In a Bollywood movie, we see the legendary actor, Shahrukh Khan as a Muslim character, Rizwan Khan, in San Francisco, striving initially for a meeting with the existing President Bush and then President-elect Barrack Obama to wash off the stigma of being a terrorist. With a peculiar state of mind, suspected to be some psychological disorder by the psychiatrists, Mr Khan is blamed by his wife for being responsible for the death of her young son from her previous husband at the hands of a gang of students because of the surname Khan. She would only absolve him of the charge and continue life with him upon his getting a clean chit from the US and the President to the effect that he is a Muslim but not a terrorist. He faces hardships in the journey from state to state to meet the President, but is arrested by the FBI on misinterpreting the repeatedly recited words, “My name is Khan, I am not a terrorist” as ‘I am a terrorist’ instead while he is waiting to see the President in a gathering there. After undergoing a nerve-wracking investigation, Mr Khan is finally able to establish his credibility before the people and the FBI, and is cleared of all charges.
Mr Captain, we can recollect a match in the past which extended to the last over while you, being our great national hero, were intercepted by a senior player in the middle of your run up. You surprisingly halted and carefully listened to the whispered suggestion, contrary to your well known “firm attitude.” Respected leader, perhaps on his advice, you strategised to increase your run up but delivered a slow ball, which led to the batsman being clean-bowled and leading to a historic victory for you, the team and above all, Pakistan.
Undoubtedly, you have been a charismatic personality. In the 2013 elections, a sizeable segment of people, especially, the excited youth, the educated, the intellectual, the spiritual and even such elitist civil and military bureaucratic circles came out to vote for you for the first ever time in their lives with high hopes of change, but they seem to have gotten frustrated over the passage of time. Rigging aside, a factor which can never be ruled out in our political culture, it can be assessed even by a man in the street, that your esteemed party, with a recognised political acceptance with the people in contrast to other political parties such as Tahir-ul-Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehrik and Jamat-i-Islami, could not fairly perform adequately, not only in the general elections but also in the NA-122 re-polling and local bodies’ elections.
Had I been in your place, dear Captain, despite being seriously injured, I would have opted for making rounds of some parts of the city if only in the vicinity of Shaukat Khanum Hospital while lying on the stretcher. It would have not only protected and motivated the general voter but also the polling agents, workers, local and even the second line leadership, which was badly missing in all the cases. No credible decision-making leadership was prepared or made available to the charged but scared voters to commute their wishes to the miracles of expected change in the offing. Elections in our culture are always tumultuous and never plain sailing. Seasoned opposition candidates always try to convince the officers at the helm of affairs not to give them any undue favour except to ensure that no one be allowed to push them to victory if they are losing or defeat if they are winning. Unfortunately, this has been missing every time and still is likely to be so in future if not taken care of, and blaming the tools by chanting rigging every time will not work, but rather lead to a spill over of despair even amongst one’s own internal tiers of organisation.
Timing is the essence of success and hitting the nail when it is hot truly matters. It is what, perhaps, the ironsmiths have learnt and the goldsmiths are yet to learn. There is a maxim that things should be done in a prescribed manner or they should not be done at all. No one, perhaps, can ever justify the misdirected love with Reham Khan at the nick of the time and on the eve of the local bodies’ election.
Even Rome was not built in a day. Every successful movement in the history of mankind has certain ideals. It is seen with a profound vision or ideology, socio-economic or geo-political, depending upon the need of the hour coupled with a dynamic and vibrant leadership, inspiring the masses through healthy and constructive campaigns. All movements such as those headed by Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther of America, Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Mao Zedong of China, Aung San Suu Kyi of old Rangoon and now Myanmar and even the Pakistan movement under the auspices of the sagacious leadership of Quaid-a-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah had visibly observed those criteria. The support of the masses and the minorities was so attached to the Muslim League even against alluring socialist economic policies and elimination of feudalism by Congress, that the Muslim League, which had lost the 1937 elections badly, was able to secure a separate Pakistan in a short span of time.
Mr Captain, you have turned out to be a charismatic personality for a certain segment, but the sensible masses have only given you a place in search of a charismatic politician. The party has fairly been able to acquire its acceptance as a political entity in the masses, to fill the vacuum you must bring the requisite change. PTI has been able to create a system of checks and balances amongst various the organs of state that are the legislature, judiciary and executive.
As there is always room for improvement, any vibrant party has the opportunity to counter the current ruling party, which has based its politics on mega socio-economic projects leading to economic and human growth in the country. This is likely to increase its support base when needed and perhaps can dilute the effects of alleged off-shore companies. Honestly, your sensible and excited supporter wants well-reasoned non-traditional politics, devoid of unnecessary dharna politics or those of agitation, a conflictive attitude towards all administrative tiers, complacence, non-cohesiveness and internal party strife. We aspire for the emergence of a new and second line moneyless but talented middle class leadership to comprise at least a reasonable percentage at the top. Above all, the comparison to the movie character above was done to make you understand that someone as genuine and straightforward as you would come to a covenant with this nation, that all your bearing shall prove more credible than the others, and that you should say that “My name is Khan and I am not incredible” and people should endorse this, saying yes, “Your name is Khan and you are not corrupt.”