By Haider Mehdi.
A slap is the ultimate insult.
It demeans a person. Humiliates them.
While its physically not as painful, the paychological and emotional wounds are much deeper and painful.
The manner in which Jibran was dragged, slapped and bundled in the police van, yesterday by police accompanying a Sind High Court Judge, for “not giving way” is symptomatic of the fascism our society has faced for thousands of years in one form, shape or the other.
Foreign invaders slapped us for centuries.
Our feudal lords, sardars, nawabs, maliks, chaudhry’s did likewise, after earlier receiving their due share from those more powerful then them.
We have been slapped by military rulers, civilian administrators, supreme courts, high courts, every court.
We have been slapped by our politicians, Imran Khan included.
By our preening bureaucrats. By our business people. By our academics.
And by that most sacred of cows the purveyors of our final salvation, the Mullah!
In fact every and any damn person and institution which was and is powerful and thought it was above the law has slapped us.
And we’ve taken it lying down.
But occasionally a mad hatter like Jibran decides not to. He challenges the powers as he has done in the past.
While on occasions I’ve had serious differences with him in his support of causes which I think are questionable, Jibran the person and his defiance symbolizes the rare awakening in a society cowed down by the “slaps” of the powerful.
I don’t know what will happen to him and pray for his safety and security and that he wins a seat in the provincial assembly.
But I do hope and pray that others also pick up courage to defy the fascism that prevails in our society. Whether it emanates from someone in uniform or out of! I wish I had that courage!
Perhaps in the long run, the salvation of our society and our country does lie in a Jibran type defiance against this arrogance of entitlement and display of uncouth, uncivilized, illegal power.
Perhaps it does lie in finally standing up to the established order after a millennium of slaps!
Perhaps technology, especially smart phones, the internet, social and mainstream electronic media are the harbingers of this revolution and not “guns, germs and steel”. This last phrase, a title of a must read book on why certain societies became more powerful than others.
Perhaps it is not in the hotch potch political mess we see today across all political parties using questionable strategies to come into power. No exceptions! PTI included!
Perhaps this will become the proverbial slap “heard around Pakistan that will change our destiny”
Salaams and Prayers.