Revolution generally is a last resort to bring fundamental change in the power structure or organisational set-up in a country through forcible overthrow or repudiation of a regime or a political system by the people who are governed. Many revolutions have occurred in the world in past which vary widely in terms of methods, duration and motivating ideology but they all resulted in a change in regime, in culture, economy and the socio-political institutions.
Prime causes of a revolution in any nation include the widespread frustration and dissatisfaction with the rulers, socio-political situation of the state and the lack of social justice and human dignity. History has witnessed many revolutions that changed the face and the fate of the nations such as the British revolution of 1688, the French revolution of 1789, the Russian revolution of 1917, the Chinese revolution of 1911 and the Iranian revolution of 1979. These revolutions may have varied in exact causes of revolt but the people’s frustration with the leadership of their nation along with the socio-political situation was the major cause behind most of these revolutions if not all.
Pakistan today is at a crossroad: live with failed democracy and suffer the adverse consequences and miseries OR revolt against the corrupt politicians and faulty political systems to put an end to the fraud being perpetrated against the people of Pakistan. The people in Pakistan have reached such a high level of discontent that they are shooting their loved ones to escape hardship and jumping into lakes to maintain their dignity and respect. The citizens in most parts of the country are being victimised by the crooks and criminals, by unbearable costs of living and by a major break down of law and order situation. The government and politicians have totally failed to rectify this situation and the ongoing corruption, killings, lawlessness and nepotism continue to hurt the pride of our nation unabated.
Today, the people in Pakistan have only two choices. The first choice is to continue with the corrupt and failed democratic dispensation, dreaming that the politicians in power will give the people a life they deserve, and to let the country reach the brink of disaster with the consequence that the national security becomes a serious issue for the army, thus compelling it to intervene and save the country. The fallout of this choice is grave as the termination of an elected civilian regime either good or bad triggers economic sanctions, financial set backs, and social, political and trade boycotts by the international communities, in particular those in the West.
The other choice for the people of Pakistan is to bring about a revolution and change the face of the nation before national security becomes a serious issue. Pakistan must root out the corrupt leadership, must change the culture of dishonesty and fraud with the people, restart the economy and create an environment of justice and peace by causing major overhaul of the socio-political system to create a new Pakistan.
Dr. Tahirul Qadri, an honest and fearless leader and the voice for “real change in Pakistan”, has declared an open war against the corrupt leaders and the corrupt political systems. He has warned the people that the nation’s destiny will not change through rigged elections and that the revolution is the only answer to lay the foundation stone for establishing a real and honest democracy and the rule of social justice and human dignity in Pakistan. Dr. Qadri has given the call for this revolution and it is now the duty of every citizen to line up behind him and be part of a new dawn on the horizon of Pakistan.
Pakistan has been ruled in the last 66 years by a handful of influential families who served their own interests and the interests of their allies by violating the rights of people and stealing the wealth of the nation, all in the name of democracy. If you analyse the performance of the previous civilian regimes, you will find that it was a mirage and nothing but a power play between politicians and a litany of corruption and mismanagement that deprived the people from living normal and peaceful lives. One must not support any other political system but democracy, as it guarantees the rights to those governed to choose the government. But the pre-requisites for democracy i.e., “honesty” and “credible leadership” are nowhere to be found in our present democratic set-up. I am definitely not an admirer of dictators or military regimes but I would be less than honest if I deny the fact that the progress made and achievements accomplished during the military regimes of General Mohammad Ayub Khan and General Pervez Musharraf, the two military dictators, were much better than those during the two civilian governments of PPP and PML-N in the country. Why? Because “honesty” and “credible leadership” of the army generals contributed much to the administration of the state affairs.
It is still fresh in our minds that the May 2013 elections under a civilian regime of PPP and PML-N broke all records of riggings in the history of Pakistan, yet we also remember the 1970 elections under a military dictator General Mohammad Yahya Khan which, as I believe, was the only free and fair election ever held in Pakistan. Why? Because General Yahya Khan was honest and the election commission appointed by him was impartial and diligent to control riggings and other irregularities.
Democracy is known as a system under which the citizens of a country are provided with an opportunity to “vote out” any corrupt or failed government from the office and replace it with an honest and credible government of their choice through a free and fair election process. But if the process of election is conducted through a corrupt electoral system and administered by a fraudulent election commission, the whole process becomes a “joke”, a clumsy attempt to fool the people in the name of democracy. How can you change this system? Definitely not through the delinquent democratic system, but through a revolution.
The history of great revolutions tells us that major revolutions in the world led to the change in ruling patterns, elimination of corruption and achievement of major improvements in socio-economic conditions of the states. Let us review a few great revolutions of the world. The Glorious Revolution of 1688 in Britain saw King James II overthrown and his regime collapsed largely because of the failure to meet the demands of the masses. The French revolution of 1789 was caused by the rising tide of the economic crisis and the criminal insensitivity of the decadent aristocracy in France which resulted in proclamation of a republic state and execution of King Louis XVI. The Chinese revolution of 1911 involved overthrowing of China’s 2,000 years old imperial rule to create a republic as the imperial rule failed to modernise China, confront foreign aggression and eliminate the Qing state (Chinese feudal state). The Russian revolution of 1917 dismantled the Tsarist autocracy under Nicholas II and led to the creation of the Russian SFSR. It later transformed into Bolshevik (Communist) government called USSR, which implemented major economic and social changes in the country. The Iranian revolution of 1979 saw an end of the Pahlavi dynasty of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi that had become increasingly oppressive, brutal, corrupt and extravagant.
The narrative of these revolutions is essential because there are lessons to be learned and solutions to be found and adopted for the environment in Pakistan. A successful revolution has three phases namely transformation, transition and sustenance. In his call for a real change, Dr. Tahirul Qadri has addressed the first two phases. For Pakistan, a country whose foundations are anchored in the principles of peace, justice and tolerance, the third phase i.e. continuity of that positive change is paramount. Let’s be inspired by the revolutions of other nations and join the force to change the fate of our nation by changing ruling pattern, eliminating corruption and bringing major turn around in socio-economic condition of Pakistan.