When we say that our society is being plagued with all sorts of institutional, personal and economic evils, we essentially look forward to a revolution. Revolution, unlike evolution, is an abrupt change in a political or social order. Its basis lies in the class struggle – intended as a sudden hit to social-economic imbalance prevalent in the masses of a society, although it can be argued that revolution only results in a mere change of power.
To some, Dhaka fall was a revolution. To others, it was just the result of the gross social injustice Bengalis were subject of since the inception of Pakistan. In this sense, revolution is the point where an evolving and impeding social issue is put to a halt – only to make room for a different set of class and status quo issues.
We also get a feel of revolution every time a military dictator overthrows an elected government. We can call military takeovers as revolution as they have a lasting impact on our society following a sudden overturn of a government. Our social milieu still reflects the many impressions of Zia Islamism and Musharraf’s Enlightened Moderation. Little social or economic impact can be traced to the periods in which elected ministers ruled our country.
Our masses don’t agree on what social problem plagues and pains them the most. The country got a doze of socialism in Bhutto’s era, a doze of Islamism in Zia’s era, a doze of secularism in Musharraf’s era. I call these dozes because these times only caused more societal imbalances than balances. Ethnic and sectarian gaps kept widening despite all efforts to protect minority groups. The invention of PML (N), MQM, and ANP etc exemplify the establishment’s effort to curb unregulated revolutions.
Having highlighted the typical revolutionary actors and circumstances, the question arises whether or not Pakistan is ready for a revolution. Here is a quick test:
Is there a social problem that hit masses of our society?
Well it depends what you call a social problem. For one, deeply rooted corruption is a social problem, but it is not the first time financial corruption happened to be an impeding problem. Development economists and I would say feudalism is the most pressing social issue, but eradicating feudalism has been a thankless task despite numerous land reforms. Happy meal, intellectually gifted, and overly liberal elites would say what all bastards say: Pakistan is an illusion and a conspiracy – leave it!
Is there a knot that will still hold the people of Pakistan?
Well religion is the only tying social knot that holds back the 98% of Pakistan from making revolutions. The other one would have been language, but the birth of Bangladesh is a testimony of how much damn do we give to language.
Do the ruling, powerful and economic elite leave space for a revolution?
It appears that the rulers of Pakistan, both in the form of democracies and dictatorships, come from the same carnivorous family. Unless their motives remain the same (securing their generations and their generations’ generations) they will keep stepping in the ring and torment the sheep called Pakistanis, all for their heavenly desires!