The much-needed Left

Published: November 15, 2012
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There is a dire need to move beyond these superfluous slogans and ask deeper questions. DESIGN: ZAHRA PEER

The US elections and the debates that preceded D-Day left me thinking that despite uncanny similarities between Republican and Democratic policy agendas in the foreign arena, there is more than one dimension operating within the American political landscape.

In this part of the land, however, politics seems to be working on a one-dimensional and unitary framework. The coalition parties that form the governmental milieu are predominantly right-wing in nature. The ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), as most contend, might have started with a socialist ethos but its current disposition steers clear of its initial leftist tendencies.

The debate that currently dominates the political make-up of our society, revolves around the judiciary taking jabs at the executive and the military; the military taking pride in its closeness to the public and the executive raving about how it is the only institution that upholds the supremacy of Parliament and the Constitution.

And, how can one forget a budding political party, which takes upon its feeble shoulders the weighty task of purifying the land of the pure?

There is a dire need to move beyond these superfluous slogans and ask deeper questions.

To begin with, let us question whether parliamentary supremacy and upholding the Constitution really make a difference to the common man. Furthermore, there is a need to realise that many of the problems the country faces spring out of class oppression that exists on every level in society. There is a need for an extra dimension, an alternative imagination. There is a need for a Left.

In recent news, the merger of the Workers Party, Labour Party and Awami Party has added this much-needed extra dimension to politics. With an active leftist politics in place, one can envisage a broader understanding of politics itself, which flows between the sharp binaries of private and public and makes each action deeply political and creates a conscientious civil society.

In the midst of factory fires and shoot-outs on 15-year-old female students, all that one can hope for is stronger bases of representation for marginalised groups that compose a meaty chunk of the wider populace.

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Zehra Husain

Zehra Husain

A sub-editor at The Express Tribune, Zehra tweets as @ZehraHusain twitter.com/ZehraHusain

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