‘Democratic’ process in Pakistan

VIEW: ‘Democratic’ process in Pakistan — I
Raza Kazim, Daily Times, September 6, 2010

Elections by themselves are only the mechanics of a political process. They are not the substance of democracy. Democracy is a massive movement of the common people against an oppressive and obstructive social order and for its replacement by another social order that enables the people to restructure their society

In the peak of the ‘democracy’ season in Pakistan, Mr Altaf Hussain has sounded a discordant note with his latest statement, implying that he would support ‘patriotic generals’ if they use their military prowess to eradicate corruption and feudalism from Pakistan. Some prominent politicians and civil society luminaries have already reacted with horror to Mr Altaf Hussain’s political hand grenade. As a concerned student of our history and an outsider to the present centre-stage of our politics, I would like to respond to this occasion by examining some of the implications arising out of Mr Altaf Hussain’s statement.

I am unable to equate democracy with elections and the politics of elections alone. The political history of the Third World during the last 60 years is full of instances in which this paradigm of democracy has produced the messy stagnation that has taken hold of many of these countries for a long time, and has served to deny three generations of a brighter future, which could and should have been their fate. And let us not forget the modern instances of the election politics and process in Germany in the 1930s and about the same time in the Soviet Union. They produced disastrous social formations and sad endings. The point is that elections by themselves are only the mechanics of a political process. They are not the substance of democracy.

Democracy is a massive movement of the common people against an oppressive and obstructive social order and for its replacement by another social order that enables the people to restructure their society and therewith establish an appropriate political and legal order, which opens the doors for civilised progress. And the process of democracy can last only as long as that movement of the people continues with dynamic vigour. These events occur and become real and turning points in their history.

For complete article, click here
Related:
Credibility of democratic process under threat: PILDAT - DT
Political leaders critical of Altaf Hussain's statement - Express Tribune

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