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Countdown for street malevolency, will conformist rightist cross the Rubicon?

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Latief U Zaman Deva
In the checkered history of the greater sub-continent the religious parties/ movements have all along been the principal instruments for stability and fostering of majoritarian nationalism in respective countries. Ashin Wirathu, the anti-muslim monk in Myanmar spearheading ”969 Movement” and ”Bodu Bala Sena” comprising of Monks with anti-minorities agenda in Sri-Lanka exemplify the way these religions outfits operate for promotion and strengthening of their vision of Buddhist States by forcing ghettoisation of minorities and consequently the lack of their social and economic mobility.
The outcome of internationally established genocide and ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas in the State of Rakhine (Arrakkan) in Myanmar is evident in their dispersal across the littoral Countries of Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea and living in abject poverty but having failed to stir the conscience of world leaders for tangible course corrections whose otherwise penchant for sermonising communities in the developing world about human rights sounds hollow and cynical.
Bangladesh, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Indonesia and UAE host about 02 million refugees apart from other countries including India in thousands. With the defeat of LTTE secessionists the unabated pangs of Monks for converting Sri- Lanka into a Sinhalese majoritarian state, exclusive of participatory minorities, has of late the Muslims as their targets.
In post partitioned India the RSS and its earlier incarnation of Hindu Mahasaba rarely indulged in political hooliganism or use of muscular aggression for achieving its objectives principally to prevent anarchy and economic slowdown in the country which is but strand of actual patriotism and when the occasion demanded the Jan Singh/ BJP political wing of Hindutva brigade was relegated in preference for Indian National Congress in national interests without ever involving directly themselves in polity except during the movement launched under the leadership of Jay PrakashNarayanan in 1974 and after the emergency was lifted in 11977 leading to formation of Janata Party.
Such is the level of indoctrination and discipline that none in these organizations except those drafted for special duties has have manifested inclination towards real and actual politics and instead prefer working by remote control behind the scenes. This modus operandi alone has facilitated entry of their comrades into remaining political parties who have succeeded in recreation of narratives in their new incubation zones under subterfuge of culture, ancient history and world heritage laced in Sangh lexicon.
Uncanny ‘Maulanas’
In Pakistan hardly any movement against the dictators or democratic set-ups has had non-participation by religious parties who, regardless of determining the national interests, sustainability of the anarchical policies by the economy and incongruous ideologies of the proponents of change, have been in vanguard of Prophets of doom portrayed by the incompatibility in ideologies amongst the political parties and resultant debilitating effects on the institutions of the country.
Moulana Moududi, one of the greatest scholars of the twentieth century and Maulana Mufti Mahmood, a great religious preacher, supported the opposition composed of socialists and leftists in agitation against President Ayub Khan, architect of modern Pakistan, and sought withdrawal of case against Sheikh Mujib u Rehman by questioning the reliability of seditious charges against him and unless they were naive the Sheikh himself, after becoming Prime Minister of independent Bangladesh, disclosed his vying for liberation from Pakistan as early as 1948 and last year one of the leaders of Awami League admitted to have participated, as emissary of Sheikh, in famous Agartala conclave in 1967 and had gumption to date the freedom movement of his country to 1967 which exposes the highly opportunistic approach of religious parties of Pakistan.
Khan Abdul Gaffer Khan, sarhadi Ghandi, responsible for macabre deaths of hundreds of innocent people in Peshawar at the hands of Britishers for non-violent and peaceful protest, and Abdul Samad Acheckzaie besides the above two Maulanas disfavoured the partition of India for valid reasons but after partition Sarhadi Ghandi and Acheckzaie compared the newly created Country to Masjid whose sacrilegiousness obviously no Muslim could ever broach but practically in later years both, contrary to broader nationalism, became vociferous votaries of small tribal identities weakening the country.
Khan Wali Khan, son of Sarhadi Ghandi, did call on Maharaja Hari Singh in Srinagar during pre-accession period and persuaded him to exercise the option of accession in favour of India which could have provided access for NWFP to India through Kashmir.
The Maulanas did not hesitate to cobble together with the socialists of variant hues in their unending passion for ‘change for the sake of change’ syndrome with which they had caught up for remaining in public gaze with scant sympathy for the country’s priorities. The military dictators used them as long as necessitated only to be thrown out when diminishing returns started pouring in.
