Historically speaking, the year 2017 was having phenomenal importance, especially for those having left wing political inclinations. The comrades throughout the world were celebrating the 100 years of the great Red Revolution, 1917. The 2017 also marked the 50th anniversary of the revolutionary icon Comrade Che Guvera, whose heroic death has made him the rare case of human immortality. The same time, in Pakistan Pakistan Peoples Party too has grown to 50. The party was formed on the pro-poor, socialist slogan in a convention held on 30 November 1967, in Lahore. The democratic-socialists and left-wing intellectuals formed the Party at the residence of Dr. Mubashir Hassan and elected Z.A Bhutoo as its first chairman.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has historically remained the champion of progressive ideas, liberal principle and fought for supremacy of the Constitution, Parliament and Democracy, which made it equally popular among the working class as well as among the educated people and the women.
The struggle and contributions of PPP are very well evident for a democratic country right from the time it came to power for the first time. PPP proudly claims to be the founder of the 1973 Constitution and also of Pakistan’s nuclear programme. The release of 93,000 captive soldiers and the return of 5,000 Km squares of occupied land by India were the outcomes which came through the charismatic leadership of its founder, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
PPP has seen rise and fall but what make it different from other Parties, is the sacrifices of its leadership and workers alike in the last 50 years for democracy and supremacy of Parliament. Be its persecution under the tyrant dictator Zia or the attempts to dismantle the party by the regime of Musharaf, the PPP remained steady to prove that it is not the party which disintegrates during hardships. Contesting elections on a hostile pitch under the supervision of a biased empire makes the morale of the party much higher against those who always having the support of the hidden hands.
The efforts to promote democracy and championing the liberal values made the PPP always on the target of conservative elements costing it the lives of its key leaders. Yet each hardship made it clear that PPP is a phoenix which will take a rebirth after every attempt to bury it.
The tragic loss of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto in 2007 echoed a deep dent in the camp of the party. After BB, it was witnessed that the party is deviating from the set principles for which it has been known. After the demise of BB, PPP came under the direct control of former President Asif Ali Zardari whose reconciliatory policies though enabled the party to complete its tenure in government yet it shrank the party to Sindh. The poor governance of the party under the new leadership cost it huge loss in the election 2013.
Post 2013 under the government of N-League and the rhetoric of the PTI, the country is passing through a new phase where allegations and use of derogatory language has become the major tactic to defame the oppositions. Parallel is the emerging of radical elements in the politics determined to bring back the dark era of Zia. The N-League having its birth out of the womb of radical dictatorship has failed to tackle with the venom of radicalization while the PTI is being seen as the guardian of such elements. The recent remark of Imran Khan ‘the bloody liberals’ has exposed the inner ideology of the party chief.
Under such circumstances the PPP and ANP due to their ideologies could have been the hope for the people suffocated from the legitimization of radicalization. Unfortunately, the policies of the said parties and their lack of will have done nothing except thwarting their voters. The outcomes of the by-elections and the preparations in the camps of the PPP only suggest its downfall.
The recent ranks of the PPP suggests how far the party has moved from its ideology and the party values. The genuine leaders like the genius Aitizaz Ahsan has a little say in the party while arrogant and ignorant like Faryal Talpur, whose only qualification is she being the sister of Asif Zardar, have been acting like dictators since the traumatic loss of BB. In a viral video Faryal Talpur is seen addressing the voters in the most derogatory language yet no body except Aitizaz Ahsan did condemn her tone.
On the name of martyrs, PPP is in rule in Sindh for almost a decade yet it has only added to the miseries of the people in Sindh. Majority of its voters belong to rural areas and are from the down strata of society, yet the PPP is never been serious to reduce their miseries. The famine in Thar is enough to show how the PPP has failed to its voters. Perhaps those in rule think ‘the only rule to rule the poor is keeping them poor’. Unfortunate moment for the poor of Sindh is no other party is able to raise its slogan in Sindh and this makes the failure of the PPP its electoral success.
While celebrating its golden jubilee those in the PPP ranks might boast what the party has achieved in past yet they don’t have much to boast for its last rule and for the recent government in Sindh and won’t have much to boast if they do not revisit their policies.
It seems, the 21st century is era to witness the downfall of left wing politics. The 20th century marked the emergence and popularity of left wing politics which raised the slogan for the poor masses and became the sign of resistance against the brutal elements in society the recent century is witnessing the popularity of right wings again. The labour parties in various countries have lost politics with the parallel emergence of right wings. The secular India is on its way towards rightwards shift. In such a condition Pakistani politics and the Pakistani society which has mostly remained under rightist conservative is reaching yet another milestone- the legitimization of the radical with politicians like Imran Khan taking shelter in them. Perhaps the dilemma of politics is ‘rightists tend to be right by their might and leftists soon cease to be leftist’. “Rest in peace left wing politics”!
Zafar Ahmad is Mphil Scholar in Department of Sociology University of Peshawar