KARACHI: I am not a PPP sympathiser. I have never voted for the party in any election. I have had differences with them on a host of issues and governance matters. Yet, it pains me to see uncalled-for criticism and allegations levelled against it and its leadership. It has become our national characteristic to believe in rumours and spread them as if they were the truth. I am not justifying any wrongdoings by the politicians and nor am I saying that they are innocent. My only point is that must we use rumour and unconfirmed reports to throw dirt on them? Why not act maturely and criticise with proven facts and figures?
Bashing politicians has become a national pastime. They are an easy target and the judiciary, military and mullahs are sacred cows. Contempt of court, sedition and blasphemy are used to prevent criticism of these institutions. And the result is that the general public is made to believe that the most rotten of the lot are politicians. This in turn means that democracy is bad and dangerous and if allowed to continue, it may shake the very foundations of the country and pose a serious threat to national security. I have seen many educated, urbanised people arguing in favour of military rule and dictatorship. ‘Yeh qaum sirif danday kay zor pay chal sakti hai’ is a favourite argument put forward by many. It speaks volumes of the maturity level of Pakistanis. This is a classic case of brainwashing. Is governance the domain of a country’s military?
If the process has snags and the system has flaws does it mean it is a complete failure and should be discarded? Why do we exclude ourselves from the problem and only blame others? If every voter understands the significance of his one vote and exercises his right conscientiously, we may see a change take place. Those who do not exercise their right to vote have no justification in criticising the elected representatives. Those who do not pay taxes honestly do not have the right to point fingers at the government’s failure to give back to its people.
Politicians are a reflection of the society we all live in. If we find them flawed, like we always do, we better look within ourselves as well.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2012.
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