raees shah, revolutionary / rickshaw driver

on occasion, a traffic jam from lasbela to nazimabad chowrangi can have its benefits. it can give you ample time to get acquainted with the political ideology of your rickshaw driver, for instance. which in turn can lead you to a greater understanding of what actually goes on in turbaned heads high on diesel fumes.

raees shah is 43, illiterate and drives his rickshaw from ten in the moring to midnight. he displays a political acumen, or siyasi shaoor as he would like to put it, beyond what i could ever have imagined. he has a formula for karachi. its simple yet sophisticated, possible yet impractical.

this is his way of getting things to work

1. take the strategic institutions in your own hands. this he says is easy. if all of karachi were to stop paying their utility bills for just one month, the utility companies would pack up and leave. the people can then enter the abandoned offices and take control.

2. take over civil defense. slightly harder. but he feels that the “mob” effect will be able to achieve this. poora mohalla thanay key samnay khara ho jaye, tullay khud shehar chhor key bhaag jaaein gay he gets a bit vague at this point but i think he said that the running of the police stations should be handed over to the principal of the ilaqay ka kaalij (college).

3. ban all political parties. no meetings. no rallies. no speeches. no campaigning. sirf qaum ka paisa lutatay hain @@##$%!!

4. keep the maulvi in the mosque and madrassa he’s very clear on this point. pehlay khud ko sahi kerein, phir shariat nafiz kernay ki baat karein. he feels that the people of this city aren’t yet ready for iran jaisa inquilab. koi rehbar abhi is qabil nahi hai ke hamein us tarah se aagay le jaye.

5. make education free and mandatory. everybody should study. everybody should study free.

five point mandate for the liberation of this city. reawakens your belief in the potential of the downtrodden masses. tell you what, if this guy ever tries to get elected, i’ll vote for him.

19 Comments so far

  1. Wahidi (unregistered) on June 28th, 2006 @ 11:26 pm

    Lets name him “Code Name R”…
    R for Revolution:P…

  2. mansoor (unregistered) on June 28th, 2006 @ 11:33 pm

    xil.. a very good post! its amazing just how much these rickshaw drivers know and think about.

    theres one thing hes right about.. the mob mentality.. driven in the right way, it has proven to work wonders! karachi has this very laid back “look out for number 1” attitude, which enables the weasles and jackals to eat at the very core of our institutions.. From what i’ve been hearing and reading, i believe this to be the reason MQM came to power and is still strong. They dont take things lying down, but get up and do something abt it! (but thats going in another direction).

    i’d vote for him too !

  3. Faisal Siddiqui (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 12:30 am


    did u delete my post or did i forgot to press the post button?

  4. Xill-e-Ilahi (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 12:43 am

    since i have yet to master the moderation aspects of this metblog thingy, i assume you probabaly forgot to post….

    mansoor, thanks for the compliment. :)

  5. Faisal Siddiqui (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 12:49 am

    LOL. I pressed the preview button and then i guess i got distracted and closed the window.

    Anyway, nice post.

  6. Kashif (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 12:52 am

    Riyah (the people) is arabic for cattle, don’t listen to them or you would be lost :)

    We are going through this mess because people of less intellect and more action like the rickshaw-walas are at power. They mob courts, fight in assemblies and blow the competition out of existance.

  7. mansoor (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 1:05 am

    your welcome.

  8. Zain (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 9:32 am

    Good one man! I like point 1 the most.. don’t pay utility bills.. hilarious…

  9. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 9:54 am

    I got chance to meet a pathan taxi driver who had good knowledge about USSR-afghan war,status of NWFP before partition etc.

    Anyways,yet another good post by you.I am 1000% agreed with point 1.We really need to do this.Look what all they can do that cut off supply thats it but how long?But i know we dont have guts to take this step.

    I also agreed with point #3.I would change #4 to “bring good molvis in public” since its very absurd,illogical and ignorant thinking that all molvis on earth are bad and all non-molvis muslims are angels.I also disagree to keep bad molvis in madarasah and masjids because these institutes are like pillar of Islamic teachings and they shoudnt be polluted.#5:Agreed.

  10. Inspirex (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 10:59 am

    Ive noticed that several daily wage earners in general are very clear about hwo they want to see th country run. These include taxi/rickshaw/bus drivers, hairdressers etc etc..

    I woudl say a lot of their ideas are good, but many maiy fail to hit the mark because of their apparet lack of legal strength.

    Suggestion 1 clearly doesnt work. What does he call a strategic institution? The suggestion is like handing over an air plane to a rickshaw driver.

    Civil defence: If the police fails, the army comes in. We all know what happens next.

    political parties: AMEN! lets do that right now!!!

    4 & 5. Definitely agreed upon. I must attribute our nations present state to the lack of quality leadership. whats worse is that the quality of leadership is not just political, its on the religious front as well. Half baked.

  11. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 11:09 am

    Imtiaz according to xill’s explaination:

    if all of karachi were to stop paying their utility bills for just one month

    And yes it can work because its in our hands.can we stop dreaming that govt will do something for us?

    I dont think we need some revolution like iran which they say an Islamic Revolution.IMO that was actually one of the worst step taken at that time(i mean naming it as Islamic only).i dont agree that we wouldnt have sound leaders among us,its just we cant identify them due to our problems.Hey why d0ont we accept that we are cowards!!

    Other suggestion:all politicians should be sent to Gitmo.

