How can Indians usher in democracy in Pakistan?

I don’t understand why the Indian person in the street should be demonstrating for democracy in Pakistan. I have got this email to join the “Demonstration in Mumbai against emergency in Pakistan and in Solidarity with the people of Pakistan in their Democratic struggle”. The organisations that are arranging this are the andolan types. The location was this evening, 5 pm, outside Churchgate station.

They want to express “solidarity with the struggling pro-democracy people of Pakistan and hope soon their struggle will bring true democracy in Pakistan”. So why don’t they just get together in some hall or even maidan? Why are they impeding the movement of commuters who would want to return home after a hard day’s work?

If you have travelled in Mumbai’s local trains you will know what it is like. There is a swarm moving towards the station and then a rush at the platform, finally shoving and pushing to get into the train and hanging on for life. This is true even if you travel first class during peak time. Now, as this swarm descends, you will have a group shouting slogans about democracy in Pakistan.

This would be in close proximity to the stinking Sulabh Shauchalya (public urinal) that has been painted an aesthetic pinkish-brickish colour. Democracy for the common people is basic right to life, to opportunity, to amenities for which they pay taxes.

I am afraid I do not believe these morchas have any value whatsoever. The only reason I go along with some petition-signing is because they at least don’t create a public nuisance. Are these people trying to educate the commuters about the emergency in another country? Who the hell are this bunch of people to say, “He (Musharraf) has dismissed the Supreme Court which today has emerged as the protector of the democratic aspirations of a beleaguered nation”?

Feeling sorry or superior, eh? Only till yesterday the guy was cool because he liked Dhoni’s hairstyle. Yup. That’s what the common wo/man is interested in. The TRPs of news channels go up only when they get all hot and bothered, otherwise they’d be left by the wayside watching the saas-bahu struggle for democracy.

I was quite shocked the night the Emergency was declared to listen to a senior editor of CNN-IBN tell us, as images of Islamabad streets and security vehicles flashed on the screen, that the roads in Islamabad are anyway deserted because it is mostly government offices and the diplomatic enclave. That guy should have been told to go take a walk on Margalla Hill. Why the hell did it take me so long to get from Islamabad to Pindi when I was there? Why were there so many cars? Were they all cops in disguise? Why are restaurants fairly full even on weekdays? Are these army guys at Hotspot?

This is not to say that things will be the same during the period of Emergency. Human rights activists will be arrested; dissenting voices will be silenced. Heck, the Emergency wasn’t imposed to help the smooth movement of traffic. Unless the arrival-departure-arrival of Madame BB constitutes traffic. That woman’s needle of suspicion regarding the bomb blasts during her rally keeps changing. Yesterday I read she thought it was Osama Bin Laden’s son. (Wonder if it is the same guy who likes older women…). Today, I get to know that she has penned a commentary for the CNN where she stated, “the terrorists used a 'small child' as a ploy to get to me”.

Hmm…they are getting younger, aren’t they?

But Indians should just lay off, unless they want to contribute op-ed pieces!!

By the way, and pardon the cynicism, have you seen the face of protest in Pakistan? Where are their ordinary people? Or do they all look like the one in the picture? Some of us know better…


  1. Fair enough. I agree. We have no business to meddle in anyone's affairs. And it doesn't make a damn of a difference - whether you have Musharraf or Nawaz or BB to the paople of Pakistan.

  2. “Demonstration in Mumbai against emergency in Pakistan and in Solidarity with the people of Pakistan in their Democratic struggle”.



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