Food for thought…
While browsing through the FB home page my eyes get attracted to the word DEMOCRACY flashing through the dawn blog page. Being the first and “favourite”(just a wild guess) child of political scientist parents I was weaned on words like Democracy, Aristotle, Plato, Socialism, Marx ,…… and the list goes on. When girls of my age were enjoying Mills and Boons I was bombarded with these terms at home. The after effects of this “child abuse” remain on my psyche till date. I click the mouse to check that it was an article by Lord Nazir saying :
”Give Pakistan the democracy it deserves”.
The Lord from across the seven seas that he is, he means every word of it. I read through the article not once but twice, imagining that I missed the real message the first time. He did mention of tackling corruption, democratic system in practice not just words, our politicians plundering the country and stacking it into most expensive barcodes in Britain. Indeed, he wasn’t exaggerating any of that stuff. He was kind enough to do the straight talk,
“This is the time, when Pakistan is embroiled in the chaos of the floods, to give power to civilians and help them run local services as part of a solid democratic political system. This bottom-up approach will encourage Pakistanis to be self-sufficient as well as learn to trust their political leadership again. But the buck stops at the door of the politicians who have to win the respect and confidence of the poor Pakistani public who are fast losing faith in their motives and the practices of these politicians are not helping the cause of the democracy.”
However, what was noticeable was the mention of Z*****(this is fb censor not mine) four times in the article. He even mentions the terms Mr.10%, corruption, Murtaza Bhutto murde, most expensive post codes in Britain—all these terms which are synonymous with this censored word that begins with a capital “z”.
My eyes were searching for the mention of other names of the ranks of Z. He did not even hint at the leader of the ‘friendly opposition’ or the Lord of Lahore when wrapping up corrupt politicians. There was a reason for it .He is a Lord of “House of Lords” in Britain and out there they do not mix business with friendships. He is not a hardcore desi like me who spares no chances to glorify a friend in writings when he deserves just a passing mention. Yes, he does not believe in nepotism. Poor Z, since he wasn’t his best friend, he had to take all the blame alone.
As one reader said and I agree the article was, high on theory and low on substance especially, when it was coming from the first Pakistani in the House of Lords.
As always, on dawn blog, I enjoy the reader’s comments more than the articles themselves. A lot of our compatriots registered their sincere takes on the issue. Few of them hilarious, some encouraging, but a lot of them sad keeping into mind the lack of trust they have in this magic word called “democracy”. Some of the illustrious in-depth explanations were too complicated and codified for my feeble grey matter to decipher. I wish I could understand what they wanted to say just to get the pulse of our compatriots. There were myriad of comments and I copy paste some:
*The definition of democracy which this ruling elite is giving to Pakistan is becoming a curse for the people unfortunately.
*no to zardari’s democracy.
*Democracy in pakistan is just a dream that we have since 63 years. I have not seen ever in my life in my country during my 26 year age.
*I never saw democracy in Pakistan.
*Pakistan need democracy as well as good leadership who could be able to restore good governance. Improve the economy .Do not depend of loans…….
Pretty valid arguments especially coming from 26 year olds or so.
Some sounded different or angry and some confused:
*i personally think we don’t deserve democracy.
*We r the people who don’t deserve democracy and we can’t adopt dis even we have given a chance.
*The establishment of Khilafat via the revolution of the masses is the solution to all our problems.
*American system of democracy is the best for India and Pakistan.
*im not saying martial law is the answer, I m saying..we don’t deserve to be given power…
*we need an honest dictator to rule us…….
*Now lets Play the new debate, really it’s like a TOM & JERRY Show! every one is proving that he/she is the best. You peoples cannot change this Ethnic Mind State.
*Regardless democratic or undemocratic, lead by a honest and a fair leader, regardless in or without uniform.
I do not mean to judge each of these comments. We all reserve the right to have our opinions. However it is heart aching to read how we under estimate ourselves by saying we don’t deserve democracy.
Just holding elections and selecting (and not electing) the representatives from the Feudal Lords isn’t democracy. These so called “people’s representatives” are Feudal Lords disguising as politicians. The illiterate and ignorant voters are merely their pawns. Since we have the pawn mindset we think we do not deserve democracy or accept this sham democracy as the only answer.
Few of us talk of whip lashing military rule as the answer being naïve that military is meant to be on our “borders” and not in the “centre”.
For Lady Democracy to arrive and thrive amongst us we need to provide her with the accessories she adores—education and tolerance.
Sadly we haven’t yet tasted true democracy to know how sweet it tastes.
Hope we get to taste it someone day….
1 Sep 2010