  12. Poo Poo Head (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 11:11 am

    Holy Crap !! I wonder how you educated people are agreeing with such stupid ideas.

    Do you people really think doing all those stupid things would solve the problems. Don’t pay the bill is a very pessimist approach. The correct way is to reduce usage, one less bulb , one less fan would help a lot. When govt. imposed[tend to] the shops act , you people were all whining and now still you are crying. Use less and help yourselves.

    Point No 2: Do you want to go against state then do it, its not very easy to shed blood. You people would be the first who would run away. The college principal could not control college kids and you want him to control the whole area :-). Better is to join police , be lawyer or be CSP officers or take part in politics. Most of us dont even vote and want to go against state. You cant do the basic things :-)

    Point No 3 is such a crap that I even don’t want to comment on it.

    I even dont agree with point no 4. Pakistan is not a secular state so religion should be part of state. Either declare we are secular or just accept them[in slighlt modified form].I have biased towards Islamic Scholars. I read/listen to few of them and I found them persons of high intellectual ability. My experience has been very good with them so on personal level can’t complain.

    Point No 5 is valid but alas only 9% of us pay taxes. And you expect free education :-). Bravo

  13. Xill-e-Ilahi (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 12:08 pm

    i see my writings have finally attracted the invective of poo poo head.

    there is a word in the english language called satire. it can be defined thusly, “A literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, derision, or wit.” (The American Heritage¬Æ Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

    the attempt was to highlight the basic general consistency among both the illiterate and the “educated” groups of society on the subject of problems facing the country. and also that radical and impractical as they may seem, his ideas do have an element of something that hits home.

    first the electricity thing. the majority pays its bills. the power company claims that there is no major shortage problem and that the current situation is mainly due to a series of breakdowns. clearly there is a problem somewhere. who else would you target your anger at? no where have i advocated the nonpayment of utility bills – but i do feel more than a little irritated when i get up after a hot, sleepless night and see a utility bill with a heading called “additional surcharge” which amounts to more than the rest of the bill put together.

    secondly the policing thing. i clearly mentioned that the man was illiterate. his point highlights two things. one, the respect that he is granting to an imparter of education and secondly, his disgust at the workings of the police. which amounts to his saying, albeit in his own rather crude way, that he would be doing exactly what you propose – inducting people like us in the police and other civil service organisations.

    thirdly, i don’t know where you’re coming from but i live in a city that has seen one hell of a lot of political violence. innocents gunned down in the street for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. shops, cars, buses and other personal assets lost due to rioting looting political activists at political rallies. extortion from the poor. embezzlement from the rich. politics, sadly, has been used as a weapon in this city. no wonder then, that a guy who has to sleep hungry because somebody called a strike hates politics. ending them may not be the solution. but letting them go on isn’t doing much good either.

    fourthly, you claim to have met religious scholars of intellect and wisdom. he claims he hasn’t met one with the charisma and character of a khomeni. both of you are entitled to your own opinions.

    lastly, he wants free education for his kids. he pays motor vehicle tax and sales tax. he doesnt fall within the scope of income tax because his earnings are so low. is that his fault?

    so poo poo, what i’m trying to say is, again, that while his methods may not be the democratic, ethical, practical, moral whatever – his ideology is in essence the same as most of the people posting on KMB. and thanks to this forum he’s got his say. you’ve had yours.

    why the animosity?

  14. madz (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 12:22 pm

    xill e ilahi
    shabaash you turned dis rickshaw wala into a mini celeb….all dese educated people are actually seriously debating and analysing his theories, say we present a thesis, pass a manifesto, create an ideological revolution?

    next ideological follow up on the ghar ki bengali maasi!

  15. Xill-e-Ilahi (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 12:55 pm

    and while the sarcasm has not missed, that might actually be a good idea for a public interest story…

  16. Zain (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 1:03 pm

    MASI?????????????????????/ hhahahahhahahhahhahh All my ex-KU friends,,,,,remember something????????????????????????

  17. Jamash (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 1:18 pm

    At #4 : Pakistan is an Islamic Republic Do we need an Islamic political party in an Islamic Republic ? Or is it that we don’t consider Pakistan as an Islamic Republic State ?

  18. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 9:46 am

    @madz:Sad,how come you think yourself more sensible than that rickhshaw driver?Come on!!Can you make any difference between illetrate and educated people?That rickshaw driver might be *uneducated* but i dont want to bring the theory that he was an illetrate.Yes we have several *educated illetrate* in our society who would be less less aware and knowledgable than the rickshaw driver or a masi.Am I not right?

  19. Poo Poo Head (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 9:55 am

    Xill-e-Ilahi: I appreciate your response.

    Please go via this research paper http://www.gsb.uchicago.edu/fac/nicholas.epley/Krugeretal05.pdf

    and then do think is there any place for “satire”

    “Invective” is a very strong word, I would not use it for some one who is disgareeing with me.

    If educated people agree on any of those points then I am sorry for them.

    I am not sure if “additional surcharge” is more than the rest of the bill. If thats not the case then you exaggerated and can’t keep facts straight so your other points dont deserve my response. Sorry.

    Also you should try to understand my friend ,one generation has to sacrifice and we are not willing to do it. All the nations be it France or US or UK , they have gone via alot to achieve what they have today.

    One more thing if I do not agree with you then it does not register that I am an ill will person. Please accpet people as they are and do not judge them.

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