A Short Note On Protest,Solidarity and Our Futile Drawingroom Rants


Respect All,

Consider this as brief a personal ‘blogpost’  as possible, in contrast to my usual way and style of writing. I write this to you,after seeing so many likes on my recent Facebook profile picture demanding action against terrorist outfits perpetrating crimes against Shia and Hazara community. That got me thinking , if you appreciate my action to stand up against militant outfits, why would you be everso reluctant to stand shoulder to shoulder with me in demanding something that appeals to your sense of justice? I know that it sounds inane, and useless,and perhaps even funny and unconcerning,to many of  you when I ask you to accompany me to protests and solidarity events. This would not be the first time. You try to tell me how you empathize with my vigour but that it would bring no big change. Big changes were never brought about in a generation, or a decade or two, leave a night.

You cry out ‘what good will it do?’. Even if nothing, it will send out SOME form of resistance. SOME resistance, I believe, should always be there to keep whatever check there could be, on the status quo. Then you probably would not be having ‘geniuses’ like Tahir Ul Qadri come in and play on populist feelings. You would not be having such merciless killings of Shia and Ahmadiyya.  And this is just a start,and by no means an end.When they were killing Ahmadis in Pakistan, Shia didnt join in and protest against such brutality. Today they suffer for all to see.Today they ask us to shirk aside Ahmadis and Shias as non-Muslim.Tomorrow they will ask us to label anyone a ‘kafir’ who does not sport a beard.And do not be mistaken into thinking that it is far fetched and would not happen. Read between the lines. Its always small successes and achievements for radicals which give them platform for a greater change, whether for good or bad. Those of us living in posh areas and believing it is not going to affect us are mistaken. Please join in next time and register your voice against brutality,whether by state or non-state actors. You might be bringing about revolution, a word you have grown so fond of, but you would certainly be on the right side of history.And when it goes wrong, you could always point out you stood on the right side of the line.We are ALL revolutionaries unto ourselves. We all have a purpose greater than eat,sleep and shit routine. After all,there ought to be a difference between a human and a pig,no?

Either you stop complaining about what goes around, or you better stand up and use your vote,speech et al, to stand up against injustice. Drawingroom rants can only help us so far. Do not pin your hopes solely on elite politicians who may or may not pay heed to you. There have been  many Imran Khan(s) and Tahir ul Qadri(s). Even if they started right and honest, the circumstances brought them down on their knees to compromise the very position they were brought to power for.

You don’t have to be in every protest and solidarity event, but please spare me the exucses like’its too hot and I am fasting, so I would not be able to come’ (and yes,someone did give me that excuse once,much to my shock). Change, if only it could come without us pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zones! The power,and the genuine democracy lies in your  hands. Vote is just one way to push forward change. Don’t just settle for that and be complascent. You talk about changing Pakistan while you refuse you move your lazy bodies beyond your Facebook statuses and tweets.Social media activism is just one of the many ways. Try to use your democratic powers as far as you can,and in as many a multitude ways as possible. Before demanding a better Pakistan, act like a better citizen (and a better human being) of Pakistan.

Your Fellow Concerned Citizen

Usmann Rana



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