Monday in India and Pakistan November 19, 2007Posted by astralwicks in Bangladesh, Benazir, Emergency, india, Monday, Musharaf, Neighbour, Opposition, pakistan, Personal, Politics, protest, Reflection, World, Writing.
Welcome to India on a monday. Monday in India is always late, slow, sabbath’s hangover, just like anywhere else in the world. It creeps in, the first child of the week, winking at the hours and minutes, the sun dragging itself from the clouds, a lumberous stretch. Are birds, bees, dogs, crows, cows, cats all afflicted by this strange disease. Or only we men and women are its special chosen victims? Has any scientist done research on this phenomena? Umm…
No work at work today. There are some niggling chores and then adios. Who knows, the 2nd half might get too interesting and then…who knows? 11 o clock and people are just filling up the offices…monday it is, don’t you know, writ large on everybody’s face.
Blogging is addictive. The freedom of expression is infectious. It is like a child discovering it’s ability to scribble and shapes taking form. Similar is the joy when the post is saved and the world gets to read one’s words. It also make one feel important? Words. Dead words for so long captive in the pages start to breathe, exist, talk and converse.
10,000 people dead in Bangladesh.
The same storm was about to hit India before nature took a detour and brought death and destruction on its neighbour.
Elephants don’t forget they say. But I have. And so has the world. Indians were bowled over by Benazir during the Rajiv era. Roses were exchanged and we like prejudiced humans, suffering from superiority and inferiority complexs, gave the benefit of doubt to the British education, accent, antecedents and political posturing. The world supported the embattled prime minister, her husband was allegedly framed and the prodigal daughter went into exile.
This past week Fatima Bhutto has been knocking on all liberal doors. Read an article by Fatima Bhutto about the status of Pakistan post the imposition of emergency by Musharaf. A poet, activist, she wrote lucidly about the affairs of the state or non-state that is in turmoil. Benazir touted to be the only alternative to Musharaf has some serious dirty linen. The neice also accuses her aunt of hijacking the democracy platform with her accent, American support and excellent media management. Possible in today’s democracy or despotism.
It is a case of the one-eyed being the king in the land of the blind. Benazir is presently politically acceptable. She is the liberal face, has a past experience in governing the fragile country, has history and legacy on her side and is pro-democracy.
Can you be pro-democracy and be bad for your country/state/family? Of course you can. The Pakistan President by promulgating a new ordinance has annulled all cases that Benazir was charged with. She gets special treatment to voice her displasure with the present (mis) government. None others do. And we smell a fish here.
Who represents the new opposition in Pakistan? Who is ready to take on the general, his cronies in all shapes and sizes and forge a new alliance? An alliance of what? Is a question that Pakistan should bother themselves with right away.
Any alliance that gives refuge to fundamentalists, the Taliban etc is not good for the country. It is time the entire nation realized that violence cannot be an instrument of state policy. Power corrupts we all know and agree. Power resides in arms and ammunition and in merceneries. And in the army, the police, the State.
When every attempt at ushering liberal secural values is crushed under one pretext or other, sometimes by the military, the police, the state machinery, the polity must foster an alliance on a greater Ideal. Musharaf has given a great chance that way to a generation of Pakistanis. What that Ideal is…can and should be defined by only the Pakistanis…not its military, its police, its generals, Americans, Indians, intelligentsia, media.
It should be defined by the honest man and woman of the street, the rich honest man and the rich honest woman, the educated, the uneducated but wise, the fool on the street, the genius in exile, the singer who hears and the poet who stays silent. It should be defined by the student at the madarsa who is searching for God but doesn’t know where to look, by the hindus and sikhs of Pakistan who love their country, by the Pakistan soldier who has died for his country and has been forgotten, by the soldiers loved one’s, by the kids, people who for long have been silent, crushed, deprived of their right to say, speak, select, vote or reject.
They have to choose from the choices offered by a President who has for various reasons crushed opposition, supported opposition if it benefits him, given shelter to terrorists, lost regions of the country to the Taliban, allowed American bombing of his country, gagged the press, the media, arrested protesters of all kinds…all in the name of restoring parliamentary democracy.
After all Brutus is an honest man.