The false myths and ideological narcissism prevails which has degenerated the societal basis and has shrunk the room for moderate voices
Colonialism imparted human exploitation, repression, normalization and dependency into the polities which were caught under its rule. Post-colonial period was the extension of historical and political notion of colonizing into other forms. Decolonization formally gave an end to physical existence of colonization but its trends and particulars persisted. Hamza Alvai’s seminal thesis, “State in Post-colonial Societies” is the best illustration of the response of the states in post-colonial polities.
The colonial rule was made possible through state’s coercive administrative machinery and the institutions that were developed to consolidate and strengthen it. Post-colonial period did not call off this institutional mechanism that was utterly irresponsive to the masses rather was highly exploitative in its nature. The extension of this pro-dictative frame of rule further aggravated the concerns of the public at local level where they were direct subject to this oppressive mechanism.
Definitions of political processes in these societies are highly fallacious which do not account for the societal trends, cultural norms, historical experiences and psyche of the masses. Most of the theories and frame of rule for its applied manifestation are western oriented and uncongenial. It has made all these processes incomprehensible and perplexing for the masses, so acceptability of these confounding processes is always an issue at helm of the affairs in these polities. That’s why a debate that which system is better always continues to rattle in the intellectual circles.
India and Pakistan, both post-colonial states are having a shared past, lessons and same beginning. But independence in these states could not bring anything new as both carried on with the administrative mechanism setup by the British Raj. It was even opined by the Brits that parliamentary democracy would not be a wise option for these states that were having immensely divided class and caste based social structure. The hierarchy prevails in these societies rather than ideology. That was why states achieved at the name of communal identities could not live up to their instrumental ideological parameters.
The politics of a state needs to coincide with the economics. These states that were an offshoot of post-colonialism came to naught in this regard with their fledging economics which further made the masses unconcerned with their governing mechanism. The voters became consumers and system became elite dominated. Electoral processes became procedural only rather than being participative or substantive. Here appeared a deep rift between the expectations of the masses and deliverance of the system which only frustrated the masses but made their faith lost on the ongoing political processes which turned nugatory to their interest.
Though these states somehow showed development on certain intervals but that was development in patches whose fruits were not uniform. This figurative development could not alter the genuine concerns in which these societies were entrenched. Show case projects, development in fudged figures, fake indicators and personal projections marked the development but disastrously failed in meeting the expectations of the masses.
These politically unconcerned masses were plunged into the false beliefs, fabricated stories, myths and clichés. This was a two way process. At one hand these stories were narrated from top to bottom to perpetuate and support the system, secondly masses also started building myths, eulogizing different personalities and aspects of their society. Hence this mythologized vision became an acclaimed notion in these states. The cultural degradation further intensified this process of ragnaroks.
A very significant trepidation in this regard is worst system of justice. People were made caught into highly exploitative system of civil code proceedings where aspiration of getting justice turned into a daydream. It further nourished the clichéd mentality and eventually became steady. Some popular political myths have been unleashed by KK Aziz in his riveting book, “The Murder of History in Pakistan” but still majority of people believes and circulates these popularly believed narrated tales.
The plea for patriotism and a demand that don’t think what a country can do for you, think what can you do for your country is nothing but perpetuation of that steady mentality. The oppressors have been portrayed as rescuers and nation is thrown into a militaristic vision of looking things, envisioning enemies and a so called collective voice of Ummah. Islam is in danger, all the world is conspiring against Pakistan, America does not want Pakistan to prosper are the some popularly believed myths and astonishingly this all sloganeering is made done by those voices who are possessing a malign history.
Nothing damaged Pakistan much as did this nexus of religion and military did. The tacit backing to the religious outfits by the state’s most powerful institutions has resulted into a conspiratorial paranoia. The diminishing constitutional rule is an added factor to this entire imbroglio. The successive military stints has further surged the vulnerability.
The educational system is also one of the key reasons of this milieu. Different systems running in parallel to one another are contradicting one another. One clarions for orthodoxy and second is an abettor of modernity. Madrassas have become epicenter of terrorism. Educational mechanism direly misses rationalized discourse. The false myths and ideological narcissism prevails which has degenerated the societal basis and has shrunk the roam for moderate voices. Intolerance has become a national symbol of this polity which is widely believed as fanatic.
This fanaticism needs to be ruled out and it can be done through educating the masses only. Nothing can rescue Pakistan but a rationalized discourse. Constitutionalism is the only way out to ensure the state’s civilian supremacy. The rift between democracy and deliverance needs to be filled and procedural frame of rule must be made participative, accommodative and representative otherwise the firm belief on prayers, fairy tales and fabricated stories will not produce anything noticeable for the national that is highly imaginative.