Citizens of hypocrisy: Can a petition save Pakistan?

Published: March 12, 2011

The letters at the campaign contain recommendations for the government. PHOTO: EMA ANIS

At the first protest I attended, Karachi Unversity students were protesting against the frequent riots by student political wings.

It was grand. A large number of young people, full of energy, were screaming, excitedly holding up placards.

Not a single one of them seemed to care about what was written on the placards they were holding. It was all about being at the front, holding the best placard, shouting slogans at the tops of their lungs, and most importantly, getting coverage from the media.

Apart from the burning sun on my head and some tiny pushes from here and there, I admit it was fun. I felt like the most responsible citizen on earth; somebody who cares, somebody who would stand under the open sky to make a difference.

But I was wrong.

I soon realised that protests don’t bring any change at all. They are really just hordes of people on the roads who are trying to represent the physical strength of the ‘awaam’, or showing that they have a ‘voice’.

Recently, I heard about the Citizens for Democracy (CFD), a group of around 80 non-political civil bodies that came together after the murder of Governor Salmaan Taseer, holding a ‘civilized’, ‘silent’ campaign near Park Towers.

I was eager to see how different it would be from the ones I see every now and then at Karachi University.

A perfect protest – but so what?

With growing excitement, I reached the red tent. The banners were still not up and there were only a couple of organisers were present.

As time went by and people started trickling in, I realised it was not the typical campaign where you see huge crowds pushing and yelling. People came at their own conveniece, voiced their opinions and left without creating any fuss.

It was a letter signing petition; the letters were addressed to the key leaders of Pakistan and contain recommendations to the government to act against religious extremism. These were being signed and dropped into letter boxes.

The letters call for justice and say that the murders of Shahbaz Bhatti and Salmaan Taseer should not be justified on ‘religious’ or ‘cultural’ grounds.

CFD has carried out similar petition campaigns in the past and intends to do more in the future. They mostly publicise their events online or via text messages. The people coming in often belong to the elite class. But while there were journalists, senators, artists and other professionals, the organisers urged drivers, labourers and the like to sign the petition as well. They said that they are going to hold similar events at places like North Nazimabad, so that the voice the “common man” can be heard.

This was not the kind of campaign I’ve been to before. I met people like Mohsin Sayeed, PPP Senator Suriya Amiruddin, former mayor of Karachi Fahim Zaman and many others. It was peaceful, but I am afraid even this one didn’t change my perception about protests.

Watching from the sidelines

Although it may be the best way of showing the government that the nation wants to end extremism, it certainly cannot make a difference. And since what I hope do is bring change, I refused to sign this petition.

Unlike the middle-eastern revolutions, these protests don’t have the power to bring about change. This is because the people that gathered today are not ready to be a part of the system they are raising slogans against.

Petitions are easy, participation is difficult.

Can these people run for elections?

Can they become the people we are willing to vote for? Or even go out and vote?

Will they continue to complain to corrupt leaders who have no desire to listen?

If this is how things stand, I refuse to sign this petition.

If you would like to sign an online version of the Citizens for Democracy letter to Pakistan’s leadership, add your name to this list.

ema.anis

Ema Anis

The social media editor for the web desk at The Express Tribune. She tweets as @EmaAnis (twitter.com/EmaAnis)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://tightdhoti.wordpress.com TightDhoti

    I dont think anyone believes that one protest or one petition is going to change anything. Its incremental and hopefully the movement will snowball into something bigger. Every revolution or popular movement has been started by a few people sharing ideas and presenting an opinion that deviates from the popular narrative.

    Then again, you are articulating your arguments along the same line as those whose pragmatism you are questioning. A small group of non-political people refuse to join the system and shout from the outside, writing a blog, in English on the internet, isnt actually getting out there, interacting with the masses and joining the system either. Recommend

  • Laila

    Someone had to say it! “Petitions are easy, participation is difficult” – beautiful !!!Recommend

  • Leela

    What a lovely idea! I’m not in Pakistan at the moment otherwise I woud definitely attend.

