When I started my blog, I named it ‘Inquilab’ or revolution. I was frustrated by the crisis situation in Pakistan and wanted to urge the people to stand up against the corrupt politicians and inefficient government machinery. Like every Tom, Dick and Harry, I believed revolution would change the course of Pakistan and put it back on track. However, over a period of time I realized I was wrong and it wasn’t revolution which the country needed but an evolution.
The word revolution comes from the Latin word ‘revolutio’ and means a “turnaround”. In other words it is a fundamental change in power over a short period of time. Revolution at first sight seems to be a quick fix solution to all our problems. After all, we have corrupt leaders, inflation, militancy, unemployment and an economic crisis going on in our country.
Given this state of affairs, it gets hard to take a step back and look at the whole situation in a broader view. However, a step back is essential or we would be leading ourselves to further danger. Many Pakistanis like to see themselves in a pressure-cooker situation and are waiting for the explosion to occur. I have started to see things quite differently. I believe we don’t need a revolution. I also believe we can’t have one in Pakistan. What we can and need to have is an evolution.
Looking back at history we observe that majority of the revolutions around the world have been against monarchs. The Islamic Revolution in Iran involved the overthrow of the Shah of Iran, while the Chinese revolution of 1912 resulted in the overthrow of the imperial Manchu Dynasty. Similarly, the famous French Revolution was an attempt to abolish the monarchy in France. The purpose of these revolutions was to over throw the monarch to put people in power. Pakistan is a democratic country. The credibility of the elections can be argued but the fact that Pakistan is ruled by a coalition of political parties, who have been elected by the people of Pakistan, cannot be denied. A revolution against a people’s government will put who in power? It will lead to a situation of anarchy and result in a civil war. This makes another martial law much more likely for Pakistan than a revolution.
A revolution needs a revolutionary leader who can unite a people for a cause. Neither do we have a revolutionary leader nor are we a united people. A revolution where common people try to take over the assets of the country is also very unlikely. The only recognized institution in our country (read: Pakistan Army) will never let it happen. Our politicians are not the only ones corrupt. Corruption has become a part of our culture. From a politician to a traffic police officer to a common man, every one of us is corrupt. I say this because as Pakistani citizens all of us have a responsibility towards our country and when we give a bribe to a police officer or a politician, we fail to fulfill this responsibility. Our leaders use their power to corrupt us and we do exactly as we are told.
Instead of a revolution which will bring the same people to power again, we need an evolution. We need to evolve as responsible Pakistanis who are willing to do something for their country. We need to evolve as educated people who are aware of their rights. We need to evolve as free individuals who are allowed to practice whatever religion we follow. We need to evolve as equal citizens who are treated not based on their social standing but on fair means. We need to evolve ourselves as change-makers who instead of waiting for something to happen do whatever they can in their own capacity for the people around them. We need to evolve as caring individuals who care for their community and contribute towards it in a positive manner. We need to evolve not as Hindus, Shias, Sunnis, Ahmedis or Christians but as Pakistanis. We need to evolve not as Sindhis, Balochis, Pathans or Punjabis but as one nation. To do this we don’t need a revolution. All we need is a change in our own mindset. We need to change our mindset by accepting our differences and celebrating them, by questioning our belief system and making our faith stronger, by uniting against sectarianism, fundamentalism, corruption and all other things which plague our society. This will take time but it’s very important that we do this because we have to be sure our foundations are strong so that the structures we build on them last forever.