Original Articles

Holier-than-thou Middle-Class and Anna Hazare Phenomenon -by Suleman Akhtar

Anna Hazare is personification of holier-than-thou middle class morality that aspires to see every seed blossoming overnight, despite being outright apolitical. The dilemma of middle class is that it holds the moral grounds of Jesus and fantasizes about the ideals of Marx while being socially and morally slave of Laissez-faire and Mussolini, and this state of quandary doesn’t seem to come to an end any time soon.

Much has been speculated about the self-styled Gandhian social activist cum anti-corruption campaigner Baburao Hazare popularly known as Anna Hazare. Emphasis, primarily on electronic media, has been laid upon his ‘morally correct’ standpoint against the unscrupulous corruption of political class of country without giving much weightage to the details and possible ramifications of his proposed plan. The media pundits who are self-assigned flag bearers of middle-class holier-than-thou morality are out there to predict a Gandhian revolution against the evils of society epitomized by corrupt politicians.

Let’s take a look to a poll conducted by CNN-IBN across the country before jumping the gun.

“In the CNN-IBN State of the Nation poll across 19 states and 20,000 respondents, it was found that only one third of Indians have heard about the Jan Lokpal Bill and only one fourth have any idea what the bill is about. So the Anna Hazare movement could well be one based mainly in the TV viewing educated urban middle class.”

Just for the sake of making it more vivid, The Jan Lokpal Bill (Citizens’ Ombudsman Bill) is a proposed anti-corruption law in India aims to effectively deter corruption, redress grievances of citizens and protect whistle-blowers.  If made into law, the bill would create an independent ombudsman body similar to Election Commission of India called the Lokpal. It would be empowered to register and investigate complaints of corruption against politicians and bureaucrats without prior government approval.

Following is the most basic and simple question that has been overlooked amidst this whole hullabaloo of demonization of ‘corrupt politicians’.

It presumes that a multitude of Lokpals/Lokayuktas will cover about 14 million Central and state government employees. Assuming a modest figure of one complaint per 100 employees, we may have around 140,000 employees investigated every year. These complaints are to be investigated in a fixed time. Even if one Lokpal can handle 100 cases a year, we will still need 1,400 Lokpals. Are we creating a structure parallel to the higher judiciary, but with much greater powers, and very little checks and balance? Anna assumes that all these Lokpals will be most honest, efficient and just. This itself is absurd in an environment where civil society doubts almost all those in elective office — even chief justices and military chiefs.” –Source

But to some, Lokpals would surely be honest and free of corruption by the virtue of associating with ‘civil society’ that is apotheosis of ‘high moral grounds’ of middle-class.

The phenomenon has led to resonating some waves across the border in Pakistan where the plight of middle class is not so different than its counterpart in India. In fact, middle-class around the world is similar in its outlook that is conservative, self-righteous and apolitical to the core and Pakistani middle-class is no exception rather worst owing to the perpetual military reigns and de-politicization policies of state. On the other hand, the narrative of middle-class is necessarily considered as the popular narrative given that the media is controlled by the persons who socio-economically fall in the category of this class, irrespective of the fact that ground realities are often different from that propagated ones.

An ADB report on Asia’s rising middle class confirms that Pakistan’s middle class now is 40% of the population, significantly larger than the Indian middle class of about 25% of its population.  In 2007, Standard Chartered Bank analysts and SBP estimated there were 30 to 35 million Pakistanis earning an average of $10,000 a year. Of these, about 17 million are in the upper and upper middle class, according to a recent report. This emerging class predominately consists of retailers, wholesalers, transporters, contractors, and white-collar workers in civil as well as military bureaucracy. Being the resourceful ones this is the trader community of urban Punjab and Sindh who donates billion of rupees to the Jihadi outfits every year and shies away from paying the taxes despite having the high morality ground for other half of society especially for political elite.

Though the biggest consumers of multinationals’ products, the Pakistani middle class is plagued with the syndrome of conspiracy theories culture and self-created illusions that emanate from Hindu/Jew/US hatred and narcissist tendencies, and lead to further radicalization. This rapid change in social outlook can be observed in some cricketers and musicians who have emerged as sole torch-bearers of religion. Detached from the popular mass politics this class believes in more centralized federation, in spite of recognizing the diversity, that may protect its socio-economic interests –be it military dictatorship or bureaucracy. This authoritative attitude, at times, paves the way for fascist tendencies that may be observed in MQM who proclaims to be the party of middle class of Sindh. One may easily observe the venom against the corrupt politicians in the morality sermons of this class but on the other hand there would hardly be a hint of corruption in military / civil bureaucracy or of corporate sector.

