Can Car Rallies Bring Peace?

Asad Meer
Although organizing rallies indicates civic sense and political liberties of the people but, sometimes such things, like rallies incite fundamental questions in the minds of the observer. The rally I would like to talk about here, is one such rally; the “Peace Car Rally” organized by a local Baluch Sardar in Dera Murad Jamali, on December 16, 2017. The fundamental question that crossed my mind after my observations of the rally is how this rally relates to peace? And further, do we understand what peace really means and how to bring about peace in society?
Being a local resident of the same locality, I have my own life experiences, deep observations and first-hand knowledge of the culture, geography, people, political and social systems of Dera Murad Jamali. What pinches my intellectual curiosity, regarding this rally in the name of peace, is that are not there things that direly need prior attention of the Sardars in power there in the area who organized this rally, if they are really interested in bringing about peace?
I would like to pinpoint some of the things needing immediate attention and redress if peace is a serious objective. Firstly, drug usage, business and consumption, by a considerable proportion of youth in the district. Secondly, business and usage of small arms usually referred to as gun culture. Although our birth rituals and celebration patterns make it a part and parcel of our culture but, we must also realize what implications does this gun culture has for the peace of our society. Such cultural change is indispensable that would ensure the reduction of risks to the peace and security of people at large. Thirdly, gender discrimination is indicated in our literacy and employment rates which need be addressed for gender parity which in turn will contribute to peace. Again, our culture reproduces such discriminatory patterns that marginalize women and girls. Birth rituals of a baby girl compared with a baby boy is one such instance. Frequent cases of honor killing also create a sort of unrest and sometimes compromise the principles of justice and human rights as decided on in the local judicial system. All this needs be addressed for a peaceful society in real terms. Fourthly, irrigation problems of our small landholders are a cause of unrest. Furthermore, nepotism in the public offices adds fuel to injury when it comes to the fair distribution of irrigation water and other public resources. The ones in power will serve their own interest or those of their cronies instead of delivering on public services without discrimination. Unless these public issues are not addressed we cannot think of sound peace.
Besides, street crimes of snatching and robbery are also very common and minority rights are also compromised in majority cases. These things generate grievances and become risks to the peace. What in my opinion, our Sardars must foster for, is to invest in education. All possible efforts must be made to educate the people by providing them better education services like quality schools both for girls and boys. Education is of the prime importance for development and peace of any society and we are no exception to this rule. Thereafter, other public services of health facilities, safe drinking water, access to justice and rule of law must be worked on. Such efforts will meaningfully contribute to peace instead of organizing a car rally at such a time when it can supply political support and serve as election campaign for the upcoming elections. Peace requires the will and resolve of those who are in the capacity of giving things a positive direction in spite of a hollow power show by gathering the masses for entertainment. Peace challenges of the twenty-first century call for a different pattern of the exercise of power. It just needs be understood!
The Writer is From Naseerabad District of Balochistan and Studying at the University of Lahore.
DisclaimerViews expressed in this article are those of the author and Balochistan Voices not necessarily agrees with them.
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