Want fun? Here's politics! Want more fun? Here's more politics!

Published August 22, 2014
A boy sells newspapers as he walks past a campaign truck and cars of Imran Khan, Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. —Photo by Reuters
A boy sells newspapers as he walks past a campaign truck and cars of Imran Khan, Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. —Photo by Reuters
Supporters of Imran Khan in front of the Parliament building in Islamabad. —Photo by AFP
Supporters of Imran Khan in front of the Parliament building in Islamabad. —Photo by AFP

Azadi march and Inquilab march have hijacked the media, but not just.

They've also hijacked our peace of mind, and our very lives.

Ask the ladies at home of how painstakingly they struggle (in vain) to get hold of the TV remote, with their husbands hung up on catching every minute's news about the marching duo.

Unending analyses on the political deadlock has paralysed the nation; bodies unable to move away from the television. Entertainment has truly been reduced to this singular genus these days: breathing, eating and living political analyses plated out to us 24/7 from inside the magic box.

As a result, the masses seem to have become astoundingly sensitive to every minute political development. But, this awareness has come at a price.

Read more on the topic: Watching the 'revolution' on TV is hard work

And it's not just real forms of entertainment which have lost out; common sense, too, appears to have taken a walk. Electronic and social media right now are 'bandwagons of analyses', and if you want to jump on and stay on-board, be sure to leave your common sense far behind these topsy-turvy discussions.

Any news, to my understanding, does not stir up the Pakistani brain as much as the analysis of that news does.

Countless news stories get broken and passed by our ears every day, but until an analysis of the situation is presented, people keep ogling at the goggle-box vacantly, like waiting for some saviour of a TV anchor to descend into the box and lead them out of this intellectual crisis.

Then come the outrageous claims of having acquired the complete and only truth which exists, and cursing at anyone who may have acquired his truth from a different saviour.

Take Imran Khan's recent announcement of civil-disobedience.

Take a look: 'Civil disobedience': Another nail in PTI's political coffin

Right after the announcement, most Pakistanis (whether for or against him) had no clue of the implications of this alien suggestion. But soon after most of our media gurus attacked the announcement, social media swarmed up with statuses of a million flabbergasted and disappointed people. Come a couple more hot-talking analysts and the tide went back down.

Just a few new logical standpoints in favor of ‘civil disobedience’ (most popular one being that Imran meant civil obedience not in a literal sense but only as a way to pressurise the government) brought the PTI chairman his lost online supporters back and soon social media was being updated on how people ignorantly misunderstood the importance of civil disobedience.

Such is the nature of political awareness amongst the masses: the state of intellect amongst couch-potatoes. One could probably divide the people inside one house into as many political groups as there are analysts going around.

Also read: Of wet shalwars and televised 'revolutions'

With each anchor comes a new school of thought that people are willing to enroll into, double quick. This is the phase of 'assimilation'.

After that comes 'application'. Application is a multifaceted step that accommodates our newly enlightened couch-scholar to fulfill a number of imperative tasks including:

  1. Oral argumentation with a scholar from an opposing school of thought. This may require fluency in various ‘linguistic’ and ‘physical’ skills.

  2. Online sermons to help the more politically ignorant souls, and in many cases, to simply boast your newly acquired knowledge.

  3. 'Anti-biotic resistance'. This is the third and final stage in the journey of enlightenment. Opposing views are sought and battled at whatever forum is available. This step always involves ‘tests of patriotism’ wherein anyone resisting nationalism always flunks. So in a way, it also serves the purpose of separating the 'traitors' from the 'patriots'.

With this manual in hand, our nation is more than self-sufficient in not just attaining expertise in every political debate, but also in determining true Pakistanis from fake ones.

Can we complain, though, seeing as these people are whom we voted for?

It seems we really want the long marches and stubborn sit-ins and continuously meandering political positions of our leaders to be the new face of entertainment in the country.

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