As for the political movements, in the post cold war scenario, middle-class can never carry political movements for too long owing to the contradictions of its economic interests and apolitical traits. At the end of the day, these surges are destined to fell prey in the hands of far-right that seize the moment by hijacking the zeal. The most glaring example in this regard, as for Pakistan, is the fate of so-called movement for restoration of judiciary. This is the same judiciary that once was beacon of hope, has gone overboard in giving the clean chit to convicted terrorists and publically castigating the notion of secularism whilst undermining the supremacy of elected Parliament. These are the same lawyers who once were pioneers of the movement, have been found showering roses upon self-confessed killer. While this is the high time to raise the voice against despicable verdicts of higher judiciary there’s a deafening silence among the ranks of this class implying it is least bothered about the decisions and their implications.

Anna Hazare is personification of holier-than-thou middle class morality that aspires to see every seed blossoming overnight, despite being outright apolitical. The dilemma of middle class is that it holds the moral grounds of Jesus and fantasizes about the ideals of Marx while being socially and morally slave of Laissez-faire and Mussolini, and this state of quandary doesn’t seem to come to an end any time soon.

 

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  • Well, I read about Anna Hazare over Internet after watching news on media. I formed an opinion that Anna was not a newly injected person in the news feeds, but he started correction of societal evils since 1978. From a very low level, i.e. from his own village, he brought revolutionary changes which might seem impossible at the beginning, but proved successful later which includes Prohibition on alcohol, establishment of Grain Bank, Watershed development programme, Milk production, development of school, Removal of untouchability, Collective marriages, amendments in Gram Sabha Act (SOURCE – WIKIPEDIA)

    These all are related to his own village, implemented with the support of villagers. I can say he brought revolution in the village.

    And about the current Lokpal Bill movement, I don’t see any harm in it. Careful reading will reveal that only those will fear about it who are involved in corruption. Just like in so called democracy, the power of people is vested in the political representative via elections, that bill will seek to elect key public figures who will keep check on the politicians mainly besides other checks over administrative functions of the government. Whats wrong with that thinking?? People want a change! Since you are democratic parties, it was always your duty to respect the masses demands. 😛

    Being in Pakistan, and being a devoted PPP worker (I don’t know you but apparantely only JIYALAAs are the bloggers here), you must have the power to ask your (yes they are not my) ministers, some of the following questions:
    1. Who are behind all this current killing wave in Karachi?2. What is stopping your ministers to take action against them?
    3. Why party is keen to keep Mr. Butt to f**k Pakistani cricket despite the wide public protests?
    4. Why PPP ministers put B.B. and family’s picture on their sides while giving interviews instead of putting Quaid-e-Azam’s pictures?
    5. Why Rehman Malik have to come to Karachi to stop target killing?? (I am rightful to think he has contacts with the killers and he REQUESTS them to stop and they suddenly stop!!!! This is very strange, yet a success for a JIYAALA! Isn’t it??)
    6. When will Mr. Manzoor Wassan stop dreaming and take some serious action? (A dreamer interior minister is a joke, really! Believe me)
    7. Considering the recent killing of Sarfaraz Shah, do your ministers think rangers are not capable of stopping terrorists in Karachi? If yes, kindly remove them from the city. If no, have your ministers asked rangers why can’t they see terrorism going on in front of them?
    8. How they are still sitting on ministers’ seats?? (The most difficult question to answer for a ghaiyrat-mand insaan!!)
    9. Does name changing of Nawabshah, Islamabad Int Airport, and likes really represent Awami khuwahishaats?? How these steps will fill their hunger?
    10. Can we rely on ministers who claims and reclaims we will get loadshedding-free Pakistan? On those who say PML(Q) qatil league, and later they become part of alliance?

    These are very basic questions every one is asking. I, being a common man, if not satisfied, will seek some Anna Hazare in Pakistan too, and believe me, every body is fed up of this government. Thats why you are hearing people demanding Army.
    Your government has failed to bring reforms in Pakistan except x,y, z amendments on which they are very proud. This government makes joke of judiciary (apparently your party’s enemy huh!!)

    Save Pakistan by thinking above your party level and think as Pakistani. Only then you can save Pakistan.

  • This is one of the most insightful and fresh pieces that I have come across. Suleman has brilliantly juxtaposed cross border trends that cannot be ignored. Thank you for writing this!

  • Great piece Suleman :). Thoroughly enjoyed it and keep’em coming our way :).

