Pakistan has been ravaged by
many problems and we have all been hearing it over and over again.
In light of all the recent problems our country has been facing, we have been seeing our social media being blown up on many different issues continuously. From the deplorable crimes like the Zainab rape case to the utter nonsense of celebrity gossips, there is always something brewing up on our social media. And we devour it hungrily until we are fed up of it. And then we move on to the next one.
So what is it about us that makes us so… starved, one may call it. Why is it that we only want to talk about stuff and not do anything productive? Is that merely a human condition or is it something wrong with us as Pakistanis? I think the answer to that is it is us. We have been programmed to avoid going the extra mile. We are taught to avoid risks and play it safe. We have become so used to our own comfort zones, which, interestingly, are mostly defined by our social circle. Hence, we would moan and complain and expect things to get better by themselves. If in case something does happen, we would swoop right at the end and take credit for “raising our voices”.
Apathy. That’s what this is. Apathy and unproductivity makes a deadly combo which is rampant in our society. We are a society so desensitized to the violence around us that we have quietly accepted it as a part of our daily routine. Consider the Zainab rape case. When the headlines started to appear, a massive wave of fury raced across the country. The crime was despicable to the highest degree. There was unanimous callings for the deaths of the perpetrators. Protests erupted all over the country. But ask yourself, were you actually shocked by this? Were you surprised that this could happen in an Islamic country? Were you hearing it for the first time? No. you weren’t. It has happened before in Qasur hadn’t it? And what was the result? Some of the Qasur rapists were said to be arrested and you thought it’s the end of it? No of course not. You knew this would happen again, you only shut your eyes to it.
Look at the situation now. Who talks about Zainab anymore? What happened to that wave of fury, those protests, what had been achieved except for a deeper sense of shame? We, as a society have failed Zainab and those poor Qasur kids and countless others who are unnamed. All because of the fact that we are unable to take a step forward and do something of actual value.
We like to talk for the sake of talking. For the sake of appearing intelligent to others. But words, while powerful themselves, have no meaning when they aren’t backed by actions. You may agree or disagree with Malala, you may think she is a CIA agent or a genuine humanitarian. But consider this. People were quick to criticize how she didn’t choose to be treated in her own country, how she was given citizenship in UK and how she was provided with the top notch medical care in UK. All this made her out to be a traitor. The social media was split between conspiracies and support for Malala. But I want to ask a question. If being provided a UK citizenship is traitorous to your country, would you yourself decline it? In case you are afflicted with a serious malady, would you want to be treated in a local hospital? How many of you plan to do your post graduate studies abroad? How many of you want to send your children abroad? See what I am getting at?
We harper on and on about how the streets of Karachi are dirty and smelly. And we throw our own trash on the streets. Because why take the trouble to carry our litter home or dump it to a nearby trash can right? And how many of you would willingly join a campaign for picking up the garbage on the streets AND not post your selfies on social media about what a kind hearted angel you are? Only a few would.
We like to gossip about each other and about celebrities only when it provides a benefit to us. We would volunteer for social causes only if we have something to show for it. Otherwise it is a no. our parents don’t instill the values of community service. They don’t raise us to be productive individuals. They raise us to be slaves of an existing system where people survive, not live.
And in case, someone does try to break out of it and do something of a practical utility. Stand out from the mass and actually contribute towards the betterment of the society. He or she is then quickly suppressed, cast out from the society and is bombarded with taunts and discouraging statements to an extent that he or she has to make it a sacrifice, not a choice.
Voicing your opinion is fine if it actually resolves something. But if your actions aren’t backing up your words, then it is useless. Speaking up for transgender rights on social media and making fun of them when you are with your friends makes you the problem. If you don’t care about your country’s problems, or if you are not able to do something for them, then you are yourself a problem.