You know who Jawad Ahmed is? I’m sure that you do! Because who does not know the ‘ uchian majajan wali agai’ singer?
Well, he is well-known as a singer but does you know by making a political party, he announced his entry into politics.
What just happened yesterday in Ayesha Gulalai’s press conference is not a secret to anyone and everyone had a take on it and so did Jawad Ahmed.
This is what he had to say:
“A brief note after Ayesha Gulalai’s press conference and resignation from PTI.
I have always maintained that Imran Khan is sadly one of the biggest modern exploiters of religion in Pakistan politics until he changes himself and his opportunist political strategy. He is talking about religion in his politics all the time, reciting Ayaats and Ahadees and self righteously glorifying his clean and uncorrupted image being helped by none other but GOD himself whereas his personal and private life is completely opposite to what he preaches.
He makes everyone believe through his speeches that GOD is on his side, thereby playing emotionally with a deeply religious and socially conservative society and changing the focus of people from their real life issues like wages, housing, education, health, employment and respect to the debate of whether a politician is a ‘chosen’, ‘blessed’ ‘good’ and ‘virtuous’ man/woman or not. Nawaz Sharif also says the same thing about being blessed by GOD with riches, success, respect, fame and position. So does Asif Zardari. If, according to these people, GOD is on the side of all of them because of their ‘worldly’ positions, respect, fame, success and riches, then whose side is GOD not on? GOD forbid, do they want to tell us that GOD is not on the side of those tens of millions of poor Pakistanis and the struggling middle class who have been helpless and deprived for decades and for their successive generations, because according to their logic, GOD is not on the side of unsuccessful, common and poor people? Politics is not about proclaiming and proving whom GOD is with but about who has a better economic agenda to improve people’s lives and about the ability to materialise and successfully implement it.
He is a ‘religious hypocrite’ like so many other religiously self righteous Pakistanis from Politics, Showbiz, Sports, Media, Business and other walks of life, who exploit religion both to appear ‘virtuous’ and ‘pious’ as well as for appealing to a socially conservative or not very liberal society’s sense of respect for those who talk about religion or quote religious lines. It glorifies their image and makes them more acceptable to the public and in turn more successful in their professions. ‘Religious hypocrisy’ is the worst type of hypocrisy and is extremely harmful to the intellectual, cultural, scientific, technological and subsequently the socio-economic growth of a society.
Though I would still not agree with and rather be against his half cooked, third world, neo liberal economic agenda, but if he at-least stops exploiting such a beautiful thing as religion and GOD’s name in his politics and confines himself to the socio-economic and political issues of people regardless of which religion, sect, race, clan, gender and ethnicity they belong to, no one would be bothered about his private life, as then it would be his personal matter and something only between him and GOD. The middle class, in general, is confused in Pakistan over the role of religion in politics and falls prey to bigotry, misogyny and male chauvinism of their leaders belonging to and raised in a highly patriarchal society.
He has also cleverly and quite successfully built this narrative in youth that religiously immoral personal and religiously moral public life are two different things whereas he says that he wants to make Pakistan like his own version of an Islamic state. It is quite ironical because in the Islamic state that he wants to build women will be allowed to sing and dance and wear western clothes whereas, in the one which the other religious parties want to build, all these things will be prohibited.
Though I personally believe that it is entirely his personal life and no one should have the right to challenge his morality in his private domain but at the same time when he uses religion in his politics, one is compelled to judge him after that in his personal and private life too. After all, proclaimed religious piety in politics has many shades to it, religious morality in private matters being one of them. Politicians should stick to improving living and working conditions lives of Pakistanis and their families, which include Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and others instead of playing with religious emotions of people and building their tall but fake images upon it.
It is a reality check for all those politicians who lead a double life in Pakistan, mixing and using religion with/in politics and not observing religious values in their private lives. They will always be judged religiously and quite justifiably so but not the ones not doing it. On one hand, they exploit religion and make us believe that they are the chosen saviours of the nation because of their being honest in the eyes of GOD who is rewarding them now with success and on the other hand, they want to live a completely liberated private life which is against the basic principles and norms of the same religion that they are preaching in their politics. They should realise that they just can not always have their cake and eat it too in the long run.
IMPORTANT NOTE: To all who are criticising without understanding the gist of the article,
Jawad Ahmad did not talk about religion nor gave any opinion on it. Nor he has discussed whether music or dance is prohibited or not. Religion is a beautiful thing and everyone’s personal matter. One should respect one’s religious beliefs and opinions no matter how much one disagrees with them. Everyone including you has a right to have or to hold on to her/his opinion on religion and culture and we respect all kinds of religious, social, cultural and political opinions and on all kinds of subjects too as long as one does not impose them on others. What he said is that Imran Khan uses religion in politics to appeal emotionally to the public when his private life is not religious at all.
Jawad Ahmad only talked about ‘religious hypocrisy’, especially and mostly used in media and politics in poor countries/third world which is that ‘When one openly ‘preaches’ to people her/his religious beliefs but does not apply them to one’s own socioeconomic, personal or private life or does quite opposite to what she/he preaches’. It means that one is doing it for personal glorification and to appear ‘pious’ and ‘virtuous’ in front of a religious and conservative society. It brings more professional success to people as a result.
Religion is everyone’s personal choice and people do talk about and discuss it or recite or sing Sufi verses but once you start preaching it in politics and talk about making a religious state on it like Imran Khan does, then you start playing with religious emotions of people to gain success in politics at the same time when you are not even practicing other integral aspects of that religion in your personal life. That is when everyone should have a right to judge you. Otherwise, no one should judge you because of religion is your personal and private matter.
In fact, politics is about improving lives of people regardless of their beliefs, sects, opinions, race, caste, gender or ethnicity. One should not exploit in politics one’s own individual understanding of religion as each one of human beings has a different understanding and if all start exploiting it in politics, there will be more division on the basis of religion in Pakistan and in this world than integration or unity of people on the question of their rights, well being and economics.”
That’s what he had to say. Now, what’s your take on what he had to say?