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PM Khan, You shouldn’t have caved in

  • We will continue to be deaf, dumb people hijacked by fanatics

You give in once, they never allow you to stand up again. You tread your steps back, they trample you. You shy away from your decisions, they know they’ve won. You reiterate your faith, they doubt the very foundation of it.

You do your best to please them, you fail as they want you to banish this, condemn that, exclude this, imprison that, kill this, punish that, rectify this, annul that, and so on and on. You keep on ‘giving in’ and they’ll carry on ‘demanding more’.

No matter how rational, reasonable and right a decision may seem at the time of making it, later on hindsight ruins it. As in hindsight-wisdom after the event-better options pop up making one regret the roads not taken and choices not opted. In our case, this regretting and ruing pretty much sums up the entire seven decades we have been alive and kicking.

IK took a decision, he regretted it immediately. The right person, turned out, was of wrong faith. And when the enlightened, brave, bold, upright PM realised it, he surrendered to ‘true believers’. True Believers-1, Imran Khan-0.

The thing with ‘true believer’ is that he is unified by hatred of a very specific ‘other’. In the eternal words of Eric Hoffer, a 20th century philosopher, movements such as those we just saw ‘can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil.’ Minorities, even if they are wealthy and influential, are easy prey for the sheer fact that they are few in numbers and in no position to mount a successful struggle against the excesses of majority.

And after decades of ‘making devils’ here we are.

Since they are raised on narrow-minded understanding of divine, revered books. Books that are revered the most are hardly read, when read are barely understood in proper context, when understood are seldom agreed upon by those who’ve read them

Welcome, dear reader, to a place and time where people are selected for their competence and de-selected because they hail from a ‘wrong’ belief. Welcome, dear reader, to Naya Pakistan where the mighty saviour caved in to unreasonable, utterly shambolic and wholly shameful demands of sacking a person of known credentials for no other reason but the faith he ascribed to. Welcome, dear reader, to a land where those who demand reverence for books triumph over those who read them. We in our bid to avoid nuisance sold our basic, fundamental right to remain sane and side with the oppressed ones.

Now the question is what happens when those who demand the sanctity and final say on the basis of their relationship and understanding of ‘Revered Books’ rule the roost and call the shots.

Precisely what is happening right now. Certainly more than what meets the eyes, we have, by some accident or by design, have made fanatics the final adjudicators of matters that are decided between man and his creator.

We are now at the mercy and sweet will of Guardians of God. And let us not forget that God forgives, his guards don’t.

The crowds change, the leaders and their acolytes change but don’t for a second think that this difference substantially changes anything. Despite them hailing from even diametrically opposite backgrounds once provided with a movable dais, a mic, scores of loudspeakers, a hundred or more supporters can bring the state to its knees.

However, this time around, they didn’t stir a fig leaf, and got what they wanted.

Blowing sensitive issues to extremes, condemning the weakest of the weak, enticing the basest of human emotions in the name of religion are standard practices for the mustached, bearded, and clean-shaven leaders, gurus and opinion makers. The irony of Islam being in danger in an overwhelmingly Muslim country like Pakistan who prides itself as a fort of Islam is completely lost on many of them.

Books can largely be divided into following two categories. Those which are revered more and read less and those which are read sans reverence. The earthly books are questioned, postmortem and analytically evaluated. Opposite to popular imagination, that envisions that religious books are the only one that are more revered than read include classic works of literature by the likes of literary giants including Tolstoy and Joyce .

Since they are raised on narrow-minded understanding of divine, revered books. Books that are revered the most are hardly read, when read are barely understood in proper context, when understood are seldom agreed upon by those who’ve read them. Thus, for many of us the only interaction with revered books is limited to silent approbation, respect and moving on with life. Let the Divine be dealt by those trained to do the job, we say to ourselves. And in it lie our ruin, and in it lie our perdition.

May someone save us from ourselves. As our PM has failed once and will again.

Shah Nawaz Mohal

The writer is a law graduate and journalist based in Islamabad. He can be reached at mshahnawazmohal@gmail.com.

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Shah Nawaz Mohal

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