OPINION

Will This Cyber Revolution Fly or Fizzle?

November 16, 2007
temporal
Utho meri duniya ke ghareeboñ ko jagaado
Kaakh-e umara ke dar-o deewaar hilaado

Rise, awaken the poor of my land
Rattle the palaces of the rich men’s band
– “Allama” Mohammad Iqbal
Link

Khomeini’s cassette revolution that he launched from Paris suburbs to oust US backed Shah opened a new era in mobilizing the masses.

The ‘free’ electronic media in Pakistan turned its guns on its benefactor. It refused to be silenced even when it was locally muzzled. It spawned another cyber movement, this one led and aided by bloggers.

The western media co-opted it and gave it further impetus. BBC, NYT, Slate, WP et al appealed for their help and contribution.

Benazir is sensing a kill without thinking it through. Nawaz Sharif is marginalized. JI and other parties in opposition act impotent.

Electronic Media is brimming with righteous indignation. Lawyers’ protests seem to have been over shadowed by those of the Press. Students have confined their shouting on the campuses only.

How much of this flow of information and views filtered down to where it really mattered? How much of the aftermath of protests affected the ordinary Pakistanis?

This raises two important questions. Can the political parties effectively mobilize any street power? Or are they in collusion with the Army and prefer back door negotiations for power realignment and share in the pie?

If the citizens refuse to come out no real change of power structure will occur. Street power is the only force that can effectively take on the occupying army. In ’88 Asia’s best equipped army refused to come to the Shah’s aid when it confronted the street power of the Iranians.

The other possibility is what Pakistanis have experienced previously and seemingly refuse to learn from. The pressure is brought on but merely results in a change of face. Sweets will be distributed and everyone will go home with a smile.

That is what happened when Ayub was removed – and Yahya, Bhutto, Zia, Benazir, Nawaz, Benazir again, Nawaz again and Musharraf. And if things are not calculated wisely perhaps the past will be repeated with another Khaki face.

The ‘upright, professional soldier’ will take over and make the right promises – free and fair election - in 30 days, 90 days, one year, next year! And in another ten years, if Pakistan survives, the dissatisfied elites would again band together to demand freedom and justice and free and fair elections.

Who will make the citizens rise?
love people who are in awe of words. words are the sole arbiter and the final survivor. desicritic editor, slave and slave-driver.
eXTReMe Tracker
Keep reading for comments on this article and add some feedback of your own!

Comments! Feedback! Speak and be heard!

Comment on this article or leave feedback for the author

#1
Deepti Lamba
URL
November 16, 2007
12:35 AM

T, its like living next to the garbage dump,after a while one gets used to it.

#2
Chandra
November 16, 2007
11:12 AM

Pakistan is the new Burma......

#3
AnArch
November 16, 2007
01:10 PM

Almost all of India's neighbors are close to being failed states in one way or another

#4
Anamika
November 16, 2007
04:17 PM

Temp: From the other side of Pakistan's borders, the words of an Urdu shair - one of the greats of the cow belt, Kaifi Azmi - express the situation well:

kabhii jumuud kabhii sirf intishaar saa hai
jahaaN ko apnii tabaahii ka intizaar saa hai

Manu ki macchlii na kashtii-e-Nooh aur ye fizaa
ke qatre qatre meN tuufaaN be-qaraar saa hai

maiN kisko apne gariibaaN ke chaak dikhlaaooN
ke aaj daaman-e-yazdaaN bhii taar-taar saa hai

sajaa-saNvaar ke jisko hazaar naaz kiye
usii par Khaaliq-e-Kaunain sharm-saar saa hai

sab apne paaNv pe rakh-rakh ke paaNv chalte haiN
Khud apne kaaNdhe per har aadmii savaar saa hai

jise pukaariye miltaa hai Khandar se javaab
jise bhii dekhiye maazii ke ishtehaar saa hai

hu'ii to kaise bayaabaaN meN aa ke shaam hu'ii
ke jo mazaar yahaaN hai, meraa mazaar saa hai

ko'ii to suud chukaaye, ko'ii to zimmaa le
us inqilaab kaa, jo aaj tak udhaar saa hai

#5
temporal
URL
November 16, 2007
05:18 PM

ana:

arey wah! jeeti raho! kiya zik'r cheRh diya...had the honour of meeting him a few times when he came here:)

and

am reminded of mirza asadullah khand ghalib:

gulshan maiN band o bast b'rung e di'gar hay aaj
qumri ka tauq, halqa e bairoon e dar hay aaj


#6
Anamika
November 16, 2007
08:46 PM

Temp: shab aisi guzri ki bayan-e-sitam chalte rahein, subah aisi to ho ki josh-e-junoon umadte rahein...sometimes i wonder if what is needed at this stage for Pakistan is a veer-rasa kavi to instill morale and revolution, even when it is a romantic like Shri Harivansh Rai Bachchan:

Vriksh ho bhale khade,
ho ghane, ho bade,
Ek patra chhah bhi
Maang mat, maang mat, maang mat
Agni path, agni path, agni path

Tu na thakega kabhi, tu na themega kabhi
tu na mudega kabhi
kar shapath, kar shapath, kar shapath
agni path, agni path, agni path

Yeh mahaan drshya hai
Chal raha manushya hai
Ashru, sved, rakt se
lathpath, lathpath, lathpath
agnipath, agnipath, agnipath...

