Col Ikram Ullah Khan

Political rallies ahead of by-polls

Col (r) Ikram Ullah Khan 

In the midst of deep political uncertainties gripping our beloved country following the vote of no-confidence against Imran Khan that ended with his ouster, a new wave of political wrangling has started in Punjab that has assumed the shape of political rallies held by both the PML-N and PTI.

The recent political rallies staged in different cities of Punjab as part of electioneering for the by-polls to reelect the candidates for provincial assembly to fill the seats which fell vacant after 25 MPAs of Punjab provincial assembly were deseated as they were found guilty of switching political loyalties, has led to a nasty political game. 

But the sad part of this clumsy political duel is that the political wrestlers belonging to both the parties seem to have forgotten civility and decency in their conduct and in the language they are using. They fail to understand that the vitriolic expression they are using hurling naked abuses against each other makes them fall much below the human dignity and presents them as rogue elements bereft of civility and human sublimity.

Unfortunately, personal attacks against the opponents while addressing a charged crowd and launching a smear campaign against the political rivals has become a norm in our political milieu thus creating an aura of hostility and mudslinging that gives an impression to the civilized world that we make a band of the most uncivilized people, and the bulk in the words of Jonathan Swift, “makes the most pernicious vermin which Nature ever suffered to crawl on the surface of this planet”.

Overwhelmed by inordinate emotions and in a fit of rage, these so-called political leaders never hesitate to cross every bound of decency while addressing the captive audience. They take a jibe at each other while addressing the public rally. The virus of mutual accusation is expanding its tentacles with indecent rapidity that needs to be stemmed to save the country from falling into a chaotic situation. 

All this clearly suggests that despite claiming to be the followers of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) who has been termed as a “mercy to mankind” and who is said to present the finest model of human character to humanity, we have learnt nothing from his lofty teachings which vehemently teaches us to evince decent behaviour and shun indecent language against each other in both public and private. But, in gross violation of his teachings, we find pleasure in displaying crude behaviour and are adamant to wash our dirty linen in public that presents us as a nation composed of impulsive and unrefined people in front of the world. 

It’s very unfortunate to see the top political leadership of our country conducting themselves in most irresponsible manner whether addressing public rallies, appearing in TV talk shows, holding press conferences or giving interviews to foreign news correspondents. They have a scant realization that as political leaders they are representing the whole nation and that every single word they utter has a great import as it presents an image of the country in front of the world. 

The culture of political extremism and intolerance that forms part of our behaviour and seems to constitute an inextricable characteristic of our life has emerged with full vehemence after our political leadership has lost space for spirit of accommodation and respect for others. The political players who are suffering from the acute malaise of self-righteousness seem to have lost mental balance. They see no good in others and everything seems to be a trash in their eyes except their own “self”. This egocentrism is a disease which defies all kinds of cure.

It has become a political norm with our politicians that after losing power they don’t hesitate to malign their political opponents as well as state institutions because they are made to believe by the sycophantic elements and the hangers-on that they are indispensable for this country and that a gross injustice has been done to them.

The top political leadership belonging to both the mainstream parties seems to have a tenuous grasp of ground reality and needs to realize that there are spoilers around operating with full force adding fuel to the fire and who wouldn’t let the conflict resolved as it goes against their interests.

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