We begin our day blaming the government immediately after we wake up and the last words we utter before going to sleep unfortunately aren’t too pleasant either related to the government. In between those two times, the comments are pretty much the similar but with an altered intensity depending upon the time of the day and the temperature of the place. Maybe because we’ve lost sense of day and night due to load-shedding, we’ve lost control of our budgets due to the regular price hikes in fuel and other important items and most importantly we’ve lost our minds due to the ever-growing stress provided to us 24/7 by our ‘independent’ media.
If that wasn’t enough, today we find ourselves facing the worst flood of the region in the past 80 years. We are in a country which is filled with water all over and still there is no electricity at homes and workplaces. Our disaster management authority looks like a disaster itself. The president being one of the richest people of the country (if not THE richest) is calling for foreign monetary aid. The prime minister is wasting time visiting dummy relief camps distributing checks to God-knows which theater’s actors. The foreign minister is nowhere to be seen, wait a second, was it the foreign minister I heard ready to accept aid from India as well? Well, maybe that’s how we might improve our relations by killing two birds with one stone.
But what are we doing as a nation apart from complaining? Ever thought of that over the past month or so? We are sitting in front of our television sets making sad faces watching live telethons and reports from the flood affected areas thinking about how this government is to be blamed for its lethargic efforts to rescue to the people from those places and how our top dogs will ensure that the foreign aid that is being sent for the flood affected people will go directly into their very own bank accounts.
Is that all we can do? Those who get a little too emotional watching the reports on TV get up to lend a hand but then sit back down again making an excuse that whatever we donate won’t even reach the needy, so there’s no use, ‘I don’t trust this government.’ All we can do is to cry over things and not be able to stand up and change them ourselves.
Corruption starts from within us and then spreads like a virus in the society eventually reaching the top and forming a cloud of toxic dishonesty over the whole country. Be it the recent horrific Sialkot incident, the Margalla Hills’ air crash or the fake degree scenario in parliament. Each one of us is responsible for where we stand today. From a cobbler to a doctor, from a chemist to a physician, from an engineer to a politician, we are all corrupt and this is the phenomenon which leads to the displeasure of God and we are forced to face calamities and catastrophes like the ones that stare in our eyes horrifying us today.
This catch-22 situation is not because of Mr. 10% only; it is also because of the rest of the 90% that is divided into extremely tiny fractions depending upon the status and caliber one owns in the society. Each one of us no matter how rich or poor he is, is corrupt to whatever extent is possible for him. A grocer is selling substandard products, a doctor isn’t treating the patients as effectively in government. hospitals and as he would in his private clinic, all of this leads up to the politicians and ministers sitting at the top.
So effectively, what’s running this country is not about those people who are being honest, it’s about those who aren’t getting a chance to be corrupt.
Hammad A. Mateen