    @Ema: I understand your cynicism. Protests may feel like they are not “as good as” participation. But they are a step in the right direction.
    If we can leave our homes to sign a letter perhaps one day we will go out to vote and maybe, eventually someone – who knows he has our support- will have the courage to stand up in front of our countrymen and lead. Recommend

  • Shantila Asoorjee

    all you can do is sit on the side and act like ur better. these ppl are working hard to make a diff in the pakistan YOU live in. why dont u do smth? instead of sitting in the comfort of ur home writing a smarmy blogRecommend

  • Khalid Abbas

    Excellent post Ema. The chants for revolution or Inqalab can easily be converted into “intaqam” in our country. These high society aunties and uncles cannot be trusted at all. They cant even change themselves, what to talk about the nation or society. Ask them how many days off they give to their maids and drivers? Work hours of people who work for them? Taxes paid by them. Recommend

  • http://www.twitter.com/qabacha Raza

    So the point of even writing this article is what? What does you not participating accomplish? What does you writing this article accomplish? What do you hope to get out of it?Recommend

  • Farieha

    Is there any harm in trying? Every effort makes a difference.

    When those from the pulpits cried murder or employed intimidatory tactics to put a stop to public debate on the blasphemy law and its misuse, people still came out on the streets, spoke out and wrote about it, despite the imminent threat of being targeted. It’s necessary to speak, write, come out and do whatever one can on whatever level (which includes engaging with those who are already a part of political parties, in parliament and in government). It is all part of the process.

    Fear, threats, intimidation, violence, murder – sitting tight and doing nothing is not going to put a stop to them. There’s a lot of hate and negativity all around, it doesn’t hurt to hope and attempt things that ‘might’ make a difference. It’s just worth a try.Recommend

  • http://nomanquadri.blogspot.com NQ

    I respect the right of freedom of expression exercised by Ema. Can I say to Ema to stand up and contest the elections? In a society where murders are celebrated and murderers are garlanded, where people are gunned down for voicing against a man made law, the blasphemy law or other Zia’s black laws. The people standing on the street fearlessly and ready to face threats need appreciation not back biting. If some one thinks it’s a wastage of time, then he/she should not simply write a blog post or an article, he/she should come up with an answer! if something is wrong than tell us what’s right! and what action plan should be followed to achieved that.Recommend

  • http://www.Shahjahan.net Shahjahan Bhutto

    The author sounds like a 22-26 year old person who has not personally lost someone to terrorism or extremism and/or even her family did not face any hardships during dictatorships.
    ,
    I’ll be honest, when I first heard about the CFD’s campaign being held at Kothari Parade I thought that these guys were targeting only the elite. But I still made it a point to go there, all the from beyond Karachi University to specifically sign it. On my way, it became clear to me that just signing it won’t do any good and that signing it means it is now my responsibility as well to spread the word and basically when the time comes, stand up to tyranny.
    .
    Ema, I guess you will not speak when they come for me, you will not speak when they come for them… and than when they come for you, no one would be there. Why Express Tribune hires idiots and young cynics as bloggers is beyond me. Cynics who have lived a comfortable life and are unwilling to go out and stand in the middle of the road to actually see what an ordinary person goes through. I guess it sort of gives them importance in their own eyes. Cynics who know how much a mazdoor makes in a day because they are public statistics but have never really experienced living in those conditions.Recommend

  • Nasrat Baloch

    No choice for liberals except surrender!as this country is now poised to go extreme religious as majority of people in Punjab,the media ,urban elites and some other very powerfull forces openly sympathized with them.So dear liberals surrender or leave!
    Recommend

  • parvez

    Signing a petition is participation. May be the first step but you know the saying of how a journey begins.Recommend

  • http://grsalam@wordpress.com Ghausia

    I refused to sign this petition.

