Thank you, Elections 2013, for giving us two sets of equally irrational and embarrassing political party supporters

One has become the elected Prime Minister of the country, and the other has become the Prime Minister of social media – and the people who support neither are chastised by supporters of both of these parties

Ever since its creation, Pakistan has always seen a floating political system at the hands of stubborn politicians and fascist dictators. The country had wasted half of its life at the hands of dictators, when, finally, in the late 2000s, it got rid of the last not-so-good dictator, General Pervez Musharraf. There was a unanimous sigh of relief and the likelihood of a bright future that would be without dictatorship and full of democracy, was seen.

I remember that time quite well. When Musharraf resigned, most of the people were happy, and the atmosphere in Pakistan was as if the country had gained independence once again. Pakistanis called for a huge celebration. Almost every politician promised to himself and to the public that they won’t let dictatorship take over again and will do every effort to increase the prosperity of their country.

I must say the promise is still being kept but only its former part, not the latter. Right from the time when the 2008 elections took place and PPP (Pakistan People’s Party) got elected and formed a joint government with PML-N(Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz), no one seemed too serious about fulfilling that promise and the condition of the country and its economy was not much less terrible than it was during the dictatorship. Well, somehow, the not-bad period of 5 years was completed and a ray of hope appeared again with the approaching of May 2013 election. Which, despite the good hopes, proved to be the most controversial elections of the whole 68-year long history of Pakistan and, ever since, the light of hope is itself struggling to remain lighted. After that memorable day, Pakistan’s politics became even worse. Because no one thought that the so-called elections, to which many hopes were attached, will turn out to be a rigging fest due to which our country is still suffering.

And that is precisely my point.

Yes, I accept, the elections were rigged and there had been injustice with some of the politicos, but now it has been two years and still our country is suffering. The political atmosphere is still instable and our public is still confused, acting like warriors fighting each other – on the roads, in the parliament or on social media.

At times, I feel very disappointed in our people who keep taunting, insulting and ridiculing each other for the sake of some politicos who are not even worthy of respect. They have just brainwashed the public and have hypnotized them to the extent that they have even forgot to have their own point-of-view, take their own decisions, and be able to distinguish between good and evil. People are just gone madly aggressive. They have forgotten how to get engaged in healthy debates or arguments, they have forgotten how to bear criticism, they don’t know how to handle situations in a mature manner. All that they now know is how to blame others, how to stereotype them, and that, too, without even knowing them. And if they see no other way out, they just start making personal attacks. As a result, most of the decent people prefer to stay quiet.

I, myself have been a victim of this insane behavior many times, mostly on social media, many times with friends, in the university and sometimes, at public forums. Even If you are apolitical, you can’t just save yourself because at the very point you build up the courage to participate in a discussion and give your point-of-view, these ‘faithfuls’ readily link you to the party opposing the one they are supporting, accusing you of defending your leader (who is not even your leader). I have observed that people simply abandon rational behavior in order to protect their ‘His Majesty, The Kingly Leader’. However, while these so-called warriors and their families starve in their houses, their leaders are found burping after enjoying their royal feasts which are arranged daily in their grand palaces – the Bani Galas, Jati Umras, Bilawal Houses and Nine Zeros.

These so-called ‘awami leaders’ fill up their pockets, and run off to some other country along with their money and bank accounts, in the end. But even after that our people, especially the partisans, remain honest and cannot even hear any wrong word about their so-called leaders. They can sacrifice themselves, starve and fight, but they can’t listen to anything bad about their mentors.

It’s a reaction, which I think a rational person would understand, and I, being a Pakistani and having been striving to be a good one for many years, have observed that unfortunately most of us are actually following these good-for-nothing politicos and are adopting the very behavior that they exhibit. I can prove it with the help of some of the examples I have being observing after the May 2013 elections.

The two major political parties, the two major stakeholders in the electoral process – since MQM and PPP had already had enough chances – were PML-N and PTI. And right after the elections, these two parties have become constant troublemakers in Pakistan and, of course, according to me, they are both equally responsible for ruining the image of Pakistan – not just domestically but also internationally.

Even in hindsight, right from the day these two political parties started their respective election campaigns, the relentless blame games, name calling, and constant mimicking of each other started between these two and, I must say, the entire world enjoyed the sight despite the fact that it was not even worthy of being broadcasted. The media, of course, gave them the platform for providing the world such vulgar entertainment, including our neighboring country (who, according to them, bears half of the population of terrorists including animals – pigeons, parrots, et cetera).

Ever since the elections, I have seen the devotees of these two parties degrading, disrespecting, demoralizing, ridiculing, and blaming each other in the name of their respective leaders. Since then, one has become the elected Prime Minister of the country, and the other has become the Prime Minister of social media – and the people who support neither are chastised by supporters of both of these parties. I bet that you would not be able to escape the wrath of these politicos’ followers, all you need to do is to write something good or bad about any one and one of the two groups will be ready to shoot you straight away, without even trying to understand your statement.

I took a sigh of relief when, finally, after the report of the election commission came in. But soon I realized that all of it was in vain when the verdict about the speaker came out and once again people were reminded of the rigging and the very injustice occurred that their leader was subjected to – and it was 2013 all over again. All I want to ask is: what benefit is our country getting from all of this domestic violence?

I am sorry to say that this is calling for a war between civilians who have decided to corner themselves from these amateurish parties and their supporters. Unity among people is said to be the necessary ingredient for the success and advancement of any country. But our unity is gradually being lost: in yesteryears because of religious sectarianism and the caste system, and now because of this hate-spreading “Political sectarianism”.

If this political sectarianism won’t be tamed, it will once again give others (including our enemies and rivals) a chance to divide us and rule over us like they did in history.

The writer is a Media Graduate and a Broadcast Journalist by profession. She has a keen interest in reading, storytelling, writing and possesses a critical view of the various dilemmas of Pakistani society, especially those concerned with the oppression of women. Follow her on Twitter.

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