We have abandoned some good traditions and customs of the past. For example, whenever there was a long period of drought, people would gather at places of worship and offer special prayers for rain to occur. On the one hand, this would show submission to the Almighty for forgiveness and mercy. On the other hand, it would show empathy for farmers who solely depend on rain for their crops. People would also extend their help as much as possible to the poor and marginalised during tough times. It strengthened the spirit of unity and solidarity.
Unfortunately, our country is going through tough times. The Covid-19 pandemic and the follies of the ruling class have crippled the economy. The poor are facing the worst of times while our politicians are shamelessly engaged in calling each other ‘mice’. It appears that our ruling elite is never going to get out of their old ways of self-righteousness while completely disregarding the public interest. However, we as a society are also becoming indifferent and uncaring in our behaviour. The well-off in the society must show some empathy for the poor and restrain their urge to control and devour resources. We must also stop with our extravagant marriage ceremonies when the poor are struggling to keep their kitchens running.
Farmers are worried and struggling to get fertilisers and seeds in a timely manner. The hoarding of urea and DAP are crushing them. We as a society must condemn such practices and call out the perpetrators. If those who take advantage of the poor to make some extra money know that they will face social backlash, they might refrain from such practices. I don’t see our ruling elite changing any time soon, so we, the people, must become the change and force them to fall in line.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 10, 2022.