Of idealism and pragmatism in politics

Weekly Bang-e-Sahar Saturday, April 26—-May 2, 2008
By Noor Mohammad
Politics is the art of the possible. It is also a pragmatic progress towards attaining personal, party and, if there is no personal loss, national goals. So Ghazanfar Ali Khan’s decision, as the rumors are, to join Pakistan Peoples Party, the ideology that he has been loathing as the ‘breaker of Pakistan’, would neither irritate nor surprise me. I will accept it as yet another possibility in the awe-inspiring world of politics. No doubt some people say that politics shall be idealistic and practiced within the boundaries of traditionally defined codes of working, ‘ethics’. The question is who makes these codes? We, human beings, and we are the ones with the authority to break the laws, as well.
Now, don’t bore me with the absurd and bygone philosophy of ‘wrong vs. right’ because neither I, nor you know what is absolute right or absolute wrong. We, the monkeys of subcontinent (as Cowasjee names us), have proven to be quite sentimental about ‘loyalty’. People expect us to live our lives in the cocoons that we were born in. Any effort to move out and heavens fall on everybody. Everyone cries fowl, everyone loathes the betrayer, and everybody condemns the turncoat. Isn’t it just like being tied to the same master, “not letting the door”, “spilling blood” for the commitment etc. We are slaves: slaves to our own egos.
So what if the capitalist wants to join, errrr to command, the socialist movement? Wasn’t Bhutto a Wadera? Isn’t the Syed, the Makhdoom, the Gillani, a living landlord from Punjab? Isn’t Zardari, apart from being a corrupt hooligan, a Wadera? Wasn’t Benazir running a chain of restaurants in Dubai, and thus promoting the capitalist agenda? And, lo, wasn’t BB the one who started the favorite-of-capitalists-regime of privatization?

We people of the street are so naïve, so dumb, so innocent and so illiterate that we live in a world of dreams. We cherish our dreams, we burn our bodies to show that we are grieved at the loss of our leaders, we get killed while saving these ‘leaders of our dreams’, we stand for hours on the street, waiting to receive them, and, at the end, what do they give us? The same yoke that we wanted to throw away from our necks!
Ghazanfar has every right to be part of the government in Gilgit-Baltistan. Who can stop him? He has all the credentials that are required of a leader of his ‘caliber’. He is a rich man, he is a manipulator, he is a usurper, he imposes his will over the people, and he has a familial legacy of ruling, oops plundering, that is ‘glorious’ and world celebrated.
I hope that the leaders sans legacy, like Jafar Shah, Muhammad Moosa, and Wazir Baig, or Ghulam Muhammad, for that matter, will keep their silence and look to get their piece of the ‘governance’ pie. Who cares for the foolish ‘ideological’ members of Pakistan Peoples Party? They can go to hell, for all reasons.


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