Afraid of Revolution?

Sometimes an incident can spur a revolution. When delving into history, we can find ample examples in which an event has brought down cruel kings or the statuesque has been dashed into pieces. The aftermath could be debated, whether they got the desired result or not, however, one thing is for sure that the statuesque has been changed.

The Romans overthrew the Etruscan’s King, which proved to be the milestone towards their empire. It all started with one incident involving one individual –Lucretia. She was disgraced by one of the sons of the king, and the same night she committed suicide. It sparked violence between the Romans and Etruscans. And the noble Brutus did the rest of the job through attacking courtiers. To cut the matter short, Etruscans overlords overthrown and the Romans formed a Republic.

In Tunisia, a vendor named Tarek el-Tayeb Mohamed Bouazizi was humiliated by the public official and he self-immolated himself. Consequently, it sparked a movement throughout the Afro-Arab world, which is known to us as the Arab Spring. The desired results have not been achieved owing to various reasons, which is not the domain of this short article.

In all these, one thing was common that the people were tired of the statuesque, which they wanted to be changed. And the forces of statuesque were too rigid to accept the iota of change. One might argue that the change is the only constant, and there were changes happening. But what I think is that the changes might be too sluggish in its pace or undirected or it might not translate into the aspirations of the common folks. If those aspirations had been realized prior to the violence, then it would have benefitted both the opposing and the force of statuesque.

The same is happening here, when an aspiring model has been killed by the man in uniform, and the people reacted in a way that a whole social movement has been triggered in Pakistan. The beauty of this movement is the youth at the forefront. Yes, the other movements have been fuelled and carried out by the youth; however, they were not at the driving seats. This is the unique feature of this movement. Therefore, it could be predicted that the results would be progressive and healthy for society at large.

Whenever the term ‘revolution’ is spelt out, then the things which our minds perceive is bloodshed. This is right to an extent, but it is not the whole truth. Revolution for Aristotle is the change within a system, no matter how minute it seems but having the futuristic course. It doesn’t necessarily include bloodshed rather the 18th amendment is a revolution for Aristotle. The belief in the constitutionality is the essence of Aristotelian revolution.

In my humble opinion, the bloodshed should be avoided because the horrors of wars seem good in movies and books, while in reality, we cannot even imagine. As Bertrand Russell has rightly put forward the whole phenomenon of war in one epic proposition, War does not determine who is right but who is left.

Now the question is that why the people resort to violence instead of exhausting the other channels available. The answer has been given by the Anti-apartheid warrior -Nelson Mandela, in his autobiography, ‘A Long Walk to Freedom’. In his book, he says that ‘’the nature of the struggle is determined by the oppressor’’. For my own convenience, I would change the word ‘oppressor’ into statuesque.

The social movement in Pakistan is the first of its kind. They should not be deceived or forced to the wall. The demands of the movements are hailed by the various political parties and civil society at large.

Therefore, the forces of statuesque should understand the gravity of the situation. The leaders of the movement have agreed to find common ground through negotiation. However, the assurances should not be as such as given to Tahir-ul-Qadri back in 2013 by the government. God forbid! if the youth associated with the movement realized that they are being played and deceived; then what I anticipate is devastation.

We should not be afraid of the revolution. Though the force of statuesque is afraid of the changes which the movement is envisioning, yet if they admit themselves to the change, then it will be for the betterment of the order of society. If they are reluctant, then we have reasons to fear. Ideally speaking the two forces should be complementary to each other rather than at loggerheads, and this idealism must be put into practice otherwise we have examples from history that how it turned out for the contending forces.

Therefore, the only way ahead is to acquiesce the demands of the social movement because it represents the aspiration of the people at large.

Writer: Dr. Asif Kamal, Law School Zhejiang University, China. The writer can be reached at

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