Monday June 17, 2024

Who will save the ‘sinking ship’?

By Zafar Alam Sarwar
June 05, 2020

The man who heads a family of five or six remains says he has not come out of the food price horror even after 32 years. One wheat roti and a cup of third rate tea cost him 30 rupees when it is not easy to get a job. “You have to bribe.”

“Has savagery overtaken us?” Strange questions crop up when people get into conversation over a cup of tea which now costs Rs15 as against Rs5 before February 2008 general election. Coming under discussion are articles that savagely attack the government’s performance. Why is the common man extremely angry with the democratic set-up and its supporters in any way?

Citizens say they’ve been pained by the blood-curdling hike in food prices to such an extent that they’ve no other way than abuse the government for its ‘anti-people’ policy. And that’s besides the fuel adjustment charge and never ending power outage because of which consumers are sinking deeper into depression.

For instance, 40 years old Naseer sat disheartened in the children’s playground near the main mosque of Rawal Town the other day. He had a sad story to tell when asked why he looked very sad. The thought-provoking point in Naseer’s story is that he was earning about Rs.400 a day and supporting his family of five members; he couldn’t think of any luxury. But finding a job with dignity and honour is not so easy unless and until he has some access to someone in the corridors of power. “Then what should I do? Should I commit suicide, leaving my family to rotten in this democracy? That I won’t do; I shall wait for the day of peace, prosperity and socio-economic justice,” grumbles the victim of the so-called tyrannical system.

Another notable point: the majority of people say there’s no peace of mind, life is not comfortable, there’s hardly any security of life and property, and there’s tension all the time. In fact, everybody seems in a dilemma, whispering to each other: “This is the worst period we’re passing through, never was witnessed such bad governance in the past.” What’s the remedy if that’s true?

There’s only one remedy, the suffering people believe. And that’s Islam in whose name Pakistan was achieved after great sacrifices of life, blood and property. The vision was an independent, sovereign welfare state defended by the people’s force, bearing in mind the motto of unity, faith and discipline—-and no room for slavery to any imperialist power. But what happened after the death of Quaid-i-azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in September 1948 and the assassination of the first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan in October 1951 at the behest of a foreign power. It was free for all in the political arena: selfish bureaucrats and politicians indulged in fight for political power, little caring for the social and economic development of the country and amelioration of the common man’s lot. The road to socio-economic and cultural revolution was blocked by imperialists who had their puppets in the administrative machinery of the country.

The process of a revolutionary change in the old wicked parliamentary system is still blocked. But the suffering masses haven’t lost hope, they’ve faith in Almighty Allah, the Quran and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who set up the first welfare state of the world. The downtrodden and exploited people consider him as the role model for emancipation from the slavery of the ruling feudal lords and capitalists who reportedly owe allegiance to the US. Facts are facts. Let’s be honest and think for a moment that our country is a ship which has run aground, creating a number of problems—social, economic and political. Democracy looks like dictatorship as the educated unemployed youth and hungry man say. There’s no sound planning yet. We are far behind in the competition for economic progress.

The only way to solve problems is to follow in the footsteps of the Messenger of God. Do the rulers and their partners need to be reminded that simplicity and sincerity, truthfulness and honesty were the part and parcel of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)? He was the greatest reformer of the world, who enhanced the dignity of labour, abolished the slavery system and raised the position of women. That’s why he was hailed by revolutionaries as a great socialist. Who will save the sinking ship, and how? That’s all self-explanatory.