PHILOSOPHY OF “REALISM AND PRACTICALISM” - BY ALTAF HUSSAIN
The philosophy of Realism and Practicalism is a criterion for checking the righteousness, evilness, wrongness, truthfulness and falseness of everything. This includes philosophies, ideologies, theories, policies, concepts, systems including medieval, modern and prevailing system of governing a country or institutions. It is also helpful for checking the truthfulness, concoctions, lies of statements, analytical write-ups, columns, versions and perceptions either generated, created, emanated or given by different quarters, elements, institutions or individuals.
What is Realism?
Realism is an act of accepting reality in its actual spirit and essence including facts, physical universe, events, necessities of life, ground realities, favourable or unfavorable situations, conditions and atmosphere, as they are, as opposed to the abstract or ideal. In this regard a practical approach be adopted rather than having ideal, moral, religious or romantic approach. It does not matter whether one likes or dislikes things as they are or appear to be rather than as one might wish them to be. For example, Sun rises from the east whether one likes or dislikes the phenomenon.
Similarly, there are many systems of running the governments prevailing throughout the world (existence of systems of governance), which are prevailing in all sovereign countries for example democratic system, socialist system, monarchical system and medieval feudal system etc. One may like one or two or may be more but some may dislike all. Unfortunately, in Pakistan, since its inception (1947), medieval feudal system is still in vogue. The existence of feudal system in Pakistan is a reality but in 21st Century it is a common knowledge that this medieval system is a great hurdle in the progress and prosperity of the country and the nation as well.
Likewise with all existing fruits and vegetables like bananas, mangoes, cherries, carrots, onions etc. Whether you like or dislike them, their existence is a reality. Real existing things have other realities in them. For example, some fruits and vegetables have bitter or sour taste. If one knows this fact that some people are allergic to those fruits that have sour taste and whenever they eat such fruit they might get a problem of sore throat. So, they should avoid eating such fruits having sour taste. Fish, eggs, etc are also a reality but some people are severely allergic to them, therefore, those who are allergic to them must avoid having it or eating it. The existence of eatables is a reality and this is also a reality that some foods are not good for health. So the existence and accepting things in its actual spirit and essence must also be understood and this fact also be taken into consideration that what is good and what is bad and what is beneficial or what is harmful for human beings at large. This way of realising things is known as Realism in its actual spirit and essence.
What is Practicalism?
An act of doing things, making or taking decisions, adopting means and ways in accordance with the actual spirit and essence of reality (realities) and realism is called Practicalism.
For example when one sees and observes that there are lackings and shortcomings in any prevailing system and one thinks that positive steps and corrective measures should be taken to make the system better and beneficial for the people at large. To obtain better and beneficial results, one has to take positive steps and corrective measures through committed, well-determined manner and hard work. This way of acting and making all efforts practically is called Practicalism.
In other words Practicalism means an action taken or a policy made after detailed analysis and consideration – taking into account all the consequences and repercussions of such action(s) rather than theory, dogmas or creed – ensures successful results.
Practicalism means that any idea, theory or doctrine should be applicable practically not only verbally or theoretically.
Practicalism also means that ideas should not be based merely on truth but can change the world with success practically.
Mr Altaf Hussain, MQM Founder & Leader, is usually recognised as the leader of the third largest political party in Pakistan. He is the first and only leader in Pakistan who introduced a new trend in the political culture by giving a non-feudal based political philosophy and forming a true democratic, liberal and progressive political party, which is the sole representative of educated middle class masses, minorities and have-nots. The people of Pakistan are well aware of his political ideologies and statements. However, only a few know that Altaf Hussain is not only a political leader but also a genuine thinker, who expresses comprehensive ideas and analysis on various subjects of life during sessions with his workers. These opinions and statements are not only novel but also thought provoking. With regards to the philosophy of “realism and practicalism”, Mr Altaf Hussain has time and again expressed his views during his addresses. Now he has compiled his philosophy in comprehensive form, which is being presented for your study. We hope that this philosophy of Altaf Hussain would inspire new thoughts amongst the intellectuals.
Dr Imran Farooq - Convenor
Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM)
Date: 08 July 2003