As General Zia was afraid of retirement, the same is the case the politicians firmly believing that they would instantly die, if they vacate the arena of politics for others and young, too. Fear of dreadful tomorrow haunts their mind and body even in 60s to such an extent that they are afraid of handing over the charge to their offspring—-what to the better ones. What the military dictator left behind appeared to be a better choice of not only every politician, whether supporter or opponent of dictatorial regime, but also the power groups and resourceful individuals striving to hold the rod of power in their fists while their physic decays. For, they kill ethical values, moral obligations, spiritual injunctions and rule of law, promoting insatiable lust and greed, not for themselves but for their near and dears who literally want their early death so that they could get share from inheritance and fame. When an old man loses sanity and rebels against the natural process, he loses over whatever he has earned or accumulated, legally or illegally.

Society and state under powerful influence of old men who have done nothing but contributed decay and decline in every field of life, whether national or private, promote only one dilemma of lawlessness in state and society. This is what is, Toynbee argues, called the collective decline of civilization, society and state. It is, therefore, moral and spiritual obligation on old men reaching nearer to their graves to control personal ambitions in order to set precedent for the coming generations. As a true victory is victory over oneself. A powerful man is not who defeats physically strong man in an arena, but he is a person who possesses the ability to exercise fuller control over himself, Hazrat Ali said. There was a “city of dead” in Egypt wherein pharaohs were buried. According to Egypt mythology, pharaoh after death got another life, for he is buried with hundreds of slaughtered men, animals, ornaments and coins. Egyptian wise god Thoth wrote a divine book which carried a secret to tell a living pharaoh how to have a meeting with the dead counterpart who was supposed to be alive in the city of dead. However, there was a big problem first to get the book which was under the custody the guards of buried pharaohs. Getting the book was the biggest challenge for the people living outside the city of dead. Resultantly, neither did the book nor the creed allowed the believers to have a happy meeting with the dead pharaoh.

Alexander the great staying in Egypt was an easy prey to Egyptian mythology by which a pharaoh was not only divine but also immortal. There are numerous stories attributed to the death of the young Greco king who firstly declared himself a divine pharaoh and then decided to become immortal. Aristotle advised him not be lost in irrationality, but he refused, pleading that he is king of the world, for he should be at present in every domain which was not possible without being omnipresent pharaoh. He ordered the tradition of “Salutation” in Iranian and India style must be observed in the court. One of his most loyal and competent generals ridiculed him for such kind of stupidity. He got furious, killing him, instantly. Just after a few months, a fatal idea gripped his mind: why should he not be an immortal after death because an eternity of a king after worldly life was more fantastic—-even more preferable than intoxication of victory in wars against the entire world. Finally, he ordered to prepare bowl of poison to drink. No one was left in the whole court to deter him from suicide. No sooner was the poisonous bowl presented to him, he devoured all. The poison was not of such kind which instantly killed Socrates in Athens. It was slow killer. For a month, the Greek conqueror of the Asia had been suffering the pang of slow death. During a long duration of agony, he returned to sanity, admitting his foolish decision against his own life. Believed that he would live no more, he wrote his will that when his funeral was taken to his grave his both empty hands be kept outside the confine in order to show the world that Alexander was taking nothing with himself.

Alexander’s death at the age of just 33 left numerous lessons in history. During one year, a great philosopher Aristotle left Athens, escaping death punishment at the hand of enemy priest and died in the foreign republic and a great orator died. Lastly, a great empire of Greece disintegrated due to lethal wars among greedy generals. Not only that, the fast moving wheel of decay, chaos and instability reached the culmination when Rome occupied Greece in 147 BC, only in 76 years after Alexander’s death in 323 BC. To the historians of present age, some of the causes for decline of Greece were a blind adoption of Egyptian mythology of “eternity” or “immortality” by the ruling elites of Athens. In search of eternity, Greece lost independence. Total age of Greek empire is nearly 600 year while it endured 2000 year of slavery after Roman occupation. The causes making Egypt slaves of the foreign masters made those following Egyptian mythology slave throughout human history of particularly 5500 years.

Even today, the syndromes of pharaonic epidemic have the power to affect democrats, not to speak of the dictators. In the western democracies, except very few, young politicians are winning the elections and running the government, successfully, if compared with patriarchic regimes. Also, some Eastern states travel in history under the shadows of outlived politicians who are mentally unsound or crooked, cunning and useless while their young generations are tacitly praying for the ultimate end of their elders. In India, the so-called largest democracy of the world consisting of more than 1.1 billion citizens find no better leader than the present one who is 68 year old. The same scenario narrates the story in Pakistan which is fifth largest democracy in the world. More so is the world’s first power USA headed by the president who is, of course, 72 year.

Certainly, these may be the examples in favor of the patriarchs but the objective condition in these states looks precarious one in relation to internal stability and external affairs. In USA, the board is investigating whether the president is mentally sound or not, as his old age frequently makes signs of unsoundness. India is declining under the command of old saga and Pakistan is trying to get rid of the same but the clutches of the statuesque still look ‘iron grams’ to chew, as the great defenders of it jubilantly claim. However, one thing is very much clear that no one is lucky enough to defy the law of Nature under which decay and death are inevitable realities. For, our veteran politicians forming part of four decades of preeminence and domination in anyway are destined to leave this world of pleasures, joys and pain, too.

 

The writer is Ex-Director General (Translation), Senate of Pakistan.

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