19 August 2017

The impact of politics on everyday life

It is an unfortunate common view that politics is unrelated to everyday life. It is related to politicians, legal and official business that the average person knows nothing about, and should not bother with. It’s an unfortunate view because politics is about life. Governments make decisions that affect our everyday life. We all know this, of course. But to what extent do we actually practice it? For a nation to move forward, its people must take their future into their own hands. A nation is a people, an entity, a concept; all of which are about more than a ‘country’ as defined politically, but about us and our lives. To be a patriot is to love yourself and where you came from. And to be politically conscious is to care about your life. When we see politics as something distant, we forget how personal it really is.

Society changes according to politics. Think of Sudan today and 50 years ago. We’ve all referred to how the women used to wear short dresses and bars were open to the public. Now such things are unspoken of. The Sudanese people changed in correlation with the government enforcing Islamic Sharia Law. These laws imposed on us, especially the generation that knows nothing but this Inqaz government, shaped us and changed us, not as individuals but as a society. We have become more overtly religious with emphasis placed on the outward appearances and conformity.

We have Nimery’s infamous September Laws in 1983, which began Sudan’s course towards Sharia Law and the equally infamous Article 152 that threatens pants-wearing females with lashes among subjective punishments and judgments. Crackdowns on parties, police officers checking cars when a male and female are together at night, they even forbid cars’ windows to be tinted. All for decency, I presume, and ironic indeed. Nonetheless, these laws have shaped our lives. We are told what to wear, what to do, how to behave and even what time to come home. Not by our parents, but by a government that has decided that we need social direction and decency, by their standards, can only come if there’s a risk of a few lashes.

When one lives life aware of the importance of politics, aware that every decision has an impact on an entire population, aware that your individual behaviour is not the result of just you and those immediately around you, but it is also a result of governance, one can acknowledge why it’s worth fighting for. The way forward for Sudan is to acknowledge this, accept it, and finally put it into practice. Once we realise that a better government is not one that would just have the banner of ‘democratically elected’, improve infrastructure here and there and resolve our economic woes, but one that will actively contribute to our everyday life for the better, then maybe we’ll decide that that is something worth fighting for. Because we should be able to democratically elect how we live our lives.

2 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply to Mishkat Cancel reply

  • Mishkat
    11 June 2012 at 6:39 am - Reply

    I absolutely agree with you! What you’ve written here feels like a page out of Orwell’s 1984. This government has failed to prioritise health and education, has failed to better our standards of living, has failed to keep its people happy, and the list is a bottomless one.. I salute you for having the courage to write what should have been written eons ago.

  • Jared Lowenstein
    2 July 2012 at 7:40 am - Reply

    That’s correct. What’s happening in Sudan illustrates just how politics affects our personal lives. Politics isn’t just about the government. It’s ultimately about power. And in Sudan, it’s the politics of the sexes. The men unfortunately have power and control over the women. I just hope that change happens soon in their country so that the vicious cycle will end.

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