Moral degradation in our society has reached such levels that every day is an experience in itself and, I wonder, how will we as a nation rise to glory and how much time and energy will that take? Do we need a revolutionary to show us the right path or does our belief in the democratic system have to be so deep-rooted that no matter how much time it takes we will continue to believe that eventually the systems and institutions will come into their own and start performing the way they should!
Where did we go wrong? This has been a question asked by many journalists and thinkers and a number of solutions have been offered but to no avail. Deep inside our hearts we believe that we are capable of improvement, that a wrong is a wrong, but our sense of being patriotic is such that for Pakistan we say, yeh to chalta hai.
Does our younger generation really know about the sacrifices given by our forefathers to earn freedom? Do we really or, more importantly, do our youth know anything about the father of the nation? Imagine the youth of today and their state of mind. They hear of the Quaid-i-azam along with Quaid-i-milat, Quaid-i-awam, Quaid-i-tehreek and so on and so forth. What is their take on this? I feel they simply don’t care because of the state of affairs they live in and because they see despondency among neighbours, friends and families.
Let me give an example of what I mean. Recently, on my way back home on a Sunday — a day when you can get something accomplished if you are driving with little fear of being hit by a minibus or a car or a driver who got her license sitting at home — I got stopped by the police vans which have been parked near the Bagh-e-Ibne Qasim for the security of the common man, and a policeman came up to me as I rolled down my window. He smiled at me and said that he was so happy that a person driving a reasonably big car stopped at just one signal. He looked at me and said I could go but then, sheepishly said, ‘you know we have not had any tea and it would be so good to have a cup of tea’. I took out my wallet and handed him Rs100. Why I did this I don’t know, but I really felt sorry for him for stooping so low as to accept Rs100 in these inflationary times and seem quite content to get it, even saying thank you.
Now the question I asked myself later was, why did I do this? Why did I have to give him the money? Is he not there to protect my interest (I am a taxpayer). Am I to blame for giving him money and spoiling his habit? Is he to blame for asking for money indirectly? Are his superiors responsible for not giving him tea on time or expecting him to continue to collect money and share it with a larger group at the end of the day? Are there no supervisors who go around to see and monitor or does no one really care? Is there any solution to such a state of apathy?
I plan to write on such incidents frequently as I feel we must think about these questions and ponder on such incidents which, though they may seem insignificant, reflect on the state of our society. It is through highlighting the fallacies of the system that a silent revolution can start. It is the power of the pen after all that gave us this blessed country which all of us have and are continuously trying to ruin.
Whether anyone in this world calls us a failed state or not, we in our hearts are convinced that Pakistan, our beloved country, is a failed one and see no reason to work towards its betterment.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 28th, 2010.
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