Thursday, January 03, 2008

Life and death are two sides of the same coin. both share a common inevitability , an uneasy certainity that one will follow the other. but the similarities end there, or rather in todays world , we make them end there.
while life throws up both good and bad on our platter , detah seems to obsolve one of all ills and crimes he / she might have committed in a lifetime. death has this strange quality of painting , in one single stroke , an entire dismally lead, ineffective, and tainted life , with hues of white sacred purity. this is especially true when the deceased embraces th eother world at the hands of an assasin. take benazir for instance!
a daughter of a slain leader, benazir was one of the firat women to lead an islamic country. she was heroic in he rdefiance of the fundamentalist forces in her home country, in th emanner in which she handled her family and politics (much of which was murky ) deftly.being educated, forward thinking, out of a burqa , and standing shoulder to shoulder with men in an islamic country is no mean feat , and benazir deserves to be a role model for women acroos the subjugated and backword muslim world.
yet, was benazir really all that she is being made out to be posthomously? the western media has called her hte matyr of democracy, the daughter of the east ( in her own words), was benazir really a pathbreaking leader statesman that pakistan produced?
at the cost of speaking ill of the deceased, benazir, for most part of her public life,was an unextraordinary and ineffective premier.
her prime ministership ( for breif spells each time) smacked of inefficinecy on her part. terror outfits aided by the establishment in pakistan flourished right under her nose, while she did nothing to counter the growing clout of th emillitary on the pakistani state.
corruption was at an all time high , lawlessness ruled ht eroost, relations with india were at the lowest ebb . and pakistan was still in an economic mess ( not that it ever was in an upward mode).
even out of power benazir did not show the gut or the intent to fight a dictator in her country. instead she chose asafe life of exile , in dubai , waiting to rrturn only after she had a pact ready with the very person who was responsible for the mess pakistan is in today. her return , is now being hailed as the last hope for pakistans democratic future. but till her detah she had shied away from addressing the actuall issues that leaders like nawaaz sharif have been raising all along. neither was a free judiciary on he radar , nor was a unbiased beurocracy her need. she showed an uncanny desperation to get back to power , even at the cost of mending ways with the dictator.
given this , its unsettling to see the the world is heaping praise on her after her tragic death , forgetting , and in effect forgiving her for all that she contributed to the downfall of pakistan. her death has no doubt deepend the crisis in our neighbouring state, but benazir was not the solution to the chaos that pakistan is todya. she certainly was a part of the cancer that has seeped into the pakistani democratic system.
but , i guess , as they say , a death died well is far important than a life less lived.!may allah rest hersoul in peace!!

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