    That pretty much sums up your whole blog. I’m sorry I don’t have a nicer way of saying this, but you sound just a wee bit immature in this. of course one protest won’t make a difference, but its one step towards being the change, and lets face it, I read and comment on blogs as much as the next person, but they’re not as productive as a protest, not by a long shot. instead of sitting in a nice comfortable AC’d room like you or me, they’re out there in the sweltering heat because they still believe in this country and its people. Its hard to, I know, but we have to believe in something, no matter how futile it may seem.Recommend

  • Safwan Ramzan

    I agree with you to a certain extent, Ema. We can debate the pros and cons of petition signing whole day. One thing i’d definitely agree with is that petition is easy, participation ain’t. But it’s one step ahead in the right direction. And I appreciate the Citizen’s of Democracy’s pledge in making this happen but the CFD also needs to understand the imporantance of conventional protests. Simple petition signing is just not enough. As long as it’s a matter of signing the petition or not. It’s just a simple signature on something we all agree upon. However, the government takes the notice of this petition or not, which i’m quite sure they won’t.. not by simple letters at least, it’s simply worth a try! What we need is something like what is happening in the Arab world today. But I guess the people of Pakistan are too busy keeping the track of Cricket World Cup and which matches Pakistan wins and India doesn’t.. I suppose. Pun intended.Recommend

  • Samreen Bhatty

    “Although it may be the best way of showing the government that the nation wants to end extremism, it certainly cannot make a difference. And since what I hope do is bring change, I refused to sign this petition,” – seriously that’s your reason? Your cynicism means you stand on the sidelines and throw stones at the ‘citizens of hypocrisy’. With these petitions and protests, CFD and other organizations are trying to voice citizens’ concern and their demands to the higher authority. These events may not make a very HUGE difference, but it’s making at least SOME difference. If you’re cynical enough not to understand that, then get off your bum, stop throwing stones at them, and do something! If you’re angry at them/their campaign, go do it yourself. CFD is working on a great cause and they are moving forward! Kudos to them for their efforts!Recommend

  • Samreen Bhatty

    …and by signing a petition, you are actually ‘participating’…go figure!Recommend

  • CaffeinatedBliss

    The voice of one “immature” and “young” person in this country is enough to make me sit up and pay attention. For the people here who have shot down this young and weary blogger with insults, you seem to be filled with nothing except your own importance of finally taking that first step. So, congratulations on your bravery of making a trip to sign a piece of paper. No need to condemn those who didn’t. If this young person feels disillusioned, it is because of the older generation who have sat quiet too long, and let too much happen. Look at what we’re done to our youth, and look at how quick we are to label them as cynics. Shame on us.Recommend

  • http://www.pydn.org Munawar Rind

    Emma

    I protest here and request you to resign from the post of sub-editorship at a newspaper like Tribune. I request you in my personal capacity and in being the fan of Express Tribune.

    I believe people like you who do not believe in the sincere actions, and only demand imaginary things and in personal capacity, doing nothing, except criticizing, are found very commonly in Pakistan.

    Please, I request you to be away from such a prestigious newspaper. It is not of your caliber and you shorter mental approach.

    Regards
    Munawar Ali Rind
    Young Entrepreneur
    Islamabad Recommend

  • Gina

    So much for tolerance, huh? This post call the event a “perfect protest”. Does Ema not have a right to believe that protests are useless without tangible political participation?

    I understand that the organisers may be passionate but I must point out that if there is any stone-throwing go on – It was not done by Ema.

    Her cynicism speaks volumes and this is a voice that needs to be heard as much as the hyper-opyimistic change the world voice,

    The pragmatic “How?”Recommend

  • http://www.habloid.wordpress.com Habiba Younis

    So what else are we as teenagers supposed to do who cant ‘stand in elections’..?
    Protests may not be that helpful but they DO convey a message of what we as the youth of Pakistan want and the way we think. And mind you, huge scale campaigns do bring the govt under pressure, or why else are the mullahs so successful in getting things done their way? Their only power is this very public protests, rallies and stuff. The problem with sane campaigns like that related to protesting against blasphemy laws or voicing against extremism is that the participants are usually hardly in hundreds which is why they fail to leave a mark.
    Overall, disagreed with this post. And yes wait, why you bothered to write this in the first place? If petitions cant bring any change then I can say the same for blogs-strictly applying your logic.Recommend

  • Hadia Khan

    Dear Writer……You.Don’t.Matter!!!! Because in my opinion you don’t have the capacity to even comprehend the motivation of the people who organized the campaign. You have the audacity to question whether this petition signing campaign will make a difference. Then please tell me what will???? Give a solution before you refuse to sign any petition…

    Now let me ask you….

