Comparison between France of King Louis XVI & Pakistan

Comparison between France of King Louis XVI & Pakistan

According to my understanding, Magna Charta, “Great Charter” on 15 June 1215 and Bastille Day on July 14, 1789, are two remarkable days in the history of the mankind. We should celebrate these days internationally. It is crucial that apart from the educated people and intellectuals, common people should also aware of the importance and meaning of these days in human history.

The slogan of the French Revolution, “Fraternity, Equality, and Liberty” is a sign of hope for the deprived people from all around the planet. It shows that they can overthrow unscrupulous, nefarious, and reprobate ruling classes. Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen can inspire impecunious, penurious, and disadvantaged masses of any country of the planet to struggle for their rights.

Although the English Revolution was also a turning point in human history, it did not affect the masses of the country. It was fighting done by armies consisting few thousand soldiers. On the contrary, in the French Revolution, masses were involved and affected in France.   

Bastille Day of the French history is a phenomenal and momentous day; when the people of Paris, who were subject to slavish poverty and misery, took action against their corrupt and inefficient government of Louis XVI; the last King of France (also known as, the 'Sun King’. The Representative of God). A huge throng had gathered to express their growing exasperation and acrimoniously aroused ire by destroying the castle of Bastille. The pulverized people showed their aptitude with strength, energy, enthusiasm, and intensity.    

In pre-revolution French society, all opportunities of preferment, progress, and enhancement- all highly remunerative positions, either in the army or in the church- were appropriated for the powerful, honored and privileged classes of the country due to the odd way of primogeniture.    

King Louis XVI was not delighted living in Paris along with his common countrymen. Hence he decided to build a new segregated capital, containing palaces and gardens, far from the general public’s approach. This new luxurious and comfortable paradise capital of magnificence was Versailles, away from the crowd. To keep high ranking feudal lords and French nobility under his strict vigilance and surveillance, and to avoid any conspiracy or rebellion, Louis XVI ensconced them in Versailles as well.  

For French people, the new capital was not like other French cities. It was beyond their access. They did not admire its augustness, splendiferousness, and stupendousness but loathed it as a rotten city, inhabited by oppressors and tyrants. They were enjoying luxurious life at the cost of their poverty and serious privations.  

The King believed everything was in order and under his control. The shrewd king was not able to judge the situation accurately. Till his death, he led a dissolute life. He ignored poverty in the peasantry and dire state of his country. The French were also defeated by the English in North America. His country was on the verge of bankruptcy, yet he ignored all signs of decay.  

Soon, the King was surrounded by all sycophants in his new heaven. These consummate fawners were able to sway the King with false deference. Feudal lords and their resources accumulated in their new capital, which turned it into a capital of enviousness, covetousness, insidiousness, and debauchery.

Masses of France were deserted on the mercy of the oppressive bureaucracy, who tyrannized, exploited and oppressed them as they desired, without any fear of accountability. With apparent impunity. They were independent and beholden to no one. 

To sustain and perpetuate the hedonistic lifestyle and extravagant spending, King Louis XVI needed money. To meet these extravagant expenses, heavy taxes were foisted on the poor deprived masses. The privileged Feudal lords and clergy were exempted from all taxes and levy.

He was not aware that after the rural exodus of disgruntled peasants, a new middle intelligent and professional class of bourgeoisie was also emerging in his country apart of three estates, viz, monarchy, Clergy and Nobles classes. But this talented class was deprived of political and social status and was far away from the blessing of Versailles. Under these circumstances, the docile population has finally risen up against the ruthless regime.    

July 14, 1789, the unique day in the human history comes when a crowd including children and women brought the King and the Queen from their heavenly city, back to the real world; Paris. The wrath was unleashed upon the tyrants. The outcome of revolution does not spare anyone. The guillotine was set up for the oppressors, spongers, and bloodsuckers, even the King and the Queen were publicly guillotined. 

Let’s compare this situation with the current situation of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. This is not about the deliberate contrivance of my mind, ruse, or gimmick. Although it happened in 1789, it still has a contemporary scenario to it, especially in the Muslim world.

The coastal city of Karachi was the first capital of Pakistan, chosen by the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. But exactly 20 years after Pakistan's independence, Islamabad became the capital paradise of Pakistan, near the general headquarters of the Pakistani Armed Forces.

