Today a beautiful dream died.
I had gone to sleep in the early hours of Sunday morning hoping against hope and praying like a sinner that the official and final results of the Election Commission would show better results when I woke up. Before going to bed I had checked the Election Commission website several times to see if they had announced any results. It appeared that they had abrogated their responsibility, if they had any, in this respect in favor of commercial TV channels. Well, that’s privatization for a start. Or perhaps their responsibility was only to hold the elections and declaring winners and losers was not within their mandate. That too is understandable. Why the results of the election should be left to something as mundane and insignificant as the ballot cast by the voter. The result was too important to be left to the unknown. After all decisions as to the nations destiny and the destiny of its citizens had already been made by those within the country and their handlers outside.
I was intrigued to learn from TV analysts that we were short on the requisites of election-day politics. I guess the ECP should have conducted a course or at least prepared a manual on election rigging to prepare a level playing field. The proclaimed offenders with prize money on their heads should have been auctioned, like cricketers in the IPL, so each candidate had an enforcer to coerce and intimidate. A crash course on how to make an arrangement with a media Group, the bigger the better, to show the results from polling booths in your favor even before the all the voters had cast their vote to create a false perception of seeming victory and broadcast a narrative to go with it. These things are not a spur of the moment decision they are well rehearsed, well-choreographed, with nothing left to chance.
The wise counsel patience. We will try again after 5 years, they say. I am thinking about the voters, some in their 70s and 80s, some who came on wheel chairs with an oxygen tank attached. The last human link with the creation of Pakistan and its much sought after re-birth. I am thinking of the children who need to be in school because the pressure on scavenging on the garbage heap is bound to grow exponentially. What about the nursing mother who doesn’t get enough to breast feed her infant? What do I tell her? What do I tell myself?
But then I forget, the destitute, the un-fed, the un-washed, the children of a lesser God, do not have a right to dream, especially beautiful dreams. They can only wallow in their own filth and their own degradation. They are fodder for the state to seek alms and to trot them out every 5 years to vote with promises of beautiful dreams.
Syed Ahmed, Hong Kong