The 'two magicians' and other factors that ensure the success of long marches and sit-ins in Pakistan

Some things happen only once or twice in human life but the effects of their memories are felt for a long time. Something similar happens in political life as Chairman Mao Zedong did the same long march but whenever a political struggle is mentioned, it is remembered. In recent days, large gatherings, long marches and sit-ins have sprung up on Pakistan's political scene. From time to time the question arises in the mind of the common man that how can political parties gather such large crowds? This is the question I asked Dr. Umair Ansari. Political media is a special subject of his interest. How do political parties hold meetings and what are the secrets that are used to make these meetings a success? It can be said with great care that Dr. Ansari has made a serious effort to understand these topics.
Whether it's a rally, a sit-in or a long march, there are four or five ways to make it a success, conditional, sure and flawless. These are not the words of Dr. Umair Ansari but the headline of his long, interesting and revealing conversation is more or less the same. "In fact, these are the two magicians who, at the click of a button, give rise to the charisma for which the Pakistani press once used the formula of a rare meeting or procession," he says. Dr. Ansari's description of the magic of these 'magicians' is very interesting.
Who are these magicians? One of them is a contractor providing labor to small and big factories and the other is the bee which holds the key of the people living in the backward and poor slums of the city. The style of dealing with these two important personalities who made the meeting a success and dealing with them in two different ways. A person who provides labor to a factory is called a contractor. A large number of workers are in touch with him at all times and he is able to provide the required number on short notice. Political parties use its services when needed. He keeps a certain portion of the wages he pays as his fee. The situation is different with the bee of the slums and the poor. Relevant political party officials are in constant touch with such people. They share their joys and sorrows and take care of their needs. Whenever there is a need for demonstration of political power, help is sought from such people. For this purpose, the bee is provided with sufficient resources for transportation and other necessary expenses, including food and drink, which are sufficient for the needs of themselves and their 'people', ie the people participating in the procession. Senior journalist Tanveer Shehzad adds another recipe to increase attendance at the rally. "Political parties, on the occasion of a major political adventure, also give their members of parliament the responsibility to bring a certain number of people to meetings, processions or long marches," he said. For this purpose, they arrange transportation and food. An additional interest for visitors to another city, which is usually a large city, is that they have access to tourism and they are able to see such places, in general. But it is difficult or impossible for them to see. Did the recent long march of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) also take place under the same plan, after which the sit-in was to be called? Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Senator Ijaz Chaudhry disagrees. They tell a very different story of their demonstrations and sit-ins, especially of the post-government activities. He said that when Imran Khan's government was removed through a no-confidence motion, there was a strong reaction. People in 57 cities of Pakistan came out on their own. "We think their numbers were in the millions, if not millions," he says. After saying this, he added: "We were just announcing and people were coming out in millions, so that is why we decided on the Long March, the real freedom march." In fact, my question to them was why did your party decide to hold a long march and sit-in? Could political pressure have been increased through other normal political activities? I could not get an answer to this question from the speech of Senator Ijaz Chaudhry. However, Tanveer Shehzad answered this question with great clarity. "Protests are not just political. Different sections of society protest, both political and non-political. Unfortunately, we have the general impression that no one feels the weight of a simple protest," he said. "For example, if a crowd of peaceful people sat in front of the press club, they would not be able to get any meaningful attention. Significance depends not only on the size of the problem but also on the size of the problem. The various styles of politics of the last four decades have passed through the eyes of senior journalist Azeem Chaudhry. He is of the view that this is also the motive behind the sit-ins of PTI. What are the factors that make a sit-in, march or meeting a success? For those who keep a close eye on these activities, this is a package, says Tanveer: "There are a few things that are very important in this package. It is not necessary to gather too many people. "If there is an important person holding a sit-in, then he alone is enough. The topic or statement, its coverage in the media and the timing of the sit-in, both politically and seasonally. Details of the subject matter or narrative can sometimes be important if most of the factors that make a sit-in a success are available. The more journalistic the reason for the sit-in, the greater the chances of success, such as inflation. Also any religious issue or any stand against India and America. "Even if all these factors become available, there is still a factor that can be a hindrance to the success of a sit-in or protest." In Tanveer Shehzad's view, "this is the signal that plays a decisive role. A call will come and many people will join the sit-in. The media will also start paying attention to this and the way for the success of the sit-in will be paved. This means that the sit-in organizers themselves are not so important but the elements behind it are important, they create the conditions for it. Are just a few of the factors that are generally considered necessary to make a sit-in or a long march a success? Senator Pervez Rashid of the Pakistan Muslim League agrees with this in some cases and on the one hand this disagreement. In addition to the use of resources to make a sit-in a success, there are other visible and invisible factors that he believes have to do with purpose. If there is a purpose, if the people have an emotional attachment to it, then such a political campaign succeeds without any major arrangement. In this regard, he gives the example of the long march