I thought we elected a PM, who swore allegiance to constitution, pledged to serve people of Pakistan by providing them health, education, welfare and security. The PM in a parliamentary democracy enjoys enormous powers of discretion and therefore he more than any other public officeholder is accountable for all acts done, decisions made and any financial approvals given on his authority, to the people and judiciary. In established democracies where there is rule of law, individuals who hold high public office, such as that of a PM, President, ministers, senior bureaucrats, judges, and generals are judged on a higher moral code, than that applicable to common citizens. Normal weaknesses that can be acceptable for common citizens are not recommended to be waived for public officeholders. This is why we hear that a President or a PM etc had to resign because they have been accused of having committed a crime which compromised high morals and financial ethics, which they are required to possess, if they are to hold important public offices where decisions can affect lives of citizens and fate of a nation.
A peon on the other hand has no powers except perhaps to serve tea, open doors etc, and as such, other than his boss, is not subject to any scrutiny. A Gaddi Nasheen by accident of birth in the opinion of his devotees is considered noble, irrespective of whether he is a pious man, who has any morals or ethics. Nobility is not an inherited commodity, but something that an individual earns by leading a life dedicated to serve his nation, community or his faith, which can serve as an example for others, or where his deeds have resulted in collective welfare of people, other than his own family or his individual selfish interests. It would be fair to assume that men like Allama Iqbal, Quaid-i-Azam, Sir Ganga Ram, Maulana Edhi, Mother Teressa, Nelson Mandella, etc had acquired nobility by serving others. The illiterate devotees, on the other hand, with limited knowledge of religion can be exploited by Gaddi Nasheen to offer nazranas in return for some perceived favors. This perhaps has more to do with Hindu pundits, who by mere accident of birth are supposed to acquire nobility, as if it is an inherited asset, while those born in lower caste Hindus are condemned for life as Dalits. Mahtama Gandhi was a noble man who waged a war against such discrimination.
MALIK TARIQ ALI,
Lahore, March 23.