  • Excellent work Mr.Suleman.

    @Rehan farhat: You very rightly said you are just a common man, and even if you wouldnt have mentioned that it was pretty obvious because unfortunately in our country a common man can be defined as someone who stops to make use of his brain. The questions raised by you and the allegations raised by you about the writer not only show your narrow mentality but also tell us that just like others you watch stupid media shows all day, which are biased and form your opinion without once even make use of your brain.

    If our nation is to ever progress, stop asking this idiotic questions, we have come beyond the point to discuss, if PPP is corrupt or Nawaz Sharif is corrupt or whther Altaf Hussain is a mass murderer, or whether Imran Khan is a messiah, leave aside Zia-ul-Haq and Musharraf
    (coz nobody possess the right to question or criticize the Bloody Royals – Pakistan Army). From Top-to-toe this entire nation is corrupt.

    If there is any solution to end the miseries of this country, start asking for the only and the right question.
    “EDUCATION”.

  • @Rehan, it was a pity that your post which started out well ended in the typical bourgeoisie hot air. How do you think that the Crore Commandos of our Pak Fauj and the corrupt judges and their Taliban apologist Imran Khan will bring about accoutability?

  • @ Suleman Akhtar.
    Please note that in many Indian states, statelevel lokpal already working. The proposed Janlokpal bill (or government version lokpal) covers the Central political establishment and central government employees only. If Janlokpal passed, surely it sends a clear warning signal to political establishment including Prime Minister, Judiciary and central government employs the consequence of being caught. This surely reduce corruption by half because of swift resolutions and long jail terms for the guilty.

    The main reason the corruption rampant in India because of delayed verdict (usually courts may take not less than 15 to 20 years to give verdict). In many cases the accused already reached fag end of life while going to jail. Janlokpal surely avoids such absurd situations.

  • @Sulieman,
    You have cover a good dimension. Great Work.
    @Rehan:
    I thought for a second not to reply you. because what you are saying is an opinion of most of irresponsible and profit-oriented anti-govt news channels. People with such closed mind approach just think of momentarily thoughts injected-in which are mostly negative, think of only problems and not solutions.
    look for only feeded dimension and not think of some other possible dimensions. My note does not contains answers of your questions but some comments with some other perspective.

    1. Who are behind all this current killing wave in Karachi?

    Ans: Do you know the answer? Name it? your later question targets PPP or Rehman Malik. Later you yourself said that he stopped such killing by visiting Karachi. I wonder how PPP or Malik Sb. is a trigger for such state in Karachi. Rather than showing a respect and thanks to a PPP Jiyala and his influential skills, you just pick the dark and incorrect sides. See Karachi is a place of conflicting interests of many social classes. Migration from Tribal Areas make it more complex. We cannot stop such immigration, because every culture of Pakistan always show hospitality to migrants whether it is case of partition, Aghan-Russia War or latest war on terror. I can see that its only PPP that can take all sides on table to talk and resolve such actions. PPP already took a big risk in solving such state of Karachi. I hope this will be resulted in a calculated risk.

    2. What is stopping your ministers to take action against them?

    Ans: if such Action means Army action, It will have more worst effects and it evolve more hate.
    If such Action means police and intelligence activities, then it is taken by it shall be supported by active and fearless Judiciary. But they are symbols of passivism at that levels and in such regard.

    3. Why party is keen to keep Mr. Butt to f**k Pakistani cricket despite the wide public protests?

    Ans: Mr. Butt was a key member of Cricket since Shakoor Rana case with English Captain. Its Not Mr. Butt, infact if you see history of Pakistan cricket team members since 99 Worldcup, its the irresponsible and uneducated nature of our cricketers who always make our nation ashamed by their actions, comments and activities.

    4. Why PPP ministers put B.B. and family’s picture on their sides while giving interviews instead of putting Quaid-e-Azam’s pictures?

    Ans: Normally its a kind of administrative error or media coordinator’s carelessness. It happens in some sessions that Quaid-e-Azam picture wasn’t shown on some venue but it was a mistake. No one should take it seriously. Displaying B.B. Shaheed and family pictures is not new in any party culture. It is a universal phenomena, every supporter has right to display his/ her ideals, i.e., see our Indian counter parts. I was shamefully surprised to see Zia and Ayub pictures on media campaigns 15-20 years before. Those who followed them in their past, rejected them later. It is the sacrifice of Bhutto’s that keep them alive.

