a beautiful bridge, a spanning natural net,
Her house created, any less than my own, that I have labored to make,
Would I weep the destruction of her fair web, her livelihood I did take?

So, I sit in wonderment at such loss, though it has yet to pass,
That day may come, or perhaps in the darkest night, I will cry “Alas!”
This tiny spider, her creation undone, by the whim of some event of nature,
Will she in her own determination build yet another, stronger in stature,
Stretched from the posts of boxwood bush, blue umbrella, and chair,
A natural action, constructed to catch, some morsel of food for her lair?

Dukham,(Sorrow) by Ishtiaq Ansari

A Book review by Aijaz Ali Mangi

Ishtiaq Ansari has different legends to tell. He creates different plots for stories, where characters have short lives and terse attributes, but character leaves a long-lasting effect. That effect is very difficult to erase from memories. A civil engineer by profession and many more as a person, the newly published book of Ishtiaq Ansari is an excellent addition to Sindhi literature.

Bab ul Islam(Door to Islam) is a short story, I think, it’s not a short story but it is history. History of oppression and oppressed. History was written after the sad hanging of Zulfiqar Bhutto, where Islamizing the liberal society of Sindh snatched hundreds of lives. Bab ul Islam sends a chilling effect on the spinal cord. The plot, theme, narration, and characterization are well coordinated. This is the beauty of Ishtiaq is that his short stories are well-connected and do not allow you to divert your attention. They immerse you fully in themselves. His characters are real, they never seem to be fabricated. That is his genesis. He creates a world in short stories. His plots are unique but real. Actually, fiction is not bounded within time and places, but if the writer highlights the issues of society and connects them with humans, that is mesmerizing.  That is what exactly Ishtiaq is doing.

Fakhur (Proud) is another charm. It’s all a romantic tale, where a couple from foreign lands, meet with each other on another foreign land. Their friendship does not last, but the way separation approaches, it’s very unique. Separation comes, not because of, personal reasons but for cultural reasons.  This is the uniqueness of the story. When the girl comes to know that his friend belongs to the land, where her countrymen are kidnapped, she abruptly cuts off the relation and goes invisible. The plot twist is different and shocking.

Dikhar( Abhorrence)  is one of the stories of the book. An Orphan young boy is a labor and he is very shy to share his background. He is fond of study, he wants to gain a respectable place in society. The site engineer wants to help him and promises to do so, but owing to his job, he forgets the young boy and goes busy with various other projects. Time passes on, one day he receives a letter from a boy, that he is admitted to the hospital. It’s a sad story. The boy is crippled as the heavy object falls on him on the construction site. The engineer looks for him desperately in hospitals but he found him disappeared. One day he was taking tea with his team on a road site hotel, someone spreads palm before him for begging. The engineer recognized the boy. He tries to interact with him, but the boy cast a look of abhorrence on him and moved away. After going through the story, I myself plunged into the gloom.

Ishtiaq Ansari’s plots are different from different lands. I have the first experience of reading such a book with so diverse characters. Ranbh,(Squall) is a tale of father and son. Where father loses his life in Indus.  He has a dream to see his son educated. The school is on the other side of the river, Naban, father, sails boat daily to leave his son to school. On one unfortunate day, the thunderstorm engulfed his boat and he drowned. Son kept waiting on another side of the river but his father did not appear to take him back. The story ends.

Every story of the book brings a new mood to you. Gloom but different shades, sorrow but different taste. I could not fathom my changing mood with changing plots. That’s the genesis of Ishtiaq, he imbibes his emotions in you.

Dukham (Sorrow) is a must-read with fourteen stories. Every story is a new world. It is captivating. Sindhi literature has many outstanding story writers, from Jamal Abro to  Amar Jalil. They have left undeniable impressions on Sindhi’s short story. Their dialect and style are copied from my writers and it’s natural. It is challenging always to prove identity in presence of giant writers and Ishtiaq Ansari has done this.  He stands different in Dukham.

Poets of Old

Steve Ihde. retired professor of art from EDMC,

Arlington, Virginia, United States

Could Ovid recognize his importance,
As he penned those lines in Rome, true, surely,
Would there ever have been any substance,
In verse so protracted, even when slowly,
From his muse, he might draw inspiration,
Her figure before him stately did stand,
Did quickly he see his situation,
Or, in remembrance view the poet’s land?

When Dante the Inferno made a sentence,
Whose gates he decidedly would tear down,
Should he have first requested some penance,
From emperor who sat without a crown,
Whose place would be so readily numbered,
As twelfth in his line with that faithful name,
Though in Avignon was where he slumbered,
His reach to Italy brought Dante shame.

Should William be the man who could so tell,
The ruin of dark Denmark’s Prince Hamlet,
Or cheer us with youthful lovers as well,
Then crush us in remorse with that pamphlet,
That was known between those actors on stage,
The men who played parts sometimes in a robe,
Sometimes we’re lovers, sometimes did they rage,
Thus London was treated in Shakespeare’s Globe.

Who are these minstrels of verse for today?
We suffocate from the dearth of the written word,
True greatness seems absent in written play,
We strut and we flourish with raucous chord,
Yet, where is the music of majestic verse,
Sonnets from the Portuguese, from Browning,
The high odes of Keats, who never was terse,
Or from poor Shelley’s pen, who died drowning?

