By Rehan Ali
Does Adolf Hitler ring a bell? Historian and analysts attribute his rise and fame to the geopolitical situation facing Germany. Hitler found Germany in a social and political mess, infighting for power and control of parliament was the only goal of each faction, with the military holding the system together. The economy was in shambles and people found it extremely difficult to make their ends meet, life was very harsh for them. On the global front communism was gaining currency and posed a severe threat to the German elite, the rich exorbitant and industrialists. Hitler exploited these long term factors through propaganda, the terror of his storm-troopers, and the brilliance of his speeches.
Invoking a sense of nationalism, providing economical solutions and offering a common enemy and scapegoat for the situation (Jews) Hitler instantly found mass appeal for his fascist agenda. The vicious little man with a program of hatred became an overnight hero. His rhetoric transformed Germany from a failed state to a super power but for what? The country went to war killed in millions and eventually was shared as a trophy by the allied armies. The visionary of great Germany ended up enslaving and separating its people, as the country was divided into East and West Germany. Adolf Hitler wrote the worst chapter of human history.
History repeats itself and the best part of this repeat episode of history is that it is happening around us, or was happening around us prior to 23rd March. , Taliban being a immediate worry for the Pakistani elite, control of parliament being the sole objective of political factions, social uproar, military ensuring continuity of the current system, the common enemy and scapegoat (America, Israil and India), and economic failure attributed to capitalism read Zionism. Our youth were given the right mix of ingredients to ensure they get a high out of it. A nicely formulated dose of nationalism and pan Islamism, using Iqbal as a cover, nicely wrapped in glamor.
The biggest chink in the armor, a sense of lost ideology and direction, Zaid preyed on this fact through a well orchestrated turn of events. Narrating stories of Muslims’ greatness and with promises of regaining them he excelled on their deprivations and a common hatred for America, Israil, India, corrupt politicians, misplaced priorities and a general lack of nationhood. All these are real factors, as was the case with Germany, but why are we making the same mistake which the Germans did and paid dearly.
To a previous post I received many a comments, but one comment stands out and warrants sharing. “We seem to have a massive inferiority complex, and need to (be) victimized by the rest of the world. WE judge our importance by listing all the countries and agencies that are screwing with us! Honorable Hamid is giving everyone a way to intensify these feelings by situating us at the centre of the world and offering people a destination, a path towards an awesome victory that we desperately need!! Sensationalism always trumps pragmatism! But in the long run, once we pay the unthinkable cost of all these violent rhetoric, hopefully sanity will prevail” adds the commentator.
Agreed! There is no such thing as a free lunch, the outlined destination bears a (great) price and being in the center of the world, to an adolescent mind, is priceless. But what this war phallic is leading us is a massacre; we will find our selves in the center of the world only to be pounced upon from all directions. He talks about invading India at a time when our forces are engaged in a war on the western front. We are fighting pockets, which are funded yes I would not negate by the anti Pakistan forces. They are hitting our urban centers, killing civilians in large numbers.
Every sane person let alone scholars is praying for peace, even the ISAF forces in Afghanistan are negotiating an end to war. Yet our Honorable defense analyst/economic expert/historian/religious scholar wants to wage a war. So, why is Zaid given so much room to engage in public speaking, who is he working for? Why would such a controversial figure be hired? He advocates Iqbaliat, nishat e sania and Khilafat e Rashdiya, than why are all reputable and respected religious scholars wary of him? He considers the “mission” to be grandeur than why he doesn’t end this huge controversy by condemning a blasphemer. From the turn of events, starting from his 58 minute clarity on Yousuf Kazzab, following observations can be drawn.
He tries to create a distance between youth and mainstream religious scholars by fuelling nationalist sentiments in them and exploiting the differences amongst various masaliks (schools of thoughts). He invokes in them a sense of superiority, nationality and succeeds in his agenda by creating confusion through fabricating a web of lies all stemming from true and objective facts. This agenda is nothing new and its footprints tracked back to early colonial rule in the subcontinent. Tried and failed many times earlier, this is no major threat, although it cannot be neglected or ignored.
Is it all this explicit or there is something else in store for us? Was this whole theatrical staged for eliminating trust amongst the youth, to kill their hope, to make them averse to ideas of change and revival? “Frankly speaking I don’t care what happens, ye kachray ka dhair hai, kachra hi rahayga! (It’s a pile of rubbish and will remain so) Don’t get it why people become so optimistic that this time the country will be lead to glory” questions Samreen, not her real name, while discussing the saga that has unfolded in front of her. She is not alone and is part of a sizeable group who feel dejected at being taken advantage of. “They come and give splendid speeches, talk about revival, esteem and above all a sense of pride, a few yards down the road their not so desirous identities are revealed” grieves Raheel, not his real name either.
Samreen and Raheel are not isolated rather represent a great majority of Pakistani youth, irritated by yet another broken trust, another false promise. Astonishingly, they did not even belong to any of the two camps. They constitute a general discontented, disappointed, disgruntled and frustrated youth, feeling being used and taken advantage of. Emotions in the pro camp are even worse and understandably so. The anti camp thinks they have won or have they? Have they really achieved anything, if so, than what and what do they propose to do with it? Stop whining people! Pull yourself together and for the anti camp, your job is not to stop or expose a certain Zaid Hamid, rather work towards eliminating prejudices, preferences, biases and divides which people such as these exploit to their advantage. Develop a fellowship of rationale thinkers, direct your focus towards root causes, Zaid is a symptom and not the disease, lets use this platform for awakening our youth so that such events are prevented.
Remember, Zaid did only what we (youth) allowed him to do; we allowed him access to control our minds. We followed his rhetoric and now that things have cleared we are on the lookout for a scapegoat. It is about time that we start taking responsibility for our actions; we need a brighter, stronger and prosperous Pakistan. Our love for this motherland will make it happen, what we need to resolve this year is that we will not follow fallacies; we will abide by laws, rules and procedures laid out in the constitution. We love our motherland and if need be we will defend it with all that we can muster. I’m hopeful that there is light at the end of our tunnel, Surah Al e Imran, verse 54, “And (the unbelievers) plotted and planned, and God too planned, and the best of planners is God”.