By Syed Haider Raza Mehdi – 13 June, 2019
Earlier today, a friend and former classmate sent me a short news report on the quality of Indian graduates of the IIT, established by Nehru, in the early 50’s, soon after partition.
Our story was very different and how we in Pakistan, missed the boat, not just in developing strong public sector institutions but in establishing similar high quality science, technology and engineering educational institutions.
It’s my considered opinion that a key reason was that at Partition, a cabal of hereditary, rich, corrupt and powerful, landed feudals “elite captured” all sources of Pakistani power, simply to perpetuate their hold over the people. They had no love for Pakistan, or its people or its future, except their own selfish interests.
The vast majority already lived in the geography which later became West Pakistan. They sacrificed nothing for Pakistan. They lost no property, no fathers and mothers, no sisters and brothers, no sons and daughters but in fact, acquired even more power and wealth as a consequence of the infamous evacuee property scams!
By and large this evil cabal of plutocrats and kleptocrats still exists today.
Today, these rural political heavyweights, are joined in the merry plunder, by the urban merchant elite, the bureaucratic elite and that most elite of elites, the Pakistan Army General.
Our political and social contract has always been of an “elite cabal” lording over poor masses. Imran and PTI included.
Despite Imran’s desire and protestations to the contrary, his desire to clean up the mess, I do not see him succeeding, unless this stranglehold of the Elite Mafia, is broken.
Unless he is able to, as a start, throw out this mafia like cabal of crooks, self seeking carpetbaggers, power brokers, corrupt and crooked cabinet ministers, advisors and, special assisstants who have leeched onto him.
Not all, but certainly the vast majority!
We need a new Republic!
A new political and social contract.
Perhaps an anarchic revolution, if not a real revolution. But anything, literally anything, which will uproot the existing order.
We need something so harsh, so cruel so painful that the wounds make us think twice before allowing another crooked cabal like mafia to take over.
Last week I saw a documentary series on The American Civil War by Ken Burns, on Netflix. A strong must see.
Made me realise why they’re the most powerful and influential nation on earth.
1. 4 million people fought against each other in over 10,000 place over a 4 year period. And over 160 years ago!
2. 620,000 died to defend what they stood for. Their State, their way of life, their values. For and against slavery!
3. 4 million black slaves were released from bondage.
4. A President was assassinated for not giving in.
Father against son, brother against brother. Former classmates and childhood friends mowed each other down in cornfields and cotton plantations.
That is how this Nation was forged in the most painful way.
The vast majority of the people of Pakistan got this country handed to them on a platter on the morn of 14 August by one of our greatest leaders, Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
But for him we would have still been living in even more abject misery as a marginalized ghettoized community, much like the Muslims of India today.
If anyone lives in some fools paradise of a united secular India with Muslims and Hindus living together in communal harmony, they need to look at Modi, the BJP and what’s happening to Muslims in India.
Those who migrated to Pakistan, and sacrificed their all had to start from scratch.
Those who spoke one of the regional languages, and came from East Punjab, mostly Punjabis, assimilated well.
Those who were alien to the land and spoke Urdu were and are still hounded for calling themselves Mohajirs.
Interestingly, have yet to come across a single Punjabi, Sindhi, Balochi or Pathan who identifies himself as a “Pakistani”.
Who are you?
I’m a Balochi, a Sindhi, Makrani, a Punjabi, a Pathan/ Pakhtun, Baltistani, Kashmiri, Gilgiti etc etc or some even call themselves Afghans. Then the tribes, sub tribes, clans, sub clans etc etc.
But we berate the Urdu Speaking community for trying to establish their own identity, bereft from the one they left behind and because no one will take them as their own.
Perhaps a revolution or sheer anarchy with marauding unruly mobs, finally fed up, go on a looting and plundering rampage. Centuries of anger hurled on the riches of the privileged.
Mobs looting and plundering those living in the comforts of the Bahrias, the Defence Societies, the Gulbergs and even the privileged no go areas of our most powerful elite, the Army Generals, living in the fortified safety of their palaces in pristine Cantonments and colonies.
And Golf Road in Pindi, perhaps symbolises this most ugly and visible symbol of this elitism, alongwith their luxurious residences, gilded huge offices and palatial messes.
Perhaps a major calamitous event which breaks the stranglehold of the elite.
Perhaps a mad dictator.
Perhaps a complete change in our electoral process which allows highly educated, committed people to come into positions of governance and policy making.
I don’t see any of this happening, hence my temporary “retirement” from political commentary and activism and media.
But that IIT report just compelled me to pen this!
Alas and Sigh!
Salaams and Prayers