Rosa Parks and CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry
Rosa Parks, an African American is a well known personality in the modern history of United States. She was called the mother of civil rights movement. She was a seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama. In December of 1955, on her way back, she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on the bus. The driver got her arrested. She was tried and convicted for the violation of local ordinance.
Her act sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott. For days, weeks and months African Americans from the poor, working class would walk to their work. The movement lasted for a year. The local bus system lost heavy revenue due to boycott. Later on the Supreme Court annulled the segregation on the city buses.
Rosa Parks turned out be an icon and spent her entire life creating awareness about the civil rights movement and freedom. She was awarded the highest awards. On October 30th 2005 Bush issued a proclamation that the flags across the country and abroad on the US public areas be flown at half staff on the day of her funeral.
That was one of the successful movements in America where the highest court recognized the rights of a segregated class. Seymour Reit wrote a poem about this movement titled Bound For Freedom. I like these lines very much,
“One day an elderly lady plodded down the street,
Heading slowly for home.
The driver of a car pool stopped alongside her.
“Jump in, grandmother,” he said,
“There’s room. You don’t have to walk.”
The old lady smiled and waved him on his way.
“I am not walking for myself,” she said,
“I am walking for my children and my grandchildren.”
The old lady was right at pointing out that she walked for her children and grandchildren. It is because of the sacrifices of such people that today America is gearing up to elect an African American President. They may not like blacks from the core of their hearts, the prejudices very much exist but the law of the land guarantees their rights that no one dare to challenge or break.
Coming to our indigenous lawyer’s movement and the icon CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry, I feel that this movement is taking its last breaths. When the lawyers took to streets for the freedom and independence of judiciary… the nation stood behind them. Now it is more of a one-man movement. The deposed judges of High and Supreme Courts have been taking oath one by one. Only CJ isn’t acceptable to anyone and we know why so no need to go into this debate; CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry was offered to take an oath as a Chief Justice. That is akin to demotion. He was the de jure Chief Justice of Pakistan when Mush had sacked him. He has won a lawsuit against his illegal removal. How could he have accepted this offer? The sign is clear that CJ isn’t needed anymore. Now the latest news in this on-going saga is that the government is mulling over to retire CJ and served him a notice to vacate the official residence. The CJ has said he would never vacate the residence as he is the Constitutional CJ of Pakistan till 2013.
Pakistan isn’t United States, CJ isn’t Rosa Parks. Lawyer’s movement will never be as successful as Civil Rights Movement. Still I wonder how he will go down in the history books; someone as who cared for his position only or someone who stood up for principle and against injustice. Only time will tell… but from experience I can say, people will never regard his struggle… because that is Pakistan.