Jibran Nasir’s defiance of power and the proverbial slap heard all across Pakistan

Published: July 3, 2018
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A slap is the ultimate insult.

It demeans a person; humiliates them.

While it’s physically not as painful, the psychological and emotional wounds are much deeper and agonising.

The manner in which Mohammad Jibran Nisar was dragged, slapped and bundled in the police van yesterday, on the orders of a Sindh High Court judge for “not giving way” to his vehicle, is symptomatic of the fascism our society has faced for thousands of years in one form, shape or the other.

Foreign invaders slapped us for centuries.

After previously receiving their due share from those more powerful than them, our feudal lords, sardars, nawabs, maliks, chaudhrys did the same.

We have been slapped by military rulers, civilian administrators, supreme courts, high courts, as a matter of fact every court.

We have been slapped by our politicians, Imran Khan included.

By our preening bureaucrats. By our business people. By our academics.

And by the most sacred of cows, the purveyors of our final salvation, the religious clerics!

In fact, every and any person and institution, which was and is powerful and thought they were above the law, has slapped us.

Why he got slap by VIP and got arrest ?because he love to spend and enjoy life like me and you !!!! Ap main se #Aik Jibran Nasir

Posted by Imran Noshad Khan on Monday, July 2, 2018

And we’ve taken it lying down.

But occasionally, a mad hatter like Jibran decides not to. Jibran has been fighting the fight for a long time; he challenged the “power” and stood up to those who have been abusing their status.

On some occasions, I’ve had serious differences with him in his support of causes which I think are questionable, but I have to admit that Jibran and his defiance symbolise the rare awakening of a society cowed down by the “slaps” of the powerful.

I don’t know what will happen to him but I pray for his safety and security. I pray that he wins a seat in the provincial assembly.

I hope and pray that others also gain the courage to defy the fascism that prevails in our society. Whether it emanates from someone in uniform or out of it!

I wish I had that courage!

Perhaps in the long run, the salvation of our society and our country does lie in a defiance like Jibran’s, against this arrogance of entitlement and display of uncouth, uncivilised, illegal power.

Perhaps it does lie in finally standing up to the established order after a millennium of slaps!

Perhaps technology, especially smart phones, the internet, social and mainstream electronic media are the harbingers of this revolution and not guns, germs and steel.

This last phrase is a title of a must-read book on why certain societies became more powerful than others.

Perhaps the salvation is not in the hotchpotch political mess we see today across all political parties, using questionable strategies to come into power. No exceptions! Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) included!

Perhaps this will become the proverbial slap that is heard all over Pakistan and changes our destiny.

Haider Mehdi

Haider Mehdi

The writer is an academic and political analyst on Pakistan affairs, American foreign policy, international relations and economic matters.

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