The havoc wreaked in the capital last night was saddening but definitely not unexpected. Both government and protesters are to blame for the violence that ensued. I won’t go on about who was right and who was wrong because the debate is very exhausting and I already am very washed out by following every minute of this mess. But I do want to clarify that as I write this, I’m doing so without bias. But I just want to express my opinion about what I have read and heard since yesterday.
Whenever protesters are beaten up, killed, tortured or arrested, their leaders are blamed for telling them to leave their homes. But while we blame the leaders what we forget is that the people who come out aren’t idiots. If they leave their homes to protest, they must believe in the cause otherwise why would anyone bother to leave the comfort of their homes?
As for leaders being protected while protesters walk unprotected; well it’s the same everywhere. Let’s just have look at our history. People respect and look up to Jinnah as a true leader and I completely agree with that. But was he with the people who migrated to Pakistan by trains in 1947? The bloodshed that took place is historic. Thousands died and people who managed to escape the massacre on both sides still shudder at the memory but do they curse Jinnah for not being there to die with them? And should they curse him? I don’t think so.
Similarly, when Jinnah called for Direct Action Day, riots ensued and many Muslims were killed. Both Hindus and Muslims were violent but Muslim casualties were much higher than that of the former. So should we blame our leaders, who were fighting for this state that we live in, for the violence? And should we hate them for not being among those who were killed? Once again: I don’t think so.
Let’s go back. I don’t want to bring up religion in my debates but since we are debating on the issue I will just give an example. During the time of Prophet Mohammad (p.b.u.h), Muslims had to fight many wars. But being a symbol of peace, our Holy Prophet never fought in anyone of them. He was with his army at all times, but the warriors protected him and fought for him. In all those wars, Muslims died. So…do I need to say it?
The debate about whether these protests are justified or not, is also hot. But this blog is too long aready. So I’ll be writing a second part on that one.