Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rashid Minhas: the fast-thinker

Rashid Minhas defies stereotypes. When you hear about a fourteen-year-old getting charged up during the Pak-India War of 1965 and promising to fight the enemy, you expect his diaries to be filled with hate speeches. Yet, here is the list of notables which Rashid presented to inspire his younger brothers: “Rafiqui, Aziz Bhatti, Gandhi…” The first two were Pakistan warriors who died fighting against India in 1965. The third was the greatest leader of Indians themselves.

On the fateful day, when his Bengali instructor tried to hijack his plane, Rashid took less than ten minutes to decide, and act upon the astonishing decision, to crash his own plane in order to prevent the humiliating defection. Was it because he had something against Bengali sentiment? You might be as much surprised as I was when I learnt that Rashid had been personally of the opinion that power should be transferred to the Awami League without delay after the elections of 1970.

This is the enigma of Rashid Minhas. The ferocious defender of Pakistan didn’t hate India; the first Pakistani hero of the 1971 War wasn’t against Bengalis. Perhaps what we should presume from this is that hatred may make warriors but it doesn’t produce fast-thinkers. Among military heroes, Rashid remains unparalleled as a fast-thinker. Since he doesn’t have parallels, therefore we must approach him without any preconceived notions. This is what makes him intriguing. What do you think?
Next - Issues: Rashid Minhas


  1. The list of notabels is amazing,two Pakistani war heros, Rafiqi and Aziz Bhatti, and an indian hero of independence-Gandhi. The choice at a time when both countries were at war shows Rashid Minhas unbais and tolerent personality. He possessed a consciouness that was at no dichotomy when differentciating right and wrong, without relying on labels only. At very young age he possessed an intelligence and wisdom, which was focused and precise and very fast and quick to reflect.

  2. What we do in leisure - sometimes slowly, informs our quick reactions later...

    Rashid Minhas early reading and your comments here is such a striking reminder how we often become what we read, speak and do from our youngest years as well as over time. What we value and believe most deeply is not to be taken lightly.

    There is likely more precious time for each of us to connect with the highest within our inner and outer reach. The Creator-Sustainer has given many of us many chances yet we have no guarantee for how long. Opportunity to reflect, read, grow our integrity are not forever in this particular time/space frame.

  3. We need more patriots like Rashid Minhas now .... was just reading a post on this our shaheed inspired me to craete an informative video myself ... ....

    May Allah blesses us with more Rashid Minhas ....

    Pakistan Zindabad