Managing mongrels

  • And how a weak state needs to ascertain itself against a very strong society

Many of us are staunch believers of Great Man Theory which suggests that the current of time is moulded and swayed by mighty, larger than life, men who shape destinies, restructure societies, bring in reforms and lead their people towards prosperity. Apply this to Pakistan, to Jinnah, to Bhutto, and to Imran Khan and it’ll seem like a very apt theory.

However, there is a catch.

On the diametrically opposite side of Great Men are not small men, dear reader. But mongrels, countless, worthless, way too many mongrels. And the art of statecraft, for some, boils down to one firm belief. ‘It is all about managing the mongrels, young man. The way you handle the filthy, poor masses is all that counts. The way you feed them, protect them from each other and keep them sedated is no easy job and needs utmost dedication and hard work. See, you care for those who have a pedigree, for mongrels you have inherent contempt yet you have to feign otherwise’ thus sprach a senior serving bureaucrat as he shed light on dilemmas of governance in Pakistan. For him, and great many others like him, the equation was simple; feed them, clothe them, keep them in check and see that they don’t overreach and/or get out of hand.

Enter our PM with a pedigree. The man had a solid run-both on and off the field. Born and raised like a prince, he reached zenith in all and every endeavor he ventured upon. Yes, dearest sirs and ma’ams, we are talking about now PM Imran Khan the former ace skipper, trusted philanthropist, and a charismatic political leader who has also bagged the certificate of Sadiq and Amin from the Honourable Lordships of ‘Big Marble Palace’. The odds he defied to reach the apex were enormous if not astronomical. IK was roughed up by goons, hoodwinked by allies, left high and dry by trusted comrades, alleged of immoral trysts, labelled as apologist of Taliban and an utter failure at art of politics. He had not only surmounted every obstacle but came out stronger and wiser. And ended up bagging the top position.

The mongrels have huge hopes from someone who is totally unlike them. They pray that the demons from their past won’t return.

In a nutshell, IK and team need to make them mongrels human, and go beyond then just managing them. Grand luck, see you about your promises in five years

Mongrels also believe, rightly or wrongly, only time will tell, that the infamous establishment is siding with IK. Establishment has long enjoyed the dubious repute of kingmaker, the real power behind the throne, the puppet master, the knower of grand scheme, the watchman, the mover, the manipulator, the saboteur

Amongst the Herculean tasks awaiting our pedigree leader is to generate enough jobs for the downtrodden and poor. Long time back, I read somewhere that if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. The heat for the brilliant and the bright, and jobless and the underemployed in our beloved fatherland is reaching infernal heights. The kitchen is getting too hellish for even those who’ve been sitting in the drawing rooms all their life.

With global order in flux of late from 1970s onwards we delineated the following policy to tackle with our skyrocketing populace. It needs revision. The idea was simple; if you can’t control their numbers, ship them abroad to send in remittances. In pursuance of this we’ve sent our able-bodied labourers to Sar-Zameen-e-Arab and adjacent states. Our engineers and doctors sought refuge in land of our former masters. While the remaining rabble was more than enough to keep things afloat and running back home. That, dearest sirs and ma’ams, is still the mighty plan. For those cursed ones who have neither the sources nor the wisdom to venture abroad, leftover crumbs should suffice to keep their souls within bodies.

The mongrels who went out ceased to be mongrels. Those left behind want to follow their footsteps.

Dear reader, it is said that the decisions we make end up making us. We attain nirvana, if they turn out right. We rot alive, if and when we misjudge and miscalculate. It is true for an individual as well as for those whose job it is to adjudicate the earthly affairs of mortal men. We are our choices, wrote Jean Paul Sartre, a French philosopher half a century back. The erudite, passionate, hardworking Naya Pakistan team must be acutely aware and conscientious of the axiom that pleases as well as haunts.

They have a Herculean task ahead. They need to de-mongrelise good humans who’ve been corrupted by evil regimes, kept ignorant by their masters, ruled with threat of force and not logic of law.

In a nutshell, IK and team need to make them mongrels human, and go beyond then just managing them. Grand luck, see you about your promises in five years.