No Ayaz and other morons, civil society isn’t going to take a rest

A lot of stuff written in Pakistan english newspapers is written in a language which is not exactly english, so here’s my translation into simple english of Ayaz Amir’s latest, in which he first accuses people clamoring for a change for the better for being powerless fools than asks than to stop speaking as the government, courts and army can’t function faced with all that noise. Onwards to the ill-logic which passes for opinion pieces these days:

The lawyers’ movement fostered many illusions, none more powerful than the myth that there was something called civil society in Pakistan, good people out to do good and inspired by the best of intentions. Retired bureaucrats, professors of academia in search of a cause, society girls and begums, and frustrated politicians – a politician who fails to get elected or who has nowhere to get elected from is a study in frustration – became the standard bearers of civil society.

Ayaz here says that tis no civil society in Pakistan, and only self serving washed up has-beens try to achieve any good. The cynical worldview and lack of ethics is disgusting – Ayaz says here that all of the many people involved in Pakistani society who tried to make a difference either didn’t exist and throws a bucketful of scorn on them anyways.

At the end of the day, whoever fights for a good cause, in whatever fashion, is more worthy than people like like Ayaz who make fun of them.

NGOs once upon a time had started saying that they could manage things better than the government. The leading knights and ladies of civil society started suggesting that whereas the political class had failed the nation, they along with lawyers, the media and a rejuvenated judiciary would help fix the nation’s problems.
All these four classes – media, lawyers, judges and civil society – made common cause with each other, feeding upon each other’s prejudices, reinforcing each other’s arrogance. They lived in a world of make-believe. The world of reality was kept firmly at a distance.

All those people tear gassed and jailed, that never happened.  The political class, contrary to all evidence suggesting otherwise, hasn’t failed the nation. Cause Ayaz says so, and unlike all you all, he doesn’t live in a world of make believe. In Ayaz’s real world, real thieves don’t get hauled up into court for defaulting on billions of loans – they get to play in government instead.

We flatter ourselves by thinking that as a result of media plurality we are a more aware nation. The truth is more mortifying. We are becoming a dumber nation, feeding on trivia and endlessly dissecting it. This is a new kind of addiction which keeps us safely distracted from the consideration of issues which should be more rigorously looked into and more vigorously debated.

Watching and talking about stuff isn’t debate. Rather, wise man Ayaz says just read his weekly column and that’s all you need to know. After all, watching TV and finding out about events is bad for you, and Father Ayaz knows, cause he knows… something.

Their lordships too were affected by the times, their proclivity to indulge in a never-ending bout of judicial superactivism rooted in the belief nurtured by the lawyers’ movement that they had a near-divine duty to lead the process of cleansing the national stables. As a consequence they spread their wings far and wide touching a never-ending range of subjects , throwing things into turmoil but lacking the power to bring matters to a head or a conclusion.

Here Ayaz really goes of the deep end in accusing  judges of doing their jobs – what else are they supposed to be doing? Ayaz drops the ball a bit, attributing to the divine what is already spelled out in the Pakistan constitution – the role of the judiciary in keeping an eye on the government. Ayaz says here that judges should go back to sleep and stop taking up cases against Ayaz’s friends or the government, because that bothers Ayaz and his friends.

Agitation has its own norms but stability has its own requirements. Most of the expectations raised by the lawyers’ movement lie in ruins by the wayside. But if something is to be retrieved from the mess there has to be a soberer understanding of what the rule of law means.

Most of the expectations raised by the lawyers movements are sitting in the Supreme Court. The only ruins are in Ayaz’s head here, but here Ayaz is suggesting that he knows what the rule of law really means, not those pesky lawyers and judges.

This should be a time for everyone concerned to sit back and take stock of things. We have wasted too much time. Perhaps this was only to be expected but now is the time to leave the past behind and move forward, leaving it to historians to fight over the battles of yesterday.

Stop worrying about all those bad things happening in the country and just – just what exactly, Ayaz? Go to sleep? Wasted too much time on what exactly? Restoring a judiciary and kicking out a military dictator? The past, with all it’s bad loans coming due all the time and kickbacks negotiated back than still being paid out today and tomorrow are dragging this country down right now, today, and Ayaz wants to forget it all, so the looters of yesterday can continue reaping benefits tomorrow.

To sum up, Ayaz wants all the sheeple to go back to being sheep, bent over with legs wide open and head in the sand.

Leave a Reply