    5. Why Rehman Malik have to come to Karachi to stop target killing?? (I am rightful to think he has contacts with the killers and he REQUESTS them to stop and they suddenly stop!!!! This is very strange, yet a success for a JIYAALA! Isn’t it??)

    Ans: Again PPP gave their maximum sacrifice by opting for local govt. ordinance. We just did it because we want peace otherwise it would be a disaster sooner or later. We should be realist and should know that Pashtuns, Muhajir, Sindhis have their own political mass in their respective constituencies. As a sole federal political party of Pakistan, we cannot ignore it. Again I admire Rehman Malik for his efforts in this regard. But situation is much more grave in those areas.

    6. When will Mr. Manzoor Wassan stop dreaming and take some serious action? (A dreamer interior minister is a joke, really! Believe me)
    Ans: He is doing exactly what he needs to do. I hope he will soften the situation at all sides. I think he is opted by our leadership as an alternative approach comparing to Mirza Sb. Good Luck.

    7. Considering the recent killing of Sarfaraz Shah, do your ministers think rangers are not capable of stopping terrorists in Karachi? If yes, kindly remove them from the city. If no, have your ministers asked rangers why can’t they see terrorism going on in front of them?

    Ans: Unfortunately such incidents are not an exception in any society. You just watch UK riots in recent days. And karachi situation is much worst for last many years. And also our irresponsible media covers it in a way which only propagate violence only. How many times the video of martyring 16 Pakistani handcuffed soldiers was shown by them to raise the sentiments against Taliban.

    8. How they are still sitting on ministers’ seats?? (The most difficult question to answer for a ghaiyrat-mand insaan!!)

    Ans: What is the relation between an elected minister and an individual ranger’s momentarily reaction against a suspect? Even none of the minister didnt participate in protecting such criminals. How many resigned for illegal shooting of Mark Duggan in UK.

    9. Does name changing of Nawabshah, Islamabad Int Airport, and likes really represent Awami khuwahishaats?? How these steps will fill their hunger?

    Ans: No it does not and we do not rate them as such. PPP has completed 40+ months, the biggest achievement of PPP is that a common person can have some belief on the value of his vote and his choice. We are now able to know that the parliament that we have elected may have skills to complete their term. They have the ability to surpass the test of times. We should give time the rightful to the Parliament to see the true benefits of democracy.

    10. Can we rely on ministers who claims and reclaims we will get loadshedding-free Pakistan? On those who say PML(Q) qatil league, and later they become part of alliance?

    Ans: As an important and the key political party, PPP know that resolving the electricity crises is the focal-point to get people support in 2013 elections. I hope and believe that we will overcome much part of it before elections. or laid down foundations to resolve this ignorant sector dated back 97-2007.
    Our alliance with PML-Q shows the patience and wisdom of PPP leadership, their keenness of not derailing the political institution that is in its infant stage after the great sacrifice of B.B Shaheed. By the way, it is the reconcilliation policy of current govt. that recalled and wished to have PML-N also in a national coallation govt even they were the true heirs of the killer of Bhutto Shaheed.

  • @KMR Overseas
    Thank-you sir for pointing this out. I already am aware of the Lokayuktas currently functioning in many states of India. I also have the privilege of studying some parts of report proposed by Morarji Desai in 1966 to redress the grievances of populace. Can you please enlighten me to what extent these Lokayuktas have proved successful in getting rid of ‘rampant corruption’ let alone on state level?
    Nonetheless, the rationale of this post was not to discuss the technical details of proposed bill but just to highlight the attitude of a certain class of society that believes in ‘my way or highway’ resolve by fasting unto death. I have just tried to draw an analogy between the very class on both sides of border where one half, of course Pakistani one, is more allergic to parliamentary rule and selectively castigates the political class while keeping mum on other institutions.
    And for corruption, I don’t think these are delayed verdicts which are main reason of it. I will just put Lenin’s words “One cannot live in society and be free from society”.

  • Dear Omer Memon,

    Your comment “a common man can be defined as someone who stops to make use of his brain” shows how you think about your self. If a Jiyala don’t consider himself as a common man, how can I expect our leaders to think and act for common man.

    “If our nation is to ever progress, stop asking this idiotic questions,” I guess these are not idiotic questions, but these are the questions you will never wanna answer SATISFACTORILY.

    “If there is any solution to end the miseries of this country, start asking for the only and the right question.“EDUCATION”.”
    I just heard “Education”?? The same education our government wants to prosper by devolving HEC? You can justify it here like your fellow Adeel Akbar tried above, but you guys need to think for Pakistan, not for your leaders and parties. Please. I don’t belong to any party. If I can see, feel, smell, hear and taste your government’s good deeds, you will definitely hear good things from me.

