Sheep usually have a hard time detecting sarcasm. Are you a sheep too?
If you’ve been to university, you’ve probably been wooed by student groups that claim to be representative of bigger, more complex political ideology. Ideologies that drive the ‘real world order’. People who claim to be ‘in tune’ with the changing times. Profound mother lovers, essentially. They regale you with stories of a higher purpose, a chance to be part of something bigger than yourself. Deep. Very deep indeed. Unfortunately, at the time, you are too naïve to realise that this is all but a charade and the real world is far more cutthroat, not even half as idealistic and easy to deconstruct as they make it out to be.
Marxists, communists, progressive liberals, liberal fascists, tea baggers and other assorted confectionary movements have always based their membership drives on a one-point agenda: the promise of change. With high hopes and even higher proponents, these niche groups have been trying to raise political awareness among college going students since 1932. In fact, their model has been so unsuccessful for so long that the newly-conceived unholy alliance of Maulana Imran Khan and people with both severe psychological impairments and Twitter accounts, has adopted the ideologues’ 5-year plan. But while the ideological grease monkeys of academia have been peddling their opium in college campuses and shanty inner city apartments since the time of Muhammad bin Qasim, they have never had the kind of success that the sunblock-toting Insafians seem to be enjoying; there is no denying that the party of the Pathan from Mianwali has been steadily marshalling support in nearly all parts of the country.
So does this foreshadow an electoral coup? Will Imran Khan be able to unseat the Pee Pee Pee at the Centre? Or will Immy K lead the next not-so-friendly opposition in the 2014 charge of the presidential windmills? Asking such questions in respectable company is bound to elicit a laugh and an affectionate yet patronising pat on the head. But ask the same questions from the average man on the street and you get a completely different response. In the eyes of the sheep: traders, transporters, pharmacists, sanitation workers and even security guards, Imran Khan is the only man who can protect us from the dark times that are about to descend upon us.
And it’s not like he’s cutting through the supporters of any one particular party – although the jiyalas are the only lot that seem immune to the charismatic overtures of the right arm fast bowler. It is the same story all across: PTI and Imran Khan essentially offer a cleaner, slightly less worn out alternative to all shades of political sentiment in the country. For the middle-class professional jealous of the waderas’ wealth and fortunes, he presents a non-badmaash alternative to governance; with the ANP it’s a question of a charismatic Pathan leader with a national outlook, unheard of in our times. For the scion of die-hard PML(N) supporters, Imran presents himself as another name on the ballot; someone they can vote for aside from the bald and beautiful Sharifs of Jati Umra. The same Sharifs they have grown up maligning and exposing during their years at university under the Musharraf regime. The same leaders who their parents would vote for, yet secretly decimate over a glass of single-malt. Every single night.
But the one mistake that Imran has not made is of equating his election with the revolution coming to pass. It’s not like he’s promised something completely otherworldly: I mean, clean governments do exist and effective policies do an efficient system beget. In fact, I can count on the digits of my right hand the number of countries that have been successful in eliminating evils such as corruption, terrorism and illiteracy in one fell swoop. Countries like Sri Lanka and, errr… Sri Lanka come to mind immediately. Also given the fact that Imran plans to overhaul the irrigation system and integrate it with our dairies in such a way that sweetened, condensed milk oozes through the pores of each unlined canal in the Punjab, he is well on his way to electoral supremacy come the next general elections. PTI supporters are also busy with developing contingency plans for the great blackout of 2015. They are already stocking up on generators, fuel and energy drinks, in hopes of becoming self-sufficient in energy before the crisis hits. Such foresight puts him firmly in the driver’s seat come election time.
His detractors might say that he is too idealistic and that his plans will never work in the real world. But this is a weak defence, given that most of the things that college kids learned in Marxist study circles also do not hold up in the real world. But that has not stopped economists and welfare state idealists from making crackpot projections about the economy based on principles put forward by the crazy German and then putting them into play. It all seems to work out in the end. Somehow.
In sum, it is best to leave the running of the world and of your country to the people who have the time and patience to run for office. Their rhetoric might be dated and their promises entirely transparent. But as sheep, it is the duty of all to unquestioningly believe the mantra that is being fed to them and never flinch in their resolve to make sure that it does come to pass, no matter what the consequences. No more bleating about the bush. It’s time to set things right. By supporting the one, true leader. Tsunami avay-e-avay!
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