Mammon presides over our ‘democracy’
A country continues to float if despite the heap of rubbish of political corrupt there is still a significant number of honest persons in country’s key positions. Otherwise the boat sinks. None the less there are many who predict that Pakistan is moving towards a “Revolution” because things in the country are so bad that people are losing patience with the government. But it does not seem that a revolution has ever taken place in the region where Pakistan was established in 1947. There is no tradition of uprising of the people against their government in this region. None. The areas which formed what is now left as Pakistan were the most backward areas during the British days, except the Punjab. Baluchistan was governed from New Delhi through the Agent to the Governor General. It was the Quaid who made it a province. There was only one University in this whole area the Punjab University at Lahore, there were three industrial units Mardan Sugar Mills, Dalmia Cement Factory at Karachi and Rahwali Sugar Factory. Lectricty in the whole Pakistan- now left as Pakistan- was at that time may be equal to Rawalpindi and Islamabad , if not less, etc. The frontier of Modernity in Punjab was Jullundur and Lahore. I witnessed all that.
It is the blessing of Pakistan for the people of this area that it is a modern country, after it started to take off in the days of that “military dictator” Ayub Khan. None the less despite all the advancement, some areas continued to be backward and sociologically ruled by feudals of Punjab, Sindh, Sardars of Baluchistan, and not that much but to some degree Maliks of the Frontier region now Christened as Khaiber Pakhtun Khawa. The recent elections demonstrated that wadera shahi has deep roots in Pakistan and the same type of people, with a few exceptions here and there, get elected, through the same means, that is money and brathry will decide the outcome of the elections not issues. . No body bothered about the antecedents of the candidates in electing the MNAs in the bye elections. Corruption or unbearable cost of living was no issue in the elections. The sound and fury in the papers about corruption mattered not a bit. Issues are only for TV shows and newspapers to agitate about, not for the masses.
The worst aspect of it was that the Senate lections were a show of purchase of votes. Well, if a semi-literate common voter does not bother about issues, here the Senate elections were through indirect elections through MNAs and MPs. There the voters were bought in crores of Rupees. It reminded that in the mujras of the dancing girls, women of pleasure two clients sit with their money and openly compete with each other. So there is a market price for most of the Senators, they were on sale . Is it not so? We want our Upper House to consist of persons who do not vote for issues on the basis of conscience and if money over powers conscience then where is the question of integrity? It is said that in the parking areas of the National Assembly some cars with bundles of crores of Rupees note were waiting to pay off the member bought by a candidate. As they say in Urdu,“ daroogh ber gardane ravi.” It is strange only “rigging” is a cognizable election offence but not sale and purchase of votes.
I do not know if this kind of thing happens in India. I have reasons to some extent to know had there been such sale and purchase of votes in India. Let me illustrate how indifferent is Indian elected Senator to trappings of the position. My wife’s brother, Nawabzada Imadudin Khan of Loharu- Loharu was financially not a rich princely state, its fame rests on famous literary giants like Ghalib, Dagh, etc - came to Pakistan as a member of Indian Parliamentarians team ,. He had been a Member of the Rajya Sabha ( or Senate of India) now he is a Minister of Health in Rajasthan. He stayed with his sister, that is in our house. We drove him to the Airport at the end of the Intera-Parliamentary Dialogue at Bhorban with Pakistani parliamentarians. As I reached the minibus of Indian delegation also arrived at the Air Port. . I said let us take you to the VIP side. He asked what is that?. Not that he does not know what is a VIP Room, but considered that facility stupidity. He took out his suitcase and lifted it himself and went to the ordinary passengers side. He identitfy some as such and such prominent leader of some party. I saw famous Indian personalities in that delegation, some carrying the luggage on their shoulders. . .
This is not a healthy state of “democracy”. Let me repeat what the philosopher of democracy Aristotle, has said. He said there are three types of rule, Aristocracy, Oligarchy and democracy. Each can have its good aspect and bad aspect. I will mention only two of them , Oligarchy is the rule of a group of powerful, or rule of a “ Powerful tola” or gang . He says Democracy is the Rule of the people but when it is sick it becomes mobo-cracy. Perhaps one day we may become democracy but that day is still far, far off. Any body claiming what we have is Democracy is living in self delusion to say the least. Attempt to hypnotize people by repeating that we are democracy, we are democracy, we are democracy will not make oligarch a democracy,
Democracy exists in UK, Sweden, Norway , in some European countries and India. to some extent in Malaysia. – but NOT in US where the charade of democracy is played by Multi-national Corporations who put up candidates of their own, finance elections of which amounts spent on the campaign run into billions of dollars . NO common man can be elected by this system or can aspire to be. America is pure and simple Mammon’s “democracy” too In Pakistan we have factually American Presidential system and in theory British democracy or Parliamentary system Pakistan is a crude capitalistic Oligarchy of Waderas Can a poor man of integrity be elected to the Senate or National Assembly ? Dream and a theoretic possibility but not a realty at all. And now family cartels are coming to politics. It will be a dynastic power game. This is what we made Pakistan for.