Zia ul Haq, 2nd military dictator, was mortally afraid of Z.A. Bhutto who in the event of returning to power would have charged him with sedition for dethroning a civilian government in 1977, the punishment for which under the Constitution of Pakistan could extend to death sentence.
Under the Constitution the Clemency petition filed by friends of Bhutto could have been settled by the President himself but, as cunning he was, he committed to dispose it off on the basis of the decision of his handpicked Council of Ministers comprising of the opposition leaders and with their nod, Bhutto was assassinated followed by subsequently the show of door to the so-called leadership of the opposition political parties.
General Faiz Christie, Zia’s 2nd in command, has on a couple of occasions divulged his conversations with his military boss about restoration of democratic order and heading back to barracks and replies thereto primarily entangled with nothing for national interests and cohesion but dictator’s self interests.
The kangaroo court proceedings contrary to the Anglo-Saxon Jurisprudence and law of evidence in Bhutto’s case is a pincer for the judiciary of the country in which all including the religious zealots contributed as a tool of vengeance rather than justice. The long term results of Zia and right wing combination has been the proliferation of illegal weapons, narcotics, arrival of illegal migrants and promotion of intolerance and extremism at a heavy cost where the creators and facilitators overnight in drying up of the options donned the role of liquidators plunging the country into a regular intra-country unending war against dream merchants oblivion of their exploitation by others.
Hardly in the world politics one may come across with cohabitation between far right and leftists and socialist parties except rightists and centralists or moderate centralists and leftists including liberal socialists but again solitary exceptions in Pakistan for unbelievable reasons.
Islamic movements and other organisations in Pakistan are pan- world or at least offering ‘Dawah” to Pakistani citizens irrespective of tribal, ethnic and linguistic considerations but by fiddling with State politics they have themselves limited their outreach beyond their committed stagnating supporters due to diverse perceptions the congregationists in Masajid have which conversely impacts on their acceptability by large swathes of religion prone population and hence in perpetual labyrinth without implementable paradigms.
Maverick and mercurial Maulana
During deliberations amongst the leaders of all Parties, following national elections held in 1970, Maulana Mufti Mahmood confronted Sheikh Mujib by recalling the anti-partition stance of Darul Aloom Devband and quite diametrically opposite role of Bengalis in the background of Mujib’s insistence on implementation of six point programme of Awami League which virtually amounted to reversal of ideals behind the demand for a separate country for Muslims of north-west and eastern India and gradual balkanisation of the country.
With this legacy Maulana Fazlul Rehman (MFR) steered the Jamiet ul Islam party of his illustrious father primarily for ensuring stability in the country for which he had to often co- operate with liberal socialists and opportunists devoid of ideologies.
His party’s boroughs were largely in Pashtun areas of Balochistan followed by tribal and other rugged mountainous regions in Khabhar- Pakhtunkhwa. Blessed these regions were by a harmonious relationship with the establishment the spin off benefits mostly garnered by MFR as a nationalist.
Meanwhile, the fast growing appetite in young population for space in national governance was captured by Imran Khan by running no holds barred campaign for bringing about institutional and systematic reforms in order to obliterate the fossil eating the vitals of the country due to corruption and adhocism instead of a road map for emerging as a strong country, politically- socially – economically, enabling her to perform the role in world affairs as an ideological State which had unprecedented impact on Pashtun population across the country and the tightly held ” boroughs” didn’t escape from the wave sweeping the regions.
Instead of reconciling with the verdict at hustings and appreciating the absence of engagement of the establishment with tribal’s during elections he thoughtlessly has chosen a confrontationist path unbelievable and unbecoming of great Maulana.
In India Indira Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpaiye and L K Advani did face the heat in electoral processes but accepted the results gracefully and even the strength of BJP got reduced to 02 seats in 1984 parliamentary elections at the hands of a fresher in electoral politics. The stereotyped and vested interests are losing the space in favour of Imran Khan for good unless he doesn’t exercise the reasonable restraint in antagonizing the swinging segments of the population and forces committed to the thematic framework of an ideological State more particularly the far- right wings who have impregnable bastions of influence and support bases crucial for a resurgent Pakistan.
