- Thursday, 26 February 2015 08:51
by Abdullah Hussain Haroon
The author is the former Speaker of the Sindh Assembly and former Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations
As we lose the vestiges of our national fabric and character and immerse ourselves into false illusions of non-existent Mughalai grandeur and undermined state security with its obvious consequences and implications , every fervent Pakistani as a functionality of last resort will wring their hands in supplication and repeatedly pray for divine intervention , but will they have purposefully or accidentally not have remembered the divine axiom , “ Believe in God but ensure that your camel is properly tethered .”
We have outwitted even the sage Confucius and his ethos by signifying our interpretation of superior thoughts through our assumed supreme indifference and masterful inaction and thus we have raised obtuseness to new heights .The art of ‘passing the buck’ has been shot into stratospheric space, to be tossed ostensibly above the fray but destined to become more controversial, yet sadly equally as ignored as the Ozone layer. The rank opportunists cry repeatedly, ‘Quo non Ascendum,’ to what heights can I not rise? Indeed! But the phalanx of the lately risen are about the same height as a knee jerk!
Ever since Democritus to whom are attributed innumerable accolades, triggered the short lived rebellious golden period of Athens in the year of their imperial Persian overlord Xerxes, the Emperor of the world who cohabited unwittingly with the term ‘democracy’, the denizens have deliberately moulded the nascent belief into a burgeoning ideology that squirms and twists to the currency of its masters. Europe enhanced the creed by crediting to it from the defeat of Vichy to Marxists, Dictators, Monarchs, Nationalists and every ambitious sprout that raised its impertinent head, to become victim to a term that somehow became synonymous with success and presumed ambiguous supremacy of the masses in theory if not practicality.
As the British venerate 800 years of the ‘Magna Carta’ and spin its marvels as a loadstone of democracy, most will not remember that it was a mere balancing adjustment between the then two pillars of state, the monarch and the nobility and the masses did not figure at all in the power sharing except they now had two punitive masters rather than one. As very few understood Latin, It took four years for the Magna Carta to be translated into French and even then only the Norman nobility understood French not the Saxon nobility who far outnumbered the francophones . Nobody remembers that a hundred years later nascent democratic labour unions sprang up in Dorset and spoke of people’s rights or that the six prominent ring leaders were promptly deported to Australia after a sound drubbing for undermining the Magna Carta and the democracy of the English Isles leaving the current avatar speculating as to whether the Labour Party celebrate its 700 years of democracy in the UK or in the former penal colonies? So much for democracy.
So Pakistan traversed twenty five years in finally making a shell shocked democratic constitution , accelerated and achieved perhaps by the harsh reality of the horrendous loss of half our beloved country and the belief , while we may have lost the ideology let the remaining fiefdom be thoroughly squished and squeezed to the last drop . As such it came as no surprise that the feudal nature of the new dispensation did not favour any strengthening of an emaciated Pakistan through institution building or any other beneficial measures, instead, convoluted half measures sugar coated in the lean droppings of socialism/democracy helped shrink the already undernourished nation state into a pale copy of its once glorious imperial past , half British and half Mughal. The victor and the vanquished, the Jekyll and Hyde, the yin and yang and only the Creator knew which avatar would surface at which critical juncture to yield the all dominating pearls of wisdom.
A schizophrenic legacy of two distinct imperia to glorify Anglo Indian Parliamentary democracy minus its glue, on the one hand , of a Sovereign supported by hundreds of Parliamentary acts compelling an unwritten constitution along with its historic traditions , on the other hand an absolutism adopted under the Mughal fallacy of the stricture , that the ruler knows best and is impervious to any other interpretation of laws and rules .
Whither the all important masses, the people at grass roots, the true masters of democracy, the so relied upon ‘will of the commoners’ and its peculiarity of the never ending quest and failure of the recently risen to become somehow heaped with the baggage of the already endowed, the supposedly better other half ? Whither democracy , which should be presumably creating its power blocks at root levels to rise from the ashes like the fabled phoenix towards a lustrous pinnacle reaching fabled Olympus to be crowned as the illustrious people’s representatives and not the erstwhile gods , people who would supposedly bow low and do the bidding of the true masters on the ground .
Where is the code of a representative that should focus upon the interest of the voters and that of the nation’s denizens, who should be served with honesty, sincerity, commitment and faith sworn upon the common law? Shades of Olympus , while the Titans and their progeny embattled in eternal woe , the voters in emulation of Moses’ flock in Sinai believed and elevated a new replacement of representative gods supposedly to pander to the people’s benefit , representatives who would be godlike yet remain handmaidens to the true believers of democracy ? Shades of the Sinai and the golden bull , it seems that the any achievement of our nation shall dilly dally endlessly in similar manner to the 40 lost years of the Jews meandering aimlessly within that small triangle of Sinai , which normal human beings took a week to traverse .
The simple truth is that the most precious power of any sovereignty is the power to levy financial demands upon the citizenry and unquestioningly utilize the proceeds. In the middle ages British parliamentary history, the agreeableness to pay the levies rested with the people bur resistance often bore horrid consequences. Then Oliver Cromwell and his roundheads executed King Charles the first and usurped monarchial power over finances forever from the sovereign and bestowed this right instead upon the representatives in the house of Commons, ergo by the Government in majority , to be known as the Treasury benches . The restored monarchy would lament Cromwell’s impudence without successful recourse but finally in futile revenge stipulated drastically that any financial misconduct by any representatives would result in their disbarment and disqualification from Parliament therein and thereafter. So a spiteful monarch whose financial control of all state finances, assets and chancery were lost to the gain of people’s representatives, created the Damocles sword over the heads of political democracy of the ultimate punishment of disbarment from Parliament if the treasury was in any way subjected to financial misdemeanour. Errant financial conduct was not to be tolerated under British Parliamentary democracy.
