Shoe hurling incident

March 15, 2018

By Junaid Ali Malik

The recent incidents of throwing shoe and ink on politicians are condemnable. They expose the aggressive mindset unbridled in our society. The people and supporters of opposition parties have all the right to show their contempt on the policies and actions of the prevailing government but any of the above mentioned way seems inappropriate and futile. It will further aggravate the situation.

The history of hurling shoe at politicians is not new. It got publicity when a journalist threw a shoe on American President George Bush in Iraq during his address to a press conference. Keeping the international scenario aside, the reality is that in Pakistan, this trend will bring about precarious results. Every action has a reaction!

Political ideologies are already at the crossroads in Pakistan. Leaders of different parties are not ready to accept what other says. To be more precise, they are not even ready to continue the projects that were started in the preceding government. We need a tolerant society that is more tended towards absorbing various ideologies simultaneously. Everyone should have courage to listen to what others say. In this regard, the educational institutions play a very vital role. The teachers should be role models for the young generation. We have ignored the role of teachers in upbringing of our young generation. Only politicians are considered role models or leaders. Although they are, they are the only ones.

Pakistan has already taken the brunt of the defective policies formed by its rulers in their respective tenure. It all happened in various forms – sometime by using religion, the other time by furthering the political ideologies.

Everyone is free to think but when it comes to actions, care and consideration must be adopted to avoid any fuss. People are only interested in listening what they like, but this is not the case in highly educated and democratic societies. Absorbing diversity is key to success and development.

On the other side, the legislature and judiciary should also be portraying right and accurate picture of the miseries being faced by the masses. The frustration of the people comes out of unfulfilled needs of the people. It is not about any party but the matter of fact is that the people are not getting what they really deserve. Unfortunately, this has been the case since the establishment of Pakistan on August 14, 1947. The country, whose foundations were laid on right to self-determination, seems lacking in it.

The gap between the masses and their leaders need to be closed for building trust and having sustained relations with them. We have already seen political gap in tribal areas and the insurgency was the ultimate reaction. There is no space for political gap in a flattering democracy country. The political representatives are the true representatives. They in a true spirit comprehend the needs of the people.

If this gap remains unoccupied, no leader and no political party will be able to do their politics; everyone will become uncompromising in one form or the other. In consideration of this gap, the chances of various types of extremist actions are more evident. These actions range from throwing shoe or ink on someone in power to bombing ruthlessly and indiscriminately.

The reasons for the contemporary incidents should be explored and be taken serious. Instead of resorting to extreme actions, all stakeholders should come close and find common grounds to agree with each other. This way issues will be solved peacefully. Lastly, we as nation are to blame ourselves for these episodes that bring forth national debate and media hype. Amid this chaos, let us hope for the best.

*The writer is a freelance columnist.