    “(coz nobody possess the right to question or criticize the Bloody Royals – Pakistan Army).”
    If your army is bloody, you can invite Americans to protect you. They can serve you better. But the point is your politicians made army their own weakness. Its your own fault. You can refer Turkey’s recent example. Your leaders lack the basic guts man. Think about it.

    And I am again sorry to tell you I do use my brain well Masha Allah, and forms my opinion far above the cock fighting shows. Thanks for responding by the way. 😀

  • Dear Adeel Akbar,

    I am very pleased to have your reply against my ALLEGATIONS.

    I am again sorry for not qualifying for your kind response.
    “I thought for a second not to reply you. because what you are saying is an opinion of most of irresponsible and profit-oriented anti-govt news channels. People with such closed mind approach just think of momentarily thoughts injected-in which are mostly negative, think of only problems and not solutions.
    look for only feeded dimension and not think of some other possible dimensions.

    I guess only responsible TV channel is PTV for you guys which shows “all is well” “all is well” all the time. Though i hate GEO TV and the talk shows airing on pvt channels, but one thing is obvious, they all show you the bad face of your government. I have a detailed discussion with one of your other writer about the role of media and i m convinced that media is not covering your good deeds too well.

    Just like MQM has lost all respect by keep jumping in and out of alliance, your party lost the same by including Qaf League. How can I belief a person who says one thing and next day denied it.

    You can term it as “the alliance shows the patience and wisdom of PPP leadership, their keenness of not derailing the political institution that is in its infant stage after the great sacrifice of B.B Shaheed. By the way, it is the reconciliation policy of current govt. that recalled and wished to have PML-N also in a national collation govt even they were the true heirs of the killer of Bhutto Shaheed.” But fact will remain fact. Its even a joke for your masum voters that you took votes in the name of BB, and later shake-hands with the murderer. (Mr. Zardari’s speech is on net about qatil league). This is not wisdom dear sir, this is dirty politics. Y should I believe your leaders? Call me brainless or pessimist, I won’t mind (Since I don’t own a brain lol!)

    For the Mr. Butt case,
    “Its Not Mr. Butt, infact if you see history of Pakistan cricket team members since 99 Worldcup, its the irresponsible and uneducated nature of our cricketers who always make our nation ashamed by their actions, comments and activities. ”

    So you mean if there are good team players, ( who will definitely have to obey Uncle Butt,) then cricket will flourish?? Sir you are current owners of Pakistan, what you say is right! Aam admi ki kon sunta hai waisay bhi. 😛

    In the last, your following comment:

    “PPP has completed 40+ months, the biggest achievement of PPP is that a common person can have some belief on the value of his vote and his choice. We are now able to know that the parliament that we have elected may have skills to complete their term. They have the ability to surpass the test of times. We should give time the rightful to the Parliament to see the true benefits of democracy.”

    You can print 40 month progress report and put it in front of people. Again the test of times is that how your government responded to on going alliance breaking problem. And 40 months are enough to see the benefits in short run.

  • In the end, I would like to share what I have observed from LUBP’s posts and comments:

    1. You have good faith in your leaders. (A very good trait of a group)
    2. Pak Army, Judiciary is corrupted and your biggest enemy.
    3. You guys try to Justify the acts of government by any means. (that shows loyalty to party)
    4. You guys think every one who thinks different from you are brainless creatures, always willing to demolish the infant baby democracy.
    5. Your blog lacks responses from the other side of people.- (its an observation, merey peechay nahi parr jana please :P)
    6. I can see party, party, party and party every where. No Pakistan. (again an observation which you guys will definitely deny)
    7. Your above mentioned behavior will distract other peoples (not belonging to your clan) and discourage them to put their response and in the end, you will be discussing stuff among yourselves only. (a trait of a closed group)

  • Hi Maula Bux Thadani,

    From your comment, it appears that middle class don’t posses a brain at all (“ended in the typical bourgeoisie hot air.”) Please meet some literate middle class persons. Don’t hear the pan khoka wala’s commentary.

    If Core commanders, corrupt judges and Imran khan can’t bring accountability, I guess Mr. Zardari will definitely bring it.
    Thanks for the response any way.

  • ANd kindly Rehman Malik se guzarish hai App karachi mai he rehna start kardayn. Karachi k logo pe bht bara ehsaan hoga. Bht duaeen milaingi Insha ALLAH!

