[opinion] Denying the depoliticization of politics

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Sultan Madad

The recent naïve idea of political action through CBOs and the ensuing online debate aptly indicates our level of education and awareness. Nevertheless, we need to encourage the debate on political process. No one can deny the need of unity and patriotism but democracy cannot be built on the foundations of exclusiveness and aristocracy or oligarchy (in the name of success). More over Hunza is not an isolated island. Its aspirations, needs, opportunities, challenges, miseries, colonization and destiny are woven with Gilgit-Baltistan.

Hunza’s post 74 experience  is that of a marionettes or puppet show staged in the name of democracy. These self interested representatives are serving the Islamabad, Lahore or Larkana based parties. Forces of status quo that include the concocted dogmas have not allowed patriotic workers to come forward and promote a national agenda. Secondly, those who try to find solutions of pure political issues through apolitical means need to realize that if a surgeon fails to remove the illness from a patient, it does not, never ever, mean that the surgery has failed and that the patient should be handed over to a butcher.

We need to see what bodies we are electing our representatives for? We have been complaining against all the hitherto ‘elected representatives’ for not doing enough but we seldom criticize the undemocratic system that makes them powerless and begets corruption. We never criticize them for not having courage to speak the truth. Those accidently coming to ‘representation’ without any track record of genuine political struggle, rightly see their source of power in their masters instead of electorate.

Removing ’Mir Family’ out of power has been the sole agenda of so called ‘modernists’ in post 74 Hunza but they have failed to give any alternate vision. They have also failed to understand that the abolishing of state was not a democratic change. It would had been democratic, had it come from within and brought a democratic system of governance instead. What we earned in return was the loss of the indigenously developed system and over lordship of numerous new ‘mirs’ instead of one single mir. Since then, we have lost the centrality of thinking from our own perspective vis a vis major challenges. No doubt, Hunza had lost its independence and sovereignty in 1891 but no one can deny that the internal autonomy under the British installed mirs, was delivering at least better than the present.

How can a direct colonial rule be eulogized that tacitly renders thousands of people homeless and shoots them on demanding shelter? This has been the dilemma of the local mimics who waste their energies for Pakistani parties without the understanding of ground realities.

What we need to do unequivocally is to oppose importing alien political parties from Larkana, Lahore and Karachi. We have followed these outsiders quite long for four decades. At least our new generation should not follow this mimicry. Begani shadi mein Abdullah deewana.

It’s time now to adopt a national approach and build democratic political institution (party) on GB level. No doubt it seems to be a tall order in the present circumstances but this is the only solution. There is no short cut to it. This initiative is not possible through apolitical means either. Hunza is neither James Hilton’s Shangri-La nor has it remained the traditionally thought dekaran (the well protected orchard) of our ancestors. Hunza alone cannot bring a change for itself but can take a lead role. Formation of Qaumi Maraka is one such initiative towards building a forum to further national approach and to encourage democratic political process.

The recent move that seems to have been advanced by a certain apolitical sector is a futile utopian thinking covered in hollow rhetoric. Civil society can play vital role in breeding democratic norms through debate and advocacy but it can never be substitute for political organizations. NGOs in our region have no doubt delivered a lot in terms of quality of life but unfortunately there is no denial to the fact that they have played a disappointing role in depoliticizing the society as a well.

The writer is a progressive leader based in Karimabad, Hunza. He can be reached at sultanmadad@yahoo.com

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