We seek inspiration from these writers,
We study their lucid words and their rhyme,
If we may succeed, we must be fighters,
To shun torpid verse, create for all time

The Politics of Interest: Kashmir Cause

Ghalib Parvaiz. The writer is a Postgraduate in History from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.

“Nations have no feelings but interests.” Once said by the French President Charles de Gaulle. The famous quotation solely reflects the current regional politics. Relationships among nations are largely determined by their national interests. Needless to say, there are no permanent foes and friends but only permanent interests. This is one of the main reasons that put the Kashmir issue far from the settlement. Statesmen appear less concerned about the ongoing barbarism in Indian Held Kashmir as they cannot afford to damage national interests by straining relations with other states. August 05, 2020 marks two years when India illegally annexed J&K by revoking article 370. This sinister move aimed at changing the valley’s demography and reviving the dream of making India a greater or mini-super power in South Asia. However, the intricate situation raises questions as to how Muslim Ummah responded to the Indian belligerency and what strategies the Pakistan government made to address the Kashmir cause.

      When the special status of Kashmiris came to an end, the leadership of Pakistan left no stone unturned and used every diplomatic channel properly. For instance, it drew the immediate attention of China and convinced them to call a UNSC meeting on the Kashmir issue. In less than one week, UNSC called an exclusive meeting on Kashmir which was indeed a diplomatic success for Pakistan. Because the exclusive meeting on Kashmir was called for the first time in the history of Pakistan. Furthermore, Pakistan was much expected from the gulf countries to play their constructive role for the Kashmir cause. But, the response could not meet the expectations. Instead of supporting Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia signed a $100 billion oil deal with India’s reliance company that appeared a setback to Pakistan.

      The unexpected remarks of the UAE further isolate Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir when the UAE ambassador to India said “Kashmir issue is the internal matter of India.” The statement sabotaged Islamabad’s narrative that Kashmir is an international issue. However, it shows that gulf countries share more fraternal relations with India than Pakistan. The already divided Muslims in different blocks could not save the innocent Kashmiris from India’s decades-old brutalities. Even the world is fully aware of the horrific conditions in the valley. Yet, Muslim Ummah continued to turn its blind eyes from the issue which gives New Delhi more strength.

       There exist only three countries standing by the side of Pakistan and vehemently criticizing India’s actions in Kashmir. These are Turkey, Malaysia, and Iran. Prior to commenting on Turkey’s unconditional support to Pakistan over the Kashmir crisis, one needs to understand that in international politics; the enemy of an enemy is considered a friend. Turkey and India share turbulent relations over the Cyprus issue – a country where Erdogan developing military bases. However, India’s annexation provided an opportunity for Turkey to further expose New Delhi.    

While Malaysia under the government of Mahathir Muhammad raised the voice for Kashmiris. Even, he went further by organizing a Kaula Lampur Summit last year in which Pakistan refused to participate due to Saudi pressure. Unfortunately once Mahathir was ousted, not a single official statement comes from the Malaysian government in support of Kashmir. Moreover, he openly bashing New Delhi by calling India an invader of J&K in the United Nations General Assembly meeting. Mahathir belongs to Islamic Nationalist Party, in order to keep his rule intact, he started supporting the Kashmir cause. However, Kashmir needs an impartial struggle that should be extending beyond someone’s interest. 

As far as Iran’s support is concerned, there was a deal between Tehran and New Delhi in which the latter made investments in Chahabar port and Railways Project. In the second phase, India seemed reluctant to continued its investment due to the fear of US sanctions. The delay in projects weakened the relations between Iran and India. As a result, the Islamic Republic of Iran offered complete support to Kashmir cause. 

The above examples have shown that international politics is driven by national interests. Three countries today supporting Kashmir not because they have empathy for Kashmiris but they shared unfriendly relations with India. At present, Pakistan has been facing different challenges on the foreign policy front. A couple of days ago, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s remarks irked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Although, his comments were under the diplomatic norms. Yet, the Saudi government halted the oil package and demanded back $1billion. Islamabad’s strained relations with Riyadh may benefit India. Therefore, maintaining fraternal relations with gulf countries is the need of the hour for Pakistan.

   The decades-old unresolved Kashmir issue is not only worsening with each passing day but also escalating tensions between two nuclear-weapon states. Merely changing maps and releasing songs will not help Kashmir liberating. One may think that when three wars over Kashmir in the past could not solve the issue how come the fourth war will contribute well. The answer is simple; article 370 was not revoked in the past and this time all the hopes of resolving of Kashmir issue comes to a grinding halt. Modi government has left Pakistan with no options for peaceful negotiations.

    Pakistan needs to learn from China. How effectively Beijing responded when the Indian army entered into Galway Valley -the disputed territory between two arch-rivals India and China. The hand-to-hand combat resulted in the deaths of twenty soldiers from the Indian side which also damaged Delhi’s image in the international arena. Consequently, India retreated from the area after getting defeated at the hands of the Chinese army. Like China, Pakistan is a nuclear power and possesses a well-trained military. It has the capacity and capability to give a befitting response to India.

While concluding, those nations who support or stand against Pakistan over the Kashmir issue because of their prevailing interests in international politics. To some extent, global powers do not want to see the Kashmir issue resolve as it may bring India and Pakistan closer to each other. Brotherly relations between two countries in South Asia may emerge against the interest of some other countries. This is how enmity among global powers affects the rest of developing countries. Lastly, whenever global powers structure world order, major costs are often paid by developing countries. May humanity prevail in the realpolitik of the twenty-first century.