“You turned 138 today. But, gladly you still don’t seem to be aging”
“So, how do I look?”
“As always, debonair, father.”
“If it is a happy day, why the atmosphere is so melancholic? Is my country doing fine?”
“No, father. It is ill, very ill. I don’t know which dictionary or vocabulary or language I shall extract words from to tell you in what a tormenting state your beloved country is in. Can’t you read my face?”
“I certainly can. You look hollow, robbed and bruised.”
“Pakistan had its general elections last May.”
“That is a gratifying news, why you look so dreary then?”
“Because the story is half recounted. I look dreary and robbed because I am actually robbed. I am robbed father, of my only right; my vote.”
“Pakistan was formed to be ruled by the democratic regimes, hence the sanctity of the vote is to be the most safeguarded right of every citizen. How did it get robbed?”
“It is still an unsolved mystery. The vote was just not stolen but, it was found burnt in the outskirts of the polling station.”
“And where are the perpetrators?”
“They should be in jail.”
“Well, that is the comical irony of this robbery.”
“So, what did you do besides whining?”
“Did you not stand up against the injustice?”
“No, I didn’t. None of the 200 million people did. We were too feeble rather too coward to stand up.”
“It is shameful. To be slaves of tyranny was never my message.”
“But, one man did stand up.”
“A mad man.”
“He must be a gentleman.”
“He is. A cricketer by heart, philanthropist by soul and a leader by mind has spearheaded an irreversible movement against the injustice of thousands of stolen votes. But, he has been consistently denied justice.”
“Why he didn’t give up then?”
When you left for your heavenly abode, the vultures took over your land. One replaced other in the name of evolution by bamboozling millions each time. These vultures have forged a system that stinks. A system that enriches the rich but, deprives the poor. That clothes the dressed but, nudes the naked. That feeds the affluent but, hungers the hungry. That twists the law to serve the moneyed but, persecute the poor. That exonerates the criminal but, prosecutes the innocent. That roasts the minorities in kiln and rapes the women. That has stemmed the extremism and made the blasphemy a norm. That has spewed sectarianism and spouted provincialism. A system that barrens the mothers’ laps for no food and lands newborns in tiny graves for no oxygen. Because this system can build concrete structures but, can’t invest in human flesh. A system that buries our dreams in underpasses, burns our hopes in illuminating lights of overpasses and cages our future in palaces of rulers.
A system that denies justice, produces illiteracy, dishonours merit, breeds unemployment, begets social injustice, creates crime, induces hatred, promotes bigotry and adheres lawlessness.
These opulent rulers of the deprived nation and their henchmen are the money-makers who after robbing our votes are squandering the country’s resources as personal reservoirs. A nation of millions is ruled like a personal kingdom of monarchs who are plundering and pillaging it to roots reducing us as a bunch of beggars.
Father, the democracy of your democratic country has reduced to a mere product that serves its highest bidder.
But, then came this mad man, like a knight armoured with iron-will, crusading against these predators who have hunted this land in pursuit of satisfying their insatiable avarice. He has galvanized the racked youth into a combat force to prey upon a system that reeks.
When he is the only one who is all set to fix the law, King John and his Sheriffs are after him, declaring him as Robinhood, an outlaw. He is being awarded the epithets: agitator, mutineer and rebel. He is being accused of abetting the vigilantism if he dares to repel.
But, his struggle is not dying. His resolve is not perishing as he doesn’t dread dying on a treadmill. He did magic, woken us up from self-induced slumber and freed us from inflicted slavery. He has pumped life in the dead fishes and made us swim against the stream. He is getting old but, his spirit is growing younger. His wrinkles are getting deeper and so does his determination. He is getting pale but, flames of change in him are getting reddish. His steel nerves have started to melt the rod in the necks of savages. His fight is quashing the stigma of status-quo.
Crowds enriched with pep, rapture and exuberance paraded to him on his one call. Elderly, young, women, children, infants, newborns flocked to his gigantic demonstrations. Throngs and throngs, breaking the shackles of unconsciousness, assembled to listen to his message.
Every day from atop the cliff he roared:
Rise and rise again, until the lambs become lions.
He has embarked on a journey to make us – the lambs – the loins. By launching massive citizenry awareness, he has made people cognizant of their born rights. He has transferred the ownership, power and control to the masses – to the real heirs. He is riding us all on the alley to fight against the tyranny. He has taken off the voyage to sculpt a New Pakistan; a repaired Pakistan; a healed Pakistan. A Pakistan that belongs to commoners and not to pygmies and their minions.
In the twilight of the congregation, glittering eyes, blazing hopes and dazzling dreams were giving nightmares to the wily rulers who have mauled our souls, quelled the cries and quietened the pain. He has shaken the nation from hibernation and walked it out of the graves of ignorance and brought a paradigm shift in the perceptivity of a common man.
