Brought to you with all the mystery and anticipation of a summer blockbuster, the hyperbole surrounding the PTI march on August 14th promises an anticlimax of utterly grand proportions. While the media, the public and politicians are fumbling with the vast philosophies of democracy, government breakdowns and revolutions, there is not one thing this long march promises to divulge or change that could lend any man or any party the credibility or power to take the reins of the legislature. There is no hammer to take to a Berlin Wall, there is no scaling of palace walls. To this day, even as the march is less than a fortnight away, nobody is clear on what it hopes to achieve. There is only the faint murmur of change, whispered by familiar stalwarts and political opportunists jumping on the bandwagon. So let us all lay our enthused nerves to rest and understand that the long march will change nothing of any great significance.
The most it can do for democracy at this stage, is be understood as the mass lodging of an official, public complaint. It is Imran’s right to proceed with it, and it is the public’s right to attend it. If it intimidates the government in the process, that is its first (and perhaps its only) success. And intimidate, it would seem, it has. Reactive as ever, the government has tried every restrictive option at its disposal, knocking into institutions, calling in an emergency, pleading over phone-calls, with all the grace of a headless chicken. It does lead an increasingly fascinated public to wonder if the evidence Imran Khan claims to have, the great body of proof he will unleash upon the nation in his address on independence day, will be enough to formulate a real plan of action. Will it shock anybody at all? Or will it all deflate fairly quickly, as Imran’s usual focus on rhetoric and ill-concealed desire to fulfill his greater (Prime Ministerial) destiny takes over. That’s the thing about summer blockbusters. The countdown to the premiere is far more exciting than the real thing ever is.