    Why don’t you run for elections?

    Can you become the people we are willing to vote for? Or even go out and vote?

    Will “YOU” ever complain to corrupt leaders who have no desire to listen? or will “YOU” just stand on the side and criticize the ones who who do take time out to stand up and raise their voice!!!!Recommend

  • http://www.twitter.com/qabacha Raza

    Its ironic that the defence is her voice is one that should be heard. Bibi the article is explicitly about the futility of just raising your voice. Then dont. Especially in an english language newspaper with a mainly online readership, with this article probably reaching a subset of the people CFD were targeting.

    Ironic that the lady questions whether they vote, as if an individual vote has a greater impact than individual protest or activism.Recommend

  • atts

    yep absolutely right, we dont have the power to bring about change…….. BUT tell u what at least we have the guts to try n go out there & do something which mite (mind u mite) raise some questions, raise some awareness

    ok dont sign the petition, its not like we forced u to, its there u want to sign, then sign u want to be on ur merry way pls do so …….sitting in the comfort of ur home sipping a cup of tea n writing an article criticising me (yes i m one of the ‘hyprocrites’ who signed) will not get u where??? Recommend

  • http://arunahussain.com Aruna

    You can sign and hope that maybe it will bring about some change.
    Or you can abstain from signing and know for sure you didn’t do anything whatsoever.Recommend

  • Ema Anis

    I thank you all who bothered to waste their time on my blog, but here are a few things which I’d like to say.

    Let me clear the allegations put on me of sitting in an ‘air-conditioned’ room and not knowing what the ‘common man’ goes through as I work at “Express Tribune”. Dear all, I am a student at Karachi University, I have no personal conveyance, I still ask for lifts in my campus to commute, I have not a single air conditioner at my home and yes, I do travel in the public buses of Karachi. Is it not enough to tell who I am and what I’ve seen?
    Yes, I will stand in the elections if I get a chance to or atleast support someone in elections whom I find good enough.
    This campaign was against religious extremism, do you think that this issue is a child’s play? Do you think putting across a few recommendations on paper signed by a million addressed to the government can really help curb this?
    Supporters of Qadri are equal (or maybe even more) in number than the people against religious extremism who are out on the roads. If getting people gathered for a cause makes a difference, who do you think will win from these two factions?

    I’m pretty sure that the people who attended it would be the first ones to run away from Pakistan the minute any hardship comes their way.Recommend

  • Meera Ghani

    Ema, thanks for responding to the comments, while I understand your frustration with the system you cant condemn those who are trying very hard to fight it. Its not about whether a petition will make a difference its about raising your voice. People have been doing that through blogs, articles and protests and this is another way to create some noise around the issues that affect us all equally.

    And I’d just like to point out that petitions do work if there are a sizable amount of signatories. That’s why they continue to be used to mobilize people worldwide. This campaign was more about raising awareness. We are in it for the long run we all know that progress may be slow but if we want to see a progressive Pakistan we need to start raising our voices, and one day they will be heard.

    I was really saddened to read such cynicism coming from a student who has yet to start life. It will be impossible to change things in Pakistan if we always view things as “the glass is half empty” rather than “the glass is half full” mindset. All the best to you. And do keep writing and interacting its very therapeutic. Hope one day all this optimism and activism the Citizens For Democracy have shown will help you cross over to the other side.Recommend

  • Athar Quraishi

    Is this the ‘blood money’ we are willing to expend to buy truce with our guilty conscience.

    ===
    Guilty, because of the mending and the darning we didn’t do when our national fabric had only a slight tear.

    ===
    Guilty, because of our outsourcing our citizenship duties to ineffectual leaders, because they were ‘one of us’ and ‘taking care of our agenda’.

    ===
    Guilty, because of our acquiescence to the barrack and the battalion, because they were ‘keeping us safe’ when they were actually checking things out for their benefit and keeping our dividends going.