The ethnic and linguistic fault lines robustly promoted and made use of by forces inimical to the only Muslim ideological State have been neutralised only by right wing parties and the deft dealing with the proposed launch of democratic movement (PDM) by desperate opposition should be the top priority.
The emergence of PDM has both positivity as well as the negativity former due to admixture of right, left, sub -nationalists and rabid linguistics for generating a pan-Pakistan response to the single most demand for confining the ”Army” to national security and defence under exclusive control of civilian governments and the latter due to cobbling together by the entities mutually suspicious of one another with integrationists on the one hand and on the other the centripetal forces ready to go to any extent under patronage of their masters interested in check mating the countryto deny her the role vied by an ideological State.
Once people realise the repercussions of the movement PDM shall fall like a pack of cards with PPP and MFR parting ways for chartering their respective political programmes, opportunist and baby of establishment PML(N) losing considerable ground of highly nationalists to PTI and small outfits in quandary in search of role in changed popular aspirations.
Poor as cannon fodder
The continuous accountability of all including rulers and those holding in public trust the liquidity and tangible assets is the bedrock for all systems in Muslim communities and other organizations, state or non-state.
Has Omer Farooq, the great, didn’t take as an affront when a commoner in a Friday congregation asked him to explain as to how the Caliph had commensurate cloth for the attire put on by him against the standard shortfalls suffered by all and one due to shortened scale of unit distributed and on Caliph’s calling prompt came the reply from his son about sparing of his unit of clothes for his father, the Caliph.
The societal codes governing Muslims makes it mandatory for persons in authority to be amenable for accountability to the designated authorities without any murmur in order to be always conscious about their being in watchful eyes of the countrymen and the possibility of preying to greed against which the system of accountability is the best available panacea.
The investigations and money trails involving Shariefs, both elder and younger and triangular Zardari coterie reveals saddening orchestrated plunder and loot by the custodians themselves and collaborative work of the officialdom in financial institutions.
So tight skinned are the two indicted dynasties that instead of being ashamed of ruthless corruption they have cheeks to come in public along with their mulching party leaders and exploit the partisan supporters who are unaware of the nature of financial bunglings of their undeserving leaders.
In a responsible and active society such leaders should have been afraid of pretending the fairness of their financial transactions and concentrated on defence to prove their innocence on hard evidence. The seizures, depositions of accomplices, approvers and money transfers point towards money laundering beyond doubt.
By calling one’s devotees or supporters for their physical presence in and around the office of Mohtisibh is nothing but chicanery at blackmailing the State and preventing the competent Authority from performing the constitutional/statutory duties. No Court or equivalent Authority in a well defined legal regime can withstand against the massive participation of partisan supporters of an accused, let alone retain even semblance of functionality, the resort to which obviously can be the clandestine approach to avoid accountability otherwise nothing wrong in complying with due process of law in a low profile which would enhance the prestige of the public person and highlight for non- believers the propensity of Muslims Greats to orderly behaviour even though the accused may have serious issues with the local authority.
The immoveable properties owned by MFR in pan Pakistan are not his ancestral inheritances and logically in inquirial proceedings once the shortcomings are noticed he, without politicizing the inquiry against him, ought to have shared the money trails in face of his known sources of income not commensurate with the exponential market value of the property.
Not content with the defiance of law of the land the horrible specter of mayhem and what not is projected with the plans for involving school children, evidently as a cannon fodder, whose tender age, innocence and deprivation of parental love are enough factors to dissuade the leadership of JUI from drafting them for political purposes, being a share instance of exploitation without parallel even in highest order of dictatorship.
The school and Madrasa pupil are future heads and confining them to combined traditional and modern Education shall immune them from the malice of ill will and hatred for being an investment for heralding a Nation committed to excellence in order to meet the standards envisaged by international fora for 2ist century.
Ordinarily heads of almost all parents shall shudder while contemplating the scenes of protests accompanied by children below the age of 18/20. These children seem to be less fortunate by having been born in penury or lost their parental care and support before comprehending the realities of life ahead which incidentally makes it all the more important for those championing the cause of this category of children to keep them off from the street drudgery for partisan politics of corrupt and self centered politicians and turf wars enacted by external characters as part of larger plans to control the world. The least the State can do right now is to enact a law or promulgate an ordinance banning the use School and Madrassa students for partisan purposes other than education and persons found violating the law booked for offences made cognizable and non-bailable.