Not so in the Mughal system where the mansabdars and nobility willfully lined their pockets with mind boggling amounts of state funds belonging to the sovereign and this continuing plunder was emulated in unrestricted fashion by the Nabobs of the East India Company and then followed equally brazenly by the post 1858 installed government of the Empress of India, despite avowing recognition and solution of the Indian quagmire . Then after seventy years of dickering and bickering it delivered the miracle sterile progeny by immaculate conception , behold , the ‘India Act’ of 1928 for providing due succor to its ‘Farzand e Dilpazir’ sucklings , the future rulers of British India duly saddled with Parliamentary democracy to be held in their hands as their scepter signifying power . Finally a convenient bridge had emerged enjoining both imperia while embodying/creating the First contradiction/tradition in delivering infantile democracy by helpfully drawing ,’ a blotched barely perceptible line between state treasury and personal finances and assets which then set the stage for self perpetuation into infinity in the true style of despotic monarchies’ .
The kindergarten and nursery of the new India and the Islamic republic soon understood that as the British Government were a law unto themselves and they deigned the Indian masses a ripe fruit to be plucked and consumed when desired . For enabling this ignominy the British also created the indispensability of Anglo Saxon law and its legal acceptance of many a hastily conceived ‘precedent’ as unquestionable , Q.E.D. Ostensibly in India , the British were the ‘givers’ of Anglo Saxon laws , the givers of impeccable state railways and Grecian inspired monuments , the givers of Pax Brittanica where the sun would not dare to set and as the ultimate representative icon , the conceptual Gentelman , exuding all that was noble . In reality there were in fact some striking aberrations. Matters Anglo Saxon in origin were grafted into India where with a belief in its impunity and the establishment knowingly often subscribed to inescapable rights violations upholding the maxim that ‘might is right’ and the ‘end justifies the means ‘. A straight face or a stiff upper lip for the British were mere disguises for concealment of these aberrations and not reflections of noblesse oblige but then these facile contortions overcame the maxim which were then accepted historically as important tenets for similar violations by the incoming adolescent juvenile parliamentary democracy .
The emulators wholeheartedly embraced these and other not so understood laws, rules and practices because the resultant vast booty/plunder then became a de facto endowment from the outgoing rulers, who had religiously anointed the newcomers with the rightful propensity to inherit the loot and savour the cherry glace atop the pudding. For the new converts this beneficial religiosity ignited their zealous impulses to the nth degree , they became more loyal to the outgoing empire than the King Emperor himself while true representative democracy sat not understood in a corner upon the punishment stool facing a blank wall ……. where it remains till date . Five thousand years of slavish idolatory and seven hundred years of divisive Muslims in a slavish mirrored effect produced the perfect melting pot , the grass roots endowed the representatives and then took to bending its knees in supplication and in fervent prayer to the freshly anointed , seeking salvation and fallen tit bits from the high tables of contempt .
In macro terms, the President of the Republic downwards, the Prime Minister, the cabinet and the whole caboodle down to the jiyalas and their aunts, mothers, brothers, sisters and all and sundry now bank US $60 to 70 billion or more internationally while each Pakistani is made to realize his/her ignoble worth by owing currently one lac Rupees to pay for the nations plundered assets. Realized by the same rulers after defrauding the state exchequer and its indirectly paid taxes by the tottering masses of Jinnah’s Pakistan, the rot deepens also in the Services and bureaucracy down to the Sarkari peon and patewala, every brand is priced and in result real estate, schooling, automobiles and all the perks of largesse make the common man shiver as to his own prospects. The marauders with their loot shift elsewhere, to Dubai and other wonderful destinations, school their children there and marrying them at spectacular locales all outside Pakistan. For in Pakistan, the smell of surrounding decay and uncollected mountain heaps of rubbish assails their fine Dior nurtured nostrils. Why are their wasting shadows still occasionally visible here , because the moolah is still to be earned in Pakistan while the self proclaimed mullah finds opportunity in the rest , and as for the masses , the supposedly promised finely spun golden opiate , remains ever illusory , yet everyone is dutifully delineated as officially happy , or should be .
So as we trundle with our portentous baggage into our 67th year of the Islamic Republic does one wonder, ‘where are we going to my country’? Towards our endowed everlasting Democracy and the rule of the people say the democratic looters , plunderers , the lip servers , givers of bad governance , all those above the law , failures as protectors of the vast majority all happily feathering their ever expansive nests at the cost and servitude of others . Is there right and wrong anymore? Is there an all pervasive air of lost battles by good over evil? Must every wrongdoer rectify his/her every wrong by claiming proximity to the false prophets of deceit and treachery. Where is Islam and voluntary atonement? Where is submission to the enunciated will of the Almighty’s Written Book? Does morality survive in the Islamic Republic? With every taunt of the Pessimist I do not shirk as every molecule within me cries for Optimism, of fairplay, for equal rights and opportunity for all. In this hate ladened atmosphere I yearn for the levity of unremitting rejoicing and brevity of assumed zealotry.
Set free the bonds of Tassawuf and sufiism and nationalized Khanqas and let prevail Hajwairy, Qalandar and Chisti, lets resume their austere beliefs that convinced and converted the heathen and let the believers resume their unremitting Love for Allah and in this ecstacy uplift the true morality of our deen according to the eternally enshrined Will and Infallibility of our Creator. Be a true believer .lead by actions and bolster the weak, oppressed and deprived. Stand steadfast with the minorities and never impede any rights for this is the true path. Let the hypocrites beware of undermining the truth and govern with the arch belief that there is a day of reckoning to a Higher Authority.