    ===
    Guilty, because of the constant life of double lies and half-truths, that game of self-denial of our true South Asian hybrid identity, rather than an imported one from the Arab Jazeera?

    ===
    Guilty, because we love Clifton more than Quaid.

    ===
    Guilty, because it is nice to talk in the conditioned calm of the cafe, rather than volunteer in the slum for improving education, or push for accountability in taxation, and comply with those statutes.

    ===
    Guilty, because there is always UAE and the UK to escape when it gets too hot for comfort on this side of the Indus or that side of Swat.

    ===
    Guilty, because we knew we were telling ourselves lies, but thought the mirror was the liar.

    ===
    Such blood must indeed be black. It will do for now, to write our names with it.
    For we are the condemned. If so, then let us live out these days of infamy, and seek our own pardon, so we can power our nation again. Recommend

  • Noman A. Burney

    Very nicely put, Ema. The article pretty much sums up the fate of this ‘fleeting activism’ on the part of 80 ‘non-political’ civil bodies where non-political activists wish to humbly serve their petitions in front of hackneyed “key leaders” and that government which can always superciliously stuff the mouths of empty-headed with the plethora of statistics on how well it has actually been combating extremism on all fronts.

    And I wonder, what will happen of this country where even ‘moderates’ so adamantly cross the boundaries of moderation when it comes to mere opinions against their preconceived notions about the subjectivity of anything.

    Yeah, you should resign because you’ve got an OPINION, which gives them the license to discredit you by calling cynic, immature or even idiot.

    Tolerance – why is it so godforsaken everywhere?Recommend

  • atts

    @Ema Anis:
    ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’…. but of course u wouldnt know that b/c u carved the column with a knife
    with due apologies i feel ur family has ‘wasted’ their precious money, the amount they spent on the fees of school/college/university giving u ‘unnecessary’ education could have bought them an aircoditioner or more n i m sure u would not have protested b/c that would be useless ….. right?
    u talk about hardships? travelling in public buses to get an education??? some of the ppl who supported the cause did not even have the luxury of ‘an education’ yes they put a thumb impression b/c they believed in the cause n they want to make a difference so pls dont expect sympathy votes for ur so called ‘hardship’
    u talk of qadri n ppl supporting him in large nos, my dear by not signing the petition u did exactly that (give in to the numbers) u r condoning the act, so there
    what i fail to understand is that u feel u have a right to criticise cfd (via this blog) yet u flare up in defense when u were at the receiving end …… the criticism outnumbered u by 20 (as per ur own words ….. give in to the numbers) :PRecommend

  • parvez

    @Ema Anis: Your rejoinder is strong and possibly what your saying is, don’t lets waste time on petitions because 99% chances are that petitions will not work. What about the 1% ? Is it not worth it ? Can you suggest an alternative ?
    Your rejoinder begs the question ‘ Do you suggest we resort to shooting Quadri types as it certainly would produce results ?’ Obviously not. You have to promote civil protest in order to force the government machinery to uphold the law, as a start.Recommend

  • Saad Durrani

    Rather bringing things down to the sand… it is best to support, think, talk and implement. We need to start somewhere, sometime.Recommend

  • Patriot

    Ema, I am very impressed by your words. You look young but your words are heavy, and they have given me food for thought. I still think signing the petition is better than the alternative (doing nothing) but i respect your for your bold and outspoken stance.

    Keep writing!Recommend

  • http://grsalam.wordpress.com Ghausia

    I am a student at Karachi University, I have no personal conveyance, I still ask for lifts in my campus to commute, I have not a single air conditioner at my home and yes, I do travel in the public buses of Karachi.

