Merchants of Doom or Merchants of Hope

Iqbal said the following about Philosophy & Politics and I quote :

“The thinker and a politician are not chips of the same bloc;
The former’s eye is colour blind, the latter’s eye is myopic
The former buttresses truth with theories unsubstantiated
The latter props falsehood with arguments holistic”

I am not sure as to what inspired Dr. Allama Iqbal the most revered poet of Pakistan to say the above. My interpretation is simple that he looked disheartened of both the intellect and the politicians at that time which was probably around the 1930’s when the Pakistan movement was just picking up speed. But what clearly comes out for me that he looked disheveled at the way things went before Pakistan came into existence. Now fast forward few years later . Would Iqbal would have held the same views for the recent times. I am sure going by the above it looks like that Iqbal said the above recently only looking at the situation in our country. The only difference is that the definition of “Thinker” has widened and includes dime a dozen analysts not just poets and philosophers or drawing room politicians of his time for their non action towards Pakistan movement. Now the same slot is occupied by the media scene and social media inclusive of my self . Whilst the politicians remains a constant factor .

Anyways, I write today not to elobrate on poetry but to highlight the fact that a few years ago I read this terminology called “Merchants of doom” . People who with their views create negative vibes in their society and the surroundings. I don’t say that they do it on purpose but they do it as they feel right. What they fail to realize that whilst they do the same God has not given the same level of thinking to every one else around them and people pick the top line message whilst fail to get to the bottom and are left disheveled. Most of the time in recent times the message coming out is Doom. I must say that the Thinkers which Iqbal mentioned in the above have changed from unsubstantiated but rather Merchants of Doom .

Pakistan goes through difficult times. In fact very difficult times. The biggest challenge for the government is that people do not have belief in its leadership anymore which creates more negative mind set and hence loosing people their patience today. They have lost confidence in not only politicians, they have lost the same on our judiciary with all due respect as they fail to take decisions critical to people like punishing the terrorists out of lack of evidence or maybe out of fear of life, people are frustrated of our establishment including army for not putting an end to critical issues like terrorism and their lack of control on the situation where they leave the decision with the politicians whilst we have seen coups in the country on lesser issues like plane hijacking, people are frustrated of politicians for their lack of governance or solutions for them either out of inability to do so or lack of desire. Our masses know this and live with that every day. But what is ironic that everyday in the evening the same is rubbed in by the zillions of media channels running in our country.

Now the problem is this that again with all due respect. After the recent allegations of Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha who was revered just a few years ago as a hero for nurturing one or two parties like PTI against media shatters the confidence about the media moguls. We saw a few months ago when two prominent journalists like Mubashir Lucman and Mehar Bokhari practically doing an orchestrated interview with Malik Riaz on the issue of the son of Chief Justice’s son who has been accused of corruption as well. So even the media loses credibility. So what has happened now that the so called 3 pillars of our country are all under fire. To the dismay of Pakistan.

What media fail to realize is that instead of creating negativity amongst the masses they should start talking about solutions. I remember many years ago before the advent of media freedom at a debate competition discussing the pros and cons of freedom of media in Pakistan and the biggest feel was that whilst it may be a blessing; it might bring the house down as well. Whilst I believed that the new found freedom should have been given time to nurture but its been a long while and the sense of maturity needs to kick in. From Masala reporting to Objective reporting. All I see is cock fights between politicians and politicians, politicians and journalists , journalists and journalists. What is missing are the masses from the Prime time ? Their issues are needed to be more presented. I don’t think constitutional amendments can feed the poor. We have already had more than 20 constitutional amendments and who knows and God knows how many more to come with each passing government? But its time that media including people like us infuse belief or positivity amongst the masses of a positive future instead of just festering negativity. Now some might say that you want us to live in a fool’s paradise where all falls around us. What I must tell them is that look it from my side whilst it falls around ; you are still there as a nation Alhamdolillah . Stop looking at the glass half empty but half full.

Coming back to the verse I started with . Its time to proof to Allama Iqbal that we the thinkers are not merchants of dooms or without substance but merchants of hope and with a desire to change the status quo with not only cribbing and criticism but with solutions and support for our people and what ever system we inherit. Its only by becoming part of it we can improve. Pakistan Zindabad!


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