Sunday, January 23, 2011

Semi-liberal OR Semi-extremist?

The first few weeks of the second decade of the 21st century have already witnessed three momentous events that will impact on global geopolitics in the next few years.

These are: The Jan 4 shooting of a prominent Pakistani politician Salmaan Taseer by his own bodyguard; the Jan 8 shooting of congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords by the right-wing extremist Jared Loughner in the US, and the Jan 4 fatal self-immolation of 26-year-old fruit vendor Mohamed Bouazizi that led to regime change in Tunisia.

The Loughner shooting is a blowback from the nationalistic jingoism that has pervaded public rhetoric in the US in recent years. Overly obsessed with chasing ''Islamic terrorists'' as the primary source of its security concerns, the United States has paid the price of ignoring its own home-grown terrorists.

Similarly, the killing in Pakistan has exposed the influence of extremist ideologies on the common man.

When easily misguided people, regardless of their caste, colour or creed, become victims of incitement, be it via news channels or internet websites or extremist groups, the end result is the same.

But it is the Tunisian revolution that will trigger the most far-reaching change … real change that people everywhere can believe in. Bouazizi's suicide plunged all the supporters of the Tunisian regime into a state of shock.

According to a Gulf News Commentary: ''Colonialism and imperialism may have ended for much of the world in the last century of the last millennium. However, it still remains a reality in much of the Muslim world. Even though our colonial masters have departed, their legacy, policies and clout remain in some form or the other in this part of the world, ruling by proxy.”

In fact, in many places, the common man has lost not only his physical resources for survival but also is losing his all hopes for future amidst all this furore over extremism and liberalism. The frustration and hopelessness is taking toll on his strength to think positively and this is shown in end result of changing the histories of nations in a blink of an eye.

Times are changing at the fastest ever pace
 The times are changing at an unimaginable pace that the media goes off into a paroxysm of soul-searching about what happened, how and why it happened, the speed at which it happened, and the most critical question: Where will it happen next?

The example of Tunisia has taught us that now, we do not need expertise of some intellectuals to forecast the future of a country. Any insignificant incident may bring about a massive revolution within days, thanks to fast communication between common people and activists.

In Pakistan, there seems the rise of a new large segment in our society ---> Semi-Liberals or they may be called Semi-extremists (Neither Rightists nor Leftists) .. They are coming out in the open media and expressing their concerns about their image of being Muslims & Pakistanis being manipulated and projected in the most unwarranted ways.

Not long before a decade, hardly a few knew what it meant to be a nationalist / communist / socialist / extremist / moderate . Today, there you can find ample amount of definitions for all such terms everywhere.

In today’s world of free media and freedom of expression, young minds are choosing and adopting the opinions and philosophies of their choice, whichever they seem to fit in. This flood of information and awareness needs to be filtered, as it is leading to the growth of a new generation of ideologies and opinions, for which we are seemingly not yet ready.

Its high time, our leaders, intellectuals, thinkers, opinion-makers took up the challenge to pool this flow of information in the best interest of our nation and the world at large.