An ode to fury

Published: November 19, 2014
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The writer is Executive Director News, Express News. He tweets @fahdhusain
fahd.husain@tribune.com.pk

The writer is Executive Director News, Express News. He tweets @fahdhusain [email protected]

There live among us many people who have dark hearts and darker souls. They think in shades of black and act in tones of bad. The tide turns crimson as they grow powerful by the day.

Bad things are happening in Pakistan. Look around you and smell dread. A gale of loathing is blowing across this landscape, carrying with it a putrid stench of fear and uncertainty.

There is much disturbance under the heavens when the powerful stop caring for the weak. In this land of ours, there is great turbulence, misery, tragedy and heartbreak. Here people are shedding tears and blood. And here, dark men with darker hearts are ascending dizzying heights despite the fact that those who matter have stopped caring for those who should matter, but do not.

In this unfolding Shakespearian tragedy, the punishing desert of Thar is sprouting little graves, while brick kilns are being fuelled by human flesh. In this tragedy, men are flayed in police stations, women and children are shackled and manacled in private and official prisons, while big men in big offices build big buses and bigger bridges. A farce is being built around us. It is a farce that screams irony. But who’s listening?

Indeed. You listen only if you care. And care is dying a slow death in this land of ours. Yes, little babies are dying in Thar; yes, their death is a moral murder; yes, a crime is being committed in plain sight; and yes, no one in the Sindh government cares.

It’s not just the Sindh government that has stopped caring. Yes, every day humanity is brutalised in police stations across the country; every day men and women are beaten, tortured and killed by the upholders of law within these precincts. Yes, these men in uniform perform an officially sanctified ritual of plucking nails, crushing bones, lashing backs till the body of the victim is bloodied into a pulp. They do this, not just because they have grown hearts of stone, but because they know they are torturing and murdering in the name of the State, and often at its behest. They are murderers who are paid by taxpayers’ money, nourished by taxpayer-funded institutions that are patronised by taxpayer-funded rulers. They kill us in our name with our money.

How do you lose the ability to care? How do you infect yourself with a debilitating moral blindness? How do you amputate your sense of humanness and kindness? How do you transform your pulsating heart into a cold, grey stone, and then paint it black? And how do you live with yourself knowing you are responsible for so much misery, so much pain, and so much grief?

The tragedy of our governance is the tragedy of the government refusing to care for those it governs. It is the tragedy of a state abdicating its fundamental responsibility of caring for its citizens.

Why else would the rulers not acknowledge the obvious? Thar is a crime against humanity. But the PPP grandees feel no shame in justifying and defending their shocking response. Do they not have children of their own? Can they not feel, or imagine the crushing grief of a parent who has to bury his child? You think of the party elite sitting in their plush drawing rooms talking about their political ploys and strategies while Thar eats its children, and you shake with an uncontrollable fury at the heartlessness of it all. Is this the final revenge of democracy? Is this the cruel fate of those condemned to live under the rule of a party that is slowly turning into a rotting corpse?

But the PPP is not alone in this crime. The State itself is guilty. Who cares about material things and development schemes when human beings are being persecuted with state sanction? Who cares about democratic niceties and revoltingly hypocritical parliamentary posturing when governments cannot provide justice to the weak; when they cannot ensure the safety of life and property; and when they cannot educate every single child. A State and government that deprioritises its own citizens, is for all practical purposes, an illegitimate entity.

A state and a government that has lost the ability to care, has lost the mandate to rule. Period.

Yes, it has lost this right because it does not follow the Constitution. Enshrined in this document are all the rights and privileges that are accorded to the citizens of Pakistan. But it is a sign of the acute rot within this system that the blatant violation of the Constitution is considered the new normal by judges, lawyers and politicians alike. The sickness runs deep.

And so it is time to get furious. Fury at the way the State treats us; fury at the crimes perpetrated by governments; fury at the unimaginable arrogance and ineptitude of the elected rulers; fury at the callousness with which human suffering is treated; fury at the inability of those in power to recognise the duty towards the governed; fury at their refusal to consider everyone equal before the law; fury at their deliberate unwillingness to reform this rotting system; and fury at the grotesque realisation that they just do not care.

Fury is a call to action. It is a call to action against being taken for granted; against the official murder of little babies in Thar and the state sanctioned torture and killing of citizens across the country. It is a call to action against the selfish politicking of corrupt, inefficient and uncaring rulers, and against their horrible failure to take care of this nation like they take care of their immediate family. Fury is a call to action against all those who have ravaged this land and its people in the name of misplaced ideology, mismanaged policy and misdirected intentions. Yes indeed, fury is a call to action against all those who continue to grow fat on our tax money while our kids die unmourned.

There was never a better time to be furious at the dark hearts and darker souls who live among us and prey upon us.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (15)

  • Humair Khan
    Nov 20, 2014 - 12:23AM

    Thanks for True Journalism Fahd – Making Demons accountable for their Powers & Positions to turn them into Democratics

    Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Nov 20, 2014 - 12:34AM

    Simply Brilliant piece of work ! Have not read such stark reality from any Pakistani writer in a very long time .
    The elite has lost all sense of reality or vision, while the masses suffer horrific calamities on daily basis.
    Sadly even the main stream society has just learned to ignore or stay silent !
    So no one really cares, until its their turn.

