History writing through one’s own blood
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The longevity of life undoubtedly lies in dying for a cause rather than to lead a life under the lurking fear of death. The former is, of course, a blessing while the latter is nothing short of a curse.
Since the day first, mortal man has been running after immortality. However, determining a way, out of many for the purpose, has always been a question: What to adopt and what not? Majority considered pomp and grandeur combined with wealth and health can help in this regard. But history has proven the very idea just as a figment of their imagination – devoid of substance.
History knows only a few characters who defied death and became immortal in one way or other. As a matter of fact, a man gets the most precious thing once in a life is nothing but life itself. The ultimate demand for a superlative standard of life is to live without repentance of having an iota of fear or cowardice. So a man may claim with pride at the end of his life that he has spent his best abilities to achieve the highest goal in the universe, which is nothing but liberty and deliverance of humanity from the shackles of slavery. The people leading their lives with such esteemed ideas, in fact, share the similarity of the ideas. That’s why these people played their characters in the same manner while passing through trials and tribulations.
Zulifqar Ali Bhutto is such an immortal and charismatic character who observed dignity, sympathy, nobility and generosity throughout his life. Bhutto faced the despotic forces valorously so that an ideal society based on truth, justice and parity may be raised and run. Bhutto being an immortal soul was given birth as Zulifqar Ali so that he might break the chains of slavery in the society. Bhutto succeeded in defeating his enemies through his unconquerable will and invincible passion despite physical and mental torture afflicted in the death cell.
Bhutto appeared to be a God’s blessing for those hundreds of million wretched folks who were forced to lead an abysmal life in this country. It was he who filled their bereft life with smiles and a sense of security. His invaluable achievements made him immortal in the eyes of the masses. That’s the reason; he cannot be compared with any other leader in this regard. We need to delve deep in the characters, tested by time and history in adverse circumstances if we intend to understand the personality of Bhutto. The shared legacy of Socrates, the wisest man on earth; Hazrat Esa, the messenger of God; Mansoor Hallaj who was stoned to death on the way of Esq e Haqeeqi(Love for God) and Bulley Shah, the Sufi poet should be studied to understand the true character of Bhutto.
At Athens, politics and word of wisdom was limited to the elites alone. At that time, Socrates, a scholar, teacher and philosopher, would hold meetings with the folks in the streets and answer their philosophical questions up to their satisfaction in the simplest form. His Socratic method laid the groundwork for Western systems of logic and philosophy. When the political climate of Greece turned against him, Socrates was sentenced to death by hemlock poisoning in 399 B.C. He accepted this judgment rather than fleeing into exile. Like Socrates, Bhutto fashioned independent thinking and expression during the reign of a dictator so much so that the politics came into the hands of the masses. The palace dwellers had to beg to the poor for their votes. Bhutto’s party provided a united platform to the farmers, labourers, students and intellectuals. In this way, a political institution comprising trained political workers came into being for the first time in the country.
Hazrat Esa (AS) known as Jesus Christ in the west opposed the middleman between God and human. He made the poor his companions. He entered Jerusalem and challenged the authority of man-made ecclesial order over humans. Bhutto entered into politics and faced the wrath of so-called religious parties engaged in sectarian differences and they had made the masses hostage in the name of religion. Mansoor Halslaj employed his intuition to recognize God. For him, God’s creature was respectable and the man was the architect of his fate. His ideas created ripples in society and gave a jolt to the pillars of the ideological foundations of society. Bhutto also raised the slogans “all powers to the people” and “rule of the people”. These slogans invited the ire of political monopolist in the country.
Bulley Shah did not allow caste creed and culture to ascertain the place of a human in society. He told the people that their needs and interests are common. Bhutto visited the shrine of Bulley Shah and incorporated his teachings into his party manifesto and thus the slogan of Maang raha hy har insaan, Roti Kapra aur makaan (What demands a man, nothing but bread, dress and shelter). As a matter of fact, these were the teachings of Holy Prophet (PBUH) who told us that there is no precedence of white over black and an Arab over non-Arab. In this way, the teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in the form of equality became the central point of his manifesto. No doubt, Bhutto got the idea of equal distribution of wealth from Mawaakhat e Madina.
After coming into power, Bhutto made his mission to serve the people all the time. For this purpose, he had to wage a war against inequality and liberty of deprived people on a wide scale. The people joined hands with Bhutto in this war. Bhutto used to say that the People would remember him since he provided them youthful leadership, tried his level best to give freedom to women, distributed agricultural lands to landless farmers by giving a blow to feudal lords, factory workers were made factory owners, joined hands with intellectuals, adopted modernity and technology, minorities were treated well, homeless people were given property, discouraged sectarianism and struggled to give rights to the oppressed. Bhutto also resolved to continue his struggle till his last breath. Furthermore, he promised to bequeath his mission to his children in case any hurdle is raised between Bhutto and his mission. No doubt these were the crimes in the eyes of the puppet masters in society. They held Bhutto responsible for these crimes stated above like their elders held Socrates, Hazrat Esa (AS) and Mansoor Hallaj responsible for their good deeds.
