True context of solidarity march


Sikandar Noorani

The wave of students’ protest across the country and multiple demands raised by them needs to be analyzed in true context of circumstances prevailing on internal front. Simultaneous staging of protests across the country and sharp synchronization amongst few quarters could not remain unnoticed at national canvas. A normal demand to lift ban from student unions transformed into an abnormal one once a few redundant slogans of ‘Red Revolution’ and controversial demands about Islamic sections of constitution were mixed cunningly by an easily identifiable quarter of society. It might had been a quite natural and logical event provided a group of students could restrict themselves to genuine demands like reduction in fee and revision of irrelevant syllabus being taught. However, hateful speech about national language, dragging or maligning state institutions in hateful linguistic controversies and displaying banners or placards containing irresponsible demands about sensitive Islamic laws were enough the reasons to doubt the real intent of Solidarity March. Prior to supporting or opposing the demand for restoration of student unions, one should try to comprehend the circumstances under which a ban had to be imposed in the past . And even prior to that, a clear opinion should be established about sudden activation of non-student supporters of solidarity march who are well known for their tilt towards the western life style and irrational bias towards ideology of Pakistan. This cult of west influenced, inland and off-shore, selfstyle intellectuals mostly aging between 50s to 70s significantly hijacked the Solidarity
March and tried to instigate the student youth against the state and its institutions. There could be no second opinion in denial of Constitutional right of protest through assembly or association of likeminded masses. However, country has witnessed misuse of constitutional right once protestors started pressing unconstitutional demands . The worst part of freedom of association remains the ruthless ceasing of common men’s right to move around freely as a few overcharged fellow countrymen can block the roads at any moment in the garb of constitutional right to protest. We live in a society where highly educated doctors stop treating the patients, lawyers beat the police or judges and politicians plan the lockdowns in the name of constitution. How a constitutional right can be manifested to gain an unconstitutional objective? With such undemocratic tendencies, one should remember that politicization of student unions in the past , both by right and left wing parties, actually brought the educational institutions at the verge of destruction and practically spoiled the future of many students who could not even complete their degrees in specified time period. Many students lost their lives or limbs in the gang war of student unions. Amid immature conduct of major political parties on many sensitive national issues, the argument to train a student as future political leader from union platform, loses strength. Having political parties infected with deep rooted virus of hereditary tendency, it would be foolishly optimistic to pin hopes on them about worthwhile training of youth. Side by side, cult of west influenced jugglers is vigorously pursuing objectionable agenda dictated by foreign masters.
While talking mostly about human rights these self style secular or liberal foreign puppets never utter a single word about the plight of Kashmiris suffering in the hands of occupational forces in the IoK. They make tall claims about democratic norms and constitutional supremacy but never respect the Islamic clauses of constitution of Pakistan. It all becomes dubious once a few irrelevant misfit activists try to impose their ideas or thoughts on the whole society in the garb of absurd intellectualism. A cult unable to win a seat of Union Council, is vigorously pursuing agenda of changing the Islamic texture of Pakistan through media manipulation. Social media is their new battleground and student youth is their target. Only an ignorant fool would believe that all outburst from handful biased foreign based social media activists is for the students’ rights. How a run-away employee of a foreign think tank or a self exiled journo can be taken as a faithful mentor of Pakistani youth? Decision makers sitting in Islamabad should take a holistic view of recent developments related to student cadre. Genuine demands of students deserve a top priority handling and expeditious solutions. Any delay on this account would left the students anxious and more than ever vulnerable to the manipulation of foreign sponsored puppets. Healthy academic environment can be ensured through rapid activation of student societies. Dissent or difference of opinion should be encouraged to conduct the purposeful debate on multiple issues but in any way politicization of educational institutions must not be allowed.
During a TV talk show student representative completely disowned those protestors who displayed banners or placards containing controversial demands about blasphemy laws. This clearly proves mysterious activation and involvement of non-student elements who made an attempt to deepen the polarization and chaos in the society. Obvious efforts have been made to spread linguistic hatred and ignite the public sentiments over sensitive issue of blasphemy. Father of Mashal Khan was also brought on front to further complicate the issue. As usual, decision making quarters opted to refrain from using brain and unwisely lodged FIR against the protestors. This step in a way has facilitated the foreign based perpetrators in igniting and instigating the student cadre. It would be much better for the government to engage the students directly with a genuine intent to solve their pressing problems. At the same time, exposure of those non-student foreign sponsored elements must not be delayed at any cost who crossed many red lines to fulfil the agenda of enemies. The nation, especially student youth, should be thoroughly made aware about all those characters who hijacked the student platform to destabilize Pakistan. How one can de-link the hijacking of Solidarity March from the recent past chain of meaningful moves surfacing in the name of political protest cum sit-in, social media campaigning on COAS’ extension , Indian aggression on LoC and persistent hate mongering against armed forces?
—The writer is a retired army officer and a free lance who contribute in national papers.