A fun competition- worth taking- to exercise the neurons!
I read in a book that at the time of partition “India as a state was stronger than its people and Pakistani people were stronger than the state.” Not willing to debate on the aspect of partition here, but the historian had a point. Today after years of hardships on both sides the situation is not much different. As a people Pakistanis have their own line of thought and are not willing to submit it for the greater good of the country. But it is also commendable that when calamities strike the oneness of Pakistanis, irrespective of names, religions, stature, class and creed is worth watching. Again the bewitched-line-of-thought has to strike someone, which made me realize that poverty is a malaise that makes people want more than is given to them.
Many NGO got together, special information system was put in place to locate affectees, the extent of damage was monitored by the many mobile systems in place, food, clean drinking water, shelter, make-do tents and medicines were made available to whatever areas were reported. Civilians and army worked hand in hand to provide relief in the major calamity that came in the form of earthquake first and flood the second time. What was astonishing was the spirit of people who wanted to help with money and material. People took leaves from their work and traveled to affected areas to deliver the goods themselves lest the bewitched-line-of-thought of some peasant make the hard-earned and dedicated work go to waste. It was no wonder that many such affectees got jobs in cities and were hired as permanent employees. Many new businesses cropped up over night, especially in the textile sector as the people coming from the affected cities were skilled artisans.
While all this was going on, the devil was lurking and found his way to those bewitched people who thought it was ok to lie and cheat to bask in the glory and take some advantage of the over-flowing emotions of the people. While people were really disturbed, some could go back to normal lives, but they CHOSE not to. Instead easy money was their way of life, shorter but easier way of life. They pulled people’s emotions towards themselves by narrating stories that were heart-wrenching, disturbing and drastic but all were blatantly false and outright lies. Yes, they got the monetary benefit from organizations and people, but not for long since man is a leaner and learns to detect lies and deceit. For some wannabes who were not affected at all, the deceit was a fun game, a way to beg and earn extra cash!!
Earning extra cash by narrating stories is a new career that pops up specially when calamities strike. At least in the current 5 years of democracy I have witnessed it. While the lower tier begs the middle and upper class, the upper tier begs the international community. Excluding those dedicated international community country leaders who have a heart and no motive to invest in Pakistan, the rest listen to petty stories and give out cash to a so-called democratic, agriculture-based country which is an insult to their own thinking abilities. If you cannot do a background search on the leaders you are giving away to, kindly ask someone in your regimes to do it. You will stop the giving away in times of calamity.
While the State as a whole can not do much to change its people, the people in their own individuality can even change perceptions about the State. People residing outside Pakistan have done more harm than give a positive outlook to religion and Constitution, both which they do not understand. The leaders in individuality have minted more money than they can ever spend leaving the State more than ever dependent on foreign aid, which is never there to stay with the State. I wish more than ever that Mr. Jinnah, who gave us a country to run with an illiterate people(metaphorically), would have been with the country a little more so that he would have laid down some concrete principles. But the again, who knows the same people who have been ripping off his country today, would have shredded those same principles and built their own in the name of modernization of the State and religion, an act which would have been even more saddening and drastic!! RIP Mr.Jinnah!
They say to understand life, one needs to understand some basic philosophy and bridge the gap between the material life and the ethereal life. Philosophy has always been a subject of much debate and we have always heard elders say that experience is the way to learn the philosophy of life. Studying it is one thing but grasping the concept in fullness is another.
To write a paper, the resources available on the online world are many and diverse. Mostly in the form of online libraries and journals. Small write-ups by random people who either have journalistic credentials or just are bloggers with an outlook. What is bothersome is the quality of research papers on Philosophy on the online libraries and journals, which are sometimes horribly below the set standard. This goes for all the subjects; but is more problematic when the subject is of spiritual and ethereal nature. Although its impact is not that of religion but ‘credibility in writing’ is the most important factor of authoring any piece, specially a piece that might have a sub-conscious effect.
