Our Disastrous Blind Following of Political Leaders
In the recent wave of protests, we can observe the crossfire between different political figures which has often crossed the red line. Tahir-ul-Qadri's led PAT and Imran Khan's PTI are staging protests in the capital and have put forward their demands with a time ultimatum to current federal government.
The followers of all the parties are enthusiastic and are showing their support to their leaders. We can see motivational posts on social media by all the parties to promote their agenda. There are political discussions and sometimes heated arguments as well among enthusiastic supporters of parties.
Then there are few median voters as well; who do not support each and everything, without any scrutiny, coming from the leaders.
People from all walks of life use the platform of social media to share their thoughts. "We love arguing, we hate agreeing, we stand divided" was a post by a friend of mine who happens to be a medical student. I was so moved the way she has summed up the behaviour that has led to much turmoil in our society.
All over the world where democracy exists people have right to protest and raise their concerns. The questioning is supposed to be the hallmark of a democratic set-up. The civilized societies solve their matters by holding debate and dialogue. This is also a reality that a political confrontation always needs reconciliation, diplomacy and compromise by all the parties involved.
In Pakistan, all political leaders believe in democracy and claim to hold democracy more sacred than their lives (the only point having no second opinion I suppose).
Why is it that they fail to transfer the democratic culture to their followers? Why is it that the followers indulge in hot debates and forget to use their own brains? And by the way this applies to each and every hard core follower of all the parties without any exception. The debate sometime leaves the real agenda behind and ends in abuse and calling names. This is very unfortunate.
Why we love arguing and hate agreeing? This may be because we all want to be heard; and do not want to listen. The political affiliations have led us to forget the connection among each one of us as one nation. Each party tries to show the wrong doings of other's party leaders without realizing that their own party is also not flawless. We argue because we always try to look for hero or villain.
My professor Dr. Etazaz Ahmad once said in class that, "The problem with most of us is that we categorize people either as hero or villain while in reality there is a gray area in between where all of us lie!" This is also a reason of argument among general public about the leader of their choice. The followers need to understand that nobody is always right and this gray area gives everyone some liberty to deviate from being a hero all the time. The self righteous mode is also a trait found among us that bars us from agreeing.
The blind following of anything could be disastrous. The political leaders use emotionally charged words; at times they even cross the limits of ethics. The political leaders seldom mean exactly what they say. They all have a public and a private face which is a universal truth worldwide. The followers need to develop their conscience.
We as public need to understand the message our leaders try to convey between the lines. I know the common man is not well equipped or trained in such a fashion to do a neutral analysis. But the educated lot who are fortunate enough to have some exposure should not get deluded by the captivating and mesmerizing words of political figures. The Martin Luther King has stressed upon the value of conscience; he said.
"There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right."
And the moral sense is a true guide. It will ultimately result in more constructive arguments. If we denounce sanctimonious attitude and make our arguments smug free then on most of the issues we'll start loving to agree. Thus a change in our attitudes can bring us close and we can surely stand united. This is the revolution we need and this will give us Azadi (freedom) from the musical chair of political parties.
We must refrain from hitting below the belt and especially not for the sake of those leaders who rarely count us in. United we stand, divided we fall! imran khan tahirul qadri march www.pakpositive.com