Wednesday, September 1, 2010
By Emaan at 1:45 PM
I've been reading conspiracy theories about HAARP and the massive, unwarned flooding that has left millions of Pakistanis not only homeless, but trapped in the vicious cycle of post-flooding disease and trauma. I'm left dumbfounded by the irritatingly vacuous media coverage and analysis of the AirBlue flight 202 crash. And I've been watching the nation get divided over the Sialkot event where one side seems to have lost all hope and is cursing every system and soul in the country, and the other just helpless, yet optimistic through counting failures of other nations, thereby soothing themselves. And while all this was not already accomplishing the goal of disrupting national unity and laying a solid foundation for eternal damage, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (assumedly) jumped in to make sure that any left optimism is double-check murdered.
Oftentimes we hear illiteracy, poverty and feudalism being labeled as the root evils of our society. And that is not far from the truth, it's playing it's part quite sufficiently in keeping the progressive attitude oppressed. But as a whole, the un- and the educated lot, there are two serious issues with us. One, lack of fairness. And I don't care for political fairness, that is a crappy Utopian ideology and exists nowhere (if The Simpsons didn't already simplify that for you)! I am referring to public fairness at an individual level. And alongside this empirical nation-trait runs unity, and not that of ravage and vandalism, but of support and praise.
I understand (at some warped level), but absolutely do not condone this chain of public outbursts. But what's a person to do when nothing is going right and there happens to be a stone at your feet? I also know that in all of such public showcases of vandalism, there is a decent amount of people who are just having fun with being able to throw this stone at something big and shiny that doesn't belong to them. This is an example of the height of unfairness by the people, to the people. Talking of proper queues is such a tired cliche. I don't know if the system has gotten any better, but have you experienced applying for a passport, standing in a queue from nine in the morning till four in the evening, realizing that you have hardly moved an inch? So in this situation, I barely see poverty or illiteracy being the problem. If you are poor, you violate the rights of the privileged by reason of an inferiority complex. If you are the privileged, you violate the rights of the poor by reason of a superiority complex. This critically prevalent holier-than-thou attitude is doing nothing but feeding an arrogant and suspicious nation.
Second point that I raised was of support and praise. As a nation, I feel, we've developed an incredible amount of restraint in allowing ourselves to appreciate each others' successes. On the contrary, we are jealous and critical of anything that moves, to say the least. This issue runs from the system down to the individual. We are so self-involved that it hurts to see another surpass us. We will put our own brother in trouble to make sure we can afford that new car! The banks have played an impressive role in lining up millions of court cases that may appear as simple as a defaulting client, but underneath it is a complex mesh of family businesses gone wrong. As a system we fail to support a genius mind who is incapable of meeting soaring education fee. As an individual we fail to support talents that have the capacity to bring national pride. Google Pakistan, the highest ranking information is pornographic crap with frustrated boys and men cursing anything female for being female.
There is nothing that we are proud of as a nation. Fake, empty, Muslim pride is all that we talk of. Soaking in skin-deep worries, the aim of our life is to make sure we, as an individual have it all, and we, as an individual have the best. It is so confusing to talk about Pakistan. It is the same country where millions have gone homeless, and the same country whose people go abroad for shopping and vacationing. I am horrified by the materialist attitude of the young generation. Horrified by the materialist gauge by which we judge everyone and make friends. I am horrified even by memories of vandal motorcyclists on Sunday mornings and independence day that pulverized all enthusiasm of national pride. My plea is not to the poor and illiterate man, who has possibly lost everything in this anarchic country, but to those who still manage to arrange for themselves a decent twice-a-day meal. We may not have control over bombings and natural disasters, but we do have control over how we project ourselves as a people. We need to kill arrogance and materialism, and replace it with humility, trust and respect. Have the patience to listen to an opposing viewpoint (Facebook ban). Drop that cool act and be concerned, aware and active even when there is not a situation. Stop building castles in the air and talk big of a revolution-to-be. We fancy a French revolution or a civil war to bring a halt to our problems, but we forget how bloody these can be - nothing to look forward to. The time to change from words to actions came and went. What needs to reclaimed, must be reclaimed. And it must be done now! Only great nations produce great leaders. Do we have the potential to be a great nation?