The Muffled Rage


There we go again- the arrival of Benazir Bhutto after 8 years of her self-imposed exile, (the exile which meant that all her family with her, no dependency on anything, and enough money in millions, enough homes, etc- if this is exile, then what it means to be in your own homeland, only she can imagine!!!!!), numerous statements from herself on media repeatedly how poorly she had been treated in the past, her concerns on her safety, voicing opinions based on her discussions with the Western governments, displaying sense of arrogance and falsely created euphoria of how things will change when she gets in the government and so forth. This was the day she had been waiting for a long time!!!!

So what happened?

Thousands of people gathered from all parts of Pakistan in a procession to welcome her on these streets of Karachi, to hear these sentimental and vociferous speeches by her and her cronies. The words from those years of isolation and exile to fulfill the expectations of the nation on these streets of Karachi. What a joke!!!!

And then comes the explosions. The carnage.

25, 30. 45. 75, and the count keeps getting higher and higher for the dead and injured. The whole machinery – media with its apparatus, the voices in anger against the government, the people behind these attacks “debate” kicks into action. Nothing new, we are used to seeing this patterns.

Then comes the promise of investigation and lesson learnt drill from the government and all the other party leaders- the usual routine – we will do this and we will do that? Great what happened to the investigation to cover off 12th May incidence, what happened to the investigation on incidences in Peshawar couple of weeks ago? What happened to the red-mosque investigation? What happened to the investigations of the investigation – the accountability of our leaders- past and present. This is not the question they would like us to ask.

The perceived consensus amongst the government is to forget all previous investigations and focus on the current crisis. I guess they will let Supreme Court to initiate this when they have nothing else to do – to keep them occupied and busy for the next couple of months!!!

So what do we do now? The questions that have no answers, it seems as always. Where are we going, what can we do as a nation to stop all this.

The world watches us from the image being broadcasted out of Karachi with concern and with fear. The governments around the globe offer their normal, custom designed words. The shocking news which is no longer a shock as people have got so used to seeing Iraq- the familiar story with no end and all the previous issues that has surrounded us as a nation.

Some say it’s the government and its related agencies. Some say it’s the extremist elements, some say its external, and some it’s PPP themselves for political gain and advantage in the forthcoming election? Who do we listen to, what are we to see, what are those choices we make, how we make, and how we see them through? Has there ever been any correlation of what we as a nation want and the policies brought on by our leaders and politicians. This is not the first one and it will not be the last one.

All the political parties at times remind me of nothing but then masters of entertainment – no concern for this nation, and its values. So worse they are, that the concept of apology, appreciation and identification of their failures never comes across. They say its politics. – political culture is like that- this is what Harvard, Oxford and other institution have taught them – but nothing have they learnt when they hug and shake hands on their campaigns with poor and needy, when they hear stories of plunder by their very own, when they fail to identify the crimes committed by their very own hands.

Who is capable enough to muster up the courage to stand in these times and group the nation together with words of comfort? Why is it we as a nation, in abundance with leaders and politicians from all sides so keen to take this country back in time, to bring down to its knees, if we are not already. When we will get the time to think of our future when past and present is littered with failures?!

Could it not have been more suitable knowing fully well the volatility of this city, numerous factions within the city, the turmoil, business implications, and the rest to follow an alternative method? Wouldn’t it be easier to have arranged this rally for some other day, or some other place or to have the have whole thing conducted through the media. That is the precise reason Media is there for to allow to voice your opinions

What is going on? Geo and all the channels are showing this carnage and what is on PTV…..the sona chandi, the old drama- great…so much for the concept of freedom of speech and action and most importantly what happened to the CONCERN for the nation when it needs its media channels.

All I know that this carnage will not end there- instances of this will happen again, at some other place. I don’t know how many are dead, only the doctors and nurses in those hospitals in Karachi can come up with correct figures? The city of lights once again in darkness of depression.

The failures of our past and present are countless. It’s a terrifying thought only to consider what these people have done in the past and what they can do now and in future? Be rest assured that no good will come out of their presence or their policies.

The governments of the present and past (be it military or democratic) have never lived up to any of the expectations of the public. It’s a beautiful statement when you come out from Emirates flight and about to pay your respects to the founder of Pakistan but hollow when witnessed in past and what is unfolding in front of our streets in Karachi and the rest of the Pakistan. The only expectation they have ever lived up to is their masters in the West. The only expectation they have ever lived up to is their greed, grip on power and fooling the nation. What can we expect from murderers, and thieves?!! The governance methods and its apparatus is old and needs to be revitalised. The institutions are pretty much hollow and corrupted through lack of care, proper funding and the rest. The policies that inadvertently got started off by some God fearing individual never get to finish off. The development projects have most of the time existed in their minds or at times on paper but no evidence. The resources have never been given correctly identified and utilised. Considering Pakistan is still mainly an agrarian society but no attention to the need of the farmers and all the supply chain methods. I cannot believe that we are importing sugar and tomatoes from our neighbouring country. What is going on here? So diabolical are our ways that the policies that exist on manifestos and in their speeches are nothing but in shambles. Forget strategy and tactics- these things never get discussed on media and TV channels and in front of the public. Wake up, these are the ways of these people who want to govern us as their God given right. Forgotten they have the ways, that rulers of the state are servants not masters of their nations.

