Don't vote (but don't complain)

Get off that couch and make things happen. Vote. Or don't. But then don't you dare complain.

Erum Shaikh March 03, 2012
As a young Pakistani I often feel patriotism is a virtue deficient in the Pakistani youth. To us, the phrase, ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’ is a suitable misfortune.

We dwell upon how to escape - to a different country, a country more ‘suitable’ for the development of our skills or a country swelling with appreciation for individuals from other nations; those individuals being us. We, who didn’t like the working of the corrupt government in our country and didn’t bother making it suitable. Us, who didn’t vote and chose the ‘corrupt’ government by default.

Our talent was wasted until we landed in the "functional" democracy which gives us a feeling of freedom - an identity we confuse with reality, a body search, retinal and finger print scan, for our own ‘security’ and accomplishing a sense of gratitude by paying average salary, in dollars, with the liberty to send it back to our parents upon the massive conversion into rupees.

Our own politics is dirty, the government is corrupt, the legal fraternity a sham, the forces undisciplined and the schools and hospitals illequipped with the rapid advances of technology and science. These sensationalized ‘words of wisdom’, passed down to us by the immensely ‘reliable’ media, can easily be attached to any developing nation and even aptly to developed countries. The possibilities of improvement do not disappear in the face of riddles such as these, in fact, despite our mistaken beliefs; opportunities of growth and improvement only increase insofar as we want them to.

The mere existence of a country evidences its success in achieving this growth, slow perhaps, but steady nonetheless. The ability to steer a field of interest all the way to victory, specifically centered on our own personal views and capacity, is the benefit we don’t seem to be grateful about. The opportunity, that knocks and knocks and knocks at our doorstep in vain while we choose to enrich and capitalize on the established success rate of an already developed country.

The high expectations of our beloved increases with the ever rising benchmark created by ‘the others’ with no actual advancement toward it due to insufficient brain power. It’s not that we don’t have it, we suffer from two distinct problems as Pakistanis. The first is we need global recognition in a ‘respected’ nation and the second that we use our brilliance to annoy, aggravate and embarrass ourselves.

Pakistanis are proud, arrogant and hard working individuals. Sometimes we stick our noses up so high we forget we are a developing nation, and that we have a responsibility to it. We forget the value of home.

You want the luxuries of the good life in Pakistan but don’t want to give anything back in return? Who do you think you are? How could you rape my country of its resources, comforts and freedom without giving anything in return?

"There’s no security in Pakistan."

"The education system is hollow."

"The welfare system corrupt."

"The legal fraternity incompetent."

Well, then whose fault do you think that is? Where should we put the blame? On the government I suppose!

Uff that corrupt government has just ruined our lives!! Wait a minute… didn’t you NOT vote for this government?

If you are reading this article, you are old enough to realize the importance of the decisions you make and those you don’t. Do you want to be a slave to other people’s bad decisions forever? Make your own mistakes. Get off that couch and make things happen.

Don’t vote, but then don’t you dare complain.

Vote, and it may not show results immediately, but you did your part. You showed faith. Things can change if you adopt Pakistan. Make it yours.

Erum Shaikh
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


vaqas | 11 years ago | Reply When i said 45% i meant 75%. I hope im forgiven
vaqas | 11 years ago | Reply I like where awais was taking the conversation, but nobody followed. The fact of the matter is that most of our politicians and their parties ( i believe its all of them ) are corrupt to the core with no sincere effort ever to come from them. Including imran khan with his recruitment of the same people of the same corrupt parties. The real issue is that the silent majority, which is a sizeable one, who dont vote should matter. And they have a right to complain. The thing that needs to be done, as is in many other nations, is that the total no of votes recieved should matter. And if that number is say below 45% percent of the population of that unit, the result should be voided. This would make the candidates come to us instead of us going to them cause they would know without us, the silent majority, all their posturing wont mean jack. And then we can milk them for all they are worth. Thats how it should be. Instead of making them kings who come out for an occasional speech then head out to the assembly to waste our time. So yes your whole philosphy is flawed when who ever i vote for is gonna skin me regardless. So if my choices are whether i want to be skinned from head to toe or toe to head, forgive me if im not too enthusiastic about voting. But i have a right to complain, because im about to be skinned. So make the silent majorities vote count.
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