  • It is a misconception that Jan Lok Pal will result in speedy trials and punishments of corrupt persons. Because strangely the Jan Lok Pal Bill, even as mooted by Anna Hazare, does not vest Jan Lok Pal with any adjudicatory powers, but the Lok Pal would have to place the records before the already existing courts; of course provision is sought to be made that the cases should be disposed of expeditiously. But which special law does not have such provisions and which law is working? Industrial Disputes Act provides for resolution of industrial disputes within 6 months and if a worker is dismissed, then within 3 months. But which dispute is accordingly resolved. IDs are pending since many years in all courts. Writ Petitions under the extraordinary jurisdiction of High Courts are pending or deliberately left pending for decades! So whichever law you make it depends on the persons working it. Jan Lok Pal as envisaged is a good idea but vesting it with too wide jurisdiction and powers as desired by Anna Hazare and with no adjudicatory powers strangely is very bad. Prime Minister is the de facto head of state in India and he cannot be made answerable to Lok Pal. Of course he is not above rule of law and even under the existing law, in extreme cases of serious allegations, he is constrained to resign and there is room in law to prosecute even with presidential sanction. But it should be left there and likewise judiciary should never be brought under Lok Pal. Actually Ombudsmen in developed West generally or only deal with civil servants and even there I am informed rely more on counselling and persuasive consultations.

  • Omer memon
    Who is being idiotic?
    You as an individual may have gone the beyound the point of discussion but WE,the rest of nation have not.

    We will continure to state that PPP leadership is corrupt to the core and what is worse that it and its jiyals are a bunch of shameless lot.

  • Actually the truth is , they ( LUBP Jiyalas ) are themselves screwing their party image.Rather than having a national approach they are more concentrated on ethnic lines,which is harmful for PPP.At the moment if there is any support left for PPP it is either around Garhee Khuda Buksh or Bilawal house and ofcourse http://criticalppp.com

  • @Rehan farhat
    @ZAB

    First of all I would like to inform you that I’m not a Jiyala, I do not support any political party at all. Secondly, I have not said that PPP is not corrupt, everry single governement has been corrupt in our history, some have done smart corruption, others such as PPP are shameless and do it openly, but not just governements, we all as a nation are corrupt – so lets admit it. And most importantly, look around the globe no country is free from corruption, even the developed states. Controlling corrruption is no doubt important but that is not the soultion to our nation’s problems.

    The Right Question : Education, I am not saying that this Governement has done anything at all for improving the state of education in this country. Not even their predecessors did anything nor do their successors intend to do any such thing. and until and unless that doesnt happen, this country is going nowhere, so it doesnt make a difference who is on the Crown.

    I hope you understand my point of view now.

    Ohhh and yes, hahahhaahhh !!! matters such as military, judiciary or asking America to invade, or HEC, or world politics. hahahhahaha… All I can say is you are funny, so lets not talk about that.

  • @Omer Memon

    You sound very dishearted. You are young Pakistani and you have liability to keep your spirits high. If you think education is important aspect then discussing corruption corruption game, let me introduce to a man. His name is Master Ayuub Khan.

    All LUBPians, have a look at him. Such persons are real hope for prosper Pakistan, not these filthy politicians.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqvzH2zwp5o&feature=player_embedded

    Omer, you can take a step and start teaching a boy / girl, engaged in child labor, to make a difference. (May be you have already taught many, but i am just suggesting. And remember, the whole nation is not corrupt. There are many, but not all who are involved in corruption. Kindly correct your information. 😀 CHeers

  • If I may but in.

    Education is not just reading few books in school and university. It is a complete way of life. Just to say that entire world is corrupt still does not justify the current goverment of Pakistan being corrupt. It is in my opinion the duty of the goverment to EDUCATE the masses not to be corrupt and how would it do it? Take the first step itself and stop being corrupt and I can gaurantee that 99% of the population will follow.

    I have often heard PPP leaders giving this argument in thier defence” Ah but previous governments have been corrupt as well….” Even some minister stated that it was PPP’s right to corrupt things. What I cannot understand that why this goverment cannot stop being corrupt so that it can set a good example for the future governments?

  • “This rapid change in social outlook can be observed in some cricketers and musicians who have emerged as sole torch-bearers of religion. Detached from the popular mass politics this class believes in more centralized federation, in spite of recognizing the diversity, that may protect its socio-economic interests –be it military dictatorship or bureaucracy.”

    Well said , Suleman .

  • @ rehan Farhat
    Well I not only respect this person, but I salute him for the noble work he is doing. and I know of many such other people who are working in such manner. Master Ayub is undoubtedly a HERO.

