31 August 2014.
The Dharna. So Where do we go from here?
Many people not supporting the IK / TUQ lead effort have raised all sorts of arguments to destroy, demean and sully the intent and he actions. They sound like ( not that they are because many of them are my friends whose views on many issues I greatly value and cherish) like those 3rd rate political party reps on TV talk shows who muddy the water and the issue with twisted words and arguments leading to an illogical conclusion.
So we hear things like…IK is stupid. Let Democracy evolve itself. The Army is behind these two. TUQ is a thief and a crook. People supporting IK are the same types who are with NS. What has IK done in KPK?. If the elections were rigged than so were the KPK seats that IK won.
While all these may sound fleetingly logical and if we buy these fig leaves then we have no one but us to blame and may we please live happily ever after amidst this doom and gloom which has become Pakistan.
All these “supporters” of democracy quote many western countries with established democratic to argue against the violence that has erupted in Islamabad. And many, as stated earlier and also as a friend pointed out, are well meaning and well intentioned. So it is really for them that i am attempting to illustrate how the established democracies of the world came to their current state.
All of them, without fail have given huge sacrifices of life, rights, and have struggled hard with blood, sacrifice and tremendous resolve. So as I beef up the case with examples from USA, UK, European countries, some of these acts, especially wars of aggression are not in any way a commentary that these acts were or are politically acceptable. These merely illustrate the blood that has been shed and what trauma these countries have gone through in their evolution to their current systems of governance today. While the current system is not perfect, and has many flaws, but way way better than what we have in offering equal opportunities to their citizenry, relative to us.
USA- 1776 War of Independence, 1864, Civil War, 1st World War, 2nd World War, Civil Rights by African Americans in the 1960’s, Korean War, Vietnam War etc. These examples, I repeat are in no way my view that these were correct or right.
UK. These guys go back to the Magna Carta against King John, 100 years war between Catholics and Protestants. The Cromwell period; Wars between England and Scotland, 1st World war, 2nd World War, Crimean War, Industrial Revolution and then of course their colonial conquests.
Germans after Bismarck; 1st and 2nd world wars. The trauma of East / West Germany.
The French revolution and their colonial campaigns and the Indo Chinese war.
Holland, Belgium and Italy very similar.
Japan 2nd World War and the trauma of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
And now look at us, the “brave” people of South Asia. Yes we are from South Asia and not from Arab lands or Turkey or Persia as we conveniently fool ourselves when we read our history. Those guys have a different legacy.
Look at us. We have never ventured out of our borders to conquer any territory in recorded history. We have been slaves with open arms welcoming any and all invaders and exploiters right till now upto Nawaz Sharif.
The British and Ranjit Singh ruled over their territories in India with the help of the Punjabi Mussulmaans right upto 1947.
Punjab’s biggest shame, was that NOT ONE Punjabi Mussulmaan regiment of the British Indian Army revolted against the the British in support of Bahadur Shah Zafar in 1857. All Units whi did revolt against their British Masters, were non Punjabi Musulmaans, from Bihar, Bengal, South India etc. These include huge numbers of non Punjabi Hindu regiments of the British Indian Army.
The only ones who stayed loyal to the British were the Sikhs, the Punjabi Mussulmaans and the Pathan tribes, who collectively looted, raped and pillaged Delhi for Months in September 1857, when the British re-took Delhi from the forces of Bahadur Shah Zafar.
An even greater mark of shame on the inhabitants of this great land of Punjab. Ranjit Singh ruled over a territory from Ludhiana to Kashmir, including Peshawar with the “might” and full support of his Punjabi Musulmaan units. And to our lasting shame the Badshahi Mosque was under the command of Punjabi Muslumaan units when he converted it into a stable and an Armoury. What he would do in full public view on top of his Elephant every Fridays before Jumma prayers is too painful, embarrassing and humiliating to narrate here.
Finally In 1947, thanks to the resolve of Quaid-e-Azam and the support of non Punjabi Muslim of India, we were given this Independant Country on a silver platter.
