Turnip politics

2017-03-22T23:17:00+05:00 Agha Baqir

If Imran Khan, somehow, had been able to make it out to the Gaddafi Stadium and join the happiness of the nation even in the middle of the final of the PSL, the audience and the people of Pakistan would have welcomed him warmly. It would certainly have added flavour to the match, for the people of Pakistan amidst their already souring lives due to terrorism and other socio-economic miseries. Above all, it would have been a a professional gesture for his political party which seems to be a bit demoralised due certain setbacks accrued by erred, wrong and misdirected moves by its top leadership.

Worthily, it was rightly attempted by Sheikh Rasheed to fill the vacuum created by the head of an emerging political party. Though Sheikh Rasheed may not be occupying a key position in contemporary politics, what he has proved is that he is a political leader of the public who preferred to play his part in the joyous moments of nation even amidst his stiff differences with the ruling party.

What cannot be cured must be endured. PTI’s critique on the PSL final, may be on well-founded reasons, but instead of curing the damage caused to it in the masses by the dint of its statements, PTI still continues to bandy its traditional statements unbecoming of a mature political party to which the people of Pakistan had given substantial space to. So much so that PTI chief, a high ranking sports man, seems to be forgetting about sportsman’s spirit by criticising his own Chief Minister for granting a reward amount to the final winning team in the name of his provincial capital called Peshawar Zalmi. How the Chief Minister KPK would be feeling is hard to gauge but many key members of PTI as well as pro-PTI analysts have often been seen facing difficulty in defending their Captain’s stance on the PSL final. And it would be very hard even for people who would always look for some room to defend PTI on its just stance against the government’s policies to shield it, that too against the overwhelming public sentiment, especially in the event of PSL.

Turnips, a root vegetable with relatively a sour taste, is generally used to feed animals all over the world. It however, is much liked in countries of South Asia like Pakistan and India if it is cooked by a seasoned chef and handled professionally, not traditionally. Turnip is also equated in certain folk idioms ironically and funnily to rectify the habits and conduct of a family or society member.

Admittedly, through the years, without any exception to any political parties including the PML-N and PPP, the texture of politics in Pakistan has generally been sour, making even the public used to this. The voters of Pakistan generally get attracted and amused by the traditional politics on display, using such words as are being used by PTI these days. Like turnips, these words do have substantial calories and a pronounced taste which politically stirs and mobilises the audience, but are definitely labelled as traditional, typical of our traditional politics. And such politics may be termed turnip politics, regardless of the political party that indulges in them.

It is a fact that the leaders and their parties, especially the emerging ones, have to change the mind-set and taste of the people. But here today, the case is opposite. PTI was given political space and acceptance as a political party in the political arena of Pakistan for its tendency of being non-traditional as the electoral seemed to be fed up with the traditional character and behaviour of the old and powerful political parties. Members of the educated and technocratic elite, which have never been concerned about general politics in Pakistan, for the first time in the history of Pakistan, got physically and mentally involved in politics for a positive drastic change in the country on the beck and call of PTI. However, out of sheer disappointment, the same seems to be retracting to its havens due to traditional tactics employed by PTI. Paradoxically, it is also observed that certain political parties like PML-N and PPP at length are retracting their steps from traditional politics by way of employing professional political tactics. Traditional politics may impede, whereas the professional politics may play an effective role in the socio-economic growth of the country.

As always maintained, PTI has emerged to be the de-facto opposition party to serve as a true check and balance on the traditional political parties. It can play an effective role in nation building. Its loss would be Pakistan’s loss. However, it has to be professional instead of traditional. It has to manifest extraordinary excellence and political maturity, not only to sustain, but also to enhance its space in the hearts of the people.

What Z A Bhutto did to revolutionise his politics in the early 70s was that he grouped together all gems of society including technocrats, economists, intellectuals, poets and above all, the common man. Similarly, PTI, if it really intends to prosper, has to add vibrant technocrats, lawyers, poets, intellectuals, journalists, diplomats, businessmen, educationists and last but not the least, the masses, instead of losing whatever it has accumulated so far. It requires the openness, respect and honour and above all, ownership for such people to be accorded by the very top slot of the PTI including the energetic and dynamic Captain himself. It has to dispel the very impression and fear amongst its members of concentration of power and thought in its centre. The nation has observed many seasoned personalities leaver PTI including retired judges, technocrats, politicians, intellectuals and members of think tanks. Mature political thought, statements, magnanimous moves, sagacious decisions, patient demeanour, forbearance to assimilate the shocks related to electoral politics and realistic policies can only be evinced through inclusion of a versatile array of policymakers and think tanks having practical approaches to suggest resolutions to the intricate socio-economic issues facing the nation. Dear Captain, PTI still has charisma for the people who want change andcasn possibly get those it lost back in the forthcoming elections, giving you at least once chance to do something which the others have not been able to do up till now. But it can only be done through professional politics and not traditional or turnip politics. History foretells that only mature and the professional politicians ‘will rule the world’ and even political rivals would be compelled to accept it by heart.

View More News