Is Revolution Possible In Pakistan? – OpEd
A sudden and violent change of a government, system, or social social order by sweeping away the old is termed as revolution. It is different from reforms as reforms means changing of a system, or law with needed modification of time. Is revolution possible in Pakistan? Does Pakistan need revolution or reforms?
Revolution needs an organized movement and leadership such as it happened in Russia by Vladimir Lenin while in China Mao Zedong provided the frontline leadership. Credibility of leadership is prerequisite for launching a movement for revolution. While, there is a dearth of it in Pakistan where populous and charismatic leaders have their own interests. They have their own views of revolution.
The nationalists focus their respected ethnicities, Imran Khan’s soft revolution and change was ambiguous, the religious parties talk of religious revolution, the PPP’s slogan of revolution has been changing, the MQM revolution is Mohajir centered, while the PML started its slogan of revolution from General Zia’s Islamization and then altered its revolutionary slogans to Jhag Punjab Jhag (wake up Punjab wake up). One of its leaders and the current prime minister Shahnaz Sharif had even opined in December 2011 when he was the chief minister of Punjab that bloody revolution was on the offing. In this scenario the question arises as who to revolt against whom?
The status quo in the country has engulfed institutions, parliament, and state policies. The leaders who become a wheel of revolution are part of this status quo which will never allow any revolution. If revolution occurs, it will challange the status quo of present politics, economic, feudalism, and institutional spheres. Why will they become part of revolution rather they will hamper any such move.
A pertinent prerequisite of revolution is educated youth who rise up against a social order or government. There is a scarcity of it in Pakistan where around 55 percent of the population are literate (literate in sense that they can write and read) while, majority of the intellectuals work for one or another party or institutions. In the midst of such revolution looks dismal.
Many revolutions took place when the country’s poor class was increasing and had been pushed to the wall such as what prevailed prior to the French revolution. Even though, the poor class in Pakistan has been increasing and has been in tough economic situation where inflation and unemployment have devastated them, still they are unable to bring any revolution in the presence of status quo that have strong hold of the system. In the absence of education the poor class in Pakistan still believes in the lip services of the leadership.
Is the French, the Iranian, and the American revolution possible in Pakistan? The scenario is again gloomy. Religion is still strong here, but the state is not ruled by theocracy as it did in France. There is a lack of intellegentia in Pakistan who could provide a base as in France the intellegentia did. Moreover, the causes that led to the Iranian and American revolutions were different then the ground realities of current Pakistan. Hence, the French, the Iranian, and the America types revolution are impossible in Pakistan.
The issue is that we did have movements against the policy makers and even status quo but we did not materialise those opportunities. We started the movement against Ayub Khan, but that did not bring fruit owing to which the country was again plunged into a dictatorship, twice. In 2007, the Lawyer movement which could have been a reasonable step towards reforms, but again we failed to do so.
Pakistan needs a revolution in minds, thinking, approach, democratic revolution, digital, industrial, agricultural, institutional, educational, and health revolution and cultural reformation. Pakistan is in dire need of democratic evolution — the only panacea for the ills and a suitable system for a heterogeneous society.
The general discussion leads one to the conclusion that revolution in Pakistan is impossible in near future. At the same time, uprising and chaos might occure that could lead to some reforms. The tailpiece is that, there is a dire need of hollistic and productive reforms in the country. Alienation, elite capture, and deprivation are venom for the state’s integration. These provide a base for revolution. Prevention is better then cure. Alarming signals need attention.