- And Pakistan has many!
Individuals can win games, but championships are won by teams alone.
The ongoing FIFA World Cup has proven the aforesaid right, perhaps. Whereas the World looked on to two of the finest players the game has ever produced i.e. Lionele Messi and Christiano Ronaldo; to take their teams Argentina, and Portugal respectively through to winning the championship, as supposedly they have done the same with ease at the club level, the fans were left nothing less than stunned by the biggest upset of the tournament so far with both the teams knocked out from the race to the game’s most prestigious crown. In an abashment, that too at the hands of not so favorite teams.
But what possibly could have gone wrong? So wrong, that even the best of all could not come to the rescue of their national passion for the game.
Straight from Russia, the message with love from this unprecedented elimination that we get to learn is that teams win championships; not individuals. Teams that get overshadowed by their ident as being one-man army are bound to lag behind the rest, and hence lose in the long run.
Both, Argentina and Portugal, were simply one-man armies relying merely on their sole heroes to get the job done for them. The case, however, was not to be.
If PML-N is a mere representation of House Nawaz, and PPP is a Bhutto owned philosophy, the PTI, to the disappointment of an emotionally carried away nation, is simply a sole proprietorship of Imran Khan.
The state of Pakistan’s political leadership, whether in the past, or at the present, what is even more worrisome, is not much different from the aforementioned case study. While banging our heads on the democratic drum beat, our political parties are no more than one-man armies, which in itself is a grave jeopardy to the democratic transition we dream of, and actually are in phase of; both, at the national level and across the political circle.
Let us retain the fact that when the term one-man army is coined for our political entities, it either refers to an individual, or an individual family; since our politics has remained subjected to dynastic dominance, something that itself is an abolition of the very basic idea of democracy.
Being a nation of approximately 20 million people, ironically, we do not have one, let alone all of our political parties, that can be termed as a democratically successional entity. Despite championing the talk of democracy, all our parties, and politicians have to offer today is a single face that leads the way, which upon being removed leaves the entire body faceless, and thus, meaningless.
Even the most righteous man will fail if the team he leads is faulty.
Following in the footsteps of the last two political decades, where we had only two parties i.e. PML-N and the PPP, both infected with dynastic rule and individuality of their supreme leaders, today the picture of our political landscape is no different as compared to the trends of the past. The only visible anomaly is that the number has grown from two to three with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) completing the vicious Bermuda triangle of Pakistani politics.
If PML-N is a mere representation of House Nawaz, and PPP is a Bhutto owned philosophy, the PTI, to the disappointment of an emotionally carried away nation, is simply a sole proprietorship of Imran Khan. Subtracting the three houses cum figures, the rest of their parties are nothing more than deadites (dead men walking).
To quote two severe challenges that our amateur democracy has in the past, and is faced off with at present, one is dictatorship, and the other is the absence of democratically successional entities/ parties.
Dictatorship is something that is generally attributed to military, however, in principal, dictatorship is a thought that infects the mindsets, be it military or civilian. While, constitutionally, the doors are closed on military dictators, and the institution of military to take over the governance of the country, civil dictators in the form of feudal lords, Nawabs, Sardars, Khans, etc. are rampant all across the political chess.
The second challenge, absence of democratically successional entities /parties, is a gift lent by the first. With civil dictatorial mindset ruling the parties, there is, and perhaps, will not be any space for a competent, transparent, and neutral succession to emerge, and strengthen the otherwise rotten structure of democracy. Rather, the political parties will continue to be a platform for the silent obedient, the selfish electable, and the turncoats.
For democracy to flourish in its true essence, and bear the desired fruits, public empowerment, over the empowerment of an individual or a dynastic rule, is an imperative prerequisite. Not to forget, this public empowerment has only been possible through good governance, establishment of rule of law, and provision of economic opportunities at all levels.
It is critical to overcome the existing challenges, failing which not only we will continue to be a democratic dictatorship, but be well on the road to darkness.
Democracy is not about a face, or individual families, rather the faceless people and institutions.
One-man armies, rest assured, are bound to fail.