WATCHMEN’OR ‘WATCH THEM’

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By Saima Ejaz

 

 

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This article is an analogy of the political scenario of Pakistan in context of the movie “Watchmen”.
If we take a look at the political condition in Pakistan we will observe Dr. Manhattan, Nite owl, The Comedian, Rorschach but the real question remains who the real Ozymandias is? Pakistan’s has gone through numerous crisis since its birth in 1947 and like the assassinations observed in the comic book it too has lost great vigilantes watching over the nation. From Liaqat Ali Khan to Benazir Bhutto to the recent assassination of Salman Taseer.For centuries we have been weaved into this idea that our politicians are the real super heroes, but does that notion still hold true? Even outside the comic book the world we live in is still the same. History has been the past, present and will continue to shine in the future too, only with new characters and stages. Today in the 21st century where economic interdependence, globalization, trade agreements and unions are being formed there is still a constant fear of nuclear annihilation.

Pakistan was separated from British India on 14th august 1947 on the notion that Muslims needed a separate homeland a ‘land of the pure’. When the first constitution was adopted in 1956 and under it Pakistan was proclaimed as the ‘Islamic republic of Pakistan’ and the emphasis of Jinnah’s need for a secular Pakistan where all citizens are considered to be equal was denied by incorporating religion into state politics. According to the first constitution the country’s president has to be a Muslim and includes provision that the state will enact no law deemed repugnant to the teachings of Islam and the Islamic sharia law. This change from a secular Pakistan to a religiously run Pakistan has paved its way to its darkest course of time. Events which have led our country into crisis have been deep routed to the so called fundamental Islam, especially the war on terror and the mujahedeen.

 

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Soon after the political instability and the assassination of great leaders, martial law was the fate of Pakistan starting from the first military man. During this period all the masked heroes (political parties) had been banned and feelings of anti- vigilantes were being spread among the general masses. From an objective point of view the role of a politician is to watch over us or be the ‘watchmen’ but in this case the clash of the ‘thymos’ or the male ego –the desire for more power led to killings of a hundreds Bengalis in the eastern wing and later Balochis in Baluchistan. Does the notion or the claim of united Pakistan still hold true? Let’s go a little further when democracy prevailed in the country and the superhero was Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. He totally changed the face of Pakistan. After the end of the military might in the air crash, democracy once again prevailed. This political race between the two vigilantes proved to be deadly at least for one. Under the reign of PML-N Pakistan became a nuclear state thanks to our Dr. Manhattan whose fate has also led him to depart to another realm under a conspiracy yet to be unfolded. On the contrary the ‘higher watchmen’; the international arena and especially the United States were not happy with this step and imposed sanctions.

Now the decade of democratic rule was once again superseded by military rule in 2001. His downfall was marked with the Red mosque controversy and the assassination of the former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto under his leadership. The assassination marked his end and brought together the two political parties fighting for democracy. Could this be accounted to a coming together of the two worst enemies with regard to the investigation of their fellow ‘watchmen’ or the desire to eliminate the other ‘watchmen’? However, this so called ‘coming together’ did not stay for long bringing out the differences between the two.

At the end of the day the real concern that prevails in the minds of the ‘wise’ is that who the real Rorschach is who is investigating all the moves and the key players in this world full of ‘watchmen’? Is Ozymandias the ‘super power’ or the ‘current hero’ only God knows better but the real concern is that the role of the ‘watchmen’ is to watch over us and protect the mankind but who is watching over them?

3ee

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7 responses »

  1. Awesome post! The comparison was well laid out and I think you mentioned an excellent point in how the true downfall of Pakistan started when the people started to go against the secularist ideology of its creator.

    What I find disheartening and surprising is the sheer hypocrisy of the majority Muslim population of Pakistan, who claimed injustice under the hands of a Hindu majority before partition took place, and now squash the rights of other minorities as they are now the majority.

    They don’t seem to realize that they wanted independence because of the religious discrimination that they faced at the hands of the majority Hindus, and now they dish out the same discrimination to the minorities of their nation.

  2. Love your take on this, Saima. Relating our country’s situation to Watchmen is so apt. Could not have been done better by anyone else!

  3. Very interesting. Who watches the watchmen? Something I’ve always wondered.

    Also. I had that Hulk Hogan action figure when i was kid. Still do 😀

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