    Recommend

  • Arqum
    Nov 20, 2014 - 1:19AM

    Challenging the status quo was never going to be easy which can stoop to any low to protect itself. But surely its demise has begun and our country will get rid of these leeches sooner or later. All thanks to that leader who remained steadfast and aroused this nation from deep slumber. In IK we see hope and he will IA help us chuck out the status quo.

    Recommend

  • hussain
    Nov 20, 2014 - 1:23AM

    writers usual charge sheet against dinosaurs would not take any effect at all, according to them it is the beauty of democracy,first peoples will have to die then they will have to protest as mentioned in constitution,govt would give explanation,and game ends,this is the victory of democracy, again wait for another disaster massacre, a tragedy ,again protest govt would explain his position that it was not his duty however it is beauty of democracy where people die and then protest and that is the end of flume,every thing would have to die at the expense of democracy it is the beauty of democracy

    Recommend

  • Gramscian
    Nov 20, 2014 - 1:46AM

    Whats happening in Pakistan, this Republic of Repression, is not surprising.

    When there is no difference between state and person, and state machinery is used either to enrich oneself and one’s cronies or suppress opposition, when there is no equality before law because the ruler is the law, to expect a different result is folly.

    Recommend

  • ObserverUSA
    Nov 20, 2014 - 7:22AM

    For the dying children of Sindh, is the responsibility of the Provincial Government of Sindh or of the Federal Government or both? Actually, if the Federation intervenes it is actually accused of interfering in the provincial matters. If it does not, it is accused of callousness. So the Federal Government is caught up in a damned if you, damned if you don’t situation.
    May be the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution is fraught with dangerous consequences. But once the provinces have tasted that freedom they won’t allow repealing it. Nevertheless, they are not performing their responsibilities that come with the freedoms given under the Amendment. It was the shortsightedness of the former govt. and those voted with it for passing the 18th Amendment. And, that is partly the cause of the present callousness and emerging issues and possible calamities, including for example, the callous disregard for the IDPs in KP.

    Recommend

  • AW
    Nov 20, 2014 - 10:12AM

    @ObserverUSA:
    The federal government can at least make NAB functional so the corrupt provincial governments can be held accountable. The eighteenth amendment gave provinces autonomy, true, but it did not made accountability dysfunctional. That credit goes to the federal government.

    Recommend

  • Masood
    Nov 20, 2014 - 10:25AM

    Fahad is right since it take no less than a high degree of fury to face the forces of status quo head on. The day-by-day rise of temperature of underlying volcano is showing the magnitude of increasing fury. It is just a matter of time when this volcano erupts and eradicates status quo forever from our society, InshaAllah.
    Regarding Sindh and Thar situation, our so called lawmakers have more important things to do, i.e. passing resolutions against misinterpreted statements of force of change who is talking about liberation of people. It is interesting to see how unanimous the status quo becomes, and raises threatening voices against the forces of change when there is a blow to their interests. Seems it is the only job left for our rulers, both at local as well as federal level.
    Let them take it easy and keep sleeping at the tip of Volcano. It is going to be too hot and too late when they will become awake.

    Recommend

  • Parvez
    Nov 20, 2014 - 1:42PM

    You certainly have your finger on the pulse of the common man…..and he is livid.
    Why has it come to this ?……apart from our politicians / bureaucrats, we have a judicial system that provides no justice nor accountability, both absolutely necessary for a civilised society.

    Recommend

  • Burhan
    Nov 20, 2014 - 2:16PM

    Fahd raising voice for the masses on the platform made for the elite i.e. English Newspaper. Bravo!! Perseverance Commands Success.

    Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Nov 20, 2014 - 4:10PM

    The brilliant author whose articles concentrate on substance which concerns people, the common man and not the politic of the elites. the situation appears to be dire in the country and it matters not what the causes are or who has the responsibility in the society made up of headless chickens. He regards his task being to inform its readers. It is hard to understand for a foreign observer, why on earth help is not on way from the volunteers who have the civil courage and the emotional intelligence to act and to act now to help their fellow citizens in need?

    Rex Minor

    Recommend

  • Ali Pakistani
    Nov 20, 2014 - 5:21PM

    If there is an iota of shame or humanity left in this political leadership, made of people with dark hearts and even darker souls, they would read this article, cry at their deeds, beg for forgiveness from God, repent and give the looted money back to the people of Thar.

    Recommend

  • ObserverUSA
    Nov 20, 2014 - 7:13PM

    @AW:
    You are absolutely right. The Federal Government must make the NAB functional. I fully endorse your view. But the Govt. is under pressure of PTI, PAT, and its establishment backers on the one hand, and under threat from Bilawal for doing another dharna in Islamabad if accountability is pursued, which he says is based on trumped up charges. The Govt. cannot add to the present political pressure the burden of the materialization of the PPP threat.
    All in all the politics of Pakistan is in a quandary and the situation is fluid. With a weak Federal Govt. all and sundry are too free and lax on fulfilling their responsibilities. Even otherwise, we are pathetic about fulfilling our responsibilities.

    Recommend

  • syed baqar ahsan
    Nov 20, 2014 - 8:36PM

    Excellent article,a test of a leader so far none- who will hold non-party base local bodies election and de-politicize civil police will be the most sincere leader of our country.

    Recommend

  • Chan
    Nov 21, 2014 - 10:39PM

    I hate the ppp. They are the worst.

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