Is it right to brand Imran Khan a demagogue?

Imran Khan has been branded a demagogue, an agitator and manipulator, who is trying to get support by making false claims and is getting popularity by arousing the prejudice public has against the elected government. He continues to raise serious concerns regarding the past affairs of the ruling elite based on their cronyism and corruption.

What is the option that one has if not to protest? When institutions fail to respond, and legislators are least interested in bringing major reforms to electoral processes apparently fearing defeat. Since people at large stay in slumber and continue their life with the common notion that this country is destined to be governed incongruously. Vacuum is there to be filled to lead charge against the corrupt.

The nation in slumber may have been activated partially by the acute social media effect. But, again, there is a grey side to it. People tend to like pages and befriend like-minded people. It has apparently little effect on the prejudice and loyalty they build towards a political entity or a religious outfit. With in-built notion, they completely negate the rivals without dwelling into their merits and judge them only on propagated demerits. They don’t seem to care, if they (the political outfits) have evolved over the time or not. Lack of education seems to restrict their ability to think beyond the dictation they get on electronic and social media. Resultantly, a more lucid and rational outcome becomes difficult, since, they cannot differentiate between right and wrong as the line gets blurred.

Inglorious present, with no pride in historical achievements and an equally bleak and uncertain future, what choice do we have? If we continue to take life and circumstances as prearranged as it could be and don’t protests for our rights and rudimentary requirements we deserve, nothing is going to change. Ruling class will continue to impose and re-impose its next generations, as they have in the past.

In politics, hypocrisy can apparently be termed as the main ingredient to achieve big. The more you can dodge, cheat, deceive, and the more tactful you are, chances of success increase manifold. General perceptions built over time relating to crucial issues influence people that abrupt transformation is not needed. It’s a process which takes time convincing people to wait for the term to be over.People are not prepared for change as they do not search for it. Some do build hope at times with development rhetoric, but actions of decision-makers, either at local or national level disappoint them and they end up convinced that things are destined to go wrong with this country.

Cronies have continued to enjoy Pakistan's resources at public's disposal and those who back them are indirectly hurting this country even more than the main culprits. When potential game-changers decide to abandon their role, and find the most illogical reasons to believe the unbelievable that's where countries lose it all. This is where democracies become monarchies and those who deserved to be shoed-off for good are worshiped like idols. It crushes the hopes of poor as inequality soars and confuses public with sentiments attached to the monarchy. The dose, they get from electronic and print media in praise of the monarch keeps them at bay. But, when put at test with acrimonious and hard life, pain re-ignites shifting sentiments against the monarch but again gets subsided through some sort of arrangement; it could be the availability of gas, a metro, road or a bridge.

The root causes of their poverty remain unaddressed and the happiness collected in moments overwhelming overcomes the stick they get throughout their miserable lives. What happens next, well, the monarch with his cronies continues his ascendance and his share in the cherry gets bigger and bigger. Result: society gets poisoned and populism emerges uninvited.

Though, certain elements have branded Khan a populist. This makes a situation more perplexed because, it makes silent ones wiser and those showing apprehension and discontent with current circumstances more outlandish and eccentric. Imran Khan has done nothing but revive the spirit of the country by speaking openly and more ruthlessly against the opportunistic regimes, in favor of the underprivileged.

Problem is that certain elements in this country want public to continue living the life of discontent. They have failed miserably to distinguish between a liberator and greedy-opportunists. Egoistic leaders have gone beyond recognition. Khan emerged as a hope; a proven winner in his previous endeavors. With expectations to bring same magic into fate of the common people who regarded him highly for his philanthropy work. I believe those who work against nepotism and are fighting to defeat and defame cronies must not be branded demagogues.

Waqas Shabbir is a Derby Business School graduate in Finance, currently working as a freelance writer having interest in South Asian and European economics. He previously worked as a study advisor at University of Derby

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