Written By Zabreen Baloch
For people who do not take their decisions on their own, politics becomes a duty, a responsibility, an obligation, and not a favour. Thinking for the people as a whole is worship, and not goodwill. It is an honour, and not a pride. It is more collective than individual, because actual politics is done for common ends, not personal. In a true sense, politics is realistic and permanent, not opportunistic and temporary.
But in a colonial scenario, a people are always shown politics of two kinds: of the oppressed, and the oppressors. The oppressor’s politics is of manipulation, exploitation, individualism, popularity and nepotism. While, the politics of the oppressed is for the common ends of such a people. In a situation such as this, there is no third option for such a person. If they participate in such politics or not, they are already in it:
whether on the oppressed side or of the oppressor. And one who prefers standing in the middle is considered afar the line of the oppressed. Because such people are fundamentally enslaved, slave people have no choices of their own. In a war of sides, you will always have to side one. Similarly, Balochistan is undergoing slavery from last 184 years. From the British Empire to the neo-colonial policy of the West in shape of Pakistan, Baloch people are left to resist or accept to be slaves of a slave of the imperialist powers. Within such boundaries, various tactics are used to divert the people from actual politics while a fragile and fake picture of politics is promoted using all the available resources. Unfortunately, Baloch has an enemy which is itself a ‘joker state’ and practices a politics of a slave in nature.
In Baloch society, when someone does a childish act, we say ‘don’t be a Pakistani’. That’s how being a Pakistani is considered an abuse, a shame in the Baloch society. However, the superior powers have maintained their policy of the ‘Pakistani State’ for not changing the existing World Order which would toughen the survival of interests of plentiful countries – including the superpowers and the regional heads. The root cause for not wanting such a change is again in ‘their vested political and economic interests’. It is the way international politics revolves around.
In other words, international politics turns around national or state interests of the countries which they monitor through international politics. What are the means of struggle available with Baloch to ensure they are a power in the given international World Order? When other countries use politics as a key tool to regulate their interests, why aren’t we promoting the essence of politics in our society to gain a power? Why aren’t we capable to denounce Pakistani propaganda and differentiate between politics and Pakistani politics?
As I said, politics around us is of two kinds; of oppressed and of oppressor. There is always a thick line between the two types of politics. Baloch politics is the politics of oppressed, while the later is the politics of the oppressor. The ones who endorse Pakistani method of politics and participate in that, they are participants in the politics of the oppressor. We can exemplify those politicians who believe in Pakistani institutions like Provincial Assembly and the Parliament. Shortly, all the parliamentary parties are equally involved in Baloch genocide because they are supporting a set-up which is wholly rejected by Baloch politicians who demand for the restoration of the former Kalat State.
In actual sense, a politician is one who is never off the ground. But Pakistani politicians, including the Baloch who are part of the chain, are ‘seasonal politicians’. They only appear when the season of votes appears. When we know they are seasonal who have personal interests, why do we support them by faking ourselves that “we will take out personal gains from them”? We need to be very clear: the ones who participate in Pakistani politics and the ones who support such people involved in Pakistani politics are both directly opposed to Baloch national cause and the movement for which hundreds of thousands have sacrificed their lives and are sacrificing. We need to understand one more thing that Balochistan is not a federating unit, but a colony of Pakistan.
The difference between the two is, a federating unit supports the state system and arranges it programs and policies accordingly. While a colony is different from a federating unit. It has its own system which is high-jacked by the colonizers. All the systems are of the colony itself, but they function at the wish of an external power. Now, the presence of Balochistan Assembly is not in the former Baloch system, but introduced under Pakistani setup. A smooth function of Pakistani method of ruling system justifies Pakistan calling Balochistan its federating unit which weakens the Baloch claim of calling themselves a colony. Though historically and actually, Balochistan is a colony and not a federating unit. Because Baloch do not decide at their will that who would be in the assembly or parliament. They are brought by Pakistani establishment directly.
On the other hand, Baloch nationalists reject the declaration of being a federating unit by Pakistan and instead term Balochistan a colony.
Why do Baloch nationalists disprove and denounce Balochistan being termed a federating unit and instead stress on it being a colony? There are two main reasons for this: one, with Balochistan being a federating unit, it loses its claim in international community of asking for national self-determination. Secondly, people, when they go in Pakistani politics, form themselves alike them, the effects of which get largely implemented in the Baloch society to delude it. As mentioned above, Pakistani politics is of self-projection and interests, while Baloch have principally been collective in mindsets for whom societal norms and values have had greater status than personal.
Ngugi Wa Thiong’o has worked on decolonization of Africans. In his book ‘Writers In Politics’ he is found quoting that when foreigners seize a territory to colonize it, they bring with them a literature, a diction. He exemplifies some dictions, for instance, blackmail, black day, black paper, black money etcetera and asks why ‘black’ is termed for evils, and white for good.
Similarly, when Pakistan invaded Balochistan, because of its poor existence and itself being a colony, it could not create new dictions, however, defined the already present dictions in accordance with its interests. For example, in the present Baloch society, instead of joining the Baloch national movement, youth are suggested to live an ‘ideal life’. Here, the definition of ideal life is remaining silent to atrocities being inflicting to the nation as a whole. Ideal life means avoiding actual politics for common national ends. Ideal life means supporting the programs and policies of the colonizing state. In simplest words, ideal life means slavery.
Not only ideal, but many other words have seen their meanings and definitions replaced. For example, getting a job is termed success, development is judged in infrastructure, civilization in foreigners, leaders in others, beauty in artificial, politics means dirt, study means course, war means destruction for those fighting it, and many others . In fact, national self-determination is replaced with provincial autonomy which is mentioned in the constitutions of so-called nationalist parties like Balochistan National Party Mengal and National Party.
Despite the Balochi proverb very famous “When fire catches, it oversees wet and dry”, we are made to believe using the soft violence that no matter if the fire has spread, remain silent to let it burn everything around and you will be safe. But in actuality, ‘when fire catches, it does not differentiate who the next person is’. Maintaining silence amidst cruelties is itself a selfish thought generated in the masses through soft and hard powers by the colonizing state. Because when people at large shout out the colonizers, they will have to quit their colonization and independence becomes material, and a prerequisite, itself.
But above all and everything, for challenging everything discussed above, Baloch need to participate in Baloch politics. By adding Baloch politics, I refer to the politics for common national ends and for which even if you have to sacrifice your comfort or life, turning back should not be an option. As said earlier, for a people who do not take their decisions at their own, politics is their worship, their obligation. It is politics which takes you back to your history and questions you in the present to foresee the coming ten years for the nation. Last but not least, Baloch must not avoid politics, but they must avoid Pakistani politics.