The national neurosis

Almost every part of the country is infected with neurosis. Almost every citizen is mentally sick. Unfortunately, we don't have the resources for establishing a mental hospital of the size of Pakistan. The current political turmoil is the mother of the people's mental manfully upheaval. Some of the sick keep manfully for their survival. But most of the Pakistanis are living dead-bodies. There is utter uncertainty about the very survival of the country. Any moment could be the last moment of its life. If, God forbid, the country were to collapse, only the masses would be the real sufferers. The rulers would be absolutely unaffected. The tragedy would not dare to even touch the rulers. The rulers are a mysterious species. They rule the country mysteriously. For them neither the survival nor the extinction of the country is of any significance whatsoever. Actually, for them the country is a 5-star hotel which they use for picnicking. It is not their motherland. Their motherland lies far beyond the seas. The government has failed to deliver to the masses what it had promised to deliver. Our skies are overcast with national depression. Rumours are rife that new elections are round the corner. In the past, we have had numerous general elections and numerous governments. All the governments were utter fiascos. Would the new election breed something radically different from what the elections bred in the past? Only a miracle can do so. But our past history warns us that we have banned the entry of miracles in our country. General elections are a very expensive affair. So far we have spent billions upon billions of rupees on our elections in the past. Actually, we have burnt this gigantic amount of money. We love electioneering because we love burning the national money. And for us there are no fireworks more entertaining than burning the people's money recklessly. We love electioneering. But we detest reforming our political, economic and social chooses. The election periods are our orgiastic periods. When elections are over, we become depressed. We keep passionately waiting for the next elections. Elections have followed elections. But not an iota of change for the better has ever followed the elections. Presidents have come and gone. prime ministers have come and gone. But when the economic misery of the masses came it came with a determination never to go. And it has stuck to its determination. What a determination Our political affairs have been regularly declining. Our economic affairs have been regularly declining. Our social affairs have been regularly declining. Almost everything has been regularly declining. But there is a mighty exception. It is the misery of the masses. This misery has been incessantly growing and growing. If we are ashamed of the regular general decline, we must be proud of the regular growth of the misery of the masses. A poor man has only one problem. It is his stomach. On the contrary, the rich man has as many problems as he has external and internal bodily organs. Each organ is a very demanding creature. If the demands of an organ are not met, it makes the life of the rich man extremely miserable perhaps more miserable than the miserable life of the extremely poor man. The rich man's survival depends upon a regular increase in his wealth. A regular increase is his very oxygen. The moment an increase becomes impossible, his heart starts missing beats. Actually, Pakistan is inhabited by two nations the phenomenally rich and the phenomenally poor. The president's impeachment is in the balance. There is a rumour that if the impeachment turned out to be a victory for the coalition, the coalition would celebrate the victory by distributing lots and lots of peaches amongst the masses. For a long time, the masses have been asking the president to surrender power. The masses are ignorant. They just don't know that the president doesn't have power. Actually, it is power which is holding him. One has power only when one can surrender it and capture it again. If one cannot recapture it then it is not he who holds it but it is the power which holds him. . If the president were to surrender power, would he be able to recapture it? Thus the masses are asking him to surrender what he doesn't have. Poor ignorant masses When the president was a soldier, most probably he was not ambitious to become the country's president. It was Destiny which flung Pakistan into his pocket. He did not have the courage to offend Destiny. But he could have used Destiny's gift for the well-being of the masses. He did not. Perhaps Destiny has got offended. Perhaps it is destiny which is now infuriating the masses against the president. The writer is an academic

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt