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Change we can believe in?

March 18, 2009

I have always been the kind to disapprove of protests, marches, vigils and the likes. I always thought they served no purpose other than getting easy publicity. However, I have no shame in admitting that the long march has proved me wrong and has forced me to believe otherwise.

The restoration of judiciary may not have been the direct outcome of the long march or the lawyers’ movement; it may have been brought into enforcement by a ‘foreign hand’ (one that was most hopeful of a peaceful outcome); there may have been a ‘deal’ behind closed doors too; but the fact remains that the power of the people has been proved. Political activists, lawyers, members of the civil society or students, whoever they were, they had all come together for a mission and were not to be let down by imposition of the jalsa rule (section 144) or threats of terror strikes.

It seems as if the establishment was taken aback by the sheer determination of the hundreds and thousands of people who had vowed to surge on and lodge their protest in the form of a sit-in. I have never really supported any political party. And this time around too, it was the presence of non-political alliances such as the Concerned Citizens of Pakistan, Students Action Committee that opened my eyes to the power of unity. It was the true demonstration of ‘sit up and take notice.’ Most importantly, it has given me inspiration. Inspiration to believe in this crazy, terrorist-haven labelled, corrupt-at-all-level land of ours. Inspiration to prove it otherwise. On March 16, 2009, at 6 a.m., the clichéd morning of inspiration and hope dawned upon me, an apathetic citizen and the 17 million lot of us. It was an umeed-e-sahar indeed.