By BIRAJ DIXIT :
LIVING in a democratic state all your life where you get to vote regularly, tweet condemnations virtually every day, write letters to the editors of newspapers, issue threatsto sue people in courts and blast your own government’s economic policies in drawing room discussions, you tend to believe in equality a tad too much. Alas! That myth has been busted now.
The Orwellian wisdom of ‘some are more equal’ and definitely above, has dawned upon me - loud and clear. I, a commoner, cannot even dream of getting away. That which are simple errors-a slip of tongue - for the powersthat-be, are crimes for us commoners! A head of the State can, of course, get away with it while we commoners cannot just as much as hope of sneaking out of it even if we pray most vigorously for divine intervention. So, Mr Imran Khan while your Germany-Japan neighbours slip-oftongue will go down in history as just a mere goof-up, had I committed the ‘crime’, my teachers would have buried me alive. Had my memory slipped into ever making Japan and Germany enemies during the World War, my teacher of history would have made me the newest victim of the holocaust. And to even roughly suggest that Japan and Germany were neighbours, my teacher of geography would have dropped an atom bomb right on me. But you Sir, indeed, have got away lightly.
Some jibes on Twitter,afew outbursts in your parliament, a little amusement the world over and some notes for history! Oh, but I hold no grudge against you, Sir. Given the accuracy of my own vast knowledge on most matters, I tend to forgive confused people easily. Even the irritating variety of confidently confused people, even those willfully confused can get forgiveness from my good self for the simple reason that there are simply so many like us. Besides, Germany, Japan and France (that you were perhaps mentioning) are not even cricket playing nations for you to remember their locations, I understand. My argument is that when leaders - powerful and important - can lead their governments with so scant information, why should common nobodies often get stripped of their marks in examinations that can ‘make and break their lives’! Isn’t that awful and too burdensome for poor students? But mind you, Mr Khan, do not feel an iota of embarrassment on the matter. Ignorance or lack of knowledge is a common ‘blissful’ phenomenon among leaderships world over. Why, in my own country some time back, leaders were ‘wishing happiness’ on Good Friday.
It took the Prime Minister himself to tweet on the importance of the day. The corrections followed soon. Why, even the president of the majestically rich ‘Amrika’ Mr Donald Trump had picked up from the wrong page of history when he asked Canadian Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau, if “you guys burn down the White House?” Mr Trump, incidentally, was referring to War of 1812, a conflict between the United States and the United Kingdom. Canada became a country only in 1867. So, they could not have possibly burnt the White House. And so, I say, do not give too much thought to it. However, as a journalist, it is my duty also to enlighten you of the fact that many people might not take it lightly. They think it is extremely necessary for the head of a country as important in the world as Pakistan to know the positioning of others countries on the world map correctly. Especially, when you yourself are constantly reminding the world that you are a nuclear state! You can understand the world’s predicament.
It is only fair for the world to feel jittery when head of the State - that as you often and repeatedly say is armed with nuclear weapons - who has the finger on the button, goofs up with basic geography. For, with such scant knowledge of geography anybody could be in the line of fire. A horrific scenario! And given your knowledge of history and geography, they also are a little skeptical about your accuracy vis-à-vis Mathematics. For all you know, while aiming atacertain neighbour you miscalculate and the nuclear-bomb-carrying-missile flies high hitting the only friend you have.
Again a scary scenario! That is the simple reason why the world wants you to read a little more, Sir. Reading is easy and requires least expenditure. Read you must sir, for, somewhere in these books are not only the positions of the countries, but also their respective histories.Therein, you might find the real history of the Indian sub-continent and of Kashmir. Therein, you might find accurate definition of human rights and what constitutes violation. You may also come across stories of barbarity as described by a Baloch and also find between-the-line meaning of an old saying about glass houses and stones. Just a recommendation, Prime Minister.