led by Nawaz Sharif for the restoration of the judiciary: "The independence of the judiciary was an issue that the hearts of the people beat with. Therefore, when Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif appealed for a long march for this, the people themselves came forward. "No effort was made to gather the slaves for this march, and no transport or food arrangements were required. People came out on their own. All Nawaz Sharif had to do was get out of the house in his car. The weight and pressure of this march was felt. That is why the march had just reached Gujranwala when the demand for independence of the judiciary was accepted. Senator Pervez Rashid termed the political activities for which large scale arrangements have to be made as 'engineered' activities. "As you can see, there was a march," he says. Arrangements were also made for this march, resources were wasted but if attention was not received then it was vandalized. There was also terrorism. Lives were also at stake, yet nothing was done and the fire was set, such activities are engineered. Dr. Umair Ansari also points to one of the activities which Senator Pervez Rashid termed as natural. He says big and ideological political parties do not need the kind of support they need to mobilize people or seek help from contractors in order to gain attention and hold effective political demonstrations. In his view, the activists of such political parties belonging to the right or the left are so deeply attached to their party and its objectives that they reach out to their party in whatever situation they may be called for. Meets expectations. Do Pakistan's mainstream political parties live up to the definition of ideological parties and their cadres become available to them in all kinds of situations? According to Dr. Ansari, the answer to this question is not so simple. They consider Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamaat-e-Ulema-e-Islam, Pakistan Awami Tehreek and leftist pure ideological parties like Communist Party, Mazdoor Kisan Party or National Front for Independence as a type of ideological parties whose workers respond to all kinds of appeals. They say He thinks that parties like Pakistan Muslim League and Pakistan Peoples Party are ideological parties but their discipline is not as effective as the first type of parties and they do not put the workers to much test. Although such parties do not have to resort to artificial means to demonstrate their manpower, they do put their workers in a difficult position. With the emergence of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), a new type of party has emerged among the mainstream parties. According to him, a political process which other parties used to take very seriously in the past, this party has turned it into entertainment or interest. In his view, the performances of popular pop singers and crowds of young men and women have given a new dimension to the activities of this party which has taken the form of entertainment from pure politics. Senator Ijaz Chaudhry does not agree with this view. He believes that Najam Shiraz, Salman Ahmed or some other popular artists who come to PTI demonstrations are actually a part of the nation. They also have political views and they too have the right to express their views. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has also provided a stage to these sections of the society, so it is not correct to call such activities of PTI as entertainment. According to Senator Ijaz Chaudhry, the PTI has established a new and positive tradition by involving artists in the political process. Dr. Ansari acknowledges the importance of the new tradition but also calls it a weakness of the PTI. He said that PTI has attracted middle class, upper middle class and upper classes. These are the classes that do not have the experience to deal with severe trials. A large number of them are also influenced by PTI's recreational activities and become part of their demonstrations. Such people cannot do resistance politics. Evidence of this has been found on the occasion of the recent Long March. In recent years, the tradition of politics has gained momentum in Pakistan through long marches and sit-ins. Will this tradition continue in the days to come? It is clear from the speech of Senator Ijaz Chaudhry that his party is confident of its public popularity and he thinks that it can hold big political demonstrations on its own. Senator Pervez Rashid believes that the recent long march has failed, this failure has not only discredited the party but also angered the people associated with it. On this basis, he believes that the tradition of forcible sit-ins and marches will weaken after this incident. "I don't think there will be such sit-ins and marches in the near future," he said.
Where did the tradition of sit-in or long march come from in our politics? Senator Pervez Rashid says that from the independence movement. Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah's style of politics was constitutional and parliamentary, but he also made historic political journeys. He also addressed large gatherings. The foundation of Pakistan itself was laid in a meeting, namely the meeting in Lahore on March 23, 1940 in which the Lahore resolution was passed which gives ideological legitimacy to Pakistan. This style of politics continued after the formation of Pakistan. This is the question I asked the Secretary General of Pakistan Awami Tehreek Khurram Nawaz Gandapur and the spokesperson of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf for International Media Rauf Hassan. Both of them were wondering what is the question and what is the need to write on this subject. Compared to them, the response of PPP leader and Sindh cabinet member Saeed Ghani was pleasant. He agrees with the position of Senator Pervez Rashid. He said: “Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and other political parties have always held big marches but there is a fundamental difference between these marches and the politics of PTI. Other parties used their political rights to protest, but the PTI's approach is different. Even before its activities, the party resorted to violence. What is the nature of violence in PTI protests? Saeed Ghani says that when the leaders of this party talk of killing, self-immolation and civil war, it is violence. Similarly, the party would have taken an unconstitutional stance such as civil disobedience, non-payment of utility bills and support of hindi instead of banks. "It is the PTI's behavior that turns its political activity into normal political activity into violent activity." Farooq Adil Author, columnist https:// www .bbc.com /urdu/pakistan-61678581

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