The effect of policies adopted towards regional supremacy in 80s, is now being seen. The fruits of these policies and its impact – The Kalashnikov culture, availability of drugs, and all the associated methods were deployed to take this nation further away from the purpose it was created for. So much for the vision of Iqbal and Jinnah. If only they were alive, they might not have been bothered to go through with that pain and those millions of people who lost their lives and still loosing. The policies have failed to address fundamental issues faced by Pakistanis every day. The concept of education and its availability seems to have become a distant dream. We have so many different education systems and lack of coherence from one to another. It is a harrowing thought to consider how the poor people can afford to send their children to any respectable institutions. The ideologies practised by our Molvis, Chaudhry brothers of Punjab, Shareef brothers, Benazir and her cronies, and anyone you can think of has left us the whole state in a state of coma- you want to wake up from this, but there seems to be no hope.

The Issues surrounding this nation have increased with the passage of time. The degradation of social, moral and ethical is a manifestation of our character and says a lot about us. Our education, health, transport and economy is in tatters. We hear grand visions, neatly wrapped up in “that we will do” to help us get through this mess. The shortage of water and electricity is of common occurrence- How can this happen? What happened to the promise of kala-bagh dam and other projects?

Why do we elect our politicians again and again if they are not going to be of any benefit to us, and to the nation. What are those mechanisms? The old disease of feudalism and the rest of the policies deployed that we do not take into account the factors which should be considered when we elect them. There is no question of accountability and integrity. How can the President of Pakistan forgive Benazir for taking millions of public money through NRO. Who has given him this right? Would he have done the same if it was his own personal money? Never!!!!!!!!

And most importantly, we as a nation lack the vital components of proper society – the civic sense, political awareness, tolerance etc. Out attitude towards life, and on everything really does require to have it re-looked as this has become one of the major underlying factors to have brought us in this mess. Why in God’s name we have to climb up on trees and damage public infrastructure in events like that. Why is it that we are seemingly unable to control our temper in the course of sadness and jubilation?

SO WHAT DO WE DO NOW?

  • Elect a new prime minister –Benazir Bhutto, the regrettable choice to prolong misery and to keep suffering
  • We already have a president who can very easily bring Marshall law and declare state of emergency but finds it difficult to bring himself in front of the nation to declare his true intentions and why he has done what he has.
  • Let’s bring Nawaz Sharif back. We should give him the chance as well to see how many of us turn out on these streets of Lahore and then get blown up in those explosions.
  • Lets carry on investigating the issues on the media , the grand debates, where people being shown as politicians and analysts should be ashamed of calling themselves as politicians
  • Let’s bring all the Islamic parties to unite and allow them to rule – will they ever unite? No, what is unity, they ask themselves….never heard a word like that. Another question, with no obvious answer.
  • Lets do nothing- an interesting option- which seems to have worked pretty well for last sixty years for all the right and wrong reasons
  • Lets blame America, and all the Western governments
  • Lets tell our children – the future- not to do this but carry on regardless ourselves
  • Let’s carry on killing innocent people in Balouchistan, Waziristan and all the other places which are part of Pakistan but their people apparently have become the enemy of the state. I wonder, how did this happen?
  • Lets just forget that it never happened

Will this help us to get out of this mess this country is in? I don’t think so.

So what do we do then?

NOTHING as it has worked for us pretty well so far.

OR

Shall we really begin to start looking at ourselves? We as a nation – who we are, what are we made up of, what do we want to achieve, and how. What is our individual and collective attitude towards the law, towards civic responsibilities, towards our brothers and sisters, towards those values of humanity, so clearly explained in Islam?

BUT who is going to do this? Our politicians, the answer is No. The politicians from all parties have never given this nation the hope they deserved, which was their right. Throughout our past, the absent element was progressive policies and the rest. The only common element they have in the past and now is they “agree to disagree”. The concept of agreeing on a single issue has never happened. So delicate this union and talks of democracy to them is, that even a whisper will disturb its very pattern.

So who then? It seems that all we have relied upon our years of existence – the politicians, the feudal lords, the army, the western governments, IMF handouts, the policies, cannot help us.

So the answer to the most complicated question of bringing change and its mechanisms lies in the most simplest, the ever present common sense – that we as a nation have to change. Yes me, you and all of us, the so called Pakistanis will have to take this responsibility upon ourselves to carry us through.

So it is us who will have to decide what is good for us, how to differentiate between right and wrong, how to behave when we bring ourselves to these podiums of civilization and success.

Do we need to have a political affiliation to offer a view? Do these ideologies of “Rooti Kupra Makan”, extremism, moderation, democracy, marshal law transcend above core values of human sincerity and fundamental values?

