A jumma bazaar
Posted on 10 months ago
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As over these days the MQM has been toing and froing to rope in participants for its contemplated all-parties conference, we first heard that the PML (N) also intends to hold one. And now we hear that the ANP too has one in mind. Then, are we going to be a witness to a jumma bazaar of all-parties conferences in days ahead? Looks like, yes.
But what kind of a fun fair is this? Where do they hold such conclaves where maturity, vision and foresight are essentially needed to face up to the challenges confronting a nation? But the grandees strutting on the national scene have established conclusively their mental feebleness and intellectual bankruptcy. Grandiosely, they are swaggering like political giants. In substance, they are diminutive dwarfs.
They came yapping democracy, parliament's supremacy, judiciary's independence and the whole lot of such hogwash. They stayed chanting this mantra all through these four years or so. And they are rolling off this first era of the so-called new-found democracy. They came unprepared; they stayed unprepared; they are ending up unprepared. No vision had they of the country's future; no strategy had they in mind to rectify its present; no action plans had they worked out for the people's wellbeing.
It has all been a gigantic chaos. The ruling cliques across the board have demonstrated their pauperism on these scores palpably. No coherent policy have they put in place either for the country's development or for the amelioration of the people's socio-economic lot. It has all been ad hocery or populism. And those in the opposition show themselves swimming in the same pool, too. Ask anyone about his party's economic, agricultural, industrial, investment or education policy, or for that matter policy on any sector, and you are sure to meet only blank eyes.
The only art they all have excelled in is politics, and that too the politics of the most despicable kind, in which the masses have been reduced into mere redundancies and irrelevancies. Little surprise then, they all have diminished so immeasurably in the people's estimation and respect. None among them is an icon in the popular eye. None inspires hope in the people's hearts. They all stand condemned in the people's minds as hopeless characters. And they all will hurt themselves irredeemably if they enter the next era of "new-found democracy" as unprepared as are they now.
Verily, it is not a jumma bazaar of their political conventions they themselves need or the people aspire for. It is the visions, ideas and thoughts that are essentially called for. And not like the ones that they throw in as mere slogans in their election manifestoes. But clearly defined policies, strategies and action plans. Now that they have great pretences of being an equal to their peers of established democracies, they should at least try behaving like them.
Over there, they have their permanent party think tanks that keep constantly formulating, reviewing and revising their party policies and strategies on all issues of national import. And they keep their electorates fully informed of their positions on burning issues. Indeed, their opposition parties have their own shadow cabinets with their folks specialising on particular spheres and fields. And when comes the crunch, their shadow ministers talk on the subject in question authoritatively with as much knowledge, expertise and confidence as do the government ministers.
Given the intellectual infirmities of our grandees posing as our political leaders, it is hard to imagine such things happening on this blessed land. But they must know that the time has passed when our people would put up with the bunkum that these eminences dish out to the masses as party policies. The people now want to know what exactly have they in their plans for the country's progress and the nation's wellbeing. And these conceited eminences would do well if they emulate their worthy peers of the established democracies, for a change. It is the jumma bazaar of visions, not of political conventions, that the people want to see. They all must know.