By Atika Abbasi.
The other day I saw a very funny incident in the procession of a political party, where the stage secretary mistakenly chants “GO NAWAZ GO” and everybody follows. Then a while later, he realises his mistake and rectifies it as “GO IMRAN GO”, and at once the crowd changes its tone. This very incident triggered a thought in my mind that how blindly we follow our political leaders. It does not matter what our political leader do, we already have a justification for their political conduct.
The blind following of political leaders played a vital role in the ruination of the country. The masses fail to see the decisions of their leaders critically. For this media also shares the responsibility. As they infuse more of this zeal and political affiliation which wipes out the ability to critically evaluate of their leader. Media gives the followers of different parties different tags which boost up their fervour and blinds their senses. For example; the followers of PPP are tagged ad“Ji’alay”, the followers of PTI are labelled as “Janooni” whereas the followers of PML(N) are called “Nooni”. These tags instil an affiliation with their party and subconsciously a supporter assumes that disagreement with any agenda of the party would be a revolt against the party. However, a supporter may disagree at one agenda while following the ideology of the same party.
Similarly, our leaders are accustomed to using abusive language. Almost every party has its share in moral degradation of politics. In Pakistan, politics is the most notorious and disreputable to adopt. There are some professions in Pakistan which are not considered favourable for women by narrow-minded strata of the society. But unfortunately, politics is a profession which is considered infamous for both men and women, even by moderate-thinking class. This moral degradation of politics is also because of the society. The society must turn away from those politicians who do know not a civilised way of living within a society. The followers of such leaders must think that where these morally demised leaders would take them. What image of Pakistan they would draw internationally. I think we should compel our leaders to remain within the bounds of civility and amiability.
Besides, our leaders are very prone to character assassination. Whenever it comes to their accountability they start character assassination of each other. One who has posed the questions is more likely to become a victim, irrespective of the fact that he is from opposition or media. Media shows and parliament are clear examples of such shameful deed. Our political talk shows present a picture of a fish market than a debate show where educated and sensible men should decently be discussing issues. The party supporters also do not differ much from their leaders in this respect. Rather they do the same in their own circles or on social websites, during the heated debates with the supporters of opposite party.
Another important issue is that our politicians do not care about the timings of decisions and its impact on the political scenario of the country. It is a convention of Pakistani politics that either parliament works on friendly opposition or opposition for the sake of opposition. Both of them have not worked for Pakistan and it has reasons. Firstly, the friendly opposition has always been created in order to fulfil self-interest. Under the veneer of it, both government and opposition worked in collaboration solely for their own interest i.e. corruption. But when opposition decided to play its OWN role, it was only opposition for the sake of opposition. Constructive politics could never find its way to Pakistani parliament where government and opposition could work for the betterment of country only. It is also because of the blind followers, we see that a leader gives a call for procession or rally and his supporters are all up in their arms to handle the political heat. It is a lay man who destroys the public property. They might not know for what purpose they are gathering up but they would be all ready to litter the area, they are prepared to burn tires and even they are geared up to face tear gas and shelling.
In a nutshell, the admirers of all political parties must keep their senses calm and in their OWN control. They must analyse the political stances of their leaders using their own education, intellect and sanity. Moreover, the abusive language and character-assassination can be avoided. The supporters must not use it in their own circles as well as on social websites. We need to develop a culture of tolerance and easiness. We should use these social websites to shun those politicians who use abusive language. Since such politicians cannot lead the nation on the right path when they are morally deprived themselves. Moreover, I think a politician should draw a clear line between accountability and character-assassination. One who is accountable for some case must present himself, however, the opposition of him must not encroach his privacy and talk malicious of his character. Lastly, the voice of masses matters a lot in making any decision successful. If the supporters put down a decision of their only because it is not in the interest of Pakistan or because it is not the right time, or the leader is not credible enough to take that decision. I think it will move them to introspect themselves. We need to realize that is blind loyalty is destructive.
Writer is an English literature student and hails from Islamabad.