By Imdad Hussain Rajwa
George Washington, the first president of the United States (US), is known for his heroic feats in the Revolutionary wars that helped the colonies overthrow the yoke of British slavery. Despite having a little experience of war, he stood like a hard-rock in front of experienced British Army. Many of the historians laud him for his exemplary role in the American War of Independence. However, some believe that the win was for the colonies were fighting the war of their survival. On the other hand, the British were fighting a war of wealth, plunder and loot. History is testimony to the fact that the Americans, being oppressed, were fighting against oppression and they were asserting to have themselves and their presence recognized. The famous slogan, “No taxation without representation” is attributed to the very first president of the US.
This man, in America and other parts of the world, is known till date for turning a subjugated nation into a great one. What reminds me of Washington? In the first place, there is a region-wide protest going on in GB against reduction of wheat subsidy, question of land rights, long power cuts and taxation. Secondly, there is a complete media blackout of the demonstration across GB. What especially triggered me to write on the subject is taxation without representation. Although, the protests are held against the state’s abhorring attitude and mal-treatment of the indigenous people, the locals in GB are emotionally attached to the piece of land they inherited from their ancestors. Historically speaking, the same ancestors had quelled the occupant, Dogra rulers, and freed themselves from the clutches of Dogra raj. In other words, independence of GB has been borne out of the gun-powder like other revolutions across the world. Unfortunately, the state is oblivious to the fact and the state is not only turning a blind eye towards what is happening in the region, but also bent upon to quash the demands of people. The unfolding of such events are guiding the people towards an apocalypse. May it not happen!
Lucky is the state, and unfortunate is the region that they don’t have a Washington to lead from the front. Neither the people have the mounting courage like that of the colonies. How naïve were the rulers been who unconditionally acceded to Pakistan? The latter have taken it for granted and despotism is at large akin to British Empire’s. Importantly, it is the only nation in Pakistan that demands not separation, like the thirteen colonies, but recognition of their sacrifices they have been rendering since the unconditional accession. They are looking forward to have signed a new social contract in lines with the idea propounded by Rousseau. There is only one way out of the problem; either the state needs to shed “false-consciousness” or the people must forget the “class-consciousness. The latter is near to impossible in this digital age where every other person is a key-board warrior who can turn out to be pivot in the win against state’s false consciousness. Yet, it may have cost for both but state can make it a win-win situation.
Now is the time for state to stop acting like an imperial power but a democratic country of sovereign people. It is high time the GB should brought up its sons and daughters in a manner that helps produce Washington(s) and Benazir(s) who can negotiate with the powers that be and bring the nation out of the miserable conditions. The region does not bear a bloodshed nor does it deserve. It is a heaven to live and shade to be cool and water to quench the thirst. GB is a pivot to China, and China is pivot to Asia and Asia is a wedge to the future of the world. Let peace be the atmosphere of the mountains and rivers not the dust and blood.