While I write this, I have a whole vintage of faces in front of me. Faces heavily lined with the burden of responsibility, saluting the lurking ghost-images of Jinnah and Allama Iqbal in the backdrop- as if the founders had just consented to them carrying the great legacy forward. So many spiritual progenies and yet look at the great dream translated.
As I ticked off names after the other, failing them on morality and credibility benchmarks, I was left with a chit-long list at hand. So much for my being a virgin voter, I was still desperate to “use the power of my vote”. So many political parties and ever so more politicians, how is it that I can’t consider even one of the candidates for as much as five minutes. Either I’m a bit too much of an idealist or I prefer characters from Utopia.
But then there was another tease to my brain. How is that every politician sitting in the assemblies and senate of the US, England and other developed nations for that matter almost passes for sainthood? A usually clean record, hardly any court case and a long list of welfare services for the community. Are they more Muslims than us? – an average fundamentalist would be enraged at my infidel question.
My dilemma is not unique. It is what almost other Pakistani faces during elections. And that perhaps is the root-cause of all our confusions. Our worries for the right candidate begins and ends on elections. Once selected, our chosen candidate could do all he may and we’re least bothered. Perhaps, the reason why our politicians fail at giving us all we think we’re entitled to have, is because we in our hearts don’t quite believe in it or to say- our fundamental rights.
Now what are our fundamental rights? As per theory, the constitution of Pakistan clearly states that I shall be guaranted all fundamental rights, including equality of status, of opportunity and before law, social, economic and political justice, and freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship and association, subject to law and public morality. Sadly enough, none of it I know of. I feel privileged each day I return back home safe, feel grateful that I haven’t been robbed and that there was no firing or bomb blast on my way back.
With such low expectations I have of our chosen representative, do I really have much to hope for? No show of pity please, I’m in it, because I accept it. Whoever sits on the saddle, I’m the primary reason why he treads on the path of corruption and bribery because I put up with it. I give him the absolute and unchecked power over my destiny, and so he plays the merciless god I complain of. Once elected, I don’t hold him responsible for the slurs he makes on his duty. When there’s electricity shortage- I buy a generator, when waterboard doesn’t supply to me clean water – I start buying mineral water , when I’m not granted justice, I don’t err for a moment to bribe and buy it, when I see nothing to live for in my country- I leave it, and when my countrymen are brutally killed, I just sit back and watch it silently.
It seems we have options and alternatives for everything. And the reason is, some of us aren’t even aware of our basic human and constitutional rights, and those who know it don’t really believe in it. So, if our “leaders” don’t give it to us, we don’t command it, we don’t protest against it as a nation the best we can..and that’s why we sit puzzled when elections come..because we, ourselves make demons out of our leaders.