Adjective freedom
March 14th, 2017 at 10:36 pm
Adjective freedom

By Maskwaith Ahsan;

The state is hardly relevant anymore in the lives of its citizens, being rather a burden in most cases for the common man. Only a few states have been able to introduce welfare systems but the rest remain useless to the daily lives of people.

From case studies across South Asian nations like Bangladesh, India and Pakistan it’s clear that ordinary people are scared of the establishment. Slavery suffered under colonial rule continues to haunt their psyche even after decades of independence.

Then, it was necessary to fight for independence so people took part in the freedom struggle, shed blood to free their motherland from the slavery of colonial system, but after winning freedom a group of thugs took over power and started ruling the masses in the same barbaric manner. As a result things did not change, a native ruling class kept people captive in its ferocious clutches.

In the name of democracy and under the guise of mouth-watering words like nationalism, criminalization of politics and fascism are swallowing the fruits of independence. India and Pakistan are at their 70 years of independence and Bangladesh is going to celebrate 46 years of its liberation, but the word ‘freedom’ seems just an adjective in people’s lives.


Democracy for sale

The way people used to be scared at the sight of British police or enforcers, our native police and administration gives them the same scary look. The way low-born Britons used to show off superiority while serving their queen, low-born South Asians exhibit similar superiority while serving their ‘democratic ‘ kings and queens.

The moment a citizen enters a police station or a government office in South Asia to receive entitled service they are greeted by the ugly mannerism of native masters representing a ruthless government. Without bribing and showing submission no citizen can get any service from the state, so they find it easier to bow before the establishment and try to develop connections within the power structure.

In all of these South Asian nations, people have a sense of relief till the time they don’t have to come across the rural faces of politicians and civil servants. With the passage of time and technology South Asian societies are evolving and younger generations are becoming global citizens but unfortunately politicians and civil servants continue to live in their own “fool’s paradise”.

Interestingly, these politicians and civil servants come from very weak backgrounds where green “lungi” and harsh “dhoti” remain family costumes, and the moment they enter the palace of establishment they start wearing suits & ties, and using forks & knives at royal dinners while completely ignoring their past. That’s why out of neo-arrogance they try to humiliate common men every chance they get without any sense of humanity or decency.

To ensure their neo-gotten lifestyle these politicians and civil servants siphon away so much wealth to their second homes in the west by looting the state that even our colonizers would feel ashamed by it.

Had such large wealth not been looted Bangladesh, India, Pakistan would not have needed any loan from the World Bank and the IMF. So, corruption has become the only way to achieve success in South Asia. When a farmer does not get the right price of his harvest or when a laborer cannot earn livelihood despite hard labor, their children dream of becoming politicians or civil servants to put an end to their miseries. But the moment they enter the corridors of power they forget the haves-not they left behind.

Public disenchantment with the system then turns countries into police states feared by their own citizens. Thus strengthens the vicious cycle of hunger games in these countries with the mantra of exploitation.

Bangladeshi writer

Maskwaith Ahsan is an expatriated journalist and writer