- And why in the realm of politics, no one has reprieve from criticism
Eternally sick, tired and exhausted of all that ‘is’, the change-Seekers wanna escape from ‘here and now’. Dreaming of a land where ‘things that are not’ are ‘in abundance’ they turn a blind eye and decide not to pay any heed to slight signs of ‘same old, same old’ that are everywhere and for everyone to see.
People in general, PTI voters in particular and specifically the tigers of Imran Khan demand that the government of PTI be treated ‘differently’ than the last one by us journos and muckrakers.
Lest we forget, days in power, PM Khan invited and asked the ace anchors to give his government three months before bombing it with criticism. Demanding exceptionalism dominates the mindset of PTI supremo and its followers. They don’t want to be treated like their predecessors. They want to do what they want to do while we journos take long, long naps. Now, read the above lines again and answer these few queries: What do we journos get paid for? Did any one of those who visited said okay and applied for a three month leave without pay since he won’t be able to do his job-to point out the lags and mistakes of those in power? Does PM Khan know that in the hierarchy of society, we the journos are placed one notch above the courtesan and one step below a thief?
I wish he did know. I know he didn’t know. I am certain he’ll never know.
The present dilemma of PTI reminds me of an encounter I had few years back. I visited a good friend of my father, an intelligent, accomplished government officer. The man hailed from a humble background, made it big in the world because he studied and worked hard, landed himself in a good government job, and climbed up the ladder.
After initial ice breaking, he asked me what I plan to do in life. I told him that I am still figuring it out. ‘You see,’ he said in a very dramatic tone. ‘There are only two kinds of people, young man those who sit on my side of table and those who sit on the other side. You are like my son, you are educated and intelligent. I want to see you on my side of table. This side has authority, power to make things change, and most importantly once here you’ll enjoy the best things in life without much struggle,’ he said.
The collective and eternal yearning for a deliverer makes us lionise exceptional individuals as demigods
Imran Khan and company have in the past been on ‘this’ side of the table. They opposed sans thought, protested sans deliberation, and yelled at top of their voice at each and every deed of their opponents in power. Now that they are on ‘that’ side of the table. Now that they have power, they’ll know how dice rolls and how unmanageable things actually are.
The rolled in one Messiah-Leader-Father-Figure will soon wake up from the deep slumber that captures man once he has finally achieved his life’s ultimate dream. And then he has to grip his new reality: that is ‘being in power’ and ‘answerable’.
We may get done with past, dear reader, it never gets done with us. Back in his ‘un-powerful’ days IK left no stones unturned to discredit his foes. Combining guts and sheer wanton, he cursed the body he presently holds sway on. Strange yet befitting of Khan, who has boycotted an entire election in 2008 and sat in protest in front of the present one for good 120 days, he now has what he had been striving for precisely because of Parliament.
A quote can sum PM IK: ‘Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large — I contain multitudes’. No, dearest sirs and ma’ams, Imran Khan didn’t say this. Walt Whitman, American poet and essayist, did. What was an apt justification for Whitman in the realm of poetry and being is a way of life for PM Khan.
Larger-than-life persons like Jinnah, Bhutto, Khan are made, maintained and revered because they symbolise eternal ideas and inspirations of people who had been repeatedly wronged by fate, circumstances and paltry resources. We look for heroes when all we need are systems working properly.
The collective and eternal yearning for a deliverer makes us lionise exceptional individuals as demigods. The whole enterprise has, however, one downside. They always, eventually and without exception, fall short of our expectations. Human, alas, all too human, they overlook the dark side of being influential and famous.
Ultimately, dear reader, as I’ve been repeating all this time, the demons from their past are bound to unearth the skeletons in their closet. Be it Imran Khan or his rivals, former PM Nawaz Sharif or others, things buried and affairs unfinished haunt and exact revenge. If not now then some other day.
In the meanwhile, stay tuned for more oven-baked, smoking-hot dishes of tomfoolery and slapstick by beloved lot of Change-Seekers.