Why do we need political parties? What is the need for us to be so crudely represented by a party which cannot even appreciate the needs of its people – what do they want, what are the issues, and what is the best solution?

In the past, there has never been an instance of time where this nation can safely appreciate that things that were done were to benefit them. Times have changed but our ways remain the same. The political vacuum filled by the army, then the democracy, then the military and so forth. It never stops there.

The responsibility lies with us as a nation for relying on these stupid politicians, being tied to stupid ideologies, being tied to the promise of that things will happen. They never say good or bad. From experience, things do happen but bad.

The carnage tonight in Karachi represents all what I have stated above. The people, in thousands, from all corners of Pakistan grouped together to witness the arrival of their beloved leader. Do any of them have any political sense? Were they brought in Karachi by force or their own will? Why is to so important that in order to welcome, they must, wave flags, carry firecrackers, disrespect all the laws – the civic sense, the sense of responsibility owed to their families and the rest?

The political affiliation- , what does it mean? What is the criterion? Is it based on policies or on some unknown creed? What did these people really learn in foreign institutions and the rest? What is it they have learnt from the so called Public Service? What is it that when they are in exile as political dissidents would appreciate the need for change and progression but forget the moment they land on this sacred land called Pakistan? Their motivation and minds disperse into something else. The answer simply lies that there is no such thing as merit, honesty and integrity. And when even it does, then there are elements present within us which binds us to old loyalties through feudalism and ignorance. The futile dependency means that they get elected. No questions are asked? All the thieves from different portions of the society then sit together and formulate an opinion to loot and plunder the resources of Pakistan with arrogance and indifference.

What do we have great debates on channels and allow the use of abusive language? Why do we forget death that it will come to us all? All we have to determine is that the way we will go. Its within our control to decide those virtues of being a good Muslim and a good citizen.

There is this wrong view that the political parties, feudalists, bureaucrats and army are separate. Well I have news for you. – they all are the same- even if they are not by blood – they are by their motives and greed. So what happened? So much for Iqbal’s vision of the land of the pure being sold for poison of greed and power? So much for the secular vision of Jinnah, and most importantly the message of Islam.

We are all to be blamed for allowing ourselves to go to such level that there is no differentiation between right and wrong, no civic sense, and most importantly the attitude towards our leaders. It is with this blind devotion we follow our leaders never realising that it is these people for last sixty years who have never admitted their failures, never appreciated anything good, always relying on the “blame culture”, always keen to get their interests served first through greed and power. We as a nation die every day for different reasons – lack of resources, disease, hunger, road accidents, bomb blasts, political indifferences then might as well die for a cause which will bring an end to all this – the elimination of feudalism, corruption and this constant interference from the army. That means, a revolution…….where we can rise above our cultural differences, languages and demand through protests or through any peaceful means at all levels. Why is it we have to looks at these people with admiration when they have blood on their hands.

This is how we believe and perceive and quite rightly so based on our religion and based on our humanity that killing people like this will not get us any where. But our friends- politicians do not I am afraid. For them it’s not what they save but what they make out in terms of popularity to appease themselves, to prolong their grip on these nameless souls, to extend their bank balances and so forth.

This goes back to the fundamental question that if we cannot change these politicians, then we must change ourselves. If the process of democracy allows us to vote and bring them into power, then we must be strong enough to see this and take action accordingly. But I am afraid we do not. We forget in our misery these questions, these collective questions and our responsibility. If the process of democracy does not allow us to fulfil this obligation due to us not being educated, due to us being tied by this corrupt party culture and the rest, then why is there a need for democracy in the first place?

What if these million of souls had education, enough money and resources to sustain their lives, enough for them to see not just what is in front of them but what lies beyond these empty promises of years and the rest? What if we Pakistanis had enough civic sense to see that in order to become a civilised nation and be respected, we will have to look at ourselves deep and with full analysis. What if we had any sense that relies on tolerance, practical considerations, and the rest? What if these symptoms of ignorance, this hot-tempered policy to dive into frenzy of emotion with no consideration for their own lives, and for others and the rest. What if we had enough political sense, what if we had anything to see who we are and what paths we must take to become an admirable nation. What if we could understand times have changed, we must change.

What If we had all that, then we would not have been here where we are! There would not have been these leaders, we would not have been on those roads in Karachi, and at other thousands occasions, the memory cannot recall the lives lost for these superficial dreams and empty promises. The fragile heart cannot take it anymore.

These fragmented sentences and paragraphs are like those human parts and our character as a nation dispersed all over these streets of Karachi. The politics of this mutilated mind of oppression will never free us from the chains we have worn upon our souls for last sixty years. we must realise. we must wake up and we must differentiate what is good for us and isn’t. We must not follow the rhetoric and euphoria of change when it means nothing in the end. We must allow ourselves responsible for the future of Pakistan. Lets free ourselves from all this. Let’s bring revolution in our minds and thinking we have. Let’s change our attitude. If we fail to do so, we will become humans of the past and dinosaurs of the future!

Kashkin

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