    I am dishearted but I havent lost hope, but its really so sad to see when this nation is lulled in matters that make a difference, and they can only be lulled when they dont realise the impotance of it. On the other hand, they are fooled into matters of one’s choice, the media has become an active part of politics and runs the show according to its will, to further its agendas. The issues that really matter are never touched upon.

    It will take much more than indiviuals to educate masses, the education system needs to be re-structured. The syllabus needs to revised and corrected, and all the lies that have been taught regarding history or other subjects need to be corrected. So stop wasting time on matters such as cooruption, bcoz whoever sits on the throne will do it, hence ask the right Question.
    (I think its again getting too much for you so I’ll stop here)

    Ohh and yes !!! The military, judiciary, bueraucracy, politicians, police, media …. … … (the list continues), right from the clerk level to highest rank, but not all are corrupt. Hmmm !!! Okay !!! Lets say 99% who get the oppurtunity are corrupt.. Happy now… hehehehhe… you seriously are funny, and I have corrected my information. Please do let me know if my info. is incorrect may be its not 99%, its 98.7%, I’m not sure. hehehhehe… unforunately, Apart from a handful of few honest man left in this country all are corrupt.
    (I’m not trying to justify corruption, all I am trying to say is stop looking at shortcuts in buildind a nation)

  • Excellent post Sulaiman. The point remains that Corruption is an excellent rallying point. If one reads the impact of Anna Hazare type campaign on India, please find out from the indian investors and builders and developers. They are scared of the scenario where this grows into too much noise and investment retreats!!!

  • @ZAB
    I’m confused, are you trying to say that PPP people are heroes, bcoz One only follows if he is insipered by someone or looks upto to them as their HERO. Is that what you meant? ehhhheheheh… The day you will start thinking about this country as your own, you will give up this thinking, bcoz when someone throws rubbish in your house, you dont repeat that act, and continue it hoping the other person will stop.

    I have never justified corruption, or defended anyone for being corrupt, I am only trying to make the point that you said yourself that masses should be educated by Government, but stop expecting they will do any good for you until you push them, so start asking the right question.

  • @Omer Memon

    Kindly search Master Ayub on google, have a look at the man, and start at the grass root level of disseminating education to some poor child like him. That’s how you will help educating Pakistan.

  • Omer Memon

    Please join me in saying that DOwn with the corrupt PPP leaders and its members who do not do anything about its leadership.

  • @ZAB
    DOwn with “corrupt” PPP leaders and Its members, and down with all others as well who are corrupt.

  • I was with suleman akhtar, mostly, as I read the article, though I had some reservations. But when I got to this part, it struck me that Suleman Akhtar is both ignorant and arrogant about his opinions. It would help him to learn before opening his mouth quite so wide.

    This bit that disgusted me:

    “Anna Hazare is personification of holier-than-thou middle class morality that aspires to see every seed blossoming overnight, despite being outright apolitical.”

    It is apparent that Akhtar hasn’t got a clue about what counts as middle class in india. The people who sport ipads and drive the latest hondas are at the upper fringe of the Indian middle class, but are not representative of the middle class. The true middle class is what these people would consider as lower class. And this class of people is HUGE. and they are deeply disaffected with their powerlessness in the face of the state that wields soviet levels of power of everything.

    The poorest classes are certainly disconnected from this middle class sentiment because theirs is a much more basic struggle, but Akhtar’s dismissal of the middle class that numbers perhaps twice as much as pakistan’s entire population STANK of ignorance.

    When I went to the protest site at 3am, I saw thousands of people, none of whom looked deserving of the venom and vitriol that Akhtar has heaped on them. They were sleeping in the dirt, many without even a sheet or a pillow under them, in the crushing delhi monsoon heat without fans or any comfort. There were people who had travelled from far away states, one who couldn’t speak english but was quoting kennedy (ask not….). There are people there who have come because they can’t do anything to change the oppression of corrupt and all powerful government but they CAN go show support to the cause.

    Salt of the earth kind of people.

    For Suleman akhtar to write off these millions, their sentiments and their will to protest as “personification of holier-than-thou middle class morality that aspires to see every seed blossoming overnight, ” tells me that Suleman Akhtar is not informed enough to comment on India.

    There is a further point here. That Suleman Akhtar has failed to recognize that the Indian middle class is the 400 million people who take buses to work or carry their entire families on motorcycles or live 8-people-to-a-2-room apartment, and not the prosperous whose standard of living counts as middle class in the most developed countries.

