Farah Adeed |
Post-truth world not only focuses on multiple ‘truths’ rather it also emphasis on the process of perception-making in post-modern societies. Societies which experienced democratization before the dawn of the 21st century were lucky for many reasons. Flow of information, neo-liberal economic institutions and cultural imperialism did not affect them as heavily as they are doing now.
Classical sociologists started studying human societies because industrial and scientific revolutions had adversely affected the social fabrics of those societies. The intention was to understand the underlying causes of anomie and to suggest some practical solutions. Generally, classical sociology suggests that to maintain social stability it is imperative to adopt an evolutionary approach towards social change. Revolutions mostly disrupt social orders.
People of Pakistan challenged the fundamentals of post-truth world, ignored what media at international level was saying, and disregarded what Pakistani liberals were arguing for.
The dilemma of political scientists in our times is specialization in their respective fields. The focus on political processes, political parties, governmental power, political change and political structure has made it difficult for these scholars to connect the state with the society or politics with the society. This disconnection in academics and, later on, at practical grounds causes social instability and political stagnation.
Frankly, this is a unique and powerful challenge modern democracy is facing at the moment. However, efforts are being made to focus on inter-disciplinary approaches once again. This is encouraging. Pakistan was created in 1947 but despite all hopes and efforts it could not become a democracy. Pakistan’s democratic journey became somewhat sustainable in the 21st century.
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The biggest challenge for Pakistani democracy has been the political elites, who focused on a self-serving idea of democracy and rule of law. They deliberately did not introduce democratic norms and values at a social level. Society largely remained authoritarian in its nature but academicians and politicians have ‘left not stone unturned’ to make Pakistan’s politics democratic.
Ironically, media, international institutions and so-called international establishment have their own interests, worldviews and agendas when it comes to the developing world like ours. From the neo-Marxist viewpoint, elites from developing world and establishment in the developed world have some common grounds to work together. For instance, Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari can loot money in Pakistan and send it to the western world to buy a luxurious house and invest in business through offshore companies.
Generally, classical sociology suggests that to maintain social stability it is imperative to adopt an evolutionary approach towards social change. Revolutions mostly disrupt social orders.
The western world despite being the champion of modern democracy and rule of law will not question Altaf Hussain and sons of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for their own interests in this region. The alliance between global powers and local elites have made democracy almost ‘a day dream’ for the developing nations. Take the latest example from Pakistan, this is the perfect examples of how post-truth world functions.
Nawaz and his family was found guilty and, hence, convicted by a court of law. The contradictory statements of Sharif family are still available on YouTube, if someone wishes to look into the case. But still, three-dozen Pakistani liberals, international media and so-called civil society made all efforts to save Nawaz and present his political rival Imran Khan as the most ‘uncertain’ and a ‘favor’ son of Pakistan military.
The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Economists, The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and Pakistan’s English-language newspaper Dawn are the main architects of a pro-Nawaz and anti-Imran political framework in the post-truth world. Reports, news analysis and opinion pieces have frequently been published by these media houses to create a particular political setting where Nawaz and his party could make a visible presence or at least to give Nawaz and his supporters an excuse to justify his defeat in the general elections.
Society largely remained authoritarian in its nature but academicians and politicians have ‘left not stone unturned’ to make Pakistan’s politics democratic.
In a post-truth world, societies can be polarized or divided by focusing on the modern means of propaganda and manipulation. But results of the general elections in Pakistan offer some interesting insights. Interestingly, Pakistani political elites have never focused on inculcating democratic norms in the mind of people. Hence, democracy at social level remained absent. But Imran Khan, a cricketer-star-turned-politician, made an attempt to educate people about the rule of law and economic prosperity.
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He made it clear before the people that ‘we can also live with dignity in this world’. This self-consciousness then brought interesting outcomes. After 22 years of struggle, Imran Khan made his way. People of Pakistan challenged the fundamentals of post-truth world, ignored what media at international level was saying, and disregarded what Pakistani liberals were arguing for.
After decade of exploitation and humiliation, Pakistan is all set- to start a new era of politics and social development under the leadership of nationalist Imran Khan. But for Imran there is a biggest challenge ahead. Will he able to institutionalize democratic norms in the five years to let the Pakistanis, children of a lesser God, know what rule of law and meritocracy stand for.
Farah Adeed is a Senior Research Analyst in GVS. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s Editorial Policy.