Tahirul Qadri's increasing popularity

Whether these leaders are loyal, or their rise is a transitory hype, the outcome is a renewed sense of unity.

Ishrat Ansari December 26, 2012
It’s amazing how quickly a leader or an ideology can win over the country’s youth. As I headed to office one fine day, I confronted an excited youth from our neighbourhood who said,
“I am going to Lahore to attend a jalsa on December 23!”

I was startled. Knowing that the young man had exams coming up, I asked him how he’ll manage the trip. His reply was,
“I’ll skip exams. This public gathering by Dr Tahirul Qadri is so much more important.”

I drowned into thought. The young man’s enthusiasm reflected that of thousands of people across the country. Several young people flocked down to Lahore from cities all over the country to attend Qadri’s jalsa, reminding me of the initial days of Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan’s popularity. Khan’s jalsas were attended by youth who were just as confident of his rise as a promising leader.

Leading the youth to political activism is a feat achieved by both Khan and Qadri. Of course, believing that either leader can do anything to alter the youth’s future, or the future of Pakistan, borders on fancifulness. But it seems that we, and specially our youth, are still keen to cling on to hope no matter what.

However, regardless of whether these leaders are loyal, or if their rise is just a transitory hype, the favourable outcome is a renewed sense of unity. This has been observed in both Khan and Qadri. Owing to these leaders, the youth of Pakistan has become increasingly conscious of the country’s political state and its current affairs.

Furthermore, attending jalsas seems to be a great social boon in itself: it helps overpower social divide, as youth from all classes unite, and share the realisation that Pakistan’s current crisis needs their attention.

Several people who went to Lahore for Qadri’s jalsa resided in temporary camps in the freezing cold and some of them rented rooms in hotels. The zeal seemed magnetic; a true reflection of how much hope and faith is vested in leaders.

Needless to say, one jasla cannot change the future of the country, or bring a revolution. But undoubtedly, Dr Tahirul Qadri is a prominent religious scholar and like Imran Khan is winning popularity just because there is hope, just because the people of this country want to see change.

Read more by Ishrat here.
Ishrat Ansari
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