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“Problem called Pakistan” by Bhagwat Shah- A Critique (Essay Sample)

Critique. source..
"Problem called Pakistan" by Bhagwat Shah- A Critique Political blogs have become increasingly common over the past decade. These blogs are often written by persons who are not officially part of any political or media organisation. These individuals use blogging as a means to discuss their respective views regarding different political scenarios. An example of such a blog is "Problem called Pakistan" which is written by Bhagwat Shah. The article, as the title suggests, discusses the problems posed by Pakistan. Although this blog entry contains some points that have the potential to provide the basis for good arguments, the author’s use of a poor structure, a harsh biased tone, inconsistent language, flawed reasoning along with the lack of evidence for arguments made in the article and the absence of any definitions that set the boundaries for what the writer is trying to convey result in a piece of writing that is confusing and thus unconvincing. The article consists of five segments. The first four describe the different ways in which Pakistan is a "problem" and the last concludes the article with suggestions as to what should be done. Shah begins by declaring that Pakistan will never fulfil its dream of conquering India. He follows this by stating that Pakistan is responsible for terrorist and war activities in India which has made it a global problem. Towards the end the author presents the point that Pakistan and India will never be reunited and that India is unfortunate to have Pakistan as a neighbour. He concludes by suggesting that Pakistan should focus its efforts on helping "its poor masses" instead of trying to overpower India and that other states should give up supporting Pakistan and in India’s case, trying to reunite with it (1). The first thing that captures the reader’s attention when reading this article is its overall structure; the author has tried to list all the ways in which Pakistan has failed through the use of subheadings. Such a structure can be made effective as the headings can ensure that the readers remain interested. In addition it can provide the foundation for making a number of sound points separately within the different headings, helping make the article more cohesive. However, because the writer dives into his first point without any sort of an introduction to provide context, it takes time for the audience to understand and follow his line of argument. It can be argued that as the text is a blog entry and is not meant to be a formal article it is not necessary for there to be a distinct introduction or thesis statement. Nevertheless, the presence of some sort of clue that gives the writing direction is important for enabling the reader to decipher the message that the writer is trying to convey. What makes the article even more puzzling is the lack of a proper structure within the different segments of the article. While making its first argument for example, which is that Pakistan will never conquer India, the writer goes from stating that Pakistani leaders waste money on defence to declaring that Muslims have been unsuccessful in forcing conversions in India and then referring to the wars that have taken place between the two countries (1). The writer does so without putting in any connections between the paragraphs and without connecting his arguments to the topic he is attempting to discuss. This puts the burden of making connections between the ideas on the reader who may not necessarily be successful in understanding what is being said. What ultimately makes the article almost impossible to understand is the author’s use of sentence structure. An example of a sentence that has a poor structure is, "Now that the boot is on the other foot, and muslims are killing muslims or rather Pak as killing Pak, citizens of the failed state have woken up with horror" (2). Such sentences, which have a halting flow, make it very difficult for the audience to comprehend what is being said. They also make the writer lose credibility and thus have the result his writing does not have a strong appeal for the reader. What makes Shah lose further credibility is the kind of tone he makes use of in the article. He writes in a scathing and sarcastic manner that can alienate the reader very easily. His biting tone is conveyed through use of condescending and offensive words and phrases such as "the scourge of Islam" and "they continue to imagine dining off the silverware in New Delhi as victors in some holy battle" (1). These may put off the reader, if not because they are derogatory remarks, then because such words also make the tone of the article dramatic. As the essay is primarily about a political topic, a reader might dismiss the author’s opinions simply because they are written in an exaggerated manner. The authors tone makes it seem like he is very emotional about the subject and calls into question the validity of his arguments. It can be argued that as this is a blog and as blogs can be used to express feelings and opinions, the writer can legitimately use whatever tone he pleases. However, even though this is a blog, the author does have a purpose in writing it, even if it is not apparent at first; the author wishes to convince the audience of his opinions as stated in the conclusion. In order to do this he should have used a tone that would appeal to the readers. Instead, he has used a tone that does the exact opposite as mentioned in the previous paragraph. This ensures that the only way this article can be successful is if it is meant to please an audience that already holds views similar to that of the author. Similarly, the author also uses an inconsistent type of writing that may cause the audience to have a confused response. Shah uses a mixture of informal and formal language. For example he says "I am not holding my breath though !" at one instance in a style that is almost conversational and then in another paragraph he states that "their actions induce paranoia in the minds of their neighbours and consequently they have to waste vast sums of money on defences” (1). The juxtaposition of two such different styles of language may cause the reader to wonder about what kind of writing this piece is supposed to be. Is it aiming to be a serious and thought provoking political debate or is it simply the rant of an angry man? Both the language used in the article and its tone make it evident that the author is biased or, at least, that he has a very strong stance. Although this is appropriate for a blog, it does not make for a very convincing persuasive article. This is particularly true when the subject matter is a controversial one, such as in this case, because there is a high probability that the readers might have very strong opinions or biases themselves. If, for instance, a patriotic Pakistani was reading this article, she or he might become defensive because of the intolerant statements made by the author and so dismiss the article entirely, thinking that it was written by somebody who was only capable of viewing Pakistan with malice. Therefore, a better way to sway the audience may have been to assume an objective manner while addressing the issues. Another tool that has considerable importance in making a convincing argument is the use of counter arguments. These are important as by presenting a counter argument and then refuting it the author can potentially deal with questions that may have arisen in the reader’s mind. It also shows the authors forethought and therefore makes him seem more reliable. Despite the value that counter arguments would have added to the article, the writer makes no use of them, choosing to argue from a single perspective instead. This can be seen, for instance, when Shah argues that Pakistan has become a global problem. He asserts both that Pakistan has "become a training ground for any bigoted fundamentalist" and that "It has spread nuclear technology" to support his point but does not offer a counter argument to remove any doubts a reader...
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