Happy Rigging Anniversary everyone
11th May 2014: Tabdeeli agayi?
(Happy Rigging Anniversary, everyone!)
Imran khan (holding a bat): ’11 May… Tabdeeli ka din hai!’
*Patriotic music playing*
“Hum dekhain gay
Lazim hai ke hum bhi dekhain gay
Hum dekhain gay!!”
*Shaadi/Baraat wala music playing*
Puri qaum ka ek hi naara
“Mazlumom ka saathi hai… ALTAF HUSSAIN!”
“Bhutto di beti aayi si”
“Aye khak nasheno uth baitho”
“Elections 2013: Quwat-e-Akhuwat-e-Awaam”
“Pakistan ko vote do!”
And finally on Saturday May 11th 2013 the crowds hit the streets—not to eat “muftay ka khana” in some jalsa or run away with the chairs and light bulbs in the end but to secure the future of the state and its people, try to play their part for its betterment and to scare away the shadows of ignorance and silence that had been haunting them long enough. They had no weapons, VIP protocol or bullet proof vests along. Just their NIC numbers and love for the soil. Patriotism at its peak!
But it all broke down when the “rigging videos” circulated around social and electronic media.
*Insert random bad word here*
It wasn’t long before the crowds hit the streets again. Although this time they were more of an angry mob. Not forgetting Nawaz Sharif’s PRE-result but POST-polling “victory speech” in which he asked his supporters to give him a ‘clear majority’ in the elections. Um gee, I wonder which ‘SUPPORTERS’ he was talking to after the polling at ALL polling stations had ended at 12 AM IN THE NIGHT!
But we forgot that too. Aren’t we such a nice, sweet and forgiving nation? We gave an outstanding & unexpected turn out of 60% (estimated figure) in the May 11th elections and expected nothing in return! We shed blood endlessly for 10 years and then sat down to beg those killing us to stop (Not criticizing the idea of peace talks here, just the way they are being carried out). We respected nothing! Not one drop of blood shed for us, not one life laid, not one promise kept.
We didn’t even respect the Tabdeeli/inqalaab campaigns we ran OURSELVES on social media—those online petitions we signed, those posts we shared, those ‘DPs’ we changed. We were patriotic but not patient, our voices we loud but not consistent, we were sincere but not united, we were close but not there yet. We became ‘insafians’, ‘bhuttoists’, ‘altafists’ and… ‘whatever-pmln-supporters-are-called.’ It was ‘Karachi mein dhandli’, ‘Punjab mein dhandli’, ‘Sindh mein dhandli’… whatever happened to ‘Pakistan mein dhandli’?
I’m NOT implying that we should have gathered on the streets and threatened to over throw the government till we got re-elections. And I’m not even HINTING towards something as crazy as martial law. All I’m saying is that the voice that echoed in every street, every corner, EVERYWHERE in Pakistan on 11th may 2013… stopped long before it made a difference. It was heard, just not recognized—simply because we didn’t wait that long. We forgot to care maybe because so many other MORE important things came around:
1) Veena Malik got married.
2) Munawar Hassan declared the Taliban ‘shaheed’.
3) Meera’s controversial video leaked.
4) Bilawal had his ‘Sindh fest’.
5) Maryam Nawaz had her knee surgery.
6) Musharraf went to court.
7) Nawaz Sharif went to CHINA!
But in the mind sickening chase for attention and ratings, the truth was murdered. In the pointless argument about who is ‘Ghadaar’ and who is not, thirsty children in Thar were forgotten and in the futile debate on who is ‘Shaheed’, the issues and problems of the common man were left behind. No matter what went around, we were always the ones to suffer. And continue to suffer we will unless something is done about it. You can point fingers at the government and politicians with great ease but what really takes courage is to look at the four fingers pointing towards you! So why not unite for this righteous cause?
Pakistan, it’s about time we woke up. ‘Tabdeeli’ isn’t waiting for us in some jalsa out there. The choice to change was ours all along. And let’s not forget the ‘jaisi qaum wese hukmaraan’ logic. The governments will change every five years (unless you know what happens) but what’s important is for us to change and speak up for our rights. The politicians want your votes, not your problems but it is us who will have to remind them from time to time who got them where they are in the first place.
At this point anyone else might quote a legendary poet like Iqbal or a revolutionary leader like Nelson Mandela but I would like to quote Ali Gul Pir (yes that insane rapper we all know) from his song ‘VIP’:
“Kher Pakistanio tumhe ek baat hai bataana
Vote mil gaya! Ab chalo paanch saal baad ana”
Democracy is the best revenge. Jamuriyat Zindabad. Pakistan Paindabad. Happy rigging anniversary everyone!