Saturday, July 9, 2016

State funeral or Edhi's final humiliation?

Abdul Sattar Edhi is the only man who consistently stood up for the poor throughout the history of Pakistan. He didn’t shy away from burying the dead, no matter what their political, religious, or sectarian affiliation. He was the man, who didn’t put a cloth to his nose while carrying a putrefied body taken out of an open manhole. He was the true revolutionary in the face of the feudal-military-capitalist trio. And the same trio, that threatened him for his entire life and work, and for filling the gap left by the failed ideas of the multiple military and feudal dictatorships, humiliated him in death by hijacking his funeral and only making it about the corrupt and the puppets in the power corridor.

The ruling elite of this country is only good at one thing, and that is depriving the majority of their right to live with dignity. Today, they proved it further by not just depriving the poor masses, who loved Edhi sahib, of performing his last rights, but also by insulting Edhi sahib himself who was never on the side of the VVIP culture. 

Edhi sahib's funeral congregation at the National Stadium Karachi on July 9, 2016
The divide between the poor and rich was starkly pronounced on this tragedy.

Only men in uniform are visible in the front row at the funeral
The venue of the funeral was changed from Memon Masjid on MA Jinnah Road, a highly accessible area via most bus routes for all and sundry to the National Stadium amid ‘tight security’. The man who was threatened by the ISI’s notorious Hameed Gul and Taliban Khan, the man who travelled mostly in dilapidated Suzuki Bolan ambulances, the man who picked bodies amid deadly riots in Karachi and provided funerals for the unclaimed, was given a funeral by his tormentors. 

Women too were barred from Edhi sahib’s funeral, who prayed shoulder to shoulder with us, instead of the mullah prescribed step ahead.

Now there will be disclaimers and those who worship the armed forces will come out in defense of the hijacking. They will call it a well deserved state funeral and protocol. But to set the record straight, the protocol was not for Edhi sahib. It was for the ‘General’ and the ones responsible for every tragedy that befalls this country. It was for those people who left Edhi sahib no choice, but to continue being a philanthropist amongst greedy capitalists, and men with weapons and beards.

After all, the men in boots carried away our beloved Edhi the way Hameed Gul had threatened in 2011.