26 January 2008

Would you like to be Bilawal Bhutto??

The first thoughts that came to my mind when I read the title were- Death & Responsibility. Bilawal Bhutto Zadari, a youth who is seen as the future of Pakistan, today is entrusted with great responsibility. He stands confused between the criticism he faces & also his due course of action. Bilawal is at a crossroad, which few are encountered with or in fact few want to get encountered with.

I tried to reach out to Bilawal’s state of mind. The gossip that surrounds his “cute” looks, the expectations that people have from him & the trust that he has been endowed in him, clearly leaves him in a state of bewilderment. The post on which he sits today may or may not be of his own choice, but seeing the larger picture, I feel this was to happen now or later. As Mr. Asif Zadari rightly said that politics in the sub continent has a dynastical element to it & people often have a relatively high degree of faith in the members of these families (Referring to Nehru-Gandhi & the Bhutto Family). Bilawal had to make this choice sometime & I believe he made it appropriately. If I were he, I would have done the same, but the question is- Do I want to be him?

I always thought of being a statesman or a leader of my nation. But after that thought, I got puzzled with the magnitude of my ambition. Was I ready dor what Bilawal might have to face as a politician? Was I ready for the righteous path that I had carved for myself? Was I ready to follow my dream at the risk of my life? The answers I found were in shades of grey. I could understand the trauma Bilawal was facing but failed to accept the same for myself.

Being in Bilawal’s position is a hard job, but that still doesn’t answer the initial question. I think- yes I want to be Bilawal. Not because of the power & position or because I want to impress the readers but due to the fact that it gives me the opportunity to serve the people, the ability to make the change I want see & the strength to drive a nation into a new horizon. All this may sound superficial or fake, but truth is often less understood.

But how is Bilawal going to go about it? What should be or would be or could be his strategy or for that matter mine if I were he?

I have a reservation with the choice of Bilawal’s to return to Oxford so soon. He is the Pakistan Political Party’s new face & therefore it was his endeavor to campaign for the upcoming elections. (I must add, campaigning does not mean going on the streets & giving the devils another chance to assassinate a Bhutto, but it is propagation of the cause of the party you are heading)

Out of the many challenges Bilawal has to face an important one is the lack of political experience. Bilawal might have theoretical knowledge of political sciences & international relations, but its practicality in the sub continent may vary. After a certain level of education & learning, Bilawal could return to Pakistan with new ideas of modernization & governance. Besides he is always in the guidance & support of the party elders & his own father.

A key obstruction in his path could be the widespread corruption in the governing system. Bilawal must (I use this verb because I feel he has no other choice) ensure that he keeps away from this social malaise/malice & retain his individuality. He may see corruption in his own party members & thus he must have the courage to tell them what is right. There is after all a difference between diplomacy & corruption.

Bilawal is often looked upon as the symbol of democracy in Pakistan. He is seen as the same messenger of public power as his mother. Amartya Sen rightly puts it that Democracy is not all about voting for your leaders, it is about public reasoning & discussion; about questioning government measures & policies. This by & large is going to be the toughest & the most important task of Bilawal’s future political career.

One of the key troublemakers in the entire revival & development process would be The Terrorist Groups. It has been long speculated that these organizations have found a place in Pakistan’s Governance. To completely eliminate them is a Herculean task. Terrorism as a social evil was not made in a day nor can it be ended in a day. Terrorism exists the minds of these individuals, which ultimately transforms into guns & arms. Fighting them is not a solution to the problem, only a defense. One cannot achieve a consensus with them but one can understand their demands, the reason for the demands & why they choose a radical way of achieving them. This perhaps will enable Bilawal to curb terrorism & make Pakistan more secure & less defamed.

The above-elaborated plan, if I may say so, seems to be a lot for a nineteen year old teenager. But the start has to be made sometime soon. It may take more than one lifetime to achieve all this, but a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Bilawal Bhutto Zadari has a lot to see & learn (and so do I) but the fact that he accepted the responsibility of leading the party & sometime later the country, inspires me a lot. I don’t have pity for him, but I have respect & wishes to give him.

It isn’t easy being a member of the governing system of a nation. It isn’t easy being a statesman or politician. It isn’t easy being a teenager & having dreams of leading the country.
On a lighter note,
It might be very difficult to be Bilawal Bhutto, but after writing this essay & thinking so much about my ambition & being in Bilawal’s shoes, I can say, it isn’t very easy being Rohan Chawla either.

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