Nothing is more demeaning than making a colonized people to accept that they are colonized. Nothing is worse than forcing them to acknowledge they are different, the otherised lot, who depend on the power that be, in every aspect of life, living on the leftover chunks of the powerful. Far worse is the feeling of enslavement, of being nobodies – a thought strengthened by the reminders the oppressed get to listen every now and then.
One such reminder was recently given at the Faizabad Interchange protest sit-in against a certain people – or a community that should not be named lest the scribe get a label of being a Jewish agent and risk being lynched in broad daylight. By the protest, the community is given a reminder which is thrust upon them with might that in this country they won’t be considered equal – equal countrymen or equal human beings.
The protest was not even against this community. It was but against a few people who managed to tone down a clause in a law that was alienating them. That is even more scary and worrisome for it is actually a reminder to anyone who dares take a side with the persecuted community that he will be taken to the task right away, removed from post, humiliated, insulted and abused in public and eventually exposed to hundreds of blood-hungry, club-wielding fanatics.
What could be more humiliating for the oppressed Ahmadis than seeing every other politician come up on the television and announce that he is not one of them? What could be more frightening for the Ahmadi youngsters to witness the sheer hooliganism committed against them, to observe one tragedy after another – be it targeted killings or firing sprees in worship places – and to experience the deafening silence amid all oppression of the overwhelming majority? Are we even humans in their eyes, they must have been asking this question again and again now.
The issue has become quite troublesome for the government and the deeper state mainly in Punjab, sources reveal now. The recent legislation dubbed as a clerical mistake was a deliberate step taken to clip off the hatred brewing in country’s administration against the Ahmadiyya community. The step failed but taught us the lessons that we are heading into an abyss if we don’t take matter into our hands right away and bring communities closer rather than provoking them to call each other infidels.
The unpreparedness of the secular parties in the country to address this issue is tantamount to a defeat at the hands of a few extremists now in so much power to influence the public narrative. Within days, the mullahs manage to amass public support against persecuted communities like Shias, Ahmadiyyas, and Christians that the state apparatus has no other option but to give in the pressure.
In all this, only the neutral, the silent, the non-active masses living in their comfort zones are to blame, who don’t dare speak up for the fellow countrymen suffering because of adhering to a religion – a right specially taken care of in United Nations’ charter.
If nothing can shake our sleeping conscience, perhaps we should be asking ourselves what we have done so far for a community which gave us our first Nobel laureate Abdus Salam. We should ask what we did in return for the people who had produced the first law minister of this country Muhammad Zafrullah Khan and a poet Obaidullah Aleem whose poetry touched the soul of the Urdu-loving people irrespective of their religious views .
Now is the hour to do something for the time is running and along with that the people far away from this country to save their precious lives.