NOTES FROM A SOCIAL
The Rule of Two!
UAEGentle reader, hear Poliphilo tell of his dreams…
Here you will see perfect palaces of kings,
The worship of nymphs, fountains and rich banquets.
The guards dance, dressed in motley, and the whole
Of human life is expressed in dark labyrinths.
Elegy to the Reader,
Pakistan’s 21 st century democracy has surpassed the
splendor of kings, the powers of czars, the persistence of ruthless dictators,
the epitome of capitalistic glory, the wheeling-dealings of perfect con artists,
the alliance of common vested interests, and the ultimate attempt to deceive the
common citizens. A media report claims that a whopping Rs. 7 billion has been
set aside by the coalition of like-minded traditional politicians of political
status quo orientation to buy out a large chunk of electronic media in the
service of maintaining themselves in power by aggressive propaganda campaigns,
massive disinformation assaults on their adversaries – and billions more to
outright purchase the next general election as if it were a commodity. It seems
that winning the election is going to be a straightforward shopping spree in an
open “Juma Bazaar.” This very specific brand of Pakistani democratic doctrine,
owned and promoted by the political leadership of the two major ruling parties,
the PPP and the PML-N, is aimed at “Saving Democracy” in Pakistan.
The everyday persistently chanted mantra of the
PPP and PML-N leadership is to “Save Democracy” – as if the future of Pakistani
democracy is synonymous with the preservation of political powers in the hands
of the incumbent PPP/PML-N leadership personified in “The Rule of Two.”
The fact of the matter is that the “Saving
Democracy” slogan has become a kind of meaningless and rundown deceptive
rhetoric – worthless, useless, and dubious in its conception as expounded by the
PPP and the PML-N leaderships respectively. Democracies are neither saved nor
run by slogans only. We know that political slogans are meant for public
manipulations, altering the masses’ perceptual landscape and presenting a
distorted view of the hidden agendas prepared specifically by vested interest
Here are some examples from the global political arena
to illustrate my point: Not long ago, the Clinton Administration coined the
phrase “Road-Map for Peace” to resolve the Palestinian issue. It was used with
such careless frequency, non-serious implications, and manipulative audacity
that the term lost all of its significance. In fact, just the mention of the
term caused outrageous reactions in thinking political circles – it meant that
no serious political process was being initiated to resolve the issue and the
slogan was used primarily for public consumption to pacify peace activists and
to consolidate the political status quo in the Middle East.
Then came the US and its allies bombing Iraq and
Afghanistan and the slogan “to promote democracy” in the Muslim world. After
over a decade-long destruction of two of the oldest human civilizations and the
brutal massacre of countless people, the word “democracy” seems like an insult
and a slap in the face of the entire humankind. Only the apologists of the
global political status quo would disagree with this view – and that is a
It is obvious that in an age of electronic media
with massive global and local audiences, political slogans are coined for the
explicit purpose of public deception. And the sad part of this entire
manipulative dynamics is that those distinct slogans and precisely-aimed
terminology seem to work perfectly – at least for a specified time until the
damage is done.
In present-day Pakistan, the traditional vested
interests ruling elite, reactionary, conservative, non-progressive, backwards
and politically status quo oriented, seems to believe that the “Save Democracy”
slogan is a perfect tool to railroad the public into political submission for
the continuity of the PPP/PML-N “Rule of Two.” However, I claim that they are
grossly mistaken, amazingly uninformed of public sentiments, dangerously
ignorant of political ground realities prevailing in the country, absolutely
unaware of the historical dynamics of change that are growing in the
undercurrents of the failing political system, its structure, its leadership and
its political culture. Presently, they are living in a fool’s paradise.
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