Articles of the year 2007

Part Eleven
Published on December 28th, 2007

The rise and fall of Bhutto was traumatic for the whole Nation, and with Television the saga was played out into every home. His incantations had been borrowed heavily from all the great Socialist writers and orators. His referring continuously to the "bloodsucking Businessmen", "despotic feudals" "corrupt bureaucrats" "Industrial Parasites, feeding on the blood of their labourers", was certainly a crowd puller, but did bring out sharp divisions within the country, and the class hatred was palpable. But during his regime the "mindless masses" (Bhutto's expression ) had realized that these were empty slogans only to use the vote to take power. The Public is never that stupid, and true to form they having realized that they had been used one more time did not rise up for him. In fact the people were strangely silent, and there was no great out pouring of grief. Nothing. That in effect was the verdict of the people. He had come to power making many promises, but gave nothing. He left no great institutions, no universities, no libraries, even his native village of Larkana still bemoans the lack of development that should have been its due.

The truly sad part is that he held out so much promise, not just for the poor and the down trodden, but for all Pakistanis, to break from the shackles of the colonial Pakistani rulers in Islamabad who had arrogated unto themselves all the powers of the British. This freedom was denied us. And Bhutto succeeded in putting his own stamp of authority, which was far worse than the British, for with the British there was a chance of justice, but in Bhuttos era justice was what was ordained by him. The entire Government machinery and the judicial system were retuned to do his bidding, so that when the time came for his removal the system was used against him, by the new occupier of the Chair. He had set the dangerous precedent and was to die by it.

The hype created around Bhutto lives on more so because of his death. He has acquired a legendary status which may not have been the case if he had been properly exposed while still alive. The Martyrdom robe has a certain finality which cannot be cast aside, for he gave his life for it. The perpetrators of the hanging certainly felt that it was a small price to pay for a permanent solution.

Anyway, it served to close a bloody chapter in our country's history, but one which has not taught any lessons to the survivors.