Since the scope of such articles and writings is pretty limited, quotations from various philosophers appear in quite large numbers on many websites, quoting author’s names. Sometimes two websites have the same quote, worded differently, with the same author. Sometimes the same quote with different authors. What the makers of such websites don’t realize is that giving out false information, in this way, is bound to come back to them, discrediting their website. It usually does. Its the simple philosophy of life- wrongs cannot make a right!
The subject although widely studied is not given any particular attention in the information-blast age. True and valuable information on Philosophy is hard to come by for anyone looking for inspiration. But what one can find are silly finding about life by the modern man who has learnt by trial and error and his findings are not even close to universal!
The birthday of the beloved Prophet came and went with much fanfare. People crowded onto the streets and shouted slogans showing their utmost love for the Prophet. The rally that follows its usual course through the city of Karachi kept on without any mishaps and people kept joining it from all over the area with the usual fame and glamour. This year, however, it seemed like the lights that decorated the city were very bright and shinning to blind. The city was adorned in strings of lights of all colors which were switched on as night fell. For two days straight, as the media reported it, most mosques and city areas were festively decorated.
What occurred to me was the continuous supply of electricity in the stricken city which complains day and night of electrical shortage. Where was the shortage? If the lights were powered by self-financed sources like generators, that must have been some spending on the mere lights which not only decorated the small mosques but mausoleums and huge mosques as well. And then they complain about being ‘ghareeb’ about not having enough to eat and spend. Somehow a great percentage has enough money to spend for the love of Prophet- just not on his people. Just not enough to give them a decent income. Just not enough to clothe them!
The democracy games of Pakistan are playing different strokes; some claiming derailing of democracy while some have a distinct line of thought. This divide is very interesting and thought-provoking as each side thinks it has complete backing and evidence to support its claims. So far the Doc has not changed his stance, but some media anchors are trying to act smart and prove that whatever he thought-out is or was a sham and is just to ridicule the people of Pakistan. But when an anchor behaves in such an irresponsible manner he shames not only himself, but the channel who employed him as his credentials and the channels’ are pretty much questionable.
But what is democracy? I seek to find the democracy that befits us? Yes us! We are not from the West – so that sort of thing was never made for us and we were never called upon for advice on it by the Western founders, as far as I remember. We were never invited when that democracy was being shaped. All we did was break-free from the British Raj, which was never a democracy. It was always a monarchy, so why on earth is UK so ardently giving the people of Pakistan messages that they want to see democracy in Pakistan??? They want to see democracy sustain??? A monarchy wants to see democracy sustain, but not in their country- I wonder why???
The Americas has also given the people of Pakistan the same message. People of America have been living in the state of their democracy for years now and that sort of democracy has given rise to company-owned governments, or rather big-companies-owning-big-parts-of-government. By statistics given by US, the country suffers from heavy tax loads, bad medical care for its citizens, unequal treatment of citizens by law, and backing of the government by a few huge money minting companies who do not pay their taxes and government officials who do not pay taxes. On the religious side they blame the church whenever they want to and can tax it whenever they see it fit, they can even tax God if they want to. While their Constitution also does not allow cheaters to be in the government, they are sitting right infront of the American people making a fool out of them.
Does the reader see any familiarity between the democracy of the current 5 years and that of the Americas, which is not the effort of 5 years though??? We are going towards the democracy that we never chose or made for ourselves. How come we accept it without fighting it??? Well at least the Doc had the decency of fighting it, and the vast number of people with him. We have accepted western clothes and ways of life so accurately and easily that if we accept their dumb democracy, even if it means killing half our own population, it will never occur to us that we are doing wrong. What will matter to us is the sheer likeliness to the Americas that has to strike, happen and stay with us to keep us aloof of everything else, even if it is the bloodshed of our own kith and kin!!!
So is there any democracy that can over ride the negatives and be all positive; actually without a harming factor???
