In Bangladesh, a lot of the towns and districts have the suffix 'ganj'. For example Sirajganj, Munshiganj, Zakiganj, Habiganj and (deep breath) Chapanawabganj. Farsi used to be the language of power in preBritish colonial times, until they banned it, and ganj means 'storehouse' in that language. Over the years the word ganj had transformed itself into more than a storehouse in my mind and those around me. Indeed the *Spirit of the Ganj* is a force to be reckoned with.
What is Ganjineering?
The processes and relationships through which we can interact organically with our ancestral homelands to learn and try to be of use.
You mean NGOgiri do you not?
Nope, though the waqf (the pious endowment), is an authentic means of engaging in collective action that we need to respect more if we expect our societies to advance. Ganjineers tend not to play on the poverty of others to assert any kind of ego trip and earn money using the Development Industry at the same time. They do not try to turn their communities into aliens from their religious heritage and culture, into savages to be civilised with fashionable empowerment speak, decontextualised development indices and glossy reports to donors.
Who are you to intervene? What makes you less imperialist than the NGO lords and sell outs that haunt you?
If you know your history, then you will know where you are coming from, then you wouldn't have to ask me, who the hell do I think I am. (Bob Marley)
Who does Ganjineering?
You pretentious fiend give us an example!
Ok, i feel that Akhtar Hameed Khan was the epitome of the Ganjineer. May we learn from people like him.
I can BlogSlip when drawn into commenting upon that I shouldn't really get into, because the 'others' ears are filled with lead and/or I really don't have any special knowledge on the matter. BlogSlip also explains BS in the press. The UK Guardians entire 'Comment is Free' section is full of BlogSlip.
In the age where the electronically endowed and righteously indignant collide through the facilities of Web 2.0 as well as the corporate media, there is the strange idea that having an opinion, or carrying an opinion on everything is desirable, a sign of not being apathetic.
This poor attitude can only lead to trouble and gunah, for the one who really believes in Accountability.
So here goes.
A mighty Muslim warrior in the intellectual and political battle against evil (corruption, captive minds, parochialism and foolishness) passed away on the 23rd of January 2007 in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, of a heart attack.
Our Ummah, Our World is poorer now.
Please pray for him, for his family, friends, supporters..
I had the good fortune to squeeze his brain at his home one night in mid August 2006, he was hilarious and had a complex sociology of the 'fool' and of flattery ticking over in his brain. Into the silly hours we went. One of the few people i have heard of who was an original thinker (Books on; The myth of the lazy native, Problems facing intellectuals in developing societies, Captive minds, The sociology of corruption:nature, efffect and function, Corruption and the future of asia), and contributed to the progressive political scene.
As a justice seeking individual he suffered at the hands of the malaysian state and the pretty gutless intelligensia there. This was particularly apparent towards the end, where he was character assasinated (6 months press barrage) out of his job as the VC of University Malaya under some trumped up political corruption ruse. This happened at the time when he was tackling intellectual corruption (plaigarism) and economic corruption (catering contracts) on the campus. irony is not dead.
Never a fan of the once fashionable 'Islamisation of knowledge' brigade (a movement to sort out our knowledge culture that started in the 70s'), he reflected that this resulted in the creation of an exclusivist discource for the political benefit of some 'islamists', in muslim students not reading as widely as they should and in 2nd ratedness. He felt it that that alleyway was blind and had done a lot of damage.
He was very keen on the regionalisation of sociology. Given 1000s of sociologists in the third world we have a very strong base, but little collective discussion, the eu has a collective discussion, they have a regional interest. I really hope that his thoughts on south east asian sociology (including desh!!) are heeded.
As a sociologist he understood how knowledge is produced and constrained and struggled hard all his life to free our 'Captive Minds' and point out various 'Manifestations of the fool'. He advised us not be be jargonists, to hide defective reasoning in layers of jargon, that its a battle between valid concepts and jargon.
When we spoke last summer, i really wanted him to come to the UK, we never invite original contrubuters like this. He seemed very game but his health was basically a limit. I also hadnt sorted my life out enough to know where i would be and when i would be where. I was also worried that UK folks are too far gone, salafised, foolish and parochial to appreciate him.
Still i really do hope that his writings and ideas are read more widely in the colonising, decolonising and especially muslim worlds. I hope young undergrads and postgrads find motivation and clues in his work, that its inspired and helps them to 'go for it', as it were. i implore you to go out there and search hard for his books and writings on the web. SOAS library and British library stock his stuff, so probably do the Other India Bookshop.
"I concentrated on the captive mind because the captive mind is most urgent as far as the developing society is concerned. We are not concerned with the slave holders, we are concerned with the enslaved. And a change, as we all know, can only be achieved if there is an awakening of the downtrodden, of the slave community. Without the change in the slave community, the attitude of the slave community, there can never be any change. As far as the slave holders were concerned, they will not give the freedom away. It had to be wrenched from them. The slave must wake up to wrench the freedom the slave holders."
(Multiversity Meeting on 'Redesign of Social Science Curricula', Penang 2004)
Multiversity was a project through which i first met the Prof, http://www.multiver
Farish Noor's Obituary is here
Such characters are common in Bangladeshi Society. I hope I am not one of them.
Definition of terms
Development Industry - The range of interests and God complexes that contrive to convince people that they are working to 'develop' communities and individuals.
The Development Industry is hard to argue against and resist, it has a virtuous vocabulary and is worth Billions every year. I hope I do not become part of that industry. We should think and act in terms of the Post-Development era.
Southern - Implies a degree of authenticity and autonomy from the hegemon, call it The North, Anglo-Saxonia, 'Western Hegemony', OECD Countries, Orientalist gaze, entrenched powers, recolonisers, victors of WW1 and 2 or whatever. *Southern* politically correct way of referring to Developing countries which in itself is a distraction from the idea that these are decolonising societies and resurgent societies.
Authentic Southern figures I feel include people like Ali Shariati, Hugo Chavez, Franz Fanon, Hussein Al Attas, Mahathir and the like. People who might not fit 100% with readers political-ideological sensibilities, but who really are a different breed. Such characters dont play the Development Game, they just do it.