November 30: The Revolution will be televised
Originally appeared here:
The date is set, the venue is set, you better watch out, you better not pout, the Revolution is coming to town: Imran Khan has announced November 30 as the day for the final battle, when Liu Kang meets Shao Khan for the final Mortal Kombat.
The government is trying its best to prevent the final of this World Cup from happening. However, they are going about it completely wrong. PML-N feels it will win if it manages to overcome the problem of load-shedding, but that is exactly what Imran wants them to think.
Actually, the only way the government can win is by increasing load-shedding. Think about it, no electricity means no television. If the people do not see the revolution, they can be made to believe the revolution does not exist.
There is no point in looking to ban channels or television anchors. Rather than putting containers in Islamabad, the government should put containers in front of everyone’s television. To add to their support and placate the viewers, they could project PTV on to these containers. There is worry about electoral reforms when you are gripped by such intriguing television programming like how to drive a tractor or how to put an iron cord into the plug.
No more of this live coverage, if you want the news you wait till 9 pm. By that time, most of Islamabad will be asleep anyway so they will have no idea what is happening at D-chowk. They can wake up in the morning to watch cartoons on PTV, safe in the knowledge that everything is alright. That is how I always got by in the 1990s.
If the government does not feel like doing something this drastic, there is another option: make little changes to throw off the protestors.
So, say they want to ensure the protestors do not block the road. Well, how about taking along all the ministers for a road trip inside Islamabad on November 30. Their protocol cavalcades would take up all the roads in the city, leaving no space for anyone else to come and block them.
Or say, the government has had enough of DJ Butt. They could simply replace him with one of their own, like DJ Sir Mix-A-Lot; he is the biggest supporter of PML-N. He even made a song about how much he likes the Butts, such as Gulu Butt, who appears to be the party's main support base. By the by, Sir Mix-A-Lot is also an extremely honest man, since he cannot lie.
Instead of tear-gassing the protestors, the government could release laughing gas into the dharna. They could then blame the protestors for making light of such a huge issue by laughing at it. It will also achieve the government’s intention of keeping the protest peaceful. The whole thing might just end up looking like a bad Bollywood comedy scene.
If the protestors try to storm the parliament, the parliamentarians should move to the dharna space and occupy that, leading to a game of pakram pakrayee (tag), ideally to some Tom and Jerry music. If Imran does not want to come to the negotiating table, they should put negotiating tables everywhere they do not want Imran to go.
The government could even distribute free ear plugs to everyone and claim nobody heard any slogans of “Go Nawaz Go.”
And if Imran continues to threaten the government with bouncers and yorkers, they should report his action to the ICC. Those guys are pretty good at that stuff and will take no time in banning the PTI chairman from ever bowling again.
Take a look: The limits of populism
If all else fails, the government still has one person they can turn to in order to avoid the confrontation; a man under the employment of the government; whose recent track record is better than anyone else’s in the government; a man who has an even better track record than Imran's; a man other countries even fear. That man is: Misbahul Haq.
Think about it, it's captain versus captain. It would confuse all the followers as to which captain to follow? Whatever Imran throws at him, we know Misbah will manage to block it. This is the final of the Mortal Kombat we all want to see. By the time Misbah gets out, it will already be 2018 and the government can cede to the demand for fresh elections. They could even partner him with Younis Khan to win over KP.
Imran started his protests on August 14 and it took him this long to complete his century, whereas Misbah can score a century inside 56 balls. If India flexes its muscles, well, no problem because Misbah has already shown that he can beat India. He can even beat Australia, if we are to ever go to war with them. If nothing else, such a ploy would be worth it just to see Mohammad Yousuf and Shoaib Akhtar criticise Misbah after the protests.
Read on: What's wrong with our Kaptaans?
Herald asked two days ago what's the best drama that has aired on PTV? I do not know the answer to the question but I do know that Pakistani politics should be right on top. November 30 is the season finale we are all waiting for. Will Ashar accept Khirad back into his life? What were the contents of Farah’s letter to Pyaare Afzal? Will Buland marry Rudaba for love or Tayyaba for money?
Find out all, in this Sunday's Revolution Finale.