Take off their clothes. Beat them. Rip them. Whip them. That seems to be the major topic to be discussed or not to be “discussed.” This is not a striptease bar but this is definitely a political tease and torture “game.” The strippers and whippers may be the “namaloom afraad” (the invisible people) that were always nameless and faceless but are now labelled with names and photoshops that reflect the anger and frustration in the minds of the public. From a seventeen-year-old to a seventy-year-old, nobody is above stripping and whipping. The crime of these people-talk, tweet and tarnish names and faces of the “holier-than-thou” invisibles. As they say, those who dig other people’s grave; fall into it themselves. This may sound a cliché in the short run, but over time, what goes round, comes round. We are in the midst of a ripper. Many a topics, individuals, parties and institutions are trying to hold on to their tattered coverups. This veneer that covered their reality are slowly showing signs of wear and tear. Some are finding it difficult to hide behind the gaping holes and others are just scrambling for temporary masks to hide the ugly reality beneath. This may sound disgusting, but it is a huge opportunity. It is a chance-of-a-lifetime for this country to unlearn the past and move forward with some new beginnings. The action replay of governments coming, failing, blaming engineering, handlers stepping in, manipulating, country-dipping must be deleted from its memory. The new ray of hope is that this is not a time of reckoning for one party or institution. Every stakeholder has to take a call or they will be blocked. This time, the blockage is not by the power-hoarders, but the newly-found power in the hands of 220 million people: The viewers have stripped media houses and anchors of their intellectual masks and pro-democracy facades. 1. The Stripping of the handlers-The public power is just amazing. Every single day, we see people from all walks of life just posting and clicking their hearts and minds out regardless of the consequences. This is evidenced by the daily top twitter trends. Thousands of tweets are being made on the top handler and his institution. The world has changed, but not the handlers. They are still using midnight break-ins; round off thrashing; FIRs and arrests as their tools to shut and shoot the messengers. It is having a counter impact. The tweets double, the memes triple and the public outrage quadruple. The pressure is so high that the top guy has to put up ads of his public service to remind people of the “immense service and sacrifice” of the institution. Unfortunately, in parallel, when the strip and whip operation goes on, the public wrath grows fiercer and stronger. Never has this happened before to the handlers and thus the complete “mishandling.” 2. The Stripping of the Government-The October 16 elections have stripped the government off any pretense of being able to compete politically. Their votebank has been ripped apart and they have been whipped in main constituencies. They lost two seats in the provincial assembly and six in the national assembly. They had chosen these seats with great calculation. The criteria was to disqualify those MNAs, whose margins of victory were minimum and after adding, 13 parties vote bank they could win with a huge margin. The opposite happened. While trying to defend their lack of vote, they also exposed their horrible economic management. Rana Sanaullah, while explaining why his own UC in Faisalabad did not vote for him, said that due to industrial failure, closure of power looms/ factories and high unemployment people voted against Abid Sher Ali. This has stripped them off their narrative of economy becoming better under Ishaq Dar. The other moment of truth is that they always claimed that in the general elections, they will field their own candidates. After this defeat, Khawaja Asif said that they will be fielding joint clients in the general elections. This is a huge admission of their loss of confidence, connectivity and strategy as far as the electoral process is concerned. If anybody had any doubt about their crashing crisis, their orders to the ECP to postpone local bodies election, insecurity and running away from elections fear loud and obvious. 3. The Stripping of the Coalition-Some coalition members of the government have also been politically ripped apart. MQM in Sindh and JUIF in KP have received shockers. MQM had always been the establishment pawn. They along with others were “used” to create the vote of no confidence on the PTI government. Their plea that they had to be in government to fight for the rights of their Karachi voters worked for a while. Now, it has been smashed. Their constant cribbing and blaming the establishment and the PDM government yet their surrender to make Kamran Tissori the governor and acceptance of more benefits from the government has resulted in almost a boycott by their voters of Korangi. Similarly, JUIF fielded their best stalwart Maulana Qasim in Mardan against PTI with support from all parties. He was also defeated by a huge margin. This has now shattered the claim that these parties may not have too many seats but they have a vote bank in some sureshot constituencies that gives them the bargaining power with the government and establishment. This phenomenon of losing despite establishment has made them clueless and hapless eroding their political capital to the extent of becoming electoral bankrupts. 4. The Stripping of the Media-Nowhere has the stripping been more exposed than the media. Viewership now is measurable and by choice. Media houses openly siding by the PDM and establishment due to Ad spend and fear of being banned were busy promoting a narrative of the government and blacking out the opposition narrative. Channels were banned. Anchors were fired. Speeches were muted. However, the viewers simply shifted to social media alternatives. Also, this is a moment of truth for the writers, analysts and intellectuals. Their pro-democracy stances are mum on PDM’s open coalition with the establishment. In fact, what could be more revealing than the fact that an editor of the biggest English newspaper of Pakistan who was consistently writing against PTI was rewarded by PDM to become a federal minister level advisor on communication to the government. The viewers have stripped media houses, anchors of their intellectual masks and pro-democracy facades. 5. The Stripping of the Opposition-PTI as an opposition party has a lot to celebrate but a lot to deliberate and debate too. These elections have also uncovered some great lessons for them. These elections have stripped them off this belief that since people have little choice they will vote for PTI regardless . The Multan defeat of PTI is an open message. The message is that if you are also going to preach what you donot practice, we will reject you. The dynastic politics stance of PTI got ripped apart after Shah Mahmood Qureshy’s daughter was nominated for this constituency. Similarly the Sharaqpoor loss for PTI was a great reminder to the party that if it stands against “lotas” it should not expect the voters to vote for them. These are defining times for Pakistan. The voice of people is louder than the voice of the power corridors, voice of media and voice of institutions. That is what true democracy is. The lesson to learn is that people of this country have finally decided to stand up, and speak up. Anybody who tries to fool them, betray them, force them, shut them, will be stripped and whipped by the biting sting of a nation’s collective voice and choice to accept only the truth and nothing but the truth. The writer is a columnist, consultant, coach, and an analyst and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. She tweets @AndleebAbbas.