    Yeah, so what? No really, so what? A lot of my friends are the same. So what? No really, so what, so what, so what? You have it better than most of the people in our country. I don’t even know what to say to you dude, I mean, you think using public transport and going to KU is ‘seeing a lot’? I can’t and won’t judge you as a journalist, but I have to wonder how, despite being a journalist, you can think like this, because you have to have seen worse. At least you get lifts, at least you have the money for public transport, for God’s sake, you go to a UNIVERSITY! Do you know how many people don’t even get a primary school education? And what gies you any right to judge the people that were actually signing the petition? Not to mention, the snippy comment on how most of them would run away gien the chance is just. That’s it, I’m out of words. Few people have managed to do that, I can count them on one hand, so congratulations are in order I suppose. You seem incredibly smart, I just hope you utilize your intelligence in a more productive way than this.Recommend

  • Raza

    @ Ema
    Are you for real ? The crux of your whole article is I didnt sign the petition because I am different. Well lady you are not. You have the same run of the mill story. Bibi the audience you are trying to address is the same audience which was signing the petition. The fact that they were trying to do something shows that they still care. At least they were not showing that they were above what other minions are doing like you did. What most reflects the duplicity of your article is that you agree that you share their view and opinion with the caveat that you want a far more practical or substantive response yet you were not willing to sign the petition. In order to get to the top of stairs one has to climb one step at a time. This was the 1st step where people are reflecting that they realize a change in thinking is needed. Unless you have invented teleportation the change will have to be gradual. Miracles dont happen in modern age. If you cant do anything then please don’t, why preach to the condemned. Stand aside and let others do what tiny effort they can put in.
    As for the comment on people whom you accuse will run away when the time comes, are you suggesting they leave right away or just venting out your frustration on their good fortune ? Recommend

  • http://www.6la8.com Confused

    You voice one different opinion and people start bawling about it. It does appear to be useless,but apparently it ‘gives hope’ to people. However, it may do so, it just doesn’t do that for me, and probably you. Personal opinions.
    I suggest a negotiation: Go to petitions even if you don’t believe they work. As you are participating, research them up and investigate, pinpoint exactly what is wrong, what is right, and attempt to get your reasons heard. Like for instance, the peaceful way of signing petitions and voicing opinions would seem to qualify only with regions having an organized management system and not places like Pakistan where much more violent happenings overshadow this demonstration of peace.
    I am not a journalist or socialist so I don’t have a clue about how you research this :/ but yeah, you seem smart and you can possibly do something fruitful about it. Takes quite a lot of effort, but you would have more reasons to convince people And introduce a new effective methodology. And its a better use of time than arguing about how lucky or unlucky you are…
    And look on the bright side, you still went to the petitions right?Recommend

  • http://commonr.blogspot.com Jibran T. Siddiqui

    Good thoughts Ema. Protests never bring change, even the revolution in middle-east is not public’s initiative As you said, protests are easy, participation is hard,.we should be practically involved into the process instead of rubbing the magic lamp hoping for revolution.

    Another thing, these protests are always used for personal reasons. 2007 was the year of protests for Pakistan, what did we get? Just a Army men out, what else? Who got the advantage, the protesters or someone else?

    I appreciate your thoughts, may Allah save Pakistan and give us strength to stand up. Pakistan Zindabad. Recommend

  • http://www.aalahazrat.com aalahazrat

    Petitioning the people who can actually make a difference sounds like the most potent form of involvement in the political process that I know of.

    It is non violent, it is mass and I think 15,000 people showing up to sign a letter shows that there is a movement where people want to be heard.

    This blog post on the other hand is unnecessarily critical of an incredibly post modern democratic method of grassroots opinion generation and representation which the author is completely incapable of understanding.Recommend

  • http://www.aalahazrat.com aalahazrat

    I must add here the following for Ema,

    I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it. – Voltaire

    Although I bitterly disagree with this blog post, but lets not muffle any voices, and lets not force any more Pakistanis to go quiet. Let us agree to enjoy Pluralism and learn from the collective genius of 170 million minds.Recommend

  • Manam Iqbal

    Good article Ema. But unfortunately, everybody here is simply forgetting that like them all, the writer has the right to voice her opinion as well. Nowhere in the world things change from petitions. Yes, they are heard but only in civilized countries. The so-called First world countries that is. Real revolutions are bloody ones. Believing in them, once again, depends on the person in question. Recommend

  • faris

    Signing or not signing the petition aside, what makes me cringe is the tone of criticism directed at Ema. I presume Citizens for democracy would stand by democratic norms, isn’t freedom of speech and airing one’s honest opinion an integral part of democracy? The flak directed at Ema alongwith the personal nature of some comments isn’t too democratic. Recommend

  • JS

    I agree with writer. File as many petitions as you want, nothing is going to happen. The system comprises of people who do not understand the problems of common men because they belong to the elite class and they do not face these issues. Unless and until, we get rid of this elite class, nothing is going to help.

