Donald Rumsfeld, the famous Secretary of Defence of the US, was known for his attitude and professional arrogance among his colleagues and his generals. As Secretary of Defence, Rumsfeld played a central role in the invasion of Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq. He was once accosted at an airport and was jeered for the death and destruction in Iraq and other American imperial wars of the time. However, Mr Rumsfeld stayed calm and composed and took the criticism without any reaction, nor was any police called to manhandle anyone.

Similarly, there are several other instances in western democracies where ministers and MPs were confronted and hounded in public. But all these people kept their cool and composure and their behaviour showed no signs of the minutest aggression. Their behaviour is the embodiment of the society they represent and lead, where physical rage and assault are neither tolerated nor advocated, and punishment for any such unruly behaviour is swift and certain.

On the contrary, in our society pure, physical and emotional rage is advocated, supported, and perpetuated without an ounce of contrition. And, unfortunately, our leaders lead by example. Recently, there have been several instances where leaders glorified and justified their physical violence and used state tools to harass innocent victims.

In this series of instances of abuses of ordinary citizens, the first was the physical assault of an elderly in a posh hotel. No one present came forward to help the elderly or denounce the perpetrators. Later, a police report was lodged against the elderly. To make matters worse, while video clips of violence were going viral on social media, there was little mention of the incident on electronic media.

The other instance was the statement by a stalwart of a political party who, despite being a lawyer, advocated physical violence against people who dared to protest or jeer against them or their political party. In any western democratic country of non-believers, such an avocation and behaviour would have resulted in an immediate end to the political career of the concerned person. But in our tyrannical society, such words and actions are an ambrosia of growth in any political party’s hierarchy.

In another incident, an ordinary citizen was beaten black and blue by the goons of a Member of Parliament in public, and his car was completely trashed. No one dared to intervene as the general public knew the consequences of intervention: state organs, like police, may be used against any sympathiser. Another travesty of law is the case of Nazim Jokhio, where a plebian has been made an example for the local populace which indicates that anyone trying to break the stranglehold of feudal lords could meet the same fate.

To support such tyranny and violence, the Thana culture is promoted and police and law are used to incriminate, implicate and intimidate innocent people, adversaries, and political opponents. As a consequence of this nexus with the powerful, some police officials also often develop a network with local criminal elements and are hand in gloves with local goons, mafias, and extortionists. The main victims of this tyranny and lawlessness in the society are the ordinary public, which bear the brunt of excesses and brutalities without any reprieve.

The Quran, Hadith, and the lives of Caliphs are replete with emphasis and examples of carrying out swift justice, without any discrimination or fear of the rich or powerful. Hazrat Ali has said, A ‘system of disbelief can work, but a system of tyranny cannot last.’ But with this tyranny in our society, we aspire to progress and want to be respected among the comity of nations. It remains to be seen how long this tyranny will last before it is overthrown.