Pakistan Ideology: Need more than just symbols to win the battle

Pakistan Ideology: Need more than just symbols to win the battle

One favourite of Pakistanis during this allencompassing scramble for power is where certain mysterious or even plainlooking election candidates are...

One favourite of Pakistanis during this all-encompassing scramble for power is where certain mysterious or even plain-looking election candidates are projected as the king’s men. They may or may not be associated with a political party and may in certain cases be recognised purely on the basis of the telltale election symbol they are assigned. Like Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. The gentleman is contesting the July 25 vote as an independent after falling foul of the new PML(N) leadership, the Nawaz-Maryam combine.

By all accounts, Chaudhry Sahib has a rough fight ahead of him. Most interestingly, having revolted against the “bachon ki qayadat” or the novice leadership, he is up against a PML(N) opponent who is in jail right now and whose campaign is being run by his son, 11. Chaudhry Nisar is one of the many who have managed to secure the election symbol of jeep, and the sign seems to have been assigned tremendous powers in the legends that make up a Pakistani election. The general opinion seems to be that this is no coincidence that the Rawalpindi veteran has obtained for himself a symbol that is associated with people with power. Amidst these powers is said to be the power to get a few candidates through an election.

It is not at all as simple as it is often made out to be. This is quite usual for the election, in case Chaudhry Nisar’s supporters were in any way inclined to claim that their leader was being hailed as no one in an electoral race in the country has ever been. There are always election symbols that are considered more equal than others in Pakistan.

Not too long ago, the Pakistanis were asked to keep an eye on those fighting the general election with the symbol of ghara. Nothing exceptional came out of the exercise in which the ghara was followed right down to the moment when it was phased out of the picture, unceremoniously.

This comes from an unshaken belief in and resignation to fate and a trust in the players who must prod us on towards our destiny. The ghara and the crescent did not measure up right in the final analysis, but the hints they dropped were very vague in comparison. Let this be no hurdle in the way of the jeep to drive people crazy with its “very obvious” connections to you know who. Only, those who are fighting with the symbol of jeep should be a little careful .

They should rather campaign today than realise later that they have been taken for a ride — not least by the pundits and people who had imparted to them the importance that they, maybe, didn’t actually deserve. They should take no chances and would be well advised to not depend too overwhelmingly on the power of their sign to see them through. What they ought to remember is that even if the election does appear to initially have a sub theme of special people travelling on special tickets, there are no guarantees that this theme would not be dropped abruptly. There is no assurance that the jeep or the chand or the ghara will not be forgotten midway, with bigger entities clashing hard and taking over totally in the last lunge towards the finish line.

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