[Opinion] Opposing the depoliticization of politics

By: Sultan Madad

Te recent naïve idea of political action through CBOs and the ensuing online debate aptly indicate our level of education and awareness. Nevertheless, we need to encourage the debate on political process. No one can deny the need of unity and patriotism but democracy cannot be built on the foundations of exclusiveness and aristocracy or oligarchy (in the name of success). More over Hunza is not an isolated island. Its aspirations, needs, opportunities, challenges, miseries, colonization and destiny are woven with Gilgit-Baltistan.

Hunza’s post 74 experience of is the experience of the marionettes of puppet show staged in the name of democracy. These self interested representatives serving as and Islamabad, Lahore or Larkana based parties. Forces of status quo that include the concocted dogmas have not allowed patriotic workers to come forward and promote a national agenda. Secondly, those who try to find solutions of pure political issues through apolitical means need to realize that if a surgeon fails to remove the illness from a patient, it does never ever means that the surgery has failed and that the patient should be handed over to a butcher.

 We need to see what bodies we are electing our representatives for? We have been complaining against all the hitherto ‘elected representatives’ for not doing enough but we seldom criticize the undemocratic system that makes them powerless and begets corruption. We never criticize them for not having courage to speak the truth. Those accidently coming to ‘representation’ without any track record of genuine political struggle, rightly see their source of power in their masters instead of electorate.  Removing ’Mir Family’ out of power has been the sole agenda of so called ‘modernists’ in post 74 Hunza but they have failed to give any alternate vision. They have also failed to understand that the abolishing of state was not a democratic change. It would had been democratic, had it come from within and brought a democratic system of governance instead. What we earned in return was the loss of the indigenously developed system and over lordship of numerous new ‘mirs’ instead of one single mir. Since then, we have lost the centrality of thinking from our own perspective vis a vis major challenges. No doubt, Hunza had lost its independence and sovereignty in 1891 but no one can deny that the internal autonomy under the British installed mirs, was delivering at least better than the present. How can a direct colonial rule be eulogized that tacitly renders thousands of people homeless and shoots them on demanding shelter?  This has been the dilemma of the local mimics who waste their energies for Pakistani parties without the understanding of ground realities.

What we need to do unequivocally is to oppose importing alien political parties from Larkana, Lahore and Karachi. We have followed these outsiders quite long for four decades. At least our new generation should not follow this mimicry. Begani shadi mein Abdullah deewana.  Its time now to adopt a national approach and build democratic political institution (party) on GB level. No doubt it seems to be a tall order in the present circumstances but this is the only solution. There is no short cut to it. This initiative is not possible through apolitical means either. Hunza is neither James Hilton’s Shangri-La nor has it remained the traditionally thought dekaran (the well protected orchard) of our ancestors. Hunza alone cannot bring a change for itself but can take a lead role. Formation of Qaumi Maraka is one such initiative towards building a forum to further national approach and to encourage democratic political process.

The recent move that seems to have been advanced by a certain apolitical sector is a futile utopian thinking covered in hollow rhetorics. Civil society can play vital role in breeding democratic norms through debate and advocacy but it can never be substitute for political organizations. NGOs in our region have no doubt delivered a lot in terms of quality of life but unfortunately there is no denial to the fact that they have played a disappointing role in depoliticizing the society as a well.



3 Responses to [Opinion] Opposing the depoliticization of politics

  1. Ali Ahmad says:

    Karim Madad is in absoluteness right in saying that political issues can not be tackled through apolitical systems. There is an underlying flaw in the thinking of considering CBOs and NGOs or other Civil Society Organization as a complete substitute for political institutions and system.

    It is interesting to look at the debate the has originated from two retired military man, one proposes and the other disposes, it looks funny as well, as I laughed at it..may be you too have done the same….

    It is not only the military comradeship that is common in both men rather they do belong to the rudimentary power-class of Hunza, one is Wazirkuch and the other is Thamu. All those who know these both very well know that they do feel very sorry for their current state of affairs as they have been brutally rejected by the enlightened highly educated people of Hunza. Still with a biological defect these both do feel somehow superior by birth to all other people of Hunza because they do belong to the above said families.

    I agree with Madad that losing of the independent state of Hunza and falling prey to the undemocratic political Waderas/Chuhdiries of Punjab, Sindh, and KPK was a fatal mistake. The Hunza state could have been democratized without losing the Independence and falling into the traps of fallible Pakistani political system. The lessons we have learned has a very high cost, it is time to galvanize the political system of Gilgit-Baltistan through indigenous political movements and parties.

    The push of the losers to gain power through CBOs could be a game plan long back rejected by the people of Hunza, I laugh at those who still could not understand what they do see.

    Ali Ahmad Zoq

  2. Sakhi Ahmad says:

    why one is talking about the role of CBOs and NGOs as a way of a political system. There should be no doubt that CBOs and NGOs could only contribute to bridge the gap between what political system could not deliver and what is being expected by people. NGOs and CBOs could not provide the basic and fundamental needs of the people such safety, security, as well as could not maintain law and order neither they could dispense justice. The essentials that are required for a life where people could live a life with dignity and honor.

    By gone is by gone, the independent state of Hunza ‘the shangrila’ as Madad has said is an utopian novelistic thinking which is far from being real. Hunza is much better place to live than many other places around in realistic senses. We should accept that we need to establish a system of self governance in Hunza as a Model that brings together both good virtues of modernity and tradition. The idea of a democratically formed Marakaa ‘assembly’ that should represent people from all walks of life including youth and women is most feasible and viable concept with practical implications.

    It should also be noted that some people as Zoq has stated with ‘rudimentary’ baggage may try to stir their way into dominance, but would fail as they will not find a place. However, it should not be that much simplified, still the ‘Thamu’ have in their mind the sense of superiority, a notable person who is talking of a beautiful Hunza, is not ready to marry his daughters and sisters with the Hunzukutz, he breaks the engagements of his sister by force with a hunzukutz, get married with people of Syeds from Punyal, as their equivalents and prefer to marry with the people who have background of untouchables ‘Shudar’ in India but not huzukutz, still he claims and get the chance to lead Hunzukutz. Not disappointed it is going to end soon.

    The important aspect is that the people with this sought of delusions are a few and are taking their last breaths. So lets start working for a political model not apolitical model that could serve Hunza and link it with greater Gilgit-Baltistan.

    Sakhi Ahmad
    New York (USA)

  3. iqbal wazire says:

    Gilgit Baltistan Times,
    Really doing a good job,,,,,
    plzz keep it up..

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