Nadir Shah the Emperor of Iran, invaded India five times. In March 1739 he conquered Delhi after which he plundered the city taking the Peacock Throne and the Koh-I-Noor diamond with him. He became a leader of a gang of bandits and prepared them for war and conquest, statesmanship or administration was not his forte. He had a killer instinct and ruled through extortion, terror and torture. Finally, when his inhuman acts became unbearable, he was killed by his own troops thus ending an era of unending bloodshed and loot. Unfortunately, as the city of Lahore was on his route it suffered at his hands.
Fearing his unstoppable onslaughts, the people of Lahore lived in continuous fear which affected their thinking and way of life. Cover-up, lying, deceit became the norm. Interesting terms were coined during that period; ” Khaya Pia Ly Da Baki Nadir Shahi Da ” (Only what you have consumed is your rest Nadir Shah will take). The sufferings of the people of Lahore have continued with several ‘ Nadir Shah’s ‘ in disguise in the garb of ‘ Lord Mayors ‘. Chaudhry Muhammad Hussain was let loose on the city by Ayub Khan, Mian Amir Mahmood by Pervez Musharraf and Col. (Retd) Mubashir Javed by Nawaz Sharif to name a few.
In the year 2022, the city will directly elect a new Mayor
The big question is will he be Nadir or Qadir With 75 lakhs registered voters, it is poised to be an epoch contest that requires massive resources (Around 50 Crores). Will the people of the city surrender again to the financial armory of ‘Nadir Shah’ or stand up and fight for their future. While ‘Nadir’ means unique and precious but in our history, it signifies plunder. Qadir stands for a competent and honest individual. In other words, the contest is between ‘Plunder and Competence’. So far, the Plunderers have won leaving the ‘Competent’ behind to rot. In the last forty years, the decline of the city has not been reversed, only its assets have been robbed. This daylight robbery must be stopped by replacing ‘Nadir Shahs with ‘ Qadir Shahs’. Honest able individuals who come with an ideology to serve not to steal have to take charge.
In the 18th century, the people of Lahore were defenseless against the armor of ‘Nadir Shah and his gang of bandits who could plunder at will and then carry the loot home. Unfortunately in the 21 century, the people find themself helpless against the financial onslaught of the ‘ Nadir Shahs ‘ of our times who manage to take control through buying votes and manipulating the electoral process. Only a ‘Nadir Shah can gamble so much cash (Rs 50 crores) without guarantee of making a kill afterward. It is this killer instinct that has ruined the city and its system which was once functional.
There is enough historical evidence to show that ‘Nadir Shah’ had no interest in administration or statesmanship, his only focus was loot which he then shared with his gang of bandits. Lahore has been an unfortunate place, it has failed to handle the ‘ Nadir Shahs ‘ which keep coming and taking over.
My friend Dr. Majid Sheikh who writes extensively about Lahore blames the location. Invaders who entered India through the North on way to Delhi had to pass through the city as it was on a major trade route. With the waning influence of Delhi, Lahore was rendered defenseless. It was during the Sikh Rule that a nationalist state emerged that stood up to the invaders. In the 21st century, another invasion has taken place which needs to be resisted to secure the future. The next Mayor should come with a plan to rebuild the city to make it more liveable, kind, gentle and caring.
Read more: Past, present and the future of Pakistan
Where no one sleeps hungry or dies without care nor languish in the darkness of illiteracy. ‘ Riasat-e-Madina ‘ the first welfare state of the world was much smaller than Lahore. A model of a modern ‘ Islamic Welfare State’ can experiment right here under the leadership of a Major coming from the ‘ Qadir Shah ‘ group this time by rejecting the thugs and the bandits who have turned the seat into a very lucrative opportunity with the highest return on investment. Nations must learn from history, ‘Nadir Shahs’ cannot fix Lahore. The sufferings will continue until the 75 lakh voters stand up to be counted not trampled. History may be in the making in this epoch contest between good and evil, those who desire to serve and the ones who desire to exploit.
The writer is Ex-Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.The views expressed by the writers do not necessarily represent Global Village Space’s editorial policy