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Another Revolutionary has gone Professor Saeed is now no more in this world

Muhammad Arif
Muhammad Arif: Chairman Centre of Advisory Services for Islamic Banking and Finance (CAIF), Former Head of FSCD SBP, Former Head of Research ArifHabib Investments and Member IFSB Task Force for development of Islamic Money Market, Former Member of Access to Justice Fund Supreme Court of Pakistan.

When some of our friends leave the world it reminds us that we have also to leave. Mostly while living everyone makes six mistakes. They are (1) Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others; (2) Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected; (3) Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it; (4) Refusing to set aside trivial preferences; (5) Neglecting development and refinement of the mind; (5) Attempting to force others to believe and live as we do.”

No one is perfect but Professor Saeed who left us in the month of Nov 2019 was above to some of abovementioned mistakes.

During the history of Pakistan, the country had been ruled by “dictatorships either of the bureaucratic military elites or corrupt politicians.”

Ayub Khan was the first who started this game. His regime came and with its economic policies, Pakistan became a country of extremes in wealth and poverty. The capitalist class experienced a time “during which properties were developed, fortunes amassed and the Ayub family emerged as one of the twenty richest families in the country”. But in contrast, for the people of Pakistan the Ayub era was ten years of darkness, oppression and increasing material poverty – and of intellectual poverty with the result of the rigorous political and cultural censorship.

The history of anti-Ayub resistance goes back well before the last months of 1968 including Fatima Jinnah who was also part of this resistance. Three years earlier, as Pakistan was forced to sign the humiliating Tashkent peace agreement, discontent and disobedience became commonplace. By November 1968 this long-standing opposition, disrespect and hostility to Ayub’s military autocracy had reached boiling point and transformed itself into a menacing and terrifying maelstrom.

At this moment figures like Professor Saeed emerged. Though he was serving in Urdu University as professor of Physics but he was equally part of fighting going on, on the streets of Pakistan,

This movement was launched and primarily led by militant university students, who took the initiative of organizing demonstrations, agitating among the public and fighting the police on the streets. They were followed and supported by their sympathetic allies from the urban working class, small shopkeepers, lumpen proletariat, and disenfranchised intelligentsia. But once the radicalized climate had been created and Ayub was on the back foot, the organised labor movement joined the struggle. Among these many names emerged like Azizul Hassan of Dawood Mill.

The force, size and raw energy of the rebellion put the authorities on the defensive, reducing them effectively to the role of spectators. Out of desperation, so as to protect the rest of their system from a comprehensive social insurrection, the now discredited dictator was offered up as the sacrificial lamb: “a disillusioned and humiliated” Ayub was forced to resign, thereby preserving the rest of the Pakistani state.

At this point focus  was shifted away from the masses to the new martial administrator Yahya Khan and politicians like ZA Bhutto and Mujibur Rehman who played their role in the dismemberment of Pakistan.

The period was of high turmoil. Different names emerged at that time along with Professor Saeed. Some are still alive and some have gone. Latif Chaudhry is one of them. Others are Shaharyar Mirza now a lawyer, Zahid Hussian now a journalist, Dr Rasheed who led the movement, Mairaj Muhammad Khan a known politician, Nargis Chuadhry now running a NGO, Anjum Rasheed now a journalist, Tariq Ali now a professor in Canada. There are several other names in this regard including Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Habib Jalib, Fahmida Riaz and many others on the literary front.

Than Bhutto with his autocratic rule came followed by her daughter Benazir, Nawaz Saharif and ten years of General Musharraf. These rules have brought the revolutionary periods of Pakistan and Pakistan itself to the grounds. Now we are seeing chaos everywhere.

Lenin the founder of Russian revelation has famously provided us with a straightforward and dialectically sound explanation of how a truly revolutionary period arises, namely through a deep social crisis that fundamentally destabilizes the normal working relationship between the two major classes, thereby making their reconciliation and a societal re-stabilization impossible. When both classes reach the point where going back to the old ways is taken out of consideration, then all-out class warfare is the only alternative route left available:

The fundamental law of revolution…is as follows: for a revolution to take place it is not enough for the exploited and oppressed masses to realize the impossibility of living in the old way, and demand changes; for a revolution to take place it is essential that the exploiters should not be able to live and rule in the old way. It is only when the “lower classes” do not want to live in the old way and the “upper classes” cannot carry on in the old way that the revolution can triumph. This truth can be expressed in other words: revolution is impossible without a nation-wide crisis (affecting both the exploited and the exploiters). In 2019 we have reached to this point.

However time never stops and nations always move forward with their flaws and gains and always remember figures like Professor Saeed forever.



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