Zafar Alam Sarwar
One of our college fellows in good old days used to wear costly dresses on alternate days. And many of us thought roughly “he must be son of a millionaire.” But he had no chauffeur-driven car. Nor was he seen ever dropping from a GTS bus. He was however always on time in the college. One day I chased him like an American CIA man. After the last period he went straight to a well-maintained shop, changed his dress and returned home where I stood waiting for him. “You naughty body-builder, I already sensed you’re after me. But, for God’s sake, don’t disclose to anybody in the college. That dry-cleaning shop is my elder brother’s. I do it just to cover my poverty. I’ve spoken the truth.”
Does everybody speak the truth now? We’ve in our society a class of men and women who are fond of wearing costly dresses, own land-cruisers and BMWs, have break-fast in Karachi and lunch in Dubai and dinner in London. They have easy access to portals of power where they learn how to befool the masses. But 100 plus 50 days have exposed not only a number of politicians and self-seekers but also a clique of persons who have come up to destroy a people’s party whose manifesto had attracted hundreds of thousands of men and women long ago, and a majority of them waited for implementation of the original programme to get rid of the exploitative system.
The children born soon after the 1970-71 upheaval seem to have attained social and political maturity to a greater degree than the ones who chose politics as their business and family profession. The new generation is against slavery to any foreign power in any form with a patriotic yearning for an overall change in the country whose integrity, independence and sovereignty has been at stake following the so-called 9/11 of 2001. The well-thought-out US drama, people humanitarian by nature in the East and the West argue, has, in fact, flopped. Excitement for change is immeasurable! Men in their 20s and 30s—and those who have crossed their 40s—are apparently in full bloom of wisdom and sagacity. They are foreseeing a revolution-a bloody revolution! That’s what a week-long social, economic and political intercourse with people of the twin cities, Peshawar and Lahore suggests.
The common man feels disgusted at the ways and means of the government and its unclear policies which have not provided any visible respite to him from the sky-high food prices. According to doctors, bank officers, school and college teachers, small traders and shopkeepers and commuters, it’s all bhook (hunger), aflaas (poverty) and nang (unclothed), berozegaari (unemployment), socio-economic injustice, poor healthcare, costly education and rising incidence of crime. Who is responsible for common people’s discomfort? The common man blames politicians for most of the socio-economic ills of society, saying “they have buried their conscience, turned a deaf ear to the masses and betrayed the voters who wanted justice to all.”