The Roman Circus

By Hassan Wyne

History, as it is said repeats itself and it is up to us to see when the time is ripe for it to repeat itself. Rome was the largest empire in its time. However, like Rome several other empires have emerged over the centuries with the hope that they will be stronger and more powerful than the other. Alas, it is not meant to be. For whatever has a rise has a definite fall and it is in nature that the rise will have a fall. Emperor Vespasian when commissioned the construction of the Colosseum in AD 71-72, it was primarily to distract the public from all the wrong doings of his government that had taken place or were about to take place in the following years. This is the time when in actuality the Roman Empire was in decline. The Colosseum was in fact the “The Roman Circus” the very Circus that would distract the public from all the corruption and all the wrong doings that went under the table.

Like I said earlier History repeats itself, but do we actually learn anything from history itself. Fast forward 2000 years and here we are…history is repeating itself but our attention has been diverted towards the “The Roman Circus” once again. Wait a minute; the Colosseum is in shambles, than what is the modern day circus…??? The modern day circus is the sports we have today. Cricket, football, music etc. are the modern day gladiatorial contests, which divert the attention of the public eye towards such simple games and what happens than is any body’s guess.

I believe Sports and music is good for people, but only to the extent that we spend a few minutes of everyday on these things. The media has a major role in this regard. The media usually portrays either the worst situation available or as if the world is picture perfect. It is the media that does not show what truly is happening under the table. The PSL, for example is the perfect example of “The Roman Circus”. The media does not cover the fact that when the circus is in full swing in Lahore and Karachi, what the general public is going through is what needs to be covered. Security checks 2 kilometers long and as a result complete market shut downs in the neighboring vicinity, causing billions of rupees worth of losses. The point is, “who cares…?” No one… Because, the public has been brainwashed to the extent that the public cannot see beyond these circus animals that have been put in front of them. Kicking footballs and making millions out of that and singing about Mankind’s Angel by Tahir Shah.

The attention Tahir Shah got was remarkable considering the hopelessness the song had. Generally this public behavior is common all over the world and Pakistanis for one are not to be fooled that easily and if put in the right direction, I am sure Pakistan can become greater.