Hero worship: A Silent Killer to democracy:  

By: Syed Muhammad Farhan Zahid


Political heroism originates in both social and academic voids and finds sanctuary in third world nations to mislead public opinion from the harsh reality. Pakistan has encountered its biggest crises in recent months, including societal division and intolerance in addition to inflation and economic crises. But is the recent current state of affairs to blame for the rift and intolerance?

To comprehend this, we must look back in time and study the history of the continent. Hero worship has long existed in the Subcontinent due to Sufism, saints, and the class system. Surprisingly, no other school of thought has made “hero worship” a discipline besides Sufism. As there were no such mystical rituals or beliefs in Arab culture, a school of thought developed in the second century as a result of interactions with Persian culture. Sufism is therefore viewed by some scholars as a Persian fabrication that runs contrary to the actual spirit of Islam. Despite the miserable socio-political circumstances in their countries, the so-called Sufis who were patronized by the British turned to their various Khanqahs throughout the colonial era, and these Sufiyyah al-Rasms are still present in the postcolonial globe. Despite not being a believer, Pakistan’s founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah sought the support of saints in the 1945 elections, especially Pir Sahib of Manki Sharif and Pir Jamaat Ali Shah, were crucial figures in the election campaign. All Muslim voting blocs went for the Muslim League. The League had unified the Muslim vote and as a result acquired negotiation leverage, in contrast, only 109 of the 482 seats won by for All India Muslim League in the 1937 provincial elections. This demonstrates unquestionably that Sufism and hero worship have always had a major influence on the history of the continent. Thus, whether intentionally or unintentionally, “Hero Worship” had a significant impact on the formation of the country. which still exists in society; in fact, if we look closely, the ruling elite of today is not a newcomer to politics; rather, they are the successors, with the majority coming from Sufi and peer families, their voters and supporters are more of their ritual followers, particularly in the backward areas that make up the majority of the country. Who, for the most part, has nothing to do with their leader’s vision and manifesto and are unable to accept criticism of their leaders, which is harmful to democracy on all levels and ultimately leads to social division and a marginalized society. B R Ambedkar the architect of Indian Constitution in 1949 sums it up, “In politics, Bhakti or hero-worship is a sure road to degradation and eventual dictatorship.”

Our society has never promoted institutions or visions, only individuals and personalities. In the case Of Pakistani politics. The catchphrase “Quaid Ka Pakistan” has consistently led us astray soon after Muhammad Ali Jinnah passed away. The Quaid himself never referred to Pakistan’s ideology as “Quaid Ka Pakistan”; rather, he was a staunch supporter of institutionalization and constantly emphasized the two-nation theory and the vision. No Pakistan movement slogan was self-centered or promoted the stardom of Muhammad Ali Jinnah; instead, they were all linked to the movement’s beliefs and mission. “Pakistan ka matlab kya la ilaha illallah,” for example, was a well-known slogan. What is the distinction between “pakistan ka matklab kia” and “quaid ka pakistan” raise here? “Quaid ka Pakistan” is a slogan that politicians and leaders have frequently used to influence public opinion and use that sentiment to promote heroism rather than institutions and a larger goal. If we had followed the principles of “Pakistan Ka Matlab Kia la ilaha illallah” the “true teachings” of Quaid, we would have achieved the larger goal. However, we were too busy promoting heroism that we have since drifted far from the true vision. This slogan has given today’s politicians a foundation to advertise themselves, deceive the public, and secure a place for their offspring.

We started with “Pakistan ka matlab kia laillahal ilallah” and are now in the midst of “Jb Aye Ga Imran Bhare Gi Is Quom Ki Shan and Teri Awaz Meri Awaz Maryum Nawaz “. In a democratic society it should be “Vote ko Izat do”” instead of leaders’ self-serving slogans, it should be “Roti Kapra or Makan” instead of “Charhoon Suboon ki Zanjeer Benazir”, and it should more focus on “Insaf Ki Tahreek” instead of “Kon bachaye ga Pakistan Imran Khan”. True Democrats, Statesmen, and Leaders do not need adoration or stardom. They encourage their followers and the general public to follow the vision while remaining objective, honest, and institutionally correct teach them to be objective about their vision and the bigger picture so that they can even criticize their leader if they believe that person is detracting from the larger objective. They believe in strong systems because of their constitutionalism and teamwork. They reduce polarization and follow the true spirits of democracy. Perhaps this is why, despite having a large human resource base and a favorable geographical location, we are still a long way from achieving true democracy and a hostage to “Political dictators” and the masses will be forever slaves to their successors.

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