By: | Abdul Moiz Malik |
This year, we’ll commemorate Quaid’s 141th birthday.
Had he been alive, what he would have seen in the country he created?
Let’s imagine the resurrection of Quaid. He walks out of his grandiose mausoleum and what’ll greet him?
Couples eloping near his resting place treating it like a place for leisure and excursion.
Massive ditches at M. A. Jinnah Road. He’ll be told that soon a metro bus will be passing through it.
He’ll move on. Probably towards Numaish Chowrangi signal and encounter his people breaking traffic signals and every civil law known to mankind.
Someone bribing a policeman to evade fine for the violation he made and on the other side a car with a green number plate being waved at and smiled upon for breaking the same laws and being let go of without even a warning.
First of all, the thing that might trouble him the most could be that the entire country is enjoying a holiday and sleeping comfortably in the safety of their homes just because it’s his birthday.
Maybe He’ll think, ‘’what about Kaam, kaam aur bus kaam?’’ (Work, work and just work)
Hoping for trams to be plying in the city and good infrastructure, he’ll see over crowded buses with people perilously hanging by the door step. He’ll fear for their safety but, then perhaps feel helpless.
He’ll see chaos ensuing on the roads of Karachi; disarrayed traffic, everyone trying to reach their destination at the earliest. Occasional brawls between drivers and the rife abbey tabey, collar grabbing and occasional slap fest with people spitting red colored liquids from their soon to be cancer infested mouths coloring the walls and roads as they go along their merry way.
If he finds a footpath to walk – which isn’t encroached by the shopkeepers- he’ll see the walls chalked with all kind of advertisement, from political to religious and from aamil’s to marketing of products.
Maybe he’ll wonder about the sexual health of the Pakistani males and ponder over beauty cream ads on billboards where the stigma of being ‘fair’ complexioned is being shoved down people’s throat and weight gain and loss medicines are advertised next to each other, perhaps while he is in this deep state of thinking a random passerby may undo his shalwaar besides him and relieve himself besides the wall next to him.
He’ll continue walking, may a little distraught. He’ll find old yellow stoned buildings of his time replaced by concrete blocked modern era apartments. The height and mass of those buildings may send him into frenzy, maybe he’ll think his nation is thriving on the economic front until a 4 year old boy tugs on his Sherwani asking him for some monetary help, “Allah kay naam pr day day baba.”
He’ll probably look to hail a cab to visit his ancestral home Wazir Mansion and get into a squabble over hiked fair and the cab driver tells him that the CNG is not available due to shortage. Anyways, somehow he will reach his destination and navigate the narrow streets of Kharadar to reach there. Getting out of the car, he will see stagnated sewage water and heap of trash in front of his rather nondescript house.
He’ll go in to his house, turn on the lights and…. Nothing. No power. Because, load shedding. Quaid will be like ‘yeh kia hoti hai?’ Maybe he will reminisce about his time and how he used to light gas and oil lamps to studyand go through documents upon documents, files upon files needed to carve out a muslim land from the clutches of the tyrannical Indians.
He’ll sit in a dimly lit room with the sunlight showing through the cracks in the Wazir Mansion and perhaps go through the day’s newspaper missing his smoking pipe while he shuffles through the Daily Dawn and smile that at least something of his remains to this very day but his expressions will change as he goes through the stories and displays displeasure at the content and handling of news.
He’ll see that his country is in a political mess; he’ll probably take a sigh and whisper under his breath “some things just never change”. Everyone is fighting with one another. A Prime Minister is declared corrupt, hence disqualified and another party’s general secretary disqualified on the same grounds. Parties are maligning each other and public is oblivious to the political tug of war struggling to make ends meet.
There is chaos everywhere. Institutions are seemingly involved in power games eyeing to dominate each other. The most supreme institution Parliament has no integrity left. Those answerable to Parliament are looking to subdue it.
There are protests everywhere; religious and political. It’s unfathomable how much pain will the recent Faizabad Sit-In cause him.
How distressed he’ll be to see the painful persecution of minorities in his country. A country that itself was created to asunder minority group from a majority group so that minority groups can follow their religious ideas with ease, failed to safeguard its own minorities.
He’ll be horrified to witness that a minority group has been out rightly declared a heretic in the constitution while other groups fear for their lives as they’re subjected to gross atrocities and killings. There seems to be no room in his country for minorities and the over powering religious clergies are inciting hate rather than peace. He’ll think ‘Is this what I said in my 11th August speech?’
He’ll be disgusted by the moral turpitude of his people; theft, embezzlement, bigotry and gender inequality.
By this time, hopefully the power is back and Quaid will turn on the TV to see something positive going on in his country, but, he’ll find news anchors lambasting the government and portraying a grim picture of Pakistan where everything is in tatters. Country is going downhill. Everyone is accused of sedition. ‘Yahoodi’ and ‘Amreeki’ forces are about to attack us. We are a victim of a global conspiracy aimed to bliterate us because we’re the only savior of Islam in the entire world thus, everyone is against us and the only idea that can save us –according to these anchors- is a bloody revolution or another martial law while going into never-ending debates over the merits and demerits of Democracy .
Fed up with all this he’ll decide to go out and get an idea of things by himself.
He’ll visit the local government school –if any- and will see the future of his country studying in miserable conditions. The edifice of school will be deprived of basic facilities. The curriculum taught to those pupils will bewilder him and the plight of those kids will somber him.
Upon arriving to a government hospital, he’ll see a whole new plethora of agony and misery; destitute patients being left to suffer. With no facility and seeing the adversity they’re subjected to, it’ll be really hard for him to control his tears.
He’ll go to the courts demanding justice for the wrongdoings of the current hierarchy and witness people spending ages to get justice. He’ll see generations pursuing a case of land or inheritance. He’ll be appalled by the pace of justice. “Justice delayed is Justice denied” the barrister in him might say.
He’ll burry his head in his palms thinking how this country has survived up till now.
He was about to lose hope when he sees an ambulance with Edhi painted on the back. Confused as to who Edhi is he’ll go find out. He’ll come across Edhi centre at MithaDar where he’ll come to know about the selfless Abdul Sattar Edhi and the philanthropic work carried out by him.
His hope is rekindled a bit.
In his quest for positives, he’ll come to know about Dr. Adeeb Rizvi and his hospital. He’ll also know about Malala and late Arfa Karim.
His hope is rejuvenated.
He’ll get to know more about the brighter aspects of his country.
Learning about all the sacrifices the people of his country have made along with armed forces as well as other law enforcement agencies, which might swell up his chest with pride and make him feel confident about the spirits of his people and their zeal to protect their nation.
He’ll see the hardworking people, the daily wage workers working tirelessly to contribute to the development of their country.
The poor hawkers and vendors, working in sweltering heat to earn a respected livelihood all trying to be better citizens of the country and earn Halal Rizq.
By the time it’s evening.
He’ll start his journey back to his mausoleum. He might go back filled with hope, he might be disgruntled. While most things would have disappointed him, some might have filled him with hope.
Maybe he’ll turn back and say, “Pakistan Ka Allah he Hafiz hai” (Only God is the savior of Pakistan).
The writer tweets @yosoymoiz