#7
temporal
URL
November 16, 2007
09:30 PM

Ana:

there is a need for one person...one leader...as majrooh said:

maiN akela hee chala tha janib-i-manzil magar
lOg sath aatey ga'aye aur karawan banta gaya


and no amount of k(h)akistocracy can suppress the spirits...as faiz said:

mataa e lOh o qalam chinnh gaya tou kiya ghum hay
keh khoon e dil maiN dabo lee haiN ungliaaN mainay


(they took away my pen and paper but I have fears none
will dip my fingers in the heart and continue to write in red)

and faiz reminds me of another faiz poem ... hum jo tareek rahON maiN maray ga'aye...(it was subtitled -inspired by the letters of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg)
(try this LINK to hear Faiz sahib.)


"In love of the roses of your lips
We offered ourselves to the
dry twig of gallows
Longing for the radiance of
your glowing hands
We let ourselves be slain in
half-lit pathways
If failure was our destined end
your love was indeed our own
doing.

Who is to blame if all the
roads of passion
led to the killing grounds of
separation.

Picking up our flags from
these grounds
will march forth more
caravans of your lovers

For whose journeys' sake, our
footsteps have
shortened the lengths of the
agonising quest

For whose sake we have made
universal
by losing our lives, the pledge
to your faithfulness

We, who were slain in unlit
pathways."

--translation by dr afzal mirza

#8
Anamika
November 16, 2007
09:40 PM

Wah, kya shero-shairi ki shaam bani hai, bhai.

Majrooh ne kaha ki "maiN akela hee chala tha janib-i-manzil magar lOg sath aatey ga'aye aur karawan banta gaya"

I was reminded of this one from Neeraj:

Swapna jhare phool se, meet chubhe shool se
lut gaye singaar sabhi baag ke babool se
aur ham khade khade bahaar dekhte rahe
karawan guzar gaya gubaar dekhte rahe

neend bhi khuli na thi ki hai dhoop dhal gayi
paanv jab talak uthe ki zindagi phisal gayi
paat paat jhar gaye ki shaakh shaakh jal gayi
chaah to nikal saki na par umra nikal gayi
geet ashq ban gaye, chhand ho dafan gaye
saath ke sabhi diye, dhuan pahan pahan gaye
aur hum jhuke jhuke, mod par ruke ruke
umra ke chadhav ka utaar dekhte rahe
karawan guzar gaya gubar dekhte rahe

don't have the ability to translate! but you know what i mean and why it applies to Pakistan currently. :-)

#9
temporal
URL
November 16, 2007
09:53 PM

wah kiya baat kahi hay!

neend bhi khuli na thi ki hai dhoop dhal gayi
paanv jab talak uthe ki zindagi phisal gayi
paat paat jhar gaye ki shaakh shaakh jal gayi
chaah to nikal saki na par umra nikal gayi
geet ashq ban gaye, chhand ho dafan gaye
saath ke sabhi diye, dhuan pahan pahan gaye
aur hum jhuke jhuke, mod par ruke ruke
umra ke chadhav ka utaar dekhte rahe
karawan guzar gaya gubar dekhte rahe


here is faiz again extolling speaking up!
HINDI HERE


Bol, ki lab aazad hain tere
bol, zaban ab tak teri hai
tera sutwan jism hai tera
bol, ki jaan ab tak teri hai
dekh ki aahan-gar ki dukan mein
tund hain sholay, surkh hai aahan
khulne lage kuflon ke dahane
faila har zanjeer ka daman
bol, ki thoda waqt bahut hai
jism-o-zuban ki maut se pehle
bol, ki sach zinda hai ab tak
bol, jo kuch kehna hai kehle
-- Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Speak up, while your lips (thoughts) are (still) free
speak up, (while) your tongue is still yours
Speak, for your strong body is your own
speak, (while) your soul is still yours
Look at blacksmiths shop
hot flames makes the iron red hot
opening the (jaws of) locks
every chain opens up and begins to break
speak for this brief time is long enough
before yours body and words die
speak, for the truth still prevails
speak up, say what you must.

#10
Anamika
November 16, 2007
10:07 PM

Bhai kuch zyaada hi serious ho gai baat. So before I head out for the night, here is a gem of haasya ras by Allhad Bikaneri:

Jo buddhe khasoot neta hain, unhe gaddhe mein jaane do
Bas ek bar, bas ek bar, mujhe sarkaar banaane do.

mariyal si janta ko meethe vaado ka juice pilane do
bas ek bar, bas ek bar, mujhe sarkaar banaane do.

:-)

Add your comment

(Or ping: http://desicritics.org/tb/6751)

Personal attacks are not allowed. Please read our comment policy.






Remember Name/URL?

Please preview your comment!