Let’s talk about apathy -by Suleman Akhtar

Let’s not talk about the Murder. Let’s not point out the guns -they have and roses -they shower. Let’s not repent of the monstrous society -we have come into. Let’s not whine about the fanatical demeanor -zealots conduct. Let’s not growl at the horrifying darkness – we have plunged into. Let’s not talk about the Murder. Simply, let’s not.

Let’s talk about the political apathy!

From so-called ‘Objectives Resolution’ till date, minority of religious zealots has always instituted Political platform to instill venom of radicalism and meet its despicable agendas. Of’ course, they are more obvious of their ‘Political Power’ than any other majority (more and more descending into minority) ‘school of thought’ in society- be it radical left, seculars, civil-society or even so-called silent majority of moderates. Religious political parties that had unequivocally opposed the creation of Pakistan, ultimately entrenched themselves in good place to formulate national policy by filling the political void created by the political apathy of other segments of society.

Some, at this point, may argue that at that time political cultivating of other segments of society was too raw to act as decisive element. I agree to some extent but answer lies behind the heavy and mysterious curtains of history. At this point of history, when we are facing mightiest existential threat of our national history, we must cast aside all the historical falsifications wrapped in colorful envelop of fictitious nationhood.

First off, I will emphasize on the ambiguous statement of a confused and politically inept member of society that implies ‘Jinnah aimed to a liberal and secular Pakistan’. For a minute, forget about everything and look around yourself. Do you see even a shade of that ‘liberal and secular’ Pakistan? No sirs, I tell you. Conversely, everything -from syllabus to orientation of national policy, from individual to collective behaviors- reinforces the assertion of other half of divide that Pakistan was aimed to a theocratic state. Reasons, if you are interested? They simply have substantial belief in their discernment and maneuver political grounds to preach their doctrine. On the contrary, the other segment is too confused to act politically and vice versa.

No one, let me repeat, no one can refute the secular credentials of Jinnah but also one cannot controvert the fact that Pakistan was established by manipulating the religious sentiments in the name of a new religious identity craftily weaving it with national identity. Real motives (arguable) behind bloody partition were; necessity of a buffer state between communist China and Russia and socialist India (as was supposed at that time) that could have guarded the stakes of capitalist world in region, Interests of Muslim elite belonging to North-West subcontinent and Muslim middle-class of central India and UP, along with other factors that lead India to partition. Best manifestation of these facts may be observed in the Political awareness of a common Bengali after partition that was completely an antithetic phenomenon as compared to their counterparts in Western Pakistan.

When theocratic leadership of Muslim League came up with ‘Objectives Resolution’ to actualize it’s despicable agenda then, at that time, Sri Chandra Chattopadhya-A Bengali, was the only member in constitutional assembly who stood against it and rebutted in strong words. And also that was a Bengali too-Husain Shaheed Suhrawardy, founder of Awami League- who had audacity to highlight the actual malady because of the support from masses. He wrote: The nation had to reap the whirlwind. This involvement with Islam brought controversial doctrines to the fore. Clashes between two schools of thought, Deobandi and Barelvi, ended in several murders. The smoldering fires between the Shias and the Sunnis once again burst into flame and led to serious clashes marked with the utmost savagery in a remote village in Sindh and in the sophisticated capital city of Lahore”.

November the 30th, 1967 was the day when PPP was founded in Lahore. After twenty years of wandering in horrible chaos, liberal political forces had at last contrived a platform to stand. But just after ten years, when PNA (Pakistan National Alliance) movement led country to another military coup, one wonders where all those we-know-it-all-type Jinnah’s and Marx’s lover were standing by participating in movement and endorsing the coup? More or less a decade long notorious de-politicization policy of Zia-ul-Haq left this class with horrifying darkness of political ineptness. To see them falling in line with anti-democratic campaign throughout last decade of 20th century is no marvel at all. But, one asks, haven’t they had enough? Isn’t it the time to make a correct stand when all dark forces are aligned at common platform? Isn’t it the moment to comprehend why the leaders of a same political force are being annihilated by virtue of having humanitarian and liberal views albeit many others take same stand?

This is a high time for urban middle-class to call spade a spade -a time to politically align oneself with the right side of divide, be it any political force. Widespread political struggle is the last resort to subjugate the haunting specter of extremism. It’s now or never situation that necessitates a collective endeavor from a common platform.

Let’s talk about the apathy and throw it away!



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  1. Abdul Nishapuri