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Those who take the streets are not FARIGH!

“They are not more than 10,000. I don’t think they can change anything.”

“Those who attend protests are actually farigh. How on earth somebody having a reasonable job will take leave for such activities.”

“Youth likes fun, entertainment and drama. When it comes with a political flavor, oh boy, it increases these attributes to multiple folds.”

At workplace, I was going through the pain of listening to such comments regarding current political situation in the country. The 9-to-5 people were too worried about tranquility of repetition of their daily routine. For them, continuous submission to political exploitation is way better than raising the voice against it. I still remember some of those ‘rational arguments’; there is no point in taking to streets as somebody can get expire in the ambulance due to traffic congestion problems; Children can’t get to school and there is a severe loss of education which countries like Pakistan can’t afford at all; Labor on daily wages has to look for other means to make up for the loss; Whole city comes to halt and business has to shut for one complete day, denting the already crippling economy; so on and so forth.

I neither support PTI nor PAT. I am neither a victim of IK’s personal charisma nor I am spell bounded by debating skills of TuQ but I totally support the idea of taking to streets to get your demands fulfilled. For the same reason, what hurts most is the attitude of apolitical people who think that every person protesting out there is either a jaahil or he is being paid. It is hard for them to believe that people chanting slogans out there have got a family to take care of, they have a job where they will have to justify their absence from office and they also got the same 24-hour day which is, for apolitical people, is too short for managing too much activities. Believe me, sitting in air conditioned office and having a running commentary with sip of warm coffee is one real bad, and also, the easiest thing to do. What makes it worst is the apathy of such people towards protestors. Sometimes, it really seems that they are more interested in the failure of whole political activity so that they can crack jokes and make fun of those who put their security and safety on the line for the future of people.

You don’t need to look too far back to understand the importance of people on the streets. Without going into discussion of whether Arab Spring was hijacked or not; it clearly highlighted the power of people, and most importantly, the power of common people. Rulers are disturbed most when they see the ruled chanting slogans right at their palaces, challenging them to come out of their safe houses and get accounted for their wrongdoings. Situations like this make rulers realize that their authority and power can only be retained, if and only if, the ruled allow it.

For me, one man on the street is worth more than thousand of those who sit in their comfortable drawing rooms, hold discussions and whatever is the result of that discussion, they never come out on the street. These apolitical people are not ready to take even a minimum amount of risk to change this country and interestingly, when you talk to them, they will definitely entertain you with in-depth political discussions that lead towards ‘zero action’ point.

Those who take the streets should be looked at with respect; you may disagree with them but being apolitical doesn’t give you the right to suspect their sincerity with their cause. I will end with a quote, “There is a one major difference between humans and animals; animals are apolitical.”

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