Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Rally of the Decade
As unpredictable as Karachi is, the day of Quaid-e-Azam's birthday also started in that same fashion. For a rally that had been announced well in advance to all and sundry, critiques and oppositions wanted to spoil the party for every one by creating ripples in the city, like the PM of Pakistan did when he hastily organized a ceremony at Quaid-e-Azam's Mazar, much late by their set schedule, or by fueling news of Airport shutdown and flights being barred to fly in and out from the airport.
Watching so much happen just prior to the rally, it made people like my mother wonder whether the rally would take place or not. But then, little was also going to stop the Karachiites on 25th December, 2011. They were heading for a mission.
It seemed as if anybody who was trying to fend off this rally was actually trying to avert the inevitable. The rally was going to happen; Imran Khan, though late, would be turning up with his party-members; and Karachi was coming as well. Someone aptly summed up the state Karachiites were in, earlier and then on that very day, by displaying a placard saying, “We fell asleep for a while. Just woke up. Sincerely 99%.” And woke up they did, certainly, and how well they did.
More than the success of the rally of PTI and Imran Khan, the credit for such a massive turn-out goes only to Karachiites. The figures of the turnout vary from as less as 200,000 to as much as a million, but either way it was a massive turn-out for city that has, frankly, seen a lot of bloodshed, violence and instability. They defied adversities, jinxed all monopolies and smashed all barriers to take part in a rally, that promises them hope and light. As much as it was shocking for others, the turn out even left the founder of PTI, Imran Khan, in awe and amazement.
It was rightly noted by every speaker at the rally that Karachi is a mini-Pakistan, because there is not a single ethnic group that doesn't exist in Karachi. It is home to every Pakistani, who wants to make a livelihood. So it was imperative that there was a significant crowd to voice out their opinion for a Change, not only for themselves, but on behalf of the entire nation. For that, they forgot about fear, buried their differences, and set out on a single mission; mission for a Change that was last experienced in 1940 Pakistan Resolution. Back then, the Muslims had it enough of Hindu's tyranny and British's slavery. Now, the entire country has had enough of something that is perhaps even more choking and disturbing – the current political system.
They always wanted a change, a reversal of things back to normalcy and they see that in the vision shown to them by PTI, no less by Imran Khan. They place faith in him for a better future and prosperity in the country. They've longed for food, cloth and shelter, and had left hope for security, education and health. But today they see even that being established in their country; country that is marred by rampant corruption and lawlessness. A country hideously divided into ethnicity, linguistics, and even on religion. Imran Khan does that for them. He promises peace, shatters those differences between them, and - like he always did - is making them dream big. Good days, God willingly, are back. Dream big Pakistan!
(This post was first published by Saif's Den with JournalistPakistan on 27th December 2011)