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Evil is not an option! Whether Less or Great

Whether it was civil or military rule, in recent political history of Pakistan, the closing note of the voters (when arguments end) were to elect lesser EVIL, mostly a reason given by voters of this country when they feel themselves helpless and finding no options other than electing an evil based on lesser or greater. They used to vote based on perception, this party or person is less or more corrupt, less or great evil.

We are at the cross road of our society where all the possible options have been exposed in front of the Pakistanis. Thanks to the present on going great political, social and economic debate in our country. Alternate Media especially social media and/or the space given by mainstream private channels have given an interactional space, learning opportunity and express their minds out on socio-cultural, political and economic subjects pertaining to their everyday lives. Sometimes, these debates may look more emotional but at the end the intention is pure and patriotic. This process has leading us to a new emerging Pakistani society that is young, vibrant, progressive and open. They make accountable to all even their own favorites. This accountability goes viral on social media and in few minutes one find thousands reactions, approvals and disapprovals, likes and dislikes. Within groups, online communities people (mostly young) start questioning and exploring the dynamics and idioms of the statements given by their leaders within minutes and share their responses. We can take an example of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf which, effectively, social media as instrument (with very little financial cost and high reach to the majority of the young population of our society) for campaigning and advocating in political agenda, among the youth. The party receives immediate response on its policies and approaches and even worst criticism by its own supporters to the party leaders. They notice each and every moment of their leader’s doings and register their response and reaction on social media, online news portals and videos of the program. People make videos of their own responses on their mobiles and make it viral. I think, this process has made them empowered, participatory, contributory and inclusive and also makes their leaders and representatives accountable to them each day.

Exposure is empowerment, openness ensures transparency and sharing enhances knowledge and understanding. I consider this healthy signs, I observe that these young activists do not seem willing to surrender before corrupt, liar and fake. They have rejected sectarianism, extremism & militancy in the name of religion and at the same time corruption, nepotism and mal governance. They have shown that education, health, shelter and Basic facilities are important priority subjects. Cosmetic and Mega projects approach of developing infrastructure projects funded by loans and subsidies do not lure them more. They are also not willing to buy scandalous and blackmailing stories. Dignity and self respect, appreciation of their talents & attributes is their agenda. They do not systems of parchi or sifarish but strong institutions that can response to their needs based on merit. They disapprove the use of national issues for short term political gains. They develop and share their own fads and fashions and feel proud of it. They are creating space for them to speak, share and comment, register their approval and protests without waiting for anyone, any nijat dahinda.

The representatives of a diseased and decaying system cannot produce visionary leaders. What we are witnessing is a new phase in the growing polarization of Pakistani society—not between those who identify as Conservative and Liberals , as the media would have us believe—but between the honest and corrupt, liar and true, it is against stalemate, mal governance, poor economic management, injustice and criminality of the state institutions and government functionaries. This new emerging young activist in our society has challenged this so-called “lesser evil” option. This option (who was the only for last many decades to elect our representatives) is in tatters and has been exposed as a hollow and dangerous fiction. So which is worse: the “greater evil” knocking at the gates, or the “lesser” varietal that opens them? Either way, the powerful win and the common citizen who votes lose. They are challenging the evil whether it is lesser or greater; they are rejecting the EVIL and have no acceptance in their options. It is no exaggeration to say the corrupt and nepotism based system is on life support. It’s time to pull the plug!

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