You ViewsVOLUME 18 ISSUE # 37

Revolution or reforms?

In times of societal discontent and political unrest, the call for revolution often reverberates through the streets. The promise of ‘radical change’, the overthrow of oppressive systems, and the pursuit of a better future can be alluring. It really is.

However, we must pause and consider the consequences that revolutions bring, particularly for the lower and poor classes. Is revolution truly the path to progress, or should we instead opt for a more gradual approach through reforms? Revolutionary movements have a long history of exacting a heavy toll on the most vulnerable segments of society. While the idealistic rhetoric may inspire the masses, the reality is often far bleeker. Revolutions are frequently accompanied by bloodshed, arrests and the displacement of communities.

The marginalised suffer the most during these tumultuous times, exacerbating their already precarious situation. It is the lower class that bears the burden of a society in an upheaval; any upheaval. Pakistan, like many other countries, has experienced its fair share of revolutionary fervour. Periodic calls for radical change, whether rooted in religion or politics, have echoed through its history.

The recent failure of an attempt to ‘revolutionise’ in Pakistan, perhaps inspired by the happenings in Sri Lanka, serves as a stark reminder of the consequences faced by the common people. They got swayed by provocative rhetoric and incendiaries, and ended up paying the cost with arrest and hardship. Were they not the very people who were supposed to come out laughing at the end? Did they have the last laugh? This serves as a cautionary tale, highlighting the need for careful consideration and an understanding of the potential ramifications before embracing revolutionary movements. What Pakistan truly and desperately needs is a sustained focus on reforms. This is the only path to a smooth, calculated process of change that at least has a chance to ultimately lead to prosperity and benefit for the people at large. This is the only way to have a chance at having the last laugh.

By planning and implementing reforms, Pakistan can address its economic challenges and alleviate the burdens faced by the lower class. A systematic overhaul can help create a fairer distribution of wealth, provide better access to education and healthcare, and improve overall living standards. Reforms are a more sustainable and inclusive path towards progress, ensuring that the most vulnerable members of society are not left behind.

We should prioritise a comprehensive agenda of reforms that addresses the root causes of inequality, and uplifts the marginalised. By doing so, we can build a more equitable society where prosperity is attainable by all. There would be no bloodshed and grief that often accompanies revolutions.

Ali Akbar