Dharna Politics: Lesson for Pakistan

Rabeeia Ahmed

After the long march against PPP government in 2009, Dharna has become a part of Pakistani politics. From PPP to PML-N, each government had to deal with the large gatherings of protesters during its tenure. Nobody knows what good these dharnas have done to Pakistani politics but they surely brought some unpleasant aspects of our society into limelight.

PTI dharna that was unethical in almost every way brought into picture the immoral behavior of our people. PTI and PAT protestors stormed PTV headquarters, blocked Metro stations and used improper ways to express their anger. This year’s dharna by JUI was no exception, although the followers of Maulana didn’t use any violence but they revealed something worth noticing about their personalities.

Media reporters and general public found these protestors rushing to the parks, fighting over the rides and enjoying their time on the streets of Islamabad.  The stories of their conduct spread all across the social media and they also received full coverage by the news channels. Some of us judged them as innocent people who needed amusement in their lives and others labeled them as ‘non-serious’ people.

However, the reality is eye opening. Most of the people who came for JUI dharna belong to madrasa culture, people of this culture usually spend most of their lives in confined spaces learning stuff imposed by others. They never get a chance of exploring the world or let alone Pakistan on their own. Most of them came to Islamabad for the first time and therefore made this dharna a recreational activity.

Do we need political reforms in society that lacks basic facilities of life? Do these dharnas make any difference for the people of Pakistan? The aimless dharnas and the condition of protestors raise many such questions and the answer to these questions is one and simple. Dharna politics has given us nothing. There is political instability in Pakistan and it will always be the case if we won’t look for better solutions.

We can’t ignore the fact that most of the people in Pakistan are deprived of basic necessities of life. People of our nation sell their vote over a plate of rice. They don’t care who takes the seat of prime minister. They use the method of ‘quick fix’ for their problems and in this case education is the only way to open their eyes. Instead of wasting millions on election campaigns and political rallies, government should spend this money for the education of our people and for the promotion of awareness campaigns. All in all, unscrupulous political activities should be kept minimum in a country that needs societal and educational reforms more than anything.  -The author is a permanent faculty member of the Media Science Department at SZABIST, Islamabad. She specializes in journalism and communication.




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