By Marwa Mehboob.
There’s a great saying by Thomas Jefferson “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty”.
Let me start my writing with a plain and uncomplicated definition of democracy, for the better and easy understanding of those sitting in the so called democratic institutions of this country. I can write this with great affirmation that these elected members are firstly unaware of the word “Democracy” and its literal meanings and unfortunately came into power by deceiving and playing with the minds of innocent people who are completely unaware of social injustices and are symbols of what we call as socially unconscious people. Now, coming back to the meaning of democracy which is a fusion of two words; demos, meaning the masses, and kratia, meaning rule. So, what is clearly meant is the rule of the masses or the rule of the people.
My expectancy towards this writing would be to change the prejudice and stereotype culture that persists badly. Hopefully this article of mine will put some sense in folks that have halted others way of life and proclaim to be democratically civilized.
In order to get a clear picture of democracy and politics we need to first clear our minds which are rich in misconceptions about the two terms. Understanding of the two terms and then its application can help in the production of visionary minds, visionary inventors, reformers and innovative environmentalists. Thus, decreasing the dearth of such people who are genuine and are sincerely willing to work for this country.
According to a very famed definition, Democracy is supposed to be rule of the people, by the people, and for the people. But here we need to realize the importance of political knowledge in order to rule effectively. The problem is if the people know little or nothing about government it becomes difficult to hold political leaders accountable for their performance just like in the present scenario of our political hierarchy. Where every step they make brings us nearer to a political turmoil. It is evident that most of our rulers will not content themselves with the right knowledge of politics and democracy because of their own evil interests and we as a nation will remain at the suffering end. We have been witnessing since long that our rulers are not capable enough and our intentionally involved in ill deeds resulting in a state of sheer uncertainty and ever increasing stressful circumstances in our lives. Unfortunately, we have been part of such a system where public knowledge about politics is disturbingly low. In addition, the public also often does a poor job of gauging the political information they do know. This state of affairs has persisted despite rising education levels through convenient mode of communication thanks to modern technology like cyber media. But, again this wave of increased technology is limited to the urban course of life and majority living in rural areas are unaware of the term Internet. This cycle results in the same disputed system of democracy without even an inch of improvement. Lack of rational behaviour in terms of political awareness pave the way for such a widespread and persistent political ignorance and irrationality which strengthens the case for limiting and decentralizing the power of government.
Political intolerance in Pakistan is deep and widespread. Recent events of Panama leaks provides us with an example of how the current government has once again shown it’s level of political ignorance through their undemocratic behaviour.
This undemocratic behaviour is a sure outcome of politically illeterate people who are limited to information about specific policy making and are also mindless to the basic structure of government and how it operates. This reminds me of another wise saying, the worst illiterate is the political illiterate. We can easily see the ignorance and confusion about such matters as which government officials are responsible for which issues.
Understanding the political system is an important aspect of human society. I will now relate my topic with Islam for religion is the source of all ethics, individual and collective. The great Muslim philosopher and poet Allama Iqbal has rightly said, Juda ho deen siyasat se to reh jaati hai changezi. This justifies the above sources with great affirmation. If we see, Islam in politics has a greater strength and logic which can envelope the global and national political issues that need proper redress in realistic, pragmatic terms. We as a Muslim need to build an understanding that the important demonstration of a political system is vindicated through the inception of a state based on the solid Islamic democratic system. Our beloved Prophet (PBUH) established a state at Medina which was of a unique type and has strong foundations of consultation, justice, equality and accountability. Islam in all times has emphasized on the importance of consultation. This was the very reason that after Hazrat Muhammad PBUH his successors perpetuated the same system of governance. They govern with mutual consultation with a steady belief that the essence and beauty of a true democracy is consultation. Here, I would like to shed some light on the principles of one of the first four caliphs of Islam, Hazrat Usman R.A , he had to face very severe criticism by the people during his caliphate, but he did not attempt to stop them by any means rather, in reply to their criticism he always clarified his position publicly. Today, what we witness is a complete opposite scenario. Our political dynasty is dwelled into a system which can be directly related to an unscrupulous world of demons.
Taking in view the Islamic way of governance one can easily conclude that Muslims had the best system that was based on consultation, equality and social justice. Prophet Muhammad S.A.W used to consult his companions often on all the matters of the state and enforcement of sharia. Because when the companions are consulted the implementation and acceptance becomes easier. And this was the basic reason that the Muslims governed the world but unfortunately today the very Muslim rulers are not prepared to embrace it .They live following their whims and desires, never putting an end to this worldly cycle. Being ordained is not so easy but also not as difficult as getting yourself deep into worldly desires that bind you to the never ending cycles of suffering and prevent you from achieving everlasting happiness.
Expecting, our politicians to adopt the basic principles of governance set by our religion which are being practiced in the western societies would not be an easy task. Reason, members sitting in our Parliament lack the basic qualities of a democrat. Hence, the kind of instincts our political leaders hold are beyond the set civilized norms that they so proudly claim to have stood for.
Coming to the conclusion, where does the severity of the problem lie? It would be a heartrending debate, but before bringing my article to its end, the destructible element in our system is the “BUREAUCRACY” which is most corrupt and unprofessional in Pakistan. There is dire need to restructure the civil services by appointing the right person with right background be inducted at the right place.
We need a leader who has a potential to fight for justice and equality and resist against the traitors and CORRUPTION BUILDERS. If a leader can dismantle the Zardari – Nawaz axis, it will be a BIG service to the people of Pakistan.
Here, I just can’t resist myself from sharing another intelligent saying:
The punishment for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by idiots? Plato.
Allah Bless our Country.
Marwah Mehboob writes on social and political issues and is a media analyst. She can be reached at Twitter; @marwahmehboob