Rauf Tahir Sahib is a moving book of Pakistan’s political history, he has a good memory and a good sense of humor. As usual, they keep dropping petals at the party where they are present. He remembers dozens of events in the country’s history, most of which he witnessed, while the rest he memorized with authentic references.
One such interesting incident he often narrates is that in 1975 there was a by-election battle in the Tajpura area of Lahore. However, the opposition boycotted all such elections, but in hate of Muawiyah, opposition supporters used to arrive to attend anti-government rallies. He also reached the hall in the same spirit where a crowd of people was already present. As the rally began, a man standing near the stage raised a stick and waved a snake, shouting that the government had left snakes in the hall. He had not even finished his speech yet. A heavy contingent of police started throwing tear gas and at the same time charged batons. There was a commotion in the meeting, and wherever one’s horn sounded, he began to run.
In the area of Lahore where this is the case, there are narrow streets, so many people ran to a dead end. Rauf Tahir says that they started reciting Kalma that the last time has come because they were suffocating due to extreme heat, confinement and rush of people. But then suddenly the crowd began to turn back and they escaped that hard time.
How many people died in the stampede, no one knows because the next day there was no news in the newspapers regarding this incident. The reason was that the government had already declared that news of the Tajpura incident would not be published. Nawa-e-Waqt also received this instruction, to which Majid Nizami, the editor-in-chief, asked the government official in reply to send it in writing. Therefore the government officials sent this instruction in written form. The same instruction was published by Nizami Sahib in the form of news that the news of Tajpura incident could not be published. Coincidentally, a photographer had also taken some pictures of the incident. These pictures reached Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Shami Sahib. God give and take the servant. Mr. Shami had canceled many declarations by that time, but despite of this he had published it in weekly paper. However, most of it was done by Mr. Altaf Hassan Qureshi who published this incident in full detail in the National Digest.
Forty-five years have passed since that incident, and much water has flowed under the bridges. Praise be to Allah. We are now free from all forms of censorship. In this day and age, it is not possible for a meeting to have a baton charge for the suppression of evil elements and our free media not to report them!
Moreover, this independent media no longer needs a few so-called senior journalists and anchor persons. Now we have tigers who neither afraid of a corrupt politician nor cares about the SHO of the neighborhood. May God keep them safe and sound, their bright foreheads tell us that tomorrow one of them will bring a reward. I am amazed at the people who still cry for censorship in the country. Censorship was what it was in the seventies. One incident I have described standing up, many more such examples can be given. Issuing government advice was a form of censorship, another was to block government advertising and put pressure on newspapers. This tradition is also over now, now neither the governments have advertisements and nor need to put pressure on anyone. Besides, I do not know of any form of censorship.
A few months ago, however, I came across an article by a Western writer who looked incompetent. That the worst form of censorship is one in which, without any government intervention or pressure, you know exactly what you can and cannot write about! At least in our country, this is nothing short of a joke. Ask me, what is the subject on which you cannot write? For example, the devastation of the rains has been hailed by the entire media, illegal encroachments are shown daily on TV in which one or another brave woman walks around the bazaars alone with a mic. Even our actors are outraged at the atrocities taking place in Occupied Kashmir and no one can dare to shut their mouths.
Similarly, on the decline of wrestling, fearless analysis can be done, scandals can be filed against government departments on drainage system in cities, even there is no restriction on the coverage to pen drop strike of clerks. And you can write columns on the stench created by the piles of garbage in the streets, if anyone dares to write!
In fact, all this is a conspiracy to discredit the country. Some countries have hostile elements who call the exaggeration of minor incidents as real journalism. Ask them, the news of a power outage in Karachi DHA is more important or a girl in Mastung carrying a meaningless placard and walk alone!
I’m sorry I’m a little angry, in fact I’m fed up with this poisonous propaganda against the state, some people have made it a point to sing these tunes to brighten up their shops. That cannot be written against the powerful in this country. When Someone asked why it could not be written? Even a suckling child knows that the people are the source of power, the source of sorrow, the people elect their representatives through elections and send them to the Parliament, These representatives are sometimes in the government and sometimes in the opposition.
Aren’t there horrible programs in the media against these representatives of power and headlines in the newspapers? Now if one Plato gets up and says that the center of power is somewhere else, then point it out, brother. Yes, now you will hear the crude argument that this power is secret. Someone tell them that in today’s world nothing can be kept secret for long,
And if it is a secret even after many decades, then it has been proved that that power does not exist, it is all air talk that has been blown up by the enemies, there is no need to listen to them.
Yasir Pirzada, a career civil servant (CSS officer), is one of the leading Urdu columnists who have built a wide readership over a very short period of time. you can reach him through firstname.lastname@example.org