Monday June 17, 2024

Opening the door to soft revolution

By Zafar Alam Sarwar
June 30, 2019

People living in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad and Peshawar also still talk of long-awaited revolution that they think will bring about a change for the better in their socio-economic life and put an end to exploitation.

Many citizens owning small houses find themselves in financial predicament when food and fuel prices shoot up beyond imagination: this has happened in the past very often.

What did they do to overcome the problem in such a situation? They undertook backyard farming to live without seeking a loan from others.

Wives assisted husbands in growing vegetables. But they felt the kitchen problem was not solved as they desired because cooking oil remained sky-high like sugar and milk.

“So how to be self-reliant and self-sufficient was another problem,” said many citizens.

One can say on the basis of interaction with citizens that most of them still seem allergic to the way in which the word ‘revolution’ is often used by leaders to gain the common man’s support in their interest.

There are people who sometimes predict a ‘bloody’ revolution, which in their sight is the only elixir of social and economic miseries reportedly afflicting masses for a long time. But there are also senior citizens who argue: “We need a change---a change in our attitude, in our Westernized style of living, and the way we choose our representatives forgetting the lessons of Islam; we abuse them when prices soar and there’s no check on profiteers; why don’t we first subject ourselves to accountability and then raise voice for a change in any exploitative system.”

City’s elders say the old class system is a bottleneck in our basic social and economic development. Earlier, our society was divided into three segments: upper, middle and lower. The upper one dominated the others in most fields of life. As a result of political up and down, we’re now split into five groups: upper, middle and lower middle, poor and below the poverty line.

The main problems we’re facing are illiteracy, unemployment and poverty in the wake of overpopulation.

The exploited common people seem more conscious of their social and economic rights. They’re blaming their mental discomfort on the soaring food and energy prices, unabated load-shedding and lack of security of life.

Eventually, the common man is reportedly losing trust in the administration. He says human values and spirit of brotherhood are evaporating and self-interest is taking their place. “It’s height of wrongdoing, there’s no economic justice, we’re moving toward hunger and poverty; we’re, in fact, inviting revolution, but how it will come, only God knows,” insists tube-well operator of Bhara Kahu.

Interestingly, the poor at Banni Chowk, Zero Point and Aabpara Market argue: “If we remain silent and do not think of countering wrongdoings at any level ourselves, God will punish us; it’s time to wake up to reality on the ground and realise that everybody has to work to rise again as united nation, which is the only way to bring about a soft revolution.”