30th October – The new Chapter
An Exclusive Piece For Saach.tv
An Exclusive Piece For Saach.tv
It was a week before the 30th October, when I, like many other PTI supporters found myself in the middle of conversations with the bottom line of “ye nahin ho sakta”, “PTI is delusional to get Minar e Pakistan filled up”, “khan has committed the biggest mistake of his life by choosing Iqbal park as the venue”, “Facebook likes cannot be converted into people coming out in their hundreds of thousands at a Jalsa”, “the Jeans and burger generation is too comfy on their keyboards to come out and attend a Political Jalsa”, “the Facebook party will confirm its status of a tanga party on the 30th october by not being able to fill even quarter of Minar e Pakistan” Etc Etc. And then the day came, the day that changed the dynamics of politics in Pakistan, probably at least for the next 10 years. The day caught a lot of 50 something and above by “surprise”. It was not a surprise though for us, for we knew that we will be able to pull this one. The big gatherings in Islamabad(13th August 2011),Karachi(Nishtar park in 2011),Gujranwala and Peshawar went under reported and played down by the media earlier. Khan once again was able to prove that he and his team along with passionate supporters, can prove any mathematics and analysis fall on its face. The phenomenon beyond comprehension of conventional politicians and analysts.
The passion was extra ordinary, Lahore had come to life that day, The websites that were live streaming the proceedings went crashing, the social media was jammed, the electronic media could not under report or not cover the jalsa as they tried successfully in the past. The numbers became irrelevant after Iqbal park was packed and people started filling up the surrounding areas. And then we witnessed the jeans and burger youth (as branded by status quo political parties and analysts in the past with an intent to mock and humiliate our generation – and that includes “all political” parties) was hand in hand with the kurta and lunghi thailay walas, rikshay walas, the masses, young and old, men and women, literate and illiterate. The passion was and is still beyond the comprehension of many conventional leaders and analysts. The chants of the charged crowd were sending seismic waves to the political parties in the corridors of power. None of the traditional political parties and their leaders could ignore the tectonic plates moving under their feet. And as branded by Khan in his historic address, The Tsunami for those political parties had arrived.
It was a game changer, the post 30th October politics of Pakistan is a strong testament to this. Before30th October 2011, all status quo symbol, political parties, used to mock the youth and under rated khan’s charisma and magnetic pulling power for the young and passionate Pakistanis. The jeans and burger Facebook generation, as we were labelled by those ignorant politicians and analysts, was thought to be apolitical before 30th October. All of a sudden, the young voter has become the talk of all political parties. Reading all major political party leaders’ statements and listening to the “Tareekhi khitabs” one can sense that how they are now trying their best to attract the young voter that they used to “mock” about in the past.
Another aspect was the way the jalsa was arranged. The Build up, the stage, the background, the content, everything was initially criticised by frustrated status quo political parties. And then we can now clearly see each and every political party inPakistanhas copied the “PTI” signature arrangements in their jalsas. Motivational songs in the jalsa, have now become an integral part of “ALL” political parties. The numbers have all of a sudden become important for even “those” political parties who never needed to highlight the number of attendees in their jalsas. They all try to pull a farce now by mentioning “youth” that is actually non existent or in INSIGNIFICANT numbers in their gatherings, The “passion” of attendees that is actually clearly artificial or non existent, the “number of attendees” that most parties never had to mention pre 30th October. Look at a jalsa or a “Tareekhi Khitaab” of any political leader now, you can easily verify what I have just mentioned.
The extra ordinary number of volunteers running campaigns for this political party is a phenomenon that our beloved motherland has not witnessed before, at least not to this scale. All other political parties, and I mean “ALL”, who in their ignorance, cared less about the power of social media pre 30th October, now in their haste, have constituted social media teams with “paid” staff trying to compete and catch up with PTI. The results as expected have been disappointing for them so far. They have actually missed the point, all these activities are done by volunteers, hundreds of thousands of those, mostly the party doe not even know about. The passion is natural, the creed to prove themselves as a force to recon and that they are the actual custodians of Pakistan, is unmatched and cannot be achieved by paid, employed and forced social media teams.
In addition, having a social media presence that all political parties want now, is actually a contradiction of their own flawed mocking attitudes of the past towards the young guns and social media.
One can easily see that Pakistani politics is fast converging to a Pro PTI and Anti PTI line up. No need for lines here, the daily talk shows on all news channels and articles in print and electronic media if analysed rationally are a resounding proof to this statement.
The spur of laptops for youth, the “peeli taxi”, the youth festivals and many other political farces and bribes for youth from all major parties is a testament to the historic significance of PTI Jalsa at Minar-e-Pakistan on 30th October.
The debate about people coming in and leaving the party becomes irrelevant in the back drop of 30th October. As the same conventional analysts and politicians fail to realise the fact that PTI politics are different from all other status quo parties. This party in a broader sense is not a party based on personalities. The strength of the party is not the so called stall warts coming in or leaving the party but the real strength is those voters and supporters who made 30th October of Lahore, 25th December of Karachi, The Peshawar Dharna, The D-chowk Islamabad jalsa (13th August 2011), Karachi jalsa of Nishtar park (pre 30th october), The Gujranwala and Faisalabad Jalsa, The historic Quetta jalsa and the waziristan Peace March and many more a reality. This party did not make the impact on the back of certain people joining the party and hence will not be affected by people leaving the party. It is the passionate supporter of PTI who is the custodian of the party and will be the game changer of the political history ofPakistan. Remember the strength of this party is in the hands of the supporters, activists and members, who did not make it at the back of any so called “electables”. The proof is not that far off, as we head into the elections next year.
The intra party elections, not surprisingly branded “impossible” in the past by the same conventional and status quo politicians and analysts, are becoming a reality soon. Another out of the box and unconventional step by “The Khan” and his team that has yet again, as always, left other conventional political parties in a state of disbelief and frustration. The Economic policy, Energy policy, Local government policy and The health policy along with upcoming Education policy and youth policy of Tehreek e Insaf has actually paved way for a more issues, solutions and policy based politics inPakistan.
30th October has definitely changed the face of politics in Pakistan, and has mobilised the ordinary people of Pakistan who were largely apathetic to politics in the past. The legacy of 30th October and 25th December is such strong that the previously considered insignificant and mocked generation of Pakistan has all of a sudden become the talk of all other political parties who are trying to lure them now with their gimmicks.
The nation is waiting eagerly for the next elections, and it should come without exception to all those conventional status quo parties and politicians that any attempt to postpone elections or massive rigging will be actually suicidal for them. The exuberance of youth and the passion of the nation for change can only be satisfied through timely, free and fair elections. Otherwise the unrest in the masses can turn fatal for a lot of status quo forces.
Finally; to all those who started a new chapter in the history ofPakistanon the 30th October. Your work is not over yet, you’ve wrote sections after sections of that chapter in Karachi, Peshawar, Islamabad, Quetta, Waziristan and all over Pakistan.
However the journey has just started, with a long and more difficult way to go, but we are not that far off. The desire and passion for change for a differentPakistan, A betterPakistanis so strong that I can see not just two but multiple dismissals with a single delivery as quoted by the “Kaptaan”. We are very much capable of proving all conventional politicians, analysts and their analysis wrong. We have done it in the past and we’ll ensure we do so in the upcoming elections. For its now a matter of now or never and as said by someone “If not us, Then who else”?
A tribute to the ideologists who are on the path to make their dreams a reality, for if you can’t idealise, you can’t change anything.