Editorial: February 2013.
The Casualty of Political Rhetoric
Dr.Rasheed Hasan Khan
With national elections around the corner, political leaders in Pakistan have stepped up the hype and rhetoric, rolling out an intricate mix of fact and fantasy that leaves the public speechless. There are public speeches, interviews on print and electronic media and auto-biographic expositions. Sadly enough, truth is usually a casualty of this exercise in self promotion in most cases. The spin serves only to confuse and confound public opinion rather than create clarity and awareness in the masses.
The discourse of the Messiah from Canada (apart from his Dreams and Visions) is remarkable for vulgarizing the political lexicon. His version of ‘ change of system’ and ‘social revolution’ is unique and calculated to make the great revolutionaries in history to turn in their graves. There is however, no doubt that he has proved to be a tough competitor to the two other proponents of ‘social change’, i.e. PTI and MQM, and so far has managed to retain an edge over them in the focus of public attention. But this is not a good omen for the future of politics in Pakistan.
Today political parties and their leaders are focused on everything except their Manifestos and Programs for the solution of the grave Economic, Political and Social problems facing Pakistan and its people. With no clear public commitment to political goals, it is but natural that the political discourse has degenerated into a grand tournament of mudslinging and scandalizing. It is therefore necessary that the public exerts its influence to make all political parties come out with a concrete program for the future so that the voters may exercise their discretion in choosing between the contenders in the race.
The limitation of the present system to create a government which provides a solution to the problems faced by the oppressed classes, is a fact which is perceived by all conscious political activists. The system has been tailored to meet the economic and political needs of the ruling classes of Pakistan, the feudal and the bourgeois classes. It cannot and should not be confused with the political superstructure under the hegemony of the oppressed classes, the people’s democratic system. The question before the people in Pakistan is how to tactically deal with the bourgeois democratic political process while they are engaged in the struggle to build a people’s democracy. Corruption, bad governance and alienation from the masses is the rule for a bourgeois democracy and not an exception. A study of the extant bourgeois democracies, all over the world, will confirm the conclusion that the corruption, bad governance and alienation from the people exists in inverse proportion to the political awareness and strength of the mass movement in any country. Therefore an organized mass movement is the only option with the masses to counter and curtail the oppression prevailing in a bourgeois democracy.
There can be no vacuum in real politics. A call for an immediate overthrow of the present system can lead to — (1) a change for the better i.e. establishment of a peoples democracy or (2) the establishment of an authoritarian military and/or quasi- theocratic regime. It is this second alternative which the Messiah from Canada and some others are overtly or covertly pursuing at present on the political scene. There is no doubt that the masses are totally fed up with the inefficiency, corruption and mal administration of the present government. But the alternative offered presently has been tried and tested time and again in Pakistan’s history—to the detriment of the masses and the country. Therefore while the present crisis is a wakeup call for the political parties in power, it is also a signal to the masses to be prepared for relentless struggle for their rights in the years to come.