Bottom-line
Buddhist monks and RSS Pracharacks have themselves never involved children in their respective programmes relating to protests against and confrontations with the governments for promoting their ideologies and frankly stating they would be dumbfounded by the public at large should they ever follow, even in far less risky situations, the Pakistani model.
Indian mosaic woven in unitary spirit and federal structure stands dented by having by now a highly centralised government as would be suggested by enactment of laws and framing of policies by the Central Govt/parliament on GST and Agriculture and New Education Policy reducing States/UTs to non-participatory units of the federation in decision making processes and the reason for absence of revulsion against the trampling on the basic principles of the Constitution lay in the unhindered support the government has from the right wings.
In quite opposite of the evolving position in India the religious parties in Pakistan suffer from delusion of grandeur due to use of Friday congregations for political purposes and lack in the strong will to subordinate their personal ambitions for national unity otherwise the Covid-19, slow down in the already ailing economy, developments in Afghanistan, Sino-India flashpoints and volatility in Indo-Pak relations are weighty pointers for avoiding confrontations with the government to enable it to maximise the successes for the Country but they are not like their counterparts in the neighbourhood.
Even the children brought up and tamed in seminaries by orthodox teachers, in all probability, will need be re-educated to meet the aspirations of the country inhabited by diverse people having plenty in common besides religion, national language and contiguous territories.
What is fathomed for future need be addressed right now to attain national goals for finding a prominent place in the community of nations lest you miss the opportunity after having lost on the fronts of Computer science and information technology when in India Rajiv Ghandi as Prime Minister was making big strides but in contrast Zia ul Haq on the spectrum of self interest protections and indulgence in wrong prioritizations, the result thereof is before us in Indian manpower spread across the globe and non-replaceable also besides dominance, shared by a few countries only, in software etc filling the coffers with much needed foreign exchange and leverage in the new World order.
Pakistan too is destined to do much better with 60% young population and national aspirations for assimilation in higher education in conformity with standards prevailing in the western countries provided the existing visionary approach is not obstructed and it is religious parties who by emulating the right wings of greater sub-continent can provide impetus to great changes envied by the Ummah for Pakistan.
Attempts to drag the visible paradigm shifts in the foreign policy of the country, perhaps formulated by elite professional services after having lost in the past to the dalliance by unprofessionals in the establishment, without bothering for national interests in fast changing geo- strategic environment would be unwise and instead the PML (N) and JUI(F) as protégés of Gulf axis should use the Allah send opportunity for promotion of de’tente in the sub-continent through good offices of Arab monarchs, indeed a difficult and unteachable proposition given the animosity between the Arabs and of late Turk cum Iranian bonhomie which too is not capable of surviving for long due to certain constitutional bindings on Iran for extra-territorial commitments for which Iran shall continue to be accused of interfering in the internal affairs of counties in its neighbourhood but the theocratic regime itself feels the vulnerability from the ethnic &linguistic diversity in its demography forcing it to adopta strange policy in present conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia – contrary to Islamic solidarity moreso when the Nicaraguais internationally recognised as the territory belonging to the former under illegal occupation of the latter.
No weight for religious affinities in face of national interests even in Iran claiming otherwise to be the guardian of oppressed Muslims and non-Muslims though a relative and not in absolute terms. However, the review of the polices can’t be ruled out in the highly propitious circumstances to forestall the reigniting of mutually destructive phases through which the countries in the area have passed making all of them client States of inherently anti-Muslim and exploitative Super powers.
The dichotomy between the existing narratives of PTI led government about mannerism for channelizing the political dissent and the strategy adopted by it as an Opposition Party for dislodging an elected government by resort to lockdown, attack on PTV and reducing to ashes the utility services bills is a stark reality and not a healthy precedent but then someone has to create history which real right wing alone can attempt atin order to lighten itself with the past baggage in the backdrop of sahi Hadees for getting place under the umbrella of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on the day of judgment with those who have striven for identity of faithful as Muslims only.
(The views expressed by the author are his own. He can be reached on aaluzdeva_221256 @ymail.com)

 


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