All those so called West Pakistani political heavyweights ( again) such as Unionist party in Punjab, under Sikander Hayat, in Sind under Shahnawaz Bhutto, ZAB’s father, and in then NWFP under Dr Khan saheb, Asfandyar Wali’s grandfather, all supported the Congress and not the Muslim League.
The Jamaat e Islami and the Jamaat e Ulema Hind, the forerunner of JUI Fazlur Rehman and Sami Ul Haque, actively agitated against Pakistan, and formally issued a Fatwa declaring The Quaid a Kafir.
So, tragically, unfortunately and embarrassingly, this is our shameful spineless legacy and heritage as compared to the democracies we so glibly allude to.
So if once in our history we have shown some spine, some gumption, some stirring in our hearts to rise even symbolically, against exploiters and looters and plunderers symbolized by the likes of NS and AZ, let us please support it. Let not, well meaning well intentioned people, browbeat this act with the kind of arguments earlier listed to destroy this action.
I dont know why this happens, why we cave in, why we don stand up an fight for our rights.
Perhaps centuries of slavery has ensured that OUR DNA is so soiled with servitude and a slavish mind set that we cannot imagine and or support a people rising against the ruler. Our centuries of serfdom have some how killed, in some, perhaps for ever, the spirit of freedom. But in those hearts, minds and souls where it still burns,let it not be doused by the cold water of betrayal.
Clearly change will not come through repeated elections. Since the first election in 1951 till our most recent one in 2012, the same people, the same families, the same baradrari driven politics, throw up the same mindsets. The only major break frpm these traditional politics has been the rise of the urban MQM in Karachi and now the involvement of the educated, urban middle class via IK and PTI and even perhaps TUQ.
Even under military rule, and I am no defender of it, the same people, now consorted in ugly adultery with their new master. Every single politician, political familiy, Religious party, Religious leader tribal Nawab, Sardar, Wadera, Malik, Political Businessmen like Nawaz Sharif, barring very very very few honourable exceptions have been the Military’s hand maidens and helped them rule. From General Ayub to General Musharraf it is the same story repeated.
And believe me most of these people will willingly step forward ever ready to bed the new CMLA. So no good can be expected from these forces
So this evolutionary change will not take place unless there is deep structural change, which can only perhaps be brought about in a manner where we “force the change” short of a revolution. A revolution which we will never have for if the change is not force fed like a Peking Duck, this unfortunate luckless nation will only see even more widespread anarchy. And much sooner than we expect, leading to our destruction as an organised civil society.
I hope we dont see that day.
Maybe I am wrong and maybe what the detractors say is correct. But honestly i do not see the direction going North but South. I do not see democratic institutions becoming stronger.
Democracy is not just about an election as many of us so innocently proclaim as the panacea of all our evils. Democracy is about Public trust, Public good and Public well-being for the people. It’s about equal and equitable opportunities of Health care, Education, Job opportunities, Justice, Transparent accountability for all, Meritocracy, Human Rights, Freedom of Faith and Work ethics leading to Creative Innovation.
It is not the elite club fattening these rotten apologies of human beings, as it has become now.
Please remember no one gives up power, privilege and authority if acquired in the manner that our so called political demons have acquired. So fight we must. Struggle we must. Take it back with brute force, if we must. Snatch it if that is the only way, if we must. BUT WE CANNOT STOP.
And finally, If IK and TUQ are giants with feet of clay then we need to find others that can do the job. If these guys fail us and also betray our trust then let us also dump them in the dustbin of history and continue our resolve to make Pakistan a better place. BUT WE CANNOT STOP.
But we cant stop for these Vultures symbolized by NS, AZ, Fazlur Rehman etc to eat away and leave this country to near death and flee to their safe havens in the Middle East, Europe, Far East, North America.
And realistically, nothing is perfect, nothing is pure white, except in the Far Beyond when we transition. Here, really it’s all in finding a lesser shade of grey!!!
As Wayne Gretzky, a renowned Canadian ICE Hockey Player, once famously said. You are 100% guaranteed to not score a goal if you DON’T TAKE THE SHOT!!So this is about taking the shot. Lets keep taking our Shots. I rest my caseSo this is about taking the shot. Lets keep taking our Shots. I rest my case