Raza Rumi: Voice by Heart

Amir Abbas Turi

These are the ruthless terrorists who are heartless and do not spare even the humanity lovers and peace-preachers such as Raza Rumi. Callous inhumane terrorists are taking lives of innocent people in this Land of Pure – Pakistan – and Mustafa, Rumi’s martyred driver, is the latest addition to this episode. On the eve of Friday, merciless culprits showered bullets on this non-violent team in the streets of ‘Takht-e-Lahore’.
These murderers, who committed a slaughter in the name of Islam, forgot or ignored the teachings of this religion – which emphasises that killing a single human being is akin to killing the whole humanity, and that a single person or institution is not qualified to prosecute, judge and persecute even the most atrocious criminal. Whether an alleged sinner can be prosecuted at all is another question. Nonetheless, the most relevant question remains that which law of the land authorises all this?

On the other hand, right-wing parties such as PTI, PMLN, JI kept on emphasising  on talks with the stubborn forces. A commonsensical question from Mr. Imran Khan and Mr. Nawaz Sharef would be that how could we negotiate these non state actors – Taliban – involved in the heinous crimes and killings of thousands of guiltless citizens?

In our society, unfortunately, a trend of shutting sane voices down has taken firm roots. Among the vocal beings, journalists and politicians always remained on the hit lists of banned outfits. Mr. Raza, renowned columnist, policy maker, bureaucrat-turned-journalist, highlighted the plight of the oppressed inhabitants of the Islamic Republic; and that was/is his fault. He is a great social activist and keeps on talking about the rights of minorities. An hour before when Rumi was attacked he expressed these views on his TV-show, “Our Constitution guarantees rights of Minorities,11th Aug speech of Jinnah Declares same, his dream of egalitarian Pakistan forgotten.”

Similarly, he frequently speaks about the dual standards of this parochial society. Interactions with the masses through social media forums such as Twitter; answering the queries of folks; shaping a path for directionless yet mystified youth includes in the daily routine of our ‘Raza Bhai’. His ‘major mistakes’ include condemnation of the inhuman practices of our socio-political culture, wrong use to blasphemy laws, and so forth. In a state where dogs and terrorists are made martyrs what sanity could we expect from?

In this situation, the most vulnerable people are those who speak the truth, flight for justice, support the weak and strive against intolerance. No matter whatever religious beliefs they adhere to, or how high their rank is, they are weeded out of the land of the pure. A country, where man-made laws are deemed superior to the command of God, where anyone would kill for the sake of his blind belief in such laws and would in turn be supported by massive rallies, is indeed the most dangerous place on earth.

In this land of the pure, it seems that anyone, who has the ability to take up arms to promote and impose his opinions, is qualified to embody in his person all the three personae simultaneously – the lawyer, the judge and the executioner. Add religious cause to your credentials, and the whole affair becomes a holy war between the righteous and the infidels. Murderers proudly making victory signs from police-vans, killers being showered by rose petals in courtrooms and assassins wearing garlands of flowers in jails – such sights have become a commonplace in our land.

We, the bewildered folks, used to make fun out of such tragic incidents by watching what is happening instead of extending our help – to take injured ones to hospital for first aid. Same kind of consequences was witnessed in this unpleasant incident. The ‘Khain e A’ala’ could do nothing, but condemning ‘Namaloom Dehshatgard’ – ‘Unknown Terrorists’. The source of the prevailing confusion is not Mullahs, it is the ordinary people of the country, half of which are supposedly ‘educated’. It seems every other person is an angry Mullah, ready to devour any infidelity at the first sight. What is infidelity then? Any idea that does not suit their taste – and what a raw taste most of the people these days have, who call the few intellectuals among them Jahils (ignorant).
“God has saved me. I just heard the… bullets when we took a turn near Raja Market and put my head down,” Rumi mentioned, adding his bodyguard leapt to save him. He was distraught over his driver’s killing, which he described as “innocent” and a breadwinner for 10 other family members. In short, it is our moral duty to salute and support such heroes of our society and Rumi is the kind of fearless journalist and intellectual that our nation requires in today’s dark age. #WeAllAreRazaRumi
The writer is a student of M.Phil of Leadership and Management Studies (LMS) at the National Defence University. He tweets @EngrTuri

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