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Are elections merely red herrings?

The FIFA World Cup is played after four years, but its qualifying round goes on over the preceding three years to suit its format. Our format of democracy is just the opposite. We have assembly tenure for five years, but these five years are spent in hostile contest: callous politicking, roaring rallies, unfaltering sit-ins, iron lockdowns, unwavering sieges, charged gatherings, and sizzling statements.

Mouth, mike, media, social media – anagrams, slangs, abuses – jeering, joking, mocking – allegations, scandals, scorns, in short every available tool is harnessed to assail the rivals. Once it kicks up, after the grace period, there is no truce, no let off, no ceasefire. It is unending saga of political awakenings, enough to awake the demons. To call it arousal of men is just modesty; even the dead can’t have a nap in the wake of such uproar. German blitz might look peaceful promenade in comparison.

Elections do produce the results but they do not matter much. Majority party forms the government, as it should, but soon a reality dawns upon them that the operative part of the helm is not under their control.

The Election Day is just a qualifying round, meant to determine the parties which will challenge each other over the preceding four years. Barely six months are given to the new government to heave a sigh of relief, called the Honeymoon period. Some politicians reportedly use this timeframe for the same. But that is another story.

Elections do produce the results but they do not matter much. Majority party forms the government, as it should, but soon a reality dawns upon them that the operative part of the helm is not under their control. Their better judgment and experience of many decades tell them that they should turn the vessel on Auto and get themselves ready for a round with their opponents who have put on the gloves to keep them on their toes. This arrangement saves the government from laziness apart from bothersome concerns like foreign relations, trade and business and security issues etc.

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No losers here, only the ‘robbed ones’

Normally elections see winners and losers. But our norms are exclusively ours. We have no losers, only the ‘robbed ones’. Their rightful mandate, they claim, has been stolen. So, they gird up loins to snatch it. These efforts carried out with inclusive honesty grill the country further, but as it is deemed a gift of Providence, we assure the cynics that it will come to no harm. And one must add, ‘further’.

Established thought goes that people, especially those who are uneducated, and thereby less cultured and unfit for correct decision making, can’t choose right persons to guide the nation through uneven ways.

Another aspect of elections is that they are considered a formality; real decision is not left at the mercy of humble papers, called the ballot. Moreover, men of action seldom rely upon paper work. Hence, elections are merely red herrings…. a development whose pseudo-importance diverts the attention from real happenings. Established thought goes that people, especially those who are uneducated, and thereby less cultured and unfit for correct decision making, can’t choose right persons to guide the nation through uneven ways. Feeling for the fate of the nation, heavy hearts, with analogous brains sift the available horizons for a better choice. So after elections, the nation is introduced to its PM who may be a young man from Punjab, Nawaz Sharif or an unknown guest from off-shores, Moen Qurashi or a carpetbagger Shaukat Aziz. Nation welcomes them. These days, it is called Sanjrani model.

With all likelihood, these apprehensions are not unfounded

Will the 2018 general elections, as Shehbaz Sharif fears, be manipulated to produce coveted results? Will once again mandate be manufactured in the extreme interest of the nation? With all likelihood, these apprehensions are not unfounded. But the 2018 elections are not taking place in the environment in which 2013 or 2008 or earlier elections of 90s were conducted. What is the difference?

Queer circumstances are rendering Shehbaz Sharif a poor man’s Churchill. Though some wanted so see him a Che Guevara couple of days ago, but mercy, he was not.

First of all, today the alleged herring is skinned mercilessly. It’s being proved a red rag to a charged bull. The things which defied description in the near past are spoken out bluntly. The episode of ‘agriculture’ is a candid example that social media knows no social norms. Its muscle power has forced even Khadim Rizvi to sheath his sword. Queer circumstances are rendering Shehbaz Sharif a poor man’s Churchill. Though some wanted so see him a Che Guevara couple of days ago, but mercy, he was not.

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At present, electronic and print media are bearing a ponderous burden of restraint. But importantly, nation is realizing it. This realization flouts the purpose of control. So, red herring is dying. Nation is entering upon a new phase of its political life. And it is not much ado about nothing. It is an effort to lay its hand on the operative part of the helm. On July 25, 1943 Benito Mussolini, the leader of Fascist Party in Italy, was forced out of office. And we are going to choose a democratic leader on this very day.

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