AS a senior citizen who has seen 70 summers, I am convinced that all leftist movements in Pakistan failed because only a handful of people understood leftist ideology and participated in them in that spirit.
In the subcontinent, several movements took place but all of them failed starting with the 1857 war of independence. While there were skirmishes in a few cantonments, on the whole the subcontinent slumbered. In fact many a native ruler helped the British for a few coins and a title. Read Jaswant Singh’s Partition. The Englishm ruled in the name of the Mughal emperor who was paid a monthly dole of Rs99,999. This too stopped after 1857.
Without awareness among the masses mafias in Pakistan cannot be overthrown. We need to learn from Chairman Mao Zedong.
He led the Chinese Communist Party on a long march that travelled over 9,000 kilometres to spread the message: “now China shall not be attacked, now China shall not be humiliated.” Closer to home Gandhi always travelled in the third class compartments of trains to express his solidarity with poor.
The Precariat movement fast gaining ground seems the answer to stopping and pushing back the capitalists who have made the lives of working class people miserable. These movements ensure that participants are not persecuted, or turn into ‘missing persons’.
Before each demonstration, the participants are registered and their next of kin informed of legal aid arranged for them. The basic philosophy of the movement: we are in a majority, we are not weak. We will take back whatever you have illegally taken away from us.
Without awareness citizens, including journalists, will remain unprotected and in danger of losing their rights. The movement should go on.
Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2019