Thar famine: Bilawal Bhutto, your incompetence is unpardonable

You are nothing but a product of a hideous, feudal mindset. While you celebrated history, our future embraced death.

Shabeeh Hussain March 10, 2014
Dear lord Bilawal,

The recent calamity that has hit the Thar Desert is nothing less than heart-wrenching. As I pen these words, thousands stand precariously at the cusp of death.

However, the purpose of this write-up is not to vent my sentiments but to bring to your Lordship’s attention the truth of his existence and the seemingly obvious realities that hitherto remain unrealised.

My lord, your people are starving and at moments like these true leaders stand amongst their people. You ought to be here; not thousands of miles away in the plush cosiness of your foreign apartments. That’s not the Quaid-e-Awam’s legacy; that’s not ‘Bhuttoism’ – in fact, it is the very anti-thesis of ‘Bhuttosim’.

It is plain disdain and utter disregard for the lives of ordinary men and women.

But perhaps, you find more magnetism in your father’s ways. Perhaps, mixing with uncouth, sweaty, stinking, ordinary ‘proles’ is behaviour unbecoming of a feudal lord of your stature.

By posting those seemingly solicitous tweets who are you trying to fool?

You won’t have the answer but I do; nobody but yourself.

The most shameful dimension of the whole affair is that even when children are drifting towards death, petty politics is being played.

Why was Punjab government’s offer to help snubbed?

Those responsible for the crisis – a Member of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) and his brothers – are still untouched.

My Lord, if you could look beyond politics, beyond personal gain, you would find that the dying children of Thar demand justice; you would hear their cries. If you could break those barricades and look those sick, starving weaklings in the eyes, you would know the life of a serf is not worthless, after all.

Your party is a scourge and an albatross to the development of Sindh. Its ranks are filled with the vilest of feudals that feed on the blood of their serfs. Its cabinet is nothing but a conclave of dunderheads. Its Chief Minister (CM) is someone who didn’t have an inkling – and he has the gall to admit it – of the plight of Tharians until journalists started raving about the crisis.

So much for good governance.

My Lord, you pride yourself on the colours and richness of your culture and history. Indeed, I do as well. But is this the time for gaieties? A time when we desperately cling to the fringes of integrity, when Pakistan is faced with an existential crisis, when our national coffers are empty and when terrorists stand at our doorstep?

Just to inform you, since I’m sure no one else will, my good Lord, while you were feasting your eyes on those deft dances with the sinuous, almost-surreal movements of the dancers, somewhere someone’s bleary, weak eyes were drooping for good.

While music filled your ears, someone’s cries of anguish went unheard, unattended.

While you celebrated our history, our future was embracing death.

While you were busy revelling, the children of Thar were battling fatality.

But you know something, lord Bilawal?

Those children probably deserved to starve, to die and to be lynched. After all, they had committed the ugliest of crimes – poverty. Indeed, poverty is a reprehensible, repugnant crime. Tharians deserved to die for they had reposed trust in you and your party; they themselves had voted for death.

They deserved to die for they deserved better than the worthless lives they would have lived.

It is for these reasons and a million others that I am happy for those infants; at least in death they will find liberation from the fetters of servitude to those earthly gods – your toadies – whom their forebears have served for aeons. At least in the intoxication of death, they have found solace and are safe from the destitution that your minions – the feudals – have ordained for their less-fortunate surviving counterparts.

Your education and outlook may afford you the air of someone with an enlightened mind but it is as evident as the sun above, that in effect you are nothing but a product of the same hideous, feudal mindset; you benefit from the same system.

Your lordship, you and your clique of hangers-on have presided over carnage.

Your incompetence is unpardonable.

And to echo Samuel Beckett’s immortal words in Waiting for Godot,
“They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then its night once more.”

My lord Bilawal, fear the day…

Your lordship’s lackey,

Amir Hamza
Shabeeh Hussain A medic by force, a writer by choice. A student at the Aga Khan University, Karachi.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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