ISLAMABAD - The problem when you become Imran Khan is that you just cannot stay Imran Khan. You want to be even bigger. Bigger than anything and everything.

On Monday, Imran Khan tweeted a picture of himself, drenched in sweat, standing proudly with his two sons by his sides. Sunlight filtered through a sky laden with heavy clouds in the backdrop. It was a proud moment: the Khans had conquered Miranjani, the highest peak in Galliat. Next up was to ‘conquer’ the mountain of corruption from Aug 7, the great athlete-turned-politician tweeted.

It was yet again another bombastic and sanctimonious announcement so typical of the style of politics by Imran Khan. If at 63, he can conquer the highest peak in Galliat with the agility of his teenaged sons, his cultish followers will argue that nothing can stop him from conquering the mountains of corruption. After all, the slogan against corruption has been the bedrock of his political message for most of his political career. The Panama Leaks gave him a new lease of life after the earlier mantra of rigging failed to jolt the majority of the population from its apathy.

But Imran Khan, being Imran Khan, does not give up. It is a fact he reiterates in each and every interview. “You cannot lose if you don’t accept defeat’ has been a sentence repeated ad nauseam. Just like he won’t give up on the idea of marriage. And, in each TV interview, Imran Khan just cannot stop acting shy and embarrassed, talking about the prospects of his next marriage, like a teenaged girl when asked about her ideal husband.

Now, rejuvenated after the holiday up north with his boys, Imran Khan is gearing to start yet another agitation campaign. This time, it is a “protest campaign.” No more a Tsunami. No more a “Dharna”. It is just a plain and simple protest campaign.

Here is what we know about Imran’s plans, as elucidated by him in his recent TV appearances. (It is always telling to watch Imran’s interviews before he embarks on his missions to joust the masses out of their slumber. The talking points are the same; he will never deviate from the scripted words and arguments in the interviews and during the rallies. There is a massive repetition overdose). So, the conquerers will start from Peshawar and drive down to Islamabad before finally reaching Imran Khan’s real political destination Lahore.

All along the way, Imran will address rallies bursting with humidity and infused with the spirit of change and revolution. There will be delirious dances. There will be boisterous songs. There will be feverish live coverage of each and every time Imran Khan will hold the lectern. And, each time, he will narrate his cricketing laurels and each time there will be a cheer by the crowd. Evening talk shows will pore over the speeches and the prophets of gloom will make their predictions of the end of times. It won’t really matter that after the thumping defeat in Kashmir elections, Imran had vowed to speed up work to show how his team can transform the province. Such vows will drown out in the loud noise of those wishing desperately for revolution. 

A revolution on the streets. A revolution through agitation. A revolution through such mass hysteria that its proponents hope the military is forced to take over. There is no need for democratic process or parliamentary debate. The parliament is such a desultory debating club that even Sheikh Rashid is not tempted to showcase his firestorms there. Who really wants to bore one’s self to death in dull parliamentary committees and proceedings of the house. Legislation can wait. But worn out speeches, high on rhetoric and low on substance, cannot wait. Meanwhile, the cultish followers will make Youtube and Snapchat videos of a glamorous and swashbuckling crusader. There will be Facebook posts and there will be Twitter trends. 

And, all this while Imran Khan will continue to tell the people how it is the defining moment, how it is the last chance, how we are standing on the last edge of the precipice. But in essence it will be just another huge physical exercise, draining the bodies and exhausting the minds. But Imran Khan loves it. He himself says he cannot sit idle. After 2014 Dharna, he started getting bored while sitting at home. He wanted to hit the road. And, it is no different this time. What is the real purpose and objective of this ‘campaign’ when similar campaigns in the past have not resonated with the voters. Imran Khan doesn’t really provide an answer to this. Voters are dismissed as lacking dignity and willing slaves of the Sharif Empire.

After, the shaking and shoving of few weeks, the PTI conquerors will recede back and Imran Khan will go back to UK for a few days, as he mostly does. Meanwhile, the cultish followers will keep grieving that the nation doesn’t deserve an honest man like their leader. It’s the same old song and dance. There will be yet another reprise. 

And, those who want to know how and why Nawaz Sharif is erring, one does not really have to spell it out here. Aug 7 is not far away. Imran Khan is coming to conquer the airwaves - and to tell that story.