I am a sardar

I am a Sardar. I am six feet tall and came out of my mother’s womb ready to raise hell.

Mahimmaher June 28, 2011
I am a Sardar. I am six feet tall and came out of my mother’s womb ready to raise hell. To borrow from Isaac Babel, if rings were fastened to the sky I would have pulled it down to the earth.

Yes, I have men and guns but these are just the traditional trappings of power. I look after my men and their families. They are my clan; we are bound together by ancient geographies and histories. They are my children.

I uphold tradition but know that in order to survive in today’s world an education is essential. I studied Agriculture and History at Cambridge University and returned to help my people work the land. We prosper together.

I am seduced by the city but have not forgotten the village. My people have schools and clinics. No child goes untutored, no woman unattended in labour. We have a zero infant mortality rate and crime rate. Everyone is tended to either with my resources or our collective welfare funds. No man sleeps hungry. Our young ones go to medical school, but return to work in the village. We have not forgotten our roots but we allow our trees to grow tall.

We produce the best mangoes in the world and I have worked with the government to set up cold storage and packing factories so that this crop and others make it to the markets. I ensure that the MPA from our area spends this district’s budget wisely. He fears my wrath.

I am not like the other sardars who own houses in Karachi where you can walk in and buy any drug you can name. My sons do not jet around DHA in their double-cabin SUVs with guards. My sons know how to shoot but have been taught the value of saving a life. They do not rely on other men to do their dirty work. My sons do not need a coterie of city slickers to prove to the world that they are from an old and respected family. They do not live fast and die hard.
WRITTEN BY:
Mahimmaher A journalist based in Karachi, Pakistan. She has worked as the city editor at The Express Tribune and Daily Times, and now writes long form investigative and explanatory pieces on Karachi’s civic and urban infrastructure with a focus on transport, public spaces and water.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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COMMENTS (39)

malik | 9 years ago | Reply | Recommend @Mahim Maher: I am not surprised at the ad-hominem attacks of your post. Pakistanis believe that the Sun rises in the west and if someone writes that it is not actually so, then all the commenters will gang up to lynch the writer. If the writer deviates even one inch from the popular narrative, then the writer will be deemed as un-islamic for attempting to tell the truth. One blogger was present during the Dr Shireen Mazar vs Foreigner episode and she gave her version of events. Apparently, this version does not go well with most readers who believe that all white foreigners are 'wajib-ul-abuse'. She was attacked soundly for daring to suggest that the foreigners as guests deserve some respect. Another respected columnist, tries to enlighten people from becoming brainwashed and gives them instances of people wrongly modifying history to fool people. For telling the simple truth that Alexander was not a Muslim, and the silk route had nothing to do Pakistan, he is roundly criticized and asked to go back to libraries. Another blogger wrote about the rising instances of discrimination against minorities, and he was chastised by most of the commenters that, under the pretext of writing about minorities discrimination, he was only attacking Islam. So, after spending a lot of time, reading the articles and the comments, I see a distinct pattern and I have come to a conclusion. English-educated readers of Pakistan hate reading articles that show them and their society in poor light. They don't like introspection and they want to hear only good news about them. So, if you want the readers to appreciate your articles, you should say something that they want to hear; say something that will please them. (Also known as Dr Zakir Naik technique.) I'd like to suggest blogs on the following lines, to please most of the readers of Tribune; Why US is evil and why US should be kicked out of Pakistan. The Army as a saviour of our nation and the sacrifices they have made for us. Terrorism in Pakistan is over-exaggerated and it is a western-media creation. Why we need to celebrate our Arab heritage 5 reasons why India could become a Failed State in a few years' time. Why our youth need to respect our Mullahs and Moulvis Scientific reason behind why four witnesses are required for a rape trial How Pak's economy will dramatically improve after US exits Afghanistan (inputs from Imran Khan) Why the Cricket rankings are foolish ;) I am sure, articles on the above lines, will elicit nothing but appreciation and adulation from the english-educated masses here. As said before, if all the Pakistanis believe that the Sun rises in the West, then it is better to agree with them, otherwise, you will get lynched !!!
Maxi | 9 years ago | Reply | Recommend Mahim, Nice write up. Wish could meet the one you have contemplated!
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