All sorts of media have gone to all stretches in displaying all sorts of views and news on the TuQ movement. One section of the society thinks his move was simple lunacy, while the another group fully supports Mr. Qadri’s movement giving him full credit for instigating and raising voice against the atrocious leaders. The neutrals are of the opinion that maybe his movement was not right but his words were spot on. A fourth, rather queer group of people is the ‘undecideds’. They are what we might sarcastically call the ‘no deen iman’ types in Urdu. They have dwindling opinions with no set line of thought. They seem to flow with the tide or the group of people the are with. They are a funny and wannabe sort who are still not decided if the long march achieved its purpose or not.
The politicians are owning the TuQ movement – why I call the long march a movement I will shortly describe- in three ways so far; one on a positive note on the face of it, the second totally denying it achieved any purpose at all, the third is approving of its agenda but denouncing its process. While the drama of acceptance and rejection continues on screen for everyone to see, people go back to their homes in the most orderly fashion.
The media goes into a frenzy and in an attempt to pull viewership shows the roads of Islamabad which it some how expects to be spotless, and squeaky clean. The tarmac hits the headlines of every news paper and blog and I cannot comprehend how the mere dirt can be of so much importance. While people realize their responsibility as citizens of Islamabad and help the municipality in the earnest, the media realizes its responsibility of being a revenue-making organization/page/website be it from the dirtiest news!
I call TuQ’s long march a movement as he has been able to mobilize the sleeping democracy and even if we don’t see the complete implementation of whatever was decided, we can at least see some improvement in the moral senses of the people who vote or come face to face with the people of Pakistan. The awareness that TuQ has raised with his speeches is not a small feat. At least the lower tier knows some of their constitutional rights- they are educated about the constitution of Pakistan. What the people knew was that the ruling party was corrupt, now they know they the ruling party is corrupt by law & constitution does not have place for them. The difference in knowledge is great. For the knowledgeable it is not much, but for the uneducated it means they can get their rights by law and contest. The mere knowledge can be used and if tackled properly, be used against the very feudals who have ruled the democratic systems. The same feudals who have actively kept education out of their constituencies for fear of this change!
While the politicians of Pakistan discuss the various options to diffuse TuQ and handle his various demands, the media anchors sit tight infront of their screens hanging on to every word being reported. These words have more than just meaning. They are writing the golden history of Pakistan. Every minute, every hour is going down with meticulous planning and analysis, sometimes over-analysis. There is a saying in Urdu, “jab soch gehri hojaye to iraday kamzor hojatay hain”, “when people over think before acting,their actions become weak.”
Too much analysis has become an over-kill or a time-kill for anchors who have good reputations, from digging nasty pasts to appropriating Quranic verses without any regard to the sanctity of Quran. While the government has not been too keen on being on the same bandwagon, recently they showed sign of cracking under pressure from the long march. This the media has enjoyed to such an extent that their stupidity has been replayed again and again. The nuisance that the footage suddenly creates is unbelievable and I just wonder if our ministers realize what moral clause did that fall into. Even if state and religion are separate, no religion allows this moral degradation of the self, that too infront of the public!!!
TuQ seems to be achieving his remote-at-the-beginning motive of bringing the players of the government onto a single table. As hard as he seems to be against the players of the present times, all his motives seem to be bringing the oldies into the center of the game as they scramble to protect their so-called democracy. While the call TuQ utterly undemocratic and don’t stop at concocting unusual stories about the learned man, they themselves threaten to call even bigger mobs and create ‘real’ unrest the likes of which can be found in history. If a man, who has willing throng of people at his beck and call asking for the shut down of the present government is undemocratic, so are the democracy flag-bearers who threaten to repeat history for the sake of false up-keep of present government!
Peoples’ speculation about the military being a key player behind the TuQ movement is evident online, while the government is beginning to shame TuQ on being an outside agent. The amazing sequence here is the series and sequence of statements. It is obvious that since day one of this movement TuQ movement would have been made to look like the work of some hidden hand. Courtesy Ayesha Siddiqa, writer of Military Inc, in an article that appeared in Express Tribune dated Jan 16, 2013, she traces the events of the day when she states,
“With the passage of the day, all non-parliamentary and non-political forces seem to be taking their place in subverting the political system. Supposedly eager to improve the quality of democracy, all of these characters are happy to flout democratic norms to push their way into power. Thus, not surprisingly, we have Qadri announcing the death of the government, the Supreme Court ordering the arrest of the prime minister in a case which has not been completely investigated, Imran Khan asking for premature resignation of the president, and the former dictator prodding the current army chief to move in and take over — all in the same day.”
