I have come to the end of my story. I hope you enjoyed hearing it as much as I enjoyed telling it. Reading is the civilised form of listening, and writing a complicated way of talking.
I have tried to tell you of my people. Not from a cold, unbiased, unprejudiced point of view, because I am not a stone, which is the only thing that may be described truthfully as unbiased.
Thought is an expression of prejudice. Inspiration is above prejudice and therefore above thought. Prejudice and bias is mother’s milk to man. The sooner you admit it the better. When I see a judge of the High Court, with his serious face and his noble wig, dispensing “unbiased justice,” I always want to laugh. No. I won’t do that. I am a Pathan and must be honest, so I will frankly admit that I am prejudiced in favour of my people. Indeed I would hate myself if I were not.
I have given you my picture of them. How could I give any other ‘ I love them in spite of their murders and cruelty, ignorance and hunger. Because he kills for a principle and cares not who calls it murder. He is a great democrat. “The Pathan.” he says, “are rain-sown wheat – they all came up on the same day – they are all the same”.
In our Red Shirt movement when we put the pips of a general on the shoulder of a Pathan butcher or weaver he grins, he does not blush. However dirty and coarse his hand he will stretch it to a king for a hand-shake. However meagre his meal he will invite an emperor to share it.
“Look at the warmth in my eyes,” he tells his guest, “and not the hardness of the corn bread before you.
But the chief reason why I love him is because he will wash his face and oil his beard and perfume his locks and nut on his best pair of clothes when he goes out to fight and die. The dear child wants the houris to like him. He thinks God will dislike a dirty face as much as he does himself; so he washes it.
He says Allah
Is good and sweet
To him who laughs
And sings and dies.
He says the cowards
Weep and work,
But fighters go
I am definitely prejudiced in his favour. I hope by now you too are prejudiced.