Do something if you can!

The concept of democracy is the public’s rule through elected representatives. Parliament consisting of the public’s elected members is the country’s sovereign power in our parliamentary system of government. Political parties are working in all provinces. All parties have their active workers and candidates for the parliament seats. The democratic process includes the opinion-making and sympathy winning of the maximum voters. This is a continual process, and political leaders and workers work during elections and the non-election years. In developed and civilized countries, political parties in government or opposition remain busy doing social work for the public. Besides it, they keep a close eye on the people’s problems and the country’s economic and social conditions, design plans for the betterment, and bring those plans to obtain an opinion consensus.

The governments inform the public about all of their policies and new rules and regulations etc. For a better quality of human life, they execute many plans and communicate with the intended beneficiaries for better results. On the other hand, opposition parties closely watch the ruling party’s policies, implementation, and the efficiency of different government departments. They criticize all wrongdoings and suggest better ways for transparency, merit, and national interest in all government functions. For law-making, various bills are presented and discussed in the parliament. Public’s elected representatives evaluate these bills in the light of actual benefits to the public and justifiable for all. In all this process, arguments are given after hard work on these bills. How the national interests are kept in mind and after discussions, how nicely the laws are made, is excellent learning for the people to have the formal and quite sensible argumentation.

The democratic process teaches us tolerance, accommodating others’ viewpoints, mutual understanding, and reaching decisions in light of all facts available. Now, we have to think about whether we have all of these benefits of the democratic process or everything is the reverse? Accurate that the politicians are plunderers; such people never promote academic and logical styles of discussions, especially in public gatherings. Their speeches are never educative. They yell at each other with a bombardment of blames and threats. This leadership attitude only imparts blind emotionalism to the public and takes us away from logical and academic argumentation. People never think to solve their day-to-day problems through discussions because their emotional attitudes complicate and exaggerate their disputes. Courts do not deliver justice, and the only way to settle their disputes outside courts is through negotiations, which require tolerance, and calm minds, but we are not trained for that by our leaders.

Sensible and academic speeches and logic and sincerity never suit dacoit politicians. Their selfishness will never allow them to use the manners they cannot win educated and brilliant, honest opposite candidates. Their wealth always wins elections by creating an atmosphere of nonseriousness. Nevertheless, the current position of the country’s politics is at its worst. The differences have converted to hatred and enmities. Present rulers and the leaders of ousted governments are challenging each other in their public meetings. There is so much to do from all national institutions immediately. There has been no time for our absolute rulers to decide right and wrong. Nation has known by this time whatever was necessary to understand. We understand that a foreign power has been our absolute ruler so far, and they purchase individuals to decide our destiny. Friendly relations with their hegemonic position were tolerable, but changing the governments and murders of our many leaders were not fair for the nation in the past.

Unfortunately, no institution took responsibility for reaching the murderers and their sponsors and making decisions about their friends or tyrant bosses. Forgetting the past, now we are facing the present and thinking about the coming frightening weeks. We need immediate steps to save the nation from any tragic event’s horrible effects. People of the invisible government must carve the way for taking these quick steps:

1) Announce the next general elections – to be conducted within the next three to four months.

2) Remove the present chief election commissioner

3) Form caretaker governments at centre and in provinces

4) Mutual decision about election reforms

5) Strict vigilance of the records of the cases against present rulers and

6) Political code of ethics.

These minimum steps must be taken before the situation goes out of anybody’s control. Remember, if the situation worsens, those in ‘absolute power’ will be responsible for it.

With 50 years of teaching experience, Professor Dr. Shafiq Jullandhry, a noted writer and author of award-winning books, is former chairman of Punjab University's Mass Communication Department (now School of Communication Studies); also heads Elaaf Club and Pakistan Media Guild as president. He can be reached at