Dharna 2.0 By Saad Khalid

Created on Saturday, 26 August 2017 19:52 | 867 Views
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Dharna 2.0 By Saad Khalid

Version Update:
Two years after I raised some questions in my “Why Not” post, we have come back full circle to Kaptaan’s latest, “2.0” version of the protest. Some say it is a cosmetic update to the old operating system, while others reckon it to be one proposing major bug fixes and exposing serious security vulnerabilities.

Voices raised then by those who were against his tactics remain the same, while the responses by the for contingent do not differ that much either. A stalemate it is.

The rationale for my own 2.0 piece is a little different though. It is more about attempting to understand the “kuch nahin ho ga” (nothing is going to come out of it) attitude by those who feel that Imran’s resistance is futile. I previously referred to the Learned Helplessness theory which still remains true. We have somewhat started to enjoy the abused and battered status quo, and anything that challenges it is either doomed from the onset, or is not worthy of any heed.

Kaptaan’s Personality:
We can argue the way he operates and conveys his message. A general comment is that, “he is not a politician.” I would agree. He is more of a campaigner of his ideals than a politician. A politician is trained to make compromises, while a leader keeps them in check. Would you rather compromise for strategic gains or sacrifice your ideals.

“He sucks at diplomacy” they say, his roaring tones touching obnoxiousness at times. Having already established that he is not a politician, it is difficult for him to mince his words. He is not a trained diplomat, agreed again. But is it not this quality of his that makes him appealing to the masses?

“He has surrounded himself with corrupt individuals and old politicians who are not that different from those he accuses all the time.” Maybe, maybe not. What really matters is for the leadership to be untainted. It is the leader who is the face of the party, strategises, instills the right culture, and then allows that culture to get propagated. No leadership in history or in present times has had a flawless team. PTI isn’t any different. It’s not made up of droids.

The sailors follow the captain’s call, every time, or else the ship goes astray.

This attitude of hopelessness and heedlessness is a sickness of the heart. It exposes a characteristic typical of those with neither hope, nor the courage to make a difference. They are uncomfortably comfortable with the status quo, no matter how ugly it might be.

According to Ghazali, it is ignorance that produces heedlessness, error and delusion. We have become ignorant of the principles that requires one to be courageous, bold, perseverant, and steadfast, to warden off the ills around us.

Paths to glory are never lined with beds of roses.

Setting up of precedents:
Imran’s greatest contribution thus far has been his relentless struggle against the status quo. His version 1.0 was also all about not accepting and compromising on a rigged election. Isn’t it ironic that we have all grown up accustomed to the fact that an election will always be rigged in Pakistan? Such is the level of our pathetic situation where we have succumbed to the notion that “we cannot challenge anything”, and if someone does stands up against it, he gets termed as crying sour grapes.

“They can do it because they can. We won’t and shouldn’t say anything because we can’t.”

The result of his struggle did materialize into Election Commission and the courts reopening the inquiries and eventually conducting re-elections. It wasn’t an absolute victory for him in the end but a precedent did get established.

Version 2.0 wasn’t anything that different. An authentic report implicated Nawaz Sharif and his family for having multiple offshore accounts. It specifically mentions that three of Sharif’s children had companies in the British Virgin Islands through which they owned properties in London’s exclusive Hyde Park neighborhood.

The 11 million Panama leak documents also reported on the prime minster of Iceland, who resigned in a week, and David Cameron, who was put on media trial until he came clean with a response, which he did. In Pakistan however, it was business as usual. The media, which is part of the status quo, discussed it as a norm, the general public remained heedless, and the so-called independent agencies responsible to probe into the matter stayed ignorant.

Act 2, scene 1: Enters Imran Khan.

“Oh, but this is not the way to protest! Look at the falling indices at the stock exchange.”
Seriously guys? Have we become so myopic that a slip in an over-inflated capital market is shifting our focus from investigating a sitting prime minster over allegations of large scale corruption, to a blip in something as highly volatile and manipulated as the stock exchange?

And then of course, “see, now he has made a u-turn by calling off the protest after the Supreme Court said it is going to hear the corruption notice.” Such a bunch of losers aren’t we.

I still maintain that Imran is going to be unremitting and unyielding in his struggles. He will never back off for as long as he is alive. He may or may not become a prime minster, but the waves of change that he has started to create have been unprecedented in our nation’s history. So please, come out of the ignorant state and be vigilant of what is going on. Pay due heed to matters that concern your nation as this is what you get identified with.

Lies and deception stand on feeble foundations, not resilient enough to withhold an onslaught from the might of the truth. Whose side are you on? Define your narrative and then stick to it. But by no means, for the sake of Almighty, be heedless.