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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Raj & Samraj: How Subcontinent Went From Gora Sahib To Brown Sahib

How subcontinent went from bowing before Gora Sahib to Brown Sahib, how everything left behind by the British was turned against people and subcontinent went from being ruled under "Raj" to be ruled under "Samraj".

Opinion |

In August of 1947, the British Raj ended in the Indian Subcontinent. Jinnah as the father of the nation refused to accept Lord Mountbatten to continue as Governor-General. Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan as the first Prime Minister (PM) started the transition towards a democratic state. The colonial establishment left behind was not interested to serve their countrymen, they conveniently took over the positions vacated by the ‘Gora Sahib’ and started to behave like their masters.

Transition to democracy was short-lived instead the country moved from Raj to Samraj, ‘Gora to Brown Sahib’, slavery to submission, efficiency to inefficiency, honesty to corruption, discipline to indiscipline, direction to directionlessness, purpose to purposelessness. The leftovers of the Raj conspired to eliminate the PM, in 1951 followed by total colonial establishment control.

Prominent names that come to mind in this conspiracy were (Iskandar Mirza, Ayub Khan, Ghulam Muhammad, Justice Muhammad Munir, Chaudhry Muhammad Ali, etc). It was a colonial elite capture of the nascent and struggling democratic state. While the Viceroys of India were appointed by elected British Prime Ministers and were accountable to them, the Viceroys of Pakistan were omnipotent Samraj reporting to no one.

People’s Party is no longer Bhutto’s political entity it has been taken over by the ‘Zardari’s’ who admire the money making abilities of the Sharifs

Ayub Khan abrogated the 1956 constitution to be replaced by a deplorable version built around him which went down the tubes with him. Zia claimed that a constitution is not worth the paper it had been written on and he could trash it at will. Nawaz desired to become Ameer-ul-Momineen while Musharraf disfigured it saying that the defence of the country was more important than defending the constitution. Now he faces trial under Article 6 of the same document and is absconding.

I came into this world two years after the assassination of the first PM. As a Muslim League child, I had the opportunity of interacting with the founding fathers of Pakistan. My father was bestowed with the prestigious Tehrik-e-Pakistan Gold Medal on August 14, 1990 for his struggle in the freedom movement, but the agony and pain he had to endure for an upright existence was far more painful for him in the new land. The enemy remained within.

My father Nazir Ahmed Malik formally joined the All India Muslim League in 1935 after graduating from Government College Ludhiana. Before that he was an active member of Muslim Students Federation (MSF) that openly clashed with the Congress Party led by Khawaja Azam and his family. A year after being awarded the Tehrik-e-Pakistan Gold Medal my old man departed from this world in September 1991 but he did write about his struggle and ordeal in the so called free land that he had struggled for. He was not alone in this crusade now most of his fellow comrades now perished leaving the country in the evil hands of the ‘Samraj’.

Read more: An overview of Pakistani politics from 1947 to Gen. Zia

Genuinely elected representatives of the people did try to move Pakistan in the direction of a Republic away from the ‘Raj’ and ‘Samraj’ but their efforts were thwarted by the leftovers of the colonial establishment. The non-GHQ sponsored parties (All India Muslim League, Awami League, National Awami Party, People’s Party, Tehreek-e-Insaf) tried or are still trying to foster the democratic order while all the others moved Pakistan in the wrong direction right under the watchful eyes of the agencies. People’s Party is no longer Bhutto’s political entity it has been taken over by the ‘Zardari’s’ who admire the money making abilities of the Sharifs.

Liaquat Ali Khan was murdered, Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy was found dead in his hotel room in Beirut, Faiz Ahmed Faiz also sought refuge in Lebanon, Ghaffar Khan lived in exile in Afghanistan and is buried there, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was eliminated through the judicial process. With ‘Diesel’s march to Islamabad I now fear for the life of ‘Kaptaan’ who is trying his best to clear the mess left behind by the evil ‘Samraj’.

In Urdu interesting terms are used, ‘Samraji Quwat (Omnipotent forces of exploitation), ‘Mujramana Ghaflat’(Criminal Oversight), ‘Jumhuriyat Katra Main’ (Democracy in danger), ‘Islam Katra Main’ (Religion in distress), Awam ka Istehsal (Exploitation of the masses) to dodge the issues. The common man in the country continues to suffer while the selected elite prospers. By some reports it is worst than the ‘Raj’. The ‘Gora Sahib’ was at least accountable to his own elected parliament whereas the ‘Brown Lord’ much more lethal as he is totally free to do whatever he desires.

The Brown Lord’s have to be replaced with facilitators and genuine ‘Khadims’ who have a passion to serve not to rule

For the redressal of a blatant executive abuse I had to go to the Lahore High Court (LHC) last week. As a child growing up on the Mall I was surprised to see the rush there. There was a large crowd, even to enter the court premises there were long queues on the gates, the courts were crowded with lawyers and litigants. It clearly indicated that the ‘Administrative Machinery’ had ceased to function, the only avenue left for relief was the higher judiciary which is now being overwhelmed with cases.

Performance of the legislative branch is also pathetic. In the seventies, as a student leaders we had access to the Governor and the ministers who were willing to stick their heads out for the public. The assemblies in the seventies were very effective. Important legislation was done expeditiously. There was passion for performance which was then replaced by personal interests in the eighties and has continued since then.

Kaptaan is passionate for change while the individuals who surround him belong to the era of ‘Diesel Politics’. No system can run on dirty fuel. Pakistan badly needs a fuel change to smoothly run the engines of the nation that have been choked by the gump of the eighties. A major course correct is required to move in the direction of a republic instead of strengthening the ‘Raj’ to become a monster ‘Samraj’.

Read more: Apart From Opposition’s Betrayal & Disgrace, What Did Maulana Achieve?

The Brown Lord’s have to be replaced with facilitators and genuine ‘Khadims’ who have a passion to serve not to rule. Down with Samraj and its machinations. Pakistan has to be liberated from these leftovers of the Raj otherwise people will continue to revere the rule of the ‘Gora Sahib’ working under an accountable Viceroy reporting to an elected parliament closely watching the interests of its electorate.

Dr. Farid A. Malik is Ex-Chairman, Pakistan Science Foundation. The article was first published in The Nation and has been republished here with the author’s permission. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.