Lawyers being pushed, shoved, brutally beaten up; journalists being manhandled, dragged by their hair for doing the job they are meant to do; students protesting peacefully yet being threatened by police brigades via silent, deadly stares – what have we been reduced to? This is what the ‘Emergency’ was designed to do; under the veil of ‘fighting terrorism’ in the country, the President has managed to create a more unstable, violent situation – all so his access to self-created unlimited power remains untouched. A friend of mine very aptly described this situation – the Head of State is acting like a young child, throwing tantrums if someone comes anywhere near his precious toys.
It is marvelous how students of this nation have managed to unite and put across a brave front in this grave situation. Strangely enough, being a student, I always thought our generation lacked the initiative and drive to bring about any sort of change. Most of us have led sheltered existences and would find it impossible to imagine spending a night in a cell. Apart from that, the population largely seemed to be too involved in their own daily activities to worry about the big picture. But this event has changed my perspective; thankfully, for the better. Students of LUMS and other universities have done a tremendous job of, at the very least, creating a stir; making international news was just the cherry on the cake! We, as a nation, (or on a smaller scale) as LUMS family, strongly oppose the current state of affairs in Pakistan since it has been created for the benefit of one man, with the rights of millions of people as the opportunity cost. Unfortunately, it is too large a cost.
Having declared that students and lawyers are working towards a better future of the country, it is important to understand that more people need to join this movement. It is essential for us to realize that this is not one person’s agenda; it is the problem of every citizen of Pakistan. It is not only the students whose rights have been abrogated – it is each and every one of us. And that is what makes our current circumstances so distressing. Where are the other elements of society? Where are the opposition parties? Where are the professionals? Where are the masses? Is this too trivial a condition that we do not need to be bothered by it? This apathy is the direct consequence of our erratic political past. Whenever the army wants, it takes over, holds the constitution in abeyance and creates an environment of instability. And makes us mortals think, “Why should we bother? Not like it would make a difference.” It may even be true that whatever we do would not topple the present government over, or miraculously create a leader out of thin air who would be just, considerate and, for once, stick to the laws of the country. But it is definitely worth making the effort. It is definitely something to strive for, to hope for. What would be even worse is if we just sit like lame ducks, causing us to be a part of this entire fiasco. No problem has ever been solved without working towards a solution; and determining the failure or success before even trying is the worst mistake one can make. Agreed, it is difficult to raise your voice in a climate of such great insecurity; with people being arrested all over. But protesting against a tyrannical government does not only mean participating in rallies and shouting slogans. It may be a more active, effective way, but smaller steps are just as significant. With the international focus on us right now, it has become much easier to voice our opinions.
This is not what this country was meant to be like. There were bigger, better hopes attached to our generation and those before us. And great fervor is required of us as this moment. Needless to say, all of us feel sorrow as we look around. It may seem abysmal but a dictator can not bring this country down; or better yet, we will not let him bring the country down! We have so much more to offer and this is not how it is going to end. I hope it ends with people reaching their full potential, realizing what great things they are capable of achieving; I hope it ends with the destruction of this one-man show, a man who is a sad excuse of a leader, along with his troupe of blind-folded followers.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Posted by The Neem Revolution at 10:36 PM