People and state

All three organs of the state — legis-lature, executive and judiciary — are presently busy fighting a vicious web of infighting. In this battle royale, the citizens are merely helpless bystanders. They are not at all worried about who should be in power. All they worry about is to find a way to feed their families, to somehow avoid getting mugged on the streets, and that they may finally get possession of that small plot of land for which they had made the payment decades ago. The word ‘constitution’ does not hold more logic than, say ‘hunger’, or does it?

People just want safety and security and, if possible, the liberty to live the life they want to live.

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These and other equally innocent desires were the sole reason that the people had entered into a social contract that they would jointly put in place a mechanism called a state, and expected it to act as an honest mediator to help resolve their disagreements and disputes.

Simply stated, they bartered away a small portion of their rights for the protection of larger part of their rights, defined in the Constitution as fundamental rights. How the so-created state would perform was decided by marking out duties, subsequently called the separation of powers.

Mind you, at the centre of the social contract was the security and wellbeing of the individual and not the aggrandisement of the state. This social contract did put an end to what we now call the state of nature, and what the people got in return was the present state, which turned out to be a prison where the fundamental rights were forced to take the back seat. This is what is happening in today’s Pakistan.

While the interior of Sindh is still under water, the people in queues are dying in stampedes in an attempt to get free flour, and the clients’ cases in courts are pending awaiting verdicts for years, the country’s elite is fighting among themselves for the throne.



Editor's Mail
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