Mon. Dec 5th, 2022

The Sociology of Politics

Hussain Ali

People buying electricity generators or solar panels in droves or resorting to self-help in a myriad of ways may be an indication of a society equipped with the art of perseverance and desire to sustain itself, which is an instinctual force that varies across societies. However this behavior can also mean that people are inept or politically not influential to claim their legitimate rights.

 In case of Hunza, it can be testified that the local populace has stood up to handle its own social problems by themselves only. For instance the power crisis in Hunza has long bedeviled its natives with reported load shedding ranging from 12 to 18 hours a day.

Gradually with passage of time, people have become politically adamant and withdrawn from the supposed political activities, civic responsibilities and do not gather and exert pressure on the state against their legitimate demands. We know for sure that when citizens vote they grant a mandate to a governing body so that their needs may be fulfilled and their demands be seriously considered. However as the governing body overlooks the demands of its voters and does not cater to their needs, societies adopt a general apathy towards the political organizations and slowly regress backwards in political paradigm. This slowly paves way for an unhealthy political concoction and alternate unethical ways like corruption (which deludes morality) to become a norm in our society. This is precisely called political apathy (which when left unaddressed) can be detrimental for a society as it can bring political stagnation to it. The societies that do not study, observe or participate in politics become barred from values of universal suffrage and ability to comprehend the benefits of collective political behavior.

There are some terms that best describe political behavior of a citizen in a given society. Political alienation for instance means adhesion from politics in varied ways. This behavior is gradually built over a span of years which gradually seeps deeps into minds and hearts of people and becomes a normalized behavior. Political alienation further falls in to two broad categories namely: political incapability and political discontentment.

 Political incapability is the tendency of being not capable or eligible for politics as a consequence of improper political fostering. This is enforced upon an individual by prevailing environment, whereas political discontentment is somewhat voluntarily chosen by an individual him/herself. Political alienation is expressed in four different ways like: Political powerlessness, which is the belief that actions of individuals can not affect the government in any manner and hence feels an inferiority complex of powerlessness. This is the root belief that once conjured is hard to uproot. It causes whole society to adopt a politically dormant status and thus expects political concessions or miracles for being loyal or socially responsible as in the case of Hunza.

 Political meaninglessness is another term which means that political decisions and policies are not comprehendible and unjust or nor predictable. This view breaks the trust between state and citizen and if ameliorated can act as a bridge between state and subject.

Last but not least is the Political normlessness which states that, it is common to circumvent political etiquettes and a breach in norms is not a big deal to worry. This evil is the worst among the worst as it breaks down the very foundation of political structure. Corruption, nepotism and red tapism become the common accepted norm of the society and people view it as an opportunity rather than a cancer that dilapidates the face of society.

 Jobs getting sold for money or obtaining favors through political/ religious wherewithal are stark examples of this foul syndrome.

The aforementioned socio-political situations hence give rise to social evils and political isolation which is the abyss of moral degradation. People go for academic excellence and personal progress but deny the importance of a collective, collaborative approach to address the holistic issues prevalent in society. This is a classic example to describe the political brew of Hunza where people may have evolved economically but are still in primitive state as far as the political milieu is concerned. If a person talks about politics and reform he is subject to severe scrutiny and is forsaken or labeled as a rebel, reformist or a communist.

 People seem to delude the reality and behave that things will get better with the passage of time and thus become politically adamant. Voting is just taken for granted and after a week of hustle bustle the political dust settles down beneath the soles of literate ignorance.

It must be remembered that for a society to develop and reach its actualizing tendency, it must gain the consciousness of political awareness so that political tranquility can be reached for betterment of everyone. Unfortunately it has become a major problem in Hunza since decades.  People will be seen politically active for a short span time frame (usually during elections) and once over with sadly there is no observable political activity within this whole region. Hunza has immense geostrategic value and is the northern gate of CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor). In no circumstance can the people of Hunza be overlooked or denied of their genuine share but first of all it is the people themselves who have to wake themselves up from deep slumbers of political ignorance and demand their legitimate rights because if they do not then no one else will.

It is a well-established fact that a society that does not take part in politics faces severe circumstances as said once by the famous Greek philosopher Plato: ‘One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors’.

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