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Pride of a Nation

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Qaisar Sultan

The Egyptians have finally found the dignity as people. One Egyptian woman put it bluntly that she was not proud to be an Egyptian before; and now she is. A poster read, “We are writing the history of a free Egypt”. It is important to read these messages not in the tradition of emotivism, but should be read as normative statements. The Egyptians have found themselves. They have discovered the renaissance humanism; that the human freedom is dependent on free rational thinking and not in prevailing attitudes of accepting the status quo ante, the state of affairs that existed previously. It is the young educated Egyptians, followed by the masses that understood that people ought to be treated as end and not as means; this thought brought them closer to the human dignity. They decided to resist the coercion on freedom for the sake of national and human dignity. People have to fight for the rights of all the citizens and should not be deterred from those rights by empty words of patriotism, security of the country or any hollow line of reasoning that would stop them to achieve that human dignity. We are not talking about violence; but rather a discourse. But there is a presupposition that the oppressive governments cannot use coercive arbitrary laws and means to manipulate the dialogue. The danger always remains that the threat of arbitrary and irrational power to change and affect the civil discourse. Then people have no choice but to follow a course that may become violent. The problem is that violence negates all the principles of a discourse; the oppressors understand that. The oppressive governments and rulers do not allow a civil discourse and make situation ferocious and unruly, bringing the situation to a boil. Those who end up as victors forget that the change meant changing the lives of ordinary people for better. If to change shoddy government with a shoddier government becomes the goal, the evolution of history of progress is impeded. The civil discourse should change everything that is wrong with the country. The constitutions have to be changed; the corrupt rulers should be punished, including law enforcement, judiciary, military and civilian bureaucrats who had plundered and closed their eyes and supported the evilness in the country.  What I see is a flash of suppressed emotions coming to a boil without a manifesto and well defined direction that these protestors have chalked out for the present and future of Egypt. In the absence of a reflective and wise leader, the beginning of a revolution finds it end sooner than later.

The most patriotic and noble thing in politics is to reward what is good and honest; and punishes the wrongs. In Pakistan bad is rewarded and good is being punished.  People know that the corruption is rampant both in the civilian bureaucracy and military; the reward of corruption is lavish life styles and perpetual power given to those who steal and rob. The honest and hard working people are looked down. In the USA, the black uneducated young boys in ghettos admire the drug pushers and the wicked thugs. The reason is that they have become lazy and feel that the honest black young people do not live comfortable life; the real problem is lack of education and disintegration of family life. On similar ground, Pakistani general population feel that the honest work does not get them anywhere. The only thing left to do is to become part of that vicious cycle; either they become crooks or submit their will to the superior. They revere and fancy the corrupt rich and powerful people. There is a huge majority of oppressed people in Pakistan who find gratification in being most obedient to the masters. We are still calling the superiors “Sir”, shame on petty people who are proud to be called “Sir”. The corrupt and evil people are proud guests on TV to suggest the way country should be administered. Talking about TV, I have met one of the popular TV host in New York; and I was disappointed in the caliber and professionalism of these so called journalists. They are gifted with street smarts and have big mouth to bite you as a mad dog. These TV evangelists represent the freedom of speech or the unruliness in the existing attitudes. Most of them are narrow minded as the religious activist protesters with a disdain for enlightened and western liberal ideals.

The corrupt politicians own lands and businesses where they employ multitude of slaves. Years of slavery of people bequeath masochist lore to the enslaved. The obedience becomes vital and strategic to survive; worship the boss like a semi-god and you will be rewarded with few crumbs. The fathers passed the wisdom of being subservient to the superiors. How can we even think of a revolution in the country with slave mentality?  On the other hand, people in Pakistan are not happy as things are in the country. But at the same time, they are obsessed with the corrupt and evil politicians; it does not matter what the reason could be. Let us call ten more elections; tell the whole country about the corruption and ineptness of so called leaders, the people would vote for the worst kind; that is the only choice offered to people. Then there are those who predicted the demise of a corrupt regime, they have become the laughing-stock of the ruling scoundrels.  Where is the dignity of our people? The dignity is hidden in the palaces, foreign bank accounts, and in the reverence to the rich and powerful, in the slave mentality which allow power to steal, murder and the rest of the evilness. The powerful bogus elite walk with pride with the blood on their mouth like a wolf that devoured a little lamb. What happens to an honest man? – He has to hide his wife and daughter from the powerful in his village, and work long hours to survive. Then he goes out and vote for the same thug who would not hesitate to rape his women and steal the resources; go figure out why people behave as they do. How it is done, simple- mesmerize people for the elation of death (Extremism); keep them uneducated (Evilness); control the land and industry (Feudalism); create ethnic and religious hatred (Divide & Rule), bringing in the Madrasahas and bearded “Think-Tanks” to deliberate for the future of the nation (Religiosity); tell people to eat grass to defend the country, while the corrupt generals steal half the resources of the country and distort the entire political system (Corrosive Militarism and Fake Patriotism); and keep the political, military and law enforcement power within the family (Cronyism). The Pakistani establishment, corrupt politicians, the feudal and rich class know that the above policies worked all these years for them and would not be replaced by any silly talk of a revolution- They have been writing the history of an “Enslaved Nation” in Pakistan for last sixty three years.

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