    To write off these people, and their angst and their determination to support the cause of ending the government being a super powerful agency that only works for people who can pay, as holier than thou self righteousness is shocking both in its ignorance and the unjustified certitude that the author feels in making pronouncements about things he is quite ignorant of.

    I wonder if Suleman Akhtar is of the Arundhati Roy breed. Perhaps he is not, but these whackos have grown hateful of the “middle class” anna hazare movement because they resent that the hated “self righteous and apolitical” middle class is successfully staking out a space in the socio-political discourse. Their world order depends on protest for reform being a monopoly of the fringe far left and the constituencies it has adopted. If these people actually had a brain, they would realize that fighting the arbitrary arrogant thieving nature of the government benefits everyone.

    Suleman Akhtar, in stating that “The dilemma of middle class is that it holds the moral grounds of Jesus and fantasizes about the ideals of Marx while being socially and morally slave of Laissez-faire and Mussolini” reveals himself to be full of donkey dung. These grand pronouncements and juxtapositions may tickle his belly as he pounds them out on his keyboard, but they actual tell of an ignoramus out of touch with the realities that he presumes to comment so imperiously upon.

  • as to the point of whether “fast unto death” is an undemocratic “my way or the highway” kind of bullying, that is a very necessary discussion to have.

    But framing that question in class and class issues context, from a position of jaundiced ignorance at that, renders this piece a complete nonsense.

  • @Harbir Singh Nain

    First off, aside from ‘ignorant’, ‘arrogant’ & ‘full of donkey dung’ denominations, I will tender my apology if by any mean I have agonized the ones associated with the movement or its supporters. But as I have earlier stated that the rationale of this post was aimed at Pakistani half of the very class specifically who is in habit of taking to task only political representatives of masses while turning a blind eye to other institutions who have proved more harmful to society.

    By the holier-than-thou morality connotation I certainly am not of the view that individuals who fall in this category are afflicted with this malady but this is the collective impression that emerges out of selective bashing of political class who somehow has been proved successful in keeping India integrated despite horrendous poverty, and racial, ethnic and on top of that religious disputes vis-à-vis Pakistan where political class has done and sacrificed much to take the impoverished segment of society on board and lessen its miseries.

    I have nothing against the rise of lower or upper middle-class and its strive for deserving socio-political rights as the phenomenon itself epitomizes further maturation of democratic process but this is the attitude, the authoritative one, of movement and media personnel that is giving all the wrong signals to the world and being romanticized here in Pakistan that I found necessary to debunk here at this space where the readership mostly, if not all, belongs to the same class.

    As for Arundhati Roy breed, I myself am critical of making generalizations and paint everything with broad brush strokes through class based analyses but again that is the same selective lynching of political class that instigated me to lay the basis of my thesis on these grounds where self-proclaimed representatives of people i.e. media persons and civil society are hell bent on demonizing the elected representatives by fictitiously distinguishing themselves as a ‘class’ on receiving end. And for juxtapositions of Laissez-faire and Mussolini, IMHO, these aren’t that bad as compared to the ones denominated to ‘corrupt politicians’ i.e demons, ruthless, plunderers etc etc.

    I hope I have made myself clear if I wasn’t earlier.

    Peace*

  • @ Suleman Akhtar
    Sorry for late reply.
    Karnataka state Lokayukta filed a report of corruption & mismanagement last month on Chief-Minister and then CM lost his job and now struggling to get bail to avoid arrest. Lokayuktha report is also subject to government’s approval for prosecution by the court, but in Karnataka the governor cleared Lokayukta to prosecute the ex-Chiefminister. Lokayukta is good but problem is its jurisdiction excludes elected representatives. To hook the elected representatives, Lokayukta have to get government permission, this is another flaw. Further the case goes to courts and there delay too. If Janlokpal implemented it becomes autonomous body. Protesters asking as next step to have Lokayukta with powers similar to Janlokpal. This is what I know in brief.

    It is not ‘my way or highway’ attitude rather The situation is “now or never”. The present UPA government totally corrupt and only in 2G scam the loss estimation is $38 Billion. There are tens of other scams yet to be probed. Corruption in other parties too but their corruption in hundres of crores only(!) because they have not much power and also Congress blackmail them to have lion’s share. Autonomous Janlokpal would destroy the Congress (note my prediction) because if the bill implemented, many heads will roll including Sonia Ghandhi. Sonia’s(Congress) share in 2G alone estimated roughly 38000crores.
    The movement no more attributable to middle class.