Thursday, March 25, 2010

Movement for the establishment of Khilafat in Pakistan thrown back to the TV Studio

News reports suggest Zaid Hamid’s elaborate plan of passing a historical declaration at Minar e Pakistan—on the 70th anniversary of the 1940 Lahore resolution-- turned out to be a humiliating failure. Fearful of his life (of nuts who consider Hamid to be responsible for Jalapuri’s murder), the organizers changed the venue of the ‘historical gathering’ from Minar e Pakistan to Alhambra Open Air Theater. Hamid’s media campaign was telling us there would be hundreds of thousands of people at the occasion—well, at least a few dozen people indeed showed up.

People are calling the 23rd March washout an unceremonious end of Zaid Hamid’s career, but we should doubt this hasty conclusion. This man appears to have a super-inflated ego--delusion of his grandiose leadership was probably only slightly injured by the lackluster show two days ago. He would most likely retreat to his home ground, the TV studio, and run his movement for the establishment of khilafat in Pakistan on air.

Are there any lessons to be learned from this episode? Yes, many. For example,
1. Roaring within in the confines of a TV studio and having a popular show does not make one qualified to run a mass movement.
2. Pop culture icons (naives like Ali Azmat and Maria B.) can fall for the ‘mesmerizing’ speeches of a self-proclaimed security analyst, but the drama of giving fiery talks and for others to be awe-struck by such oratory looks good only on TV: it does not have any value other than entertainment, for the rest of us.
3. Students filling up auditoria at the university campuses intently listening to a particular speaker are often there because of the celebrity status of the speaker—not because they agree with the speaker’s views.
4. People on the Pakistani street are much smarter than they appear to be. They know what their real issues are: disappearing writ of law, lack of economic opportunities, education, and healthcare. They understand they don’t need to follow anyone not addressing the core concerns of the society.

Photo, courtesy of [Photographer: Uzi82]