    All the problems will be solved, if common men are chosen to represent the common people. Filing petitions is useless.Recommend

  • Safwan Ramzan

    Everybody seems to be praising Petition signing process to alternative. So what exactly is alternative to you people? Sit around? Why don’t you guys take some example from the Arab World? Ain’t the fall of regime the best alternate we can find?Recommend

  • http://karachiuni saima hayat

    hmmmmm……” baat tu sach hai magar baat hai rusvaaee ki “Recommend

  • shazray

    For people who keep on claiming that everyone has a right to have an opinion: Well people just read the article again. This writer is running down the same belief when she sees other signing petitions expressing their view. She calls it hypocrisy while choosing to do nothing herself then put a blog in her name.Recommend

  • jz

    Ema… remember its not the outcome, the end result, the destination … but the process that matters. We do not claim to be change agents. We are not focusing on the outcome.. we are only trying to do whatever little we have in our scope. We are also frustrated and believe that the Qadris of our world are far more in numbers than us. However, we cant sit on it and sulk? I personally feel that if the stone I’ll throw may not shake the building, but would at least hit it somewhere? my protest is registered. Dont look at the numbers; dont see how few people are doing it; dont get frustrated by not seeing any outcome; dont look for outcomes in fact. But celebrate the fact that some people stood up and said No; some people stood up and signed a protest letter; some people went out to the press club and chanted slogans…it is the process, it is the fact that they stepped out and protested .. that matters most. Recommend

  • Hammad Anwar

    Protest can be the best way to raise your voice. I do agree, that sometimes protest just act as a “Masses get-together”, and nothing else, but still, if this get-together has a purpose behind it, and if this remains as an ongoing process, there might be a chance, that someone listens to it, but not sure, if this can happen in Pakistan…!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • Jay

    Thought provoking. Idea perfectly illustrated. I can’t think of anything other than what you’ve already written. You are the inspiration queen!Recommend

  • CaffeinatedBliss

    @Athar Quraishi:
    Bravo!!Recommend

  • Ahsan Raza Firdousi

    Dear Ema , my concern with your write up is more because you have quoted an incident I hold very close to my heart, the one you have mentioned in your opening lines, it was the first protest we organized at the university and the sole reason was to try our level best to stop those hooligans from destroying peace at campus.
    How I can prove that we never intended to get self publicity is by the fact we never invited any press to cover our protest whatever got coverage was because after all something of that sort was news and merited itself a small place in the media.
    It took great courage to stand against two rival student groups on campus, you are a student there and you know how difficult it is to confront those political gangsters!
    My point here is to just make this clear that if staging protest is of no use, neither is not staging a protest of any use!
    Let’s put it this way that only protests cannot do anything but standing firm at ones stand and facing the music no matter what ever happens actually changes things ! Recommend

  • Sehrish

    So, is The Express Tribune facing some self-censorship issues?
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/42483Recommend

  • Jay

    @ Ghausia: it seemed as if you’re shouting your head off with that ‘so what’? I agree with the kind of life we have these days and that some people would’ve frustrated you to the edge but hello! people this girl here I think took a bold step in just delivering the word about how implementation is equally necessary than just signing petitions. And nicely done Ema. Good work once again.

    @ all those who criticize this clear stance: if all you had done what you say you would, the world itself would’ve have been a better place to live. No direct attacks, but if we all unite for something that makes sense rather than picking and bullying people who TRY to put things together. It’s a shame. Anyways that’s just my two cents. Sorry for the long post.

    ~Peace~Recommend

  • Shahbaz ul Hassan

    without right aim protest is useless now we think only one person matter we don,t know world is globle village and a place no one want cruility we do protest but a meaningful aim.when we think our path is right so donot preffer life into death.Recommend