By Jawad Raza Khan
Rise of European colonialism changed the perception of life wherever it reached. It brought modern Western ideas and concepts to the lands which were not known to them partially or utterly. Some of those new ideas were indeed responsible to bring revolutionary changes in native’s life of the conquered land but what it left on the face of it were divided groups of people with conflicting interests. No doubt, nation-state and its concomitant bureaucratic structure, ambitious political theories, human rights and new economic opportunities came as an excellent package to the new born nations but what they completely lost was their self confidence, identity, cultural values and most importantly potential as a nation to groom honest and dedicated leadership.
The recent uprising of common man in Arab world is indeed a sign of people coming out of a dangerous intellectual crisis, which was forced upon them after the fall of British Empire – Importantly it took nearly a century for them to do it. Beginning of the end of colonialism and fall of Ottoman Empire happened more or less simultaneously – it changed the world map. The fall of Ottoman Empire immediately after the 2nd world war dramatically shifted anarchy from Europe to the Muslim world, mainly due to selfish individualism of western and American society pouring and settling in Muslims selfless collectiveness – It took more than two generations to entirely wipe out the ill effects and now the political dynamics of the Muslim world is changing spectacularly and swiftly. The question arises why it took so long? It is yet another point to understand that end of British colonialism was the beginning of American’s neo colonialism in the garb of imperialism. This covert form of colonialism acted as a breather for westerners especially Europeans, which took its effect by controlling the political theater of the world through trained, tamed and corrupt leadership.
From the Islamic Republic of Iran to secular republics in the Arab world or Indonesia, from monarchies in the Arab world, Malaysia, Nigeria (where monarchies rule over provinces), and Brunei, to democracies in Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Malaysia, Muslim states include great diversity in politics and the workings of governments. One thing which is a purely common in these states is Islam, not only as a faith but also as a source of identity and an important factor in social relations and politics. The next thing which is more common amongst them is an impurity in the form of democratic dictators or dictatorial democrats with following important character traits.
- Chosen and placed by neo colonial powers by hook or by crook
- Most of them dishonest and corrupt
- Extremely lacking in self confidence for decision making and
- Rule and works for vested interest
It is by and large believed in most of the world that political upheaval in Arab world is a well designed act by Americans and is a continuation of pick and chose theory adopted by Americans since long. Even before the fall of communism, this theory has indeed worked miracles for them – at least in our part of the world. In case of Pakistan, from hanging of Bhutto to crash of Zia and removal of Musharraf, things really moved in right direction for them. The main reason for this unprecedented success is deplorable economic condition of the people of Pakistan which paved their way for this deadly power game for changing leadership. A country where bare minimum essentials of life like Roti Kapra aur Makaan canbecome a wining agenda for a political victory. This environment has also played a pivotal role in depleting the potentials of Pakistan for grooming leadership of their own – who can speak their language and work for their interest – situation in Arab world is little different from here at least in terms of individual and State economy. That is the main reason why most of the people in Muslim world think that turbulent political environment of the Arab world cannot be a case of collective change in Arabs forced or instigated by Americans – obviously all the Arab dictators have not lost their utility and faith for Americans.
As a matter of fact, absence of quality leadership remains imminent in Arabs as well, despite of their booming economics there is no alternative in shape of credible leadership available to do the damage control especially with reference to volatile situation in Egypt and Libya. So all said and done American interests in the region will be taken care of by filling up this vacuum by different viable options prompted and supported by westerners – but on the other hand this quagmire can be a great source of inspiration for a poor but fortunately a democratic country like Pakistan, where vibrant media can trigger the public opinion by realizing them of all pros and cons in case of absence of quality leadership. The media can also do the all important job of awaking masses and can act as a credible institution for political awareness through social means.