It has been playing up in my mind for quite a long time, and as of yet there is no connection that I can make. It leaves this uncomfortable feeling and I don’t like it. Maybe someone here can help me?
There is a TV personality here in Pakistan, Faisal Qureshi. In fact, there are three well known TV personalities by that very name! (So I have included the picture)
His shows that have ‘done time’ on Business Plus, a small stint at Dawn and now at Samaa TV. Personally, I have always enjoyed his shows and have actually showed up at ‘LooseEnds’ meetup in Lahore a few years back. I have had the pleasure of having dinner with him after that meet up (along with the rest of the odd 20 to 25 people that showed up). All in all, Mr. Qureshi is a well-rounded individual who wants to make a difference. That is something that is to be appreciated and not taken lightly, this passion for change. The people with this kind of an undying ‘need’ to improve (automatically forcing your to ‘change’ your current self) are far and few in between.
Now, my confusion has a lot to with what Mr. Qureshi has been doing. I believe that active participation in promoting and adapting positive change is what makes for a good activist. Mr Qureshi, as far as this definition is concerned, plays that part well. Very well indeed! I like that. What I don’t understand is his refusal to entertain any sort of political tones – even political undertones – to anything he and his sizeable group of friends and followers do. Politics to him is like Kryptonite to superman. I do not like that.
I have always believed in the positive nature of pretty much everything. There is always the flip side blah blah (we all know the drill). Yes, being called a politician is not next to being cursed, it is EXACTLY like being cursed. Yes, I know that. That just does not mean that politics – and an active participation in it – has no room for positive change. In fact, I will go ahead and claim that politics holds the most promise to induce positivity all around on both large and small scales. What I do not understand, and I want to pose this as a question to Mr Qureshi himself as well, is why is not politics included as a route to improving one’s self. And secondly, why is politics considered a separate beast from the umbrella of activism?
Of course, Mr Qureshi is not the only one I know of who holds politics as away from himself as possible (for reasons that I’d like to know). While reading Fasi Zaka’s piece in The News, I found out that the Samad Khurram also holds this attitude of excluding politics in any agenda of social change. Perhaps it is the ‘social’ element that gets separated from the ‘politics’, social representing the society and politics representing the politicians of course. This type of exlusion seems silly to me, for the very, very obvious reason that I do not understand it! My question goes typically to Mr Faisal Qureshi, Mr Fasi Zaka and Mr Samad Khurram, and anyone else who’d care to answer and opinionate. Why a big no to politics? I don’t know, but would love to.