By Salman Sikandar
If we were to imagine a Nazi Pakistan, it won’t be something like we see in movies about Nazi Germany apparently. There won’t be any Swastikas hanging on huge red flags but there will be pictures of religious symbols along with the display of military power. Not suggesting that it hasn’t always been like that in Pakistan but that in a Nazi Pakistan the old Mullah Military Alliance (MMA) would be strongest. We are on a road towards that dystopia. The alliance between mob and elite is the first ingredient in the complex recipe for cooking a Nazi state. In the case of Pakistan mullah acts as a mob that perpetrates the extremely jingoist ideology that is based upon chauvinist nationalism and the military might. Even though many segments from both of them are exactly not on the same page but slowly they are joining hands to wipe off any kind of resistance that challenges the ideology which they have taken years to propagate.
An objective enemy is most important requirement for a Nazi state. The enemy must not be named and if you even name that enemy you are considered as part of the conspiracy by that enemy. In 1920’s, a fake document was revealed by the Nazis that suggested that Jews are trying to take over the world with their conspiracies. This document played a vital role in the ascendency of Hitler to the power. In the Germany’s case, the enemy was Jewish and gypsies but we have our own unnamables which are considered to be hatching a conspiracy to take over this country and religion one day. “They must be killed whenever we see them”, we hear this line about them regularly. No one can defend them, even the most vocal people about the human rights cannot speak a word about them. The humdrum around this is gaining pace for a few years now and the alt right parties are gaining a lot of support by using that issue. One sad example for that is when a person who was accused of blasphemy just because he was an Ahmadi was killed in court, a prominent MPA of Sindh from the PTI, made the picture of the killer his own profile picture on Facebook.
Propaganda that hails the government and undermines anything from the opposition was another important element in Nazi Germany. The propaganda was so much and everything used to be repeated so much that people started believing in the lies about everything. Today, when there are channels, anchorpersons and analysts that do such a thing, it is not hard to imagine how Germany was in 1920’s. This propaganda had another peculiar function. It was to do decisions outside the parliament and give no weightage to parliament at all. Parliament was only used to pass the decisions that were already decided in the streets by the mobs and in the newspapers by the propaganda. Any democratic values were always bypassed in doing the legislations that helped Nazis become more authoritarian. The exact same thing is happening in Pakistan. Yesterday, former Prime Minister Shahid Haqaan Abbasi disclosed that the government was trying to pass an extremely alarming bill under the name of anti-terrorism bills. This bill gives the legal cover to intelligence agencies to abduct any citizen for six months. A mere look at the recently passed legislations particularly in the biggest province Punjab, tells us that we are already on a road to become a Nazi state of Asia. One recent such example is the Tahaffuz-e-Islam Act which reminisces the famous Nazi book burning campaign. Similarly, there are multiple legislations that Punjab govt. is working on to curb the freedom of expression in universities.
The space for any kind of dissent is shrinking day by day. Journalists are being hounded by the state. Academics are losing jobs for cultivating critical thinking in students. Universities are being converted in propaganda machines. The first thing that the Nazis did in Germany was to attack the free thought and education. This is what is happening in Pakistan these days. We cannot forget about the bio politics that shaped the Nazi regime. They banned everything that was considered to be unhealthy for the German citizens. They passed the legislation to kill any child who had the slightest deformity or permanent health issue so that they do not pollute the German DNA. We are already on the first step and have started to regulate the minds and bodies of citizens. More recent example is the ban on PUBG. I hope we change our course before the next horrible step is taken.
The root of all these things is the ideology that mullah military alliance has been perpetrating for so long. Every legislation arises from one basic assumption that religion and state is in danger from internal and external enemies. We are living in the Germany of 1920’s. The modern Nazi state could be crueler because there are more ways to hide atrocities today. The more we see, more the state hides things from the world. Everything is telling that we are a Nazi state in becoming and not a fascist state. Nazism arrives slowly and accepted by the atomized masses whose lives are devoid of any meaning. Nazism is more dangerous than fascism because it does everything legally yet the legislations are most inhumane legislations. We must resist but more importantly, at this point we must not repeat the mistake of German communists by not forming alliances and by being too blind in the face of coming crisis.