Stories about revolution

Fragile political transition towards democracy

The last session of Parliament will mark the government’s completion of its constitutional tenure, irrespective of the fact whether the roots of true democracy have been nurtured or not. The past five years have been a highly tumultuous period with economic slowdowns, corruption and terrorism plaguing the country like never before. A look at the functioning of the legislative assembly shows the political tension between the winners of the 2008 elections and the main opposition party, with little constructive performance by the former and productive criticism by the latter. The achievements of the PPP government do not match the criterion necessary for ...

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Revolution is in the air

I watch the electronic window, In the corner of my room, I see the cricketer promise, An exit from this doom, I see the cleric swing his fist, Throwing curses everywhere, Inhale the winds of change for, Revolution is in the air! I watch the men in charge, Giving excuses for this state, I notice in the anchor’s tone, Frequencies of distaste, I see the opposition complain, As if they really care, Inhale the winds of change for, Revolution is in the air! I see my streets burn, In the fire of mistrust, I see the protesters yelling, As they burn another bus, Behind which the owner stands, Asking if this is fair, Inhale ...

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For Tahirul Qadri, it’s a win

The revolution is over. Democracy is saved. Islamabad the green will become even greener, thanks to all the fertiliser. The ‘padri’ is now very much a player. The ‘former’ government is now a coalition partner, the ‘yazeedis’ are now buddies and Karbala, it seems, came with a conference-ready container. Bad jokes and highly inappropriate references aside (hey, they started it), we can breathe a collective sigh of relief that it all ended without violence because, for a while there, it all looked very touch and go. I’m also glad that the army kept its boots off, and didn’t tip the balance ...

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Democracy is nothing but a politician’s catch phrase

Our world today seems to be in a constant state of revolution. Somehow, revolution brings a romanticised solution to all that is wrong with a corrupt bureaucracy.  Whoever promises the most drastic changes, the most extreme improvements, the most cacophonous, clamorous, and deafening rhetoric, is guaranteed a captive audience and an avid following. One thing that these masters of spin can count on is the common man’s desperate desire for a better life, their despairing hope that the world has something finer to offer – if only they can find a charismatic, catalytic leader to make change happen for them. We, ...

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The missing red cape

Qadri is no hero, though in the manner that he swept in and out with thousands on his side, one wonders where he hides his red cape. One also wonders about the source of that unswerving confidence. Anyone would agree that his arrival was anti-climactic – where was he when the nation was crippled without electricity and gas, when food became entirely unaffordable and when democracy was beginning to feel like the wrong choice? What has prompted his untimely bulletproof ‘revolution’ now, just two months ahead of elections? Surely, he could have stepped in when the election commission was being ...

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Catalysing the change

Since the Arab Spring revolution kicked off, Pakistanis also seem to be advocating some kind of “change” for betterment. However, a question often disturbs me; things in the political and social realm appear to have gone from bad to worse, but we keep on expecting change. So, where is the change? Why hasn’t it come yet? Have you ever pondered why? I believe we, as a society, focus only on words and are not careful about doing what we preach or believe. I, for one, love to talk about standing united like people in Arab world did − but I doubt I’d ...

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Tahirul Qadri’s ‘Arab Spring’ façade –

The emergence of Tahirul Qadri as the sole ‘saviour’ to the people of Pakistan has not failed to attract much media attention. “A revolution journey has begun,” his words echoed at public gatherings from Lahore to Karachi. Quite undoubtedly, Qadri has come forth with an elaborate agenda which deals with getting rid of corrupt rulers, but the strategy he has devised is far from being prudent to achieve this purpose. Though the emerging leader seems to have taken charge of a fast-changing political scenario, several questions still remain unanswered. For instance, Qadri fails to explain how Pakistan is similar to countries which experienced ...

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Egypt: A revolution betrayed?

Last Thursday, Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi stupefied the Egyptian public Islamist allies and opposition alike with his new decree granting him sweeping powers that practically make him immune to judicial decisions and gives him near absolute power in constitutional matters. At the time of writing, Egypt is roiling with mass pro democracy protests that are spreading with the passing of each day. On November 27, 2012, almost 100,000 protesters flocked to Egypt’s iconic Tahrir Square to protest against Morsi’s new decree, which they call a ‘power grab’ and led the Nobel Laureate Opposition leader, Al Baradei to pronounce Morsi as Egypt’s New Pharaoh. The protest sit-in at Tahrir ...

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Let them eat cake

Files outside broken doors, Head counts reach to thousands, Hands spread, Arms outstretched, For food, Money, (Weaponry exchanges hands) And still, Waiting for more.   Greedy, no, Impoverished, Eyes eat up more, Than goes in the mouth. At the end of the day, Let them eat cake.   But at the turn, The dreams peek through, Stolen glances. The daring hope, (The bird still perched) We’re silent amidst the noise of our revolt. (Revolution) At the end of the day, Our blood is still green. Read more by Maryam ...

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Do we really want change?

While the hoopla after Imran Khan’s successful marathon rallies all over Pakistan subsides, the beleaguered awam still rides on the wave of optimism regarding the utopian change that Imran talks about. It was nothing new, for the US had just witnessed a disgruntled public bringing to power a president who harped on changing the lives of his fellow Americans. The Middle East saw its version of the change, too: a political overthrow that people equated with the doing away of the status quo. In Pakistan, there have been calls for a similar change: a revolution, a tsunami. But I think people ...

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