There is a similarity of trials in 399 B.C when the Athenian government sentenced Socrates to death with the trial of Bhutto in 1979. The "trial" of Socrates was a fraud from day one because there was no concrete proof that he did anything to make Athens less safe. Socrates was offered a pardon by Athens if he would give up teaching philosophy. He refused. He believed he had a moral responsibility to tell the truth. He openly stated a belief in God and declared his confidence in a system of divine justice before and after death. He made it clear that people would not get his replacement. So is the case with Bhutto. One can find similarity of ideas presented by Bhutto during his life.
History witnessed that Bani Isreal waited long for the advent of Messiah and when he came, Bani Israel led him to crucifixion in reaction to his teachings against their status quo. Bani Israel even stomached the release of a killer but not the prophet.
Mansur Al-Hallaj was a legendary Iranian Sufi Master who lived between 858 -- 922 A.D. He was also a mystic, poet, writer and teacher of Sufism. Al-Hallaj was most famous for his poetry and for his execution for raising a slogan i.e Anna ul Haq (I am the truth) at the hands of the Abbasid rulers. He was being dragged happily in chains in Baghdad’s Bazar. Someone asked the reason for his happiness. He replied, “Shouldn’t I be happy since I am going to meet my beloved God. I am thankful to Him that He kept me steadfast and made me unique.” In the same way, Bulley Shah was held responsible for saying the truth. He did not allow the fear to hover around. He said, “Bulleh Shah Asan Marna Nahi Gor Pya Koi Hor”. The saying clearly indicates that those who sacrifice life for a cause, never die.
History witnessed another turning point when the architect of Pakistan’s nuclear defence, first elected Prime Minister and maker of Pakistan’s first consensual constitution was cornered for his crimes: serving the country and the countrymen.
The statement given by Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in the Supreme Court of Pakistan during the murder trial is historic in a sense that it combines wisdom, valour, rhetoric, logic, ethics, patriotism, love for God and the masses. The complete statement cannot be reproduced but it would be apt to refer some sentences so that our new generation may take the taste of their leader’s wisdom in the past.
My Lords, ….In my application to Your Lordships on the 4th of December, I submitted that I would like to present before this honourable court my point of view because not only my life as the life of an individual is involved but because, according to my objective appreciation, far more is at stake. My reputation, the honour of my family, my political career and above all the future of Pakistan itself is involved. …. It has been said, for instance, that I am a Muslim in name…. God forbid, if I were to say to Mr Justice Safdar Shah that he is not a Pakhtoon, I think he would feel that he has a right to comment on whether he is a Pakhtoon or not. And then, My Lord, being a Pakhtoon or a Sindhi or a Punjabi or a Baluchi is not so important, but being a Muslim is important for this relates to one’s faith, one’s religion, one’s “deen”…. This is the first time I have come out of solitary confinement. I find it hard to adjust to the equilibrium. I can hardly stand…. My Lord, I am not permitted to sleep. In Kot Lakhpat, fifty lunatics were kept near my cell for three months. They would shriek and scream all the time and I could hardly sleep. When I came to Rawalpindi, first the game was to throw pebbles on the roof of my cell…..Your Lordships, it is because of my spirit and my determination, it is because of my will power and because I am a leader that I have been able to face this ordeal and have been able to come here. No ordinary man would have been able to come; any ordinary man would have disintegrated long ago. … In Islam, the Government is a trust that Government is - our Objectives Resolution also states that it is a delegated trust - of the people and through the people by their chosen representatives….According to Islam, it has to be a democratic polity, it has to be a government of the people, elected by the people and through the people. There cannot be a usurpation of government in Islam. Because usurpation was the main quarrel in Islamic history. … an illegitimate government cannot become a legitimate government. …. My Lord, Mr Mustafa Khar told me in Murree to leave the country. He said those people are after your blood. I said, no, you go if you want to, I will not leave my country, I will not leave my roots…. My Lord, not that I would like to have pity, I do not want pity from anyone and as I said earlier, I do not want mercy. I want justice. I am not pleading for my life as such, not as way of flesh, because everyone has to go. There have been so many attacks on my life.
Bhutto’s enemies wanted to see him disgraced and begging for life just to mollify their ego. But they failed to understand that Bhutto was the follower of Imam Hussain (AS) who accepted to sacrifice lives of his family and himself instead to surrender to the will of a despot and thus drank the goblet of eternity. The enemy plotted to murder history but Bhutto embraced martyrdom at night sandwiched between 3rd and 4th April and started to rule the hearts and minds of the people from Garhi Khuda Bukhsh.