Wednesday, April 24, 2013

[Elections 2013] The Establishment's Game

Establishment is a dreaded word in the political arena of Pakistan. Politicians equate it with something of an all-powerful and beyond reproach ghost that sits up top and runs the puppet show that is our government. Critical things like the budget and international relations are controlled by this ghost and the politicians dread its wrath.

For an average Pakistani, establishment is just a word. They listen to talk-shows and TV bulletins - wherever this word is mentioned, they take it superficially, without knowing what is behind it.

Officially and briefly, establishment is meant for continuation of policies and to keep the transitions smooth between the policies with changing government structures. It is comprised of bureaucracy (civil or military) and its siblings. It is independent of political influence.

Traditionally, across the world, they also try to manipulate the country politics besides their assigned
responsibility. It is a natural tussle between politicians and establishment. There are multiple factions of establishment. In some countries, civil establishment dominates and in some countries, military establishment dominates. Pakistan is perceived as a military dominant country. But the fact is that it is a civil bureaucracy setup and feudal system which actually strengthens the military influence and allow generals to rule when they take over. Another interesting fact is that there has never been a totally anti-establishment political party yet. Every political party opposes one faction of establishment while enjoys the support of other faction.

The military of Pakistan enjoys a popular public image. It is perceived as messiah thanks to the soft (read: paid) media. This is why after every other coup d'├ętat with which it overthrows an elected government, it faces minimal resistance from the general public. These coups are frequent, bloodless and successful for this very reason.

Political satirists, Begherat Brigade, after their hugely successful song Aluu Anday took a bold step and targeted the powerful oligarchic establishment of Pakistan in a new release. The song titled Dhinak Dhinak hits hard at the establishment of Pakistan and its unwelcomed role in the politics and interests of Pakistan.

The song faced considerable set-backs because of it targeting an influential division of Pakistan and it may never be released on mainstream television but it is a step in the right direction. It will make an average person more aware and circumspect of the shadow games being played in Pakistan.

On another note, if the song was powerful then the ending was even more powerful. It showed the group holding a placard reading: No need to like this video, we will be dead anyway. Powerful indeed.

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