The incidents she describes all come with successive clarifications stating detachment with the TuQ movement. Except for Imran Kahn who has the same agenda and states it clearly. What is the army and the court scared of? Why do they suddenly have to give explicit statements and conversation out to the public to PROVE their innocence? Or are they innocent?
While people debate the backing of TuQ, which by chance has had no major role so far, has been a DIVERSION from the main agenda at hand- the corrupt political system and its reform! The 7 points that have gone down in history of Pakistan now.
The day ends with the visionary coalition of all non-PTI parties coming to a consensus, not on democracy but on making another feudocratic government, which shall be lead by Mr.Sharif- which one we shall find out if they succeed!
While Pakistan on the whole struggles with its basic survival, its neighbors gear to hit it with bows and arrows. Not in the literal sense ofcourse! Since TuQ announced his intentions for long march- Pakistan’s “Aman ki Asha” neighbors have been inching towards the line of control waiting for the exact right time. The recent event of hitting the Pakistan occupied Kashmir has sparked outrage among the masses and serious alignment of forces is taking place on both ends of the border. Is war inevitable?
The ‘visionary’, ‘democratic’ government has no way to stop this self-created mess. It cannot ‘buy’ its way out or ‘pay’ its way out. Stuck in the midst of the crisis are the people of Pakistan who are subject to mindless games and freaky talk shows where there is no solution. The people of Pakistan are yearning for the Pakistan Army to intervene- but will it? Or rather should it? Should it HELP to form the interim government? Should it help the people, who do not have the nerve to change their own destinies and will eventually re-elect the spawn of the same government 5-10 year from now?
The questions are burning- the present is threatening. But military intervention means two responsibilities for a single team with dwindling economy. Media with a throat of a lion, barking on and about every aspect of the low down of the economy, spreading the menace and depression through the masses, killing the hope, happiness and rays of sunshine. What the pen and tongue do not realize is that, they have responsibilities towards the people, as strong and astute as the government.
The war never gave anyone anything. Mr. Zardari has never been sincere with Pakistan. Hoping that in the last few days, he some how manages to amaze the nation and does something positive to avert the impending danger. Just not for votes this time, maybe just for the graves of his ancestors!
Feudocracy- a term I picked up while reading the reviews on current news on Express Tribune. Isn’t it applicable and more practical? The current system of ‘democracy’ is screaming out painfully under the stressful looting by the feudals who are trying hard to run it. But have they succeeded?
Many people have put it this way- ‘democracy’ has not failed the government has failed the people. Autocracy, monarchy, dictatorship are not for Pakistan and its people. They believe the so-called ‘dictators’ have derailed the economy of Pakistan- while they themselves realize figures have been different. Their argument is then the constitution- anything happening beyond the constitution is way bad for the country- is it really so?
The pointers put forward today by Imran Khan and TuQ are fairly same and similar in nature- with Imran Khan demanding an additional eviction of Mr. Zardari. No one seems scared of taking names directly- and they should not be scared of calling a spade a spade! The same pointers demand fair elections, grass-root people being able to select their own leaders without hesitation.
Keeping the past and present in sight, the game of constitution, dictators and pointers is being fairly and unfairly played by all parties involved. The media tries to play all cards, try all questions, be the all-knowing, yet it seems to dip in favor of the government when it is TuQ in question. But has no issues and questions when Imran Khan puts forward the same pointers. The same media plays anti-dictator tunes as well, hinting who might be the next in line while the masses roar in favour of TuQ.
The judiciary kicks out the Prime Minister, but that has no immediate bearing for any of the on going scenario. The politicians find it a diversion and try hard to prolong it, but it has no mass appeal.