His eighteen years of perseverance and struggle have finally aroused in an ingratitude nation the sense of ownership. He lashed them for their stoned hearts and perpetuated silence. Now, they have owned up themselves, their land and their compatriots. They have learned to feel the pain, protest, scream, clamour and shed tears.
He has addressed the right chords of the masses and morphed the yearnings into deafening music beats of change. He has dyed the dismal political spectrum in colours of revived hope, re-birthed dreams, resuscitated self-belief and a palpable future that belongs to every citizen of Pakistan.
Though, he is not as great as you. He has no political acumen like yours. His sharpness is not sharp enough. His intelligence is not intelligent enough. His impulsive disposition wins over his sagacity. His madness overshadows his competence.
But, his sincerity is pure. His intentions are noble. His heart is crystal-clear. His humanity is magnanimous. His compassion is fatherly. His determination is invincible. His generousity is sky-spacy. His faith is unflinching. His bravado is inspiring. His austerity is quintessential. His dreams are big as lofty mountains. His vision is beyond the falcon’s flight. And his integrity is as proverbial as yours.
He has given everything to Pakistan, almost his life.
A nation destitute of education, cloth, food, justice and progress has taken the refuge in his empathetic heart. A heart that is as compassionate as the grab of neonate’s palm. He is being censured, vilified, demonized and scoffed. He is garlanded as a dunderhead, conceited and obstinate. But, the very dunderhead is a balm to downtrodden, the very conceited is a rescuer to underdogs and the very obstinate is a messiah to peasants.
Being the only light, he is pulling us through to a Pakistan that was dreamt by you, father.”
“So, finally, somebody dared to take on this tyrannical system that has plagued my soil and caused me unceasing restlessness since I have been laid down. You, as a nation, must be indebted to him. Now, why are you wounded?”
“Not just wounded, father. I feel dead inside. A week before the horrendous carnage was inflicted on us – on the whole nation. The savagery that has shamed the vengeance. The butchery that has buried the humanity. The massacre that has left us in insufferable pain. The barbarity that has left words inadequate. The slaughter that is beyond sanity. More than a hundred children were slain. Little angles were literally butchered and beheaded, father.”
“Who were these animals?”
“Self-created beasts. Every ‘regime’ sowed its amount of seeds of extremism and created the monster of terrorism. Now, this (Frankenstein’s) monster is devouring our kids, shredding their flesh and bathing them in the blood. Little ones are paying the price of self-bred and self-nourished menace. Every other day this land is stained red and we are left bereaved, broken and dead inside. We are running out of tears and patience to bear the unendurable pain. Tens of thousands of us have been ruthlessly butchered but, our blood failed to move the heartless rulers. Their hollow statements, callous words, apathetic demeanour and inexplicable inertia has tormented us to no extent. The beasts are at our doorsteps but, we stand helpless. The vicious cycle of hate, revenge and lust for blood has reached our homes but, these cowards couldn’t even lash these beasts with words, let alone fight. They just reimburse our cheap lives for few bucks while our coffins are getting heavier and graves countless.
Father, you left us to be consumed by this (seemingly unending) war and if left, to be crippled inside by the prevalent unaccountable barbaric system.
‘Pakistan can’t be undone’, the faith that these words of yours has always given us is now gradually dwindling. But, against all hopes, against all reasons, against all logics, against the desire and probably against the will, we are still hoping, still breathing and still keeping the belief intact.’”
“So, you have given up.”
“No, or may be yes. A part of mine has probably given up.”
“You know I was always cited by my foes as a “haughty old-man”. Because, for them, I always was as they failed to break me and defeat me. I had never compromised on my principles. I had never surrendered to the injustice. I remained adhere to my mission. I never lost the belief in Pakistan becoming a reality. Even when the hopes had waned, circumstances had become adverse and I was put on the spikes of censure, I didn’t give into their ideologies. I didn’t give up to their agendas. I fought, I soldiered on, battling it till last. I did what I could in the best interest of millions of you. And, at last, I triumphed over evils. I have no remorse. I have no guilt and I am not disappointed in you.
So, daughter, in this moment of grief, my message to the great people of this land is: Nations that deprive themselves of courage in testing times taste defeat. But, you are the bravest nation, the most resilient. You are no failure. You never were. You just lacked belief in yourself, the will and unity. You always refused to take the ownership, the mantle and the will to stand up against the wrong been done to you. Unlike me, you gave in to the (imposed) injustice.
Hold on to the fighting spirit this great-mad-man has given you, cling on to the winning spirit that has united you against this war. Don’t surrender to ‘robbers’ and ‘beasts’. Don’t give in to tyranny. Resolve, that no matter how long and agonizing the journey is, how far and obscure the destination is, you will not give up. You will not surrender. You will fight and fight for the soul of my land, till last. Till all the lambs become lions. Till you triumph over all evils.
Now, repeat after me: ‘Pakistan was born to live.’”
December 24, 2014