In the late 1950s, Pakistan's military dictator Ayyub Khan and his associate army generals decided to shift the capital city from Karachi to Islamabad against the wishes of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. And officially it happened on 14 August 1967.

When I study the history of the pre-revolutionary France, the situation of Pakistan astonishingly is exactly the same. Like King Louis XVI, the Pakistani feudal and military ruling ‘mafia’ also decided to build a new capital containing palaces and gardens, to accommodate them, far from the general public’s reach. Islamabad reflects the demeanor of Pakistani ruling classes.

In Islamabad, Pakistani ruling classes also believe that everything is in perfect order and under their strict control. The fatalist, poor and illiterate people have been jettisoned and abandoned by the ruling class of Pakistan. The callous and insensate ruling class does not bother about the common citizens, who are living a miserable life in the country’s ghettos without education, basic medical facilities, fuel, electricity, sanitation and even potable water.

These privileged classes like pre-revolutionary France, also do not pay tax. As a matter of fact, according to official documents, astonishingly, less than one percent of Pakistanis pay tax. The country is also on the brink of bankruptcy due to insurmountable debts. By reason of wrong foreign policy, relations with all neighboring countries, except China, are based on hostility. This persistence hostile foreign policy is detrimental to Pakistan's real interests.   

The financial crisis was a major cause of the French Revolution. The country was in deep financial trouble, partially due to the losses during two major periods of conflict. First, the Seven Years War, 1754 -1763, and the American Revolutionary War. In all these frivolous and absurd wars and disputes, France gained nothing, except deepening crisis and bankruptcy. Comparatively, Pakistan is almost in the same situation; futile proxy war with India in Kashmir and Afghanistan.

French monarchy shared power with the Roman Catholic Church, who had a prodigious appetite for both power and money. The clergy was also ruling France, in the ‘name of God’; a state within a state. The Pakistani ruling class is also committing the selfsame fatal crime of sharing power and resources of the country with the ignorant Mullah, Muftis and Sharia lovers, promoting Madrasa culture.  

After the so-called autonomy from colonialism there was not any revolution in Pakistan, on the basis of the French or Russian revolution; except military coup d'état; Bonapartism. As Napoleon Bonaparte captured power with the help of army in 1799; as per Roman tradition.   

In the struggle for their rights and genuine democracy, Pakistani people immensely sacrifice, even their lives. The resentfulness and acrimony of the common people of the country exacerbate with their abject poverty. Sometimes, the anger of the ghettos’ dwellers is unleashed on the roads of the new capital, against the exploitation, corruption, and injustice. They demand rule of law, and to abrogate feudalism. They protest against malpractices and malfeasance and demand that feudalism should be abolished. But all such complaints, protests, and outcries are crushed by military might.  

All Pakistani military and non-military dictators equally adopted brutal methods and political violence, even terror, to maintain themselves in power. These prisoners of Pakistan were pushed back to their ghettos.   

The Pakistani ‘Kings,’ like the French Monarch Louis XVI, just want to protect themselves rather than understanding the causes of problems and fatal flaws in the system. They deliberately do not want to extrapolate or conclude these fatal issues. They are very well aware they have to surrender their privileges and prerogatives.

The Pakistani elite class and military should understand how successful Democratic India has become over the past decades. The real democratic way of governing seemed to be more conducive in the civilized world.    

Despite this alikeness and resemblance, there is no hope of any revolution like France in Pakistan. Rather this country is inclining towards terrorism, extremism, radicalization, chaos, intolerance, lynch law, outlaw, uprising, and over-the-top extrajudicial killings and forced abductions by the government agencies. Which consequently makes the life of everyone miserable and wretched. Even the fortress of Islamabad will not be spared. Pakistan is on the brink of anarchy, total failure, and finally a civil war like Somalia, Syria or Iraq.

It is wrong to say history repeats itself. In fact, we repeat history when we refuse to take a lesson from the past. The Pakistani snollygoster ruling class and their associates should consider the history and the consequences of their transgressions.

French revolution reveals that autocracy, tyranny, oppression, and despotism all naturally are inclined to collapse and disintegrate by their own burden.

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