What’s with all the record setting?

Published: October 24, 2012
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People in Lahore gather to create a new world record for the most people making a national flag. PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK

People in Lahore gather to create a new world record for the most people making a national flag. PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK

The past few days have seen several world records either being set or broken by Pakistanis, including the record for the most number of records broken in one day. While the sudden fervour in wanting to become world leaders in these records is intriguing, it has left many Pakistanis confused. Of course, from a patriotic standpoint, one must be proud of the achievements of fellow Pakistanis who have sought or are seeking to break over 13 new world records. But that does not alleviate the enigma and still makes us wonder, why?

First, at the Punjab Youth Festival and then at the Lahore Expo Centre, with Guinness World Records officials in attendance to rule fair judgments, students and others broke Guinness world records in tasks such as the highest number of people simultaneously singing the national anthem, the most martial arts kicks in three minutes, as well as wiring a plug, setting up a chessboard and making roti in the shortest amount of time. Although one must admit that mixing ingredients, kneading dough and cooking three rotis in three minutes and 14 seconds is quite impressive, one must ask where the funds for all these activities came from and why did setting world records suddenly become a priority. Was the taxpayers’ money used for this, when it could have been used for fighting crime, helping the destitute or going towards the numerous other critical requirements of the country?

The point is not to express disapproval of holding a festival for the youth of Punjab — in fact, this is a positive development — but to say that this, perhaps, should not necessarily be a priority in this hour of need and desperation for the country, given our strained resources and socioeconomic and political situation. Albeit, this reinforces the idea that Pakistani citizens possess talent and still have passion, whether it is patriotism or a competitive nature that is the driving force behind their achievements. Nonetheless, it also reinforces the idea that our country has its priorities mixed up.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 25th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • GS@Y
    Oct 25, 2012 - 2:11AM

    What a needlessly negative write-up. This spree of setting records was a healthy, amusing, and alternative activity in a country mired in too much bad news. I am sure it put a smile on the face of everyone who heard of or read about it. While we are on the topic of using resources optimally, there was also really NO need to waste precious editorial space on complaining unnecessarily.

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  • sana
    Oct 25, 2012 - 3:02AM

    I agree with the writer.I myself have attended some of the events discussed above. In broad perspective, this is not what we actually need to do right now on such a large scale. I participated in SAC too, but now when i think of it..its a total waste of money and paints in the name of ‘healthy activities’..same goes for the free laptops. God! dont we have other problems to solve?

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  • sabi
    Oct 25, 2012 - 4:48AM

    Instead of keeping our human rights record straight nation is bussy on making silly things.
    Pure inanity.

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  • Excited
    Oct 26, 2012 - 11:39AM

    There is finally some thing to be proud of. Oh such joy, celebrate thr great People of Pakistan.

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  • Sara
    Oct 29, 2012 - 2:39PM

    Its time that we stopped taking such a negative view all the time. In reference to Sana’s comment, you were there at some of these events, why? It can be assumed because you enjoyed the recreational activities provided to you at these events. Therefore it is quite hypocritical of you to present a negatives view of said events. Generally our country provides very few opportunities for people to be creative, have fun and get an opportunity to be in the limelight ( positive manner) and I for one am happy to see its through these events rather than strikes, bombings and corruption related issues. It is essential for our youth to have positive role models in life. Way to go record setters/breakers!

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