Amar Bail

A plant of eternity

Respect for humanity

Posted by Haris Gulzar on September 2, 2009

It was a holiday today in Karachi due to heavy rains and floods across the metropolitan, but IBA was open. Some of you might be aware of the fact that IBA has two campuses, one in the sadar area of Karachi called the City Campus, whereas another inside the premises of Karachi University called the Main Campus. The hostels are at the walking distance from the Main Campus, therefore at times you have to travel to the City Campus if you’ve taken a course that is offered there.

Today, while coming back from the City Campus on a public transport, when the conductor asked me for the conveyance charges, I handed him half the ticket charges and claimed to be a student. I was accompanied by a fellow hostelite. The conductor returned me the money saying that the student discount was not applicable today because of the announced holiday. I told him that I was coming from my university and that it was open so I should be allowed to avail the student discount. One of the passenger shouted at the conductor and asked him to give me the student ticket. The conductor asked me to descend that bus and take another bus because he could not accept the student ticket on a holiday. The person that shouted earlier at the conductor stood up, and slapped the conductor right in his face.

Everyone in the bus was taken by surprise. That person, all of a sudden, had become just too emotional. He grabbed the conductor by his collar and shouted at the top of his voice to accept my student ticket. My fellow hostelite and I tried to stop the quarrel but the shouting man was too healthy and emotional for me to even try going near him :-(. He hit the conductor a couple of more times and kept on shouting at the top of his voice. How dare you ask a STUDENT to get off this bus. I’ll show you what STUDENT unity is. Do you want me to tell you what STUDENT unity is? Accept the STUDENT ticket or else I’ll tell you what a STUDENT can do?

By this time, the driver stopped the bus and came to try his luck to stop the quarrel. A lady from the ladies compartment also started shouting, but I guess she was in favor of the conductor. All I could understand was, a very serious fight broke out between that person and the bus staff, where most of the passengers were either trying to stop the fighting people by hand or at least by words. My fellow hostelite and the driver finally got the shouting person sit at his seat, but he continued to utter words in disappointment. You should know what STUDENT rights are. You should know what STUDENT unity is. You should support other STUDENTS if you see something happening against them.

I ask, is this how you take your rights? Is this how you show your unity? Is this how you tell what a STUDENT can do? Is this what a STUDENT is supposed to do? Besides, that person later told us that he was a teacher. I was amazed to know this. A teacher, telling students how to take your rights, in fact, demonstrating it in front of at least 15 people, including ladies, and shouting at the top of his voice about what STUDENT unity is. I thought I knew what a STUDENT is. But this teacher proved me wrong…

The person travelling with me said, for being quiet for long after the incident happened, that “Respect for Humanity is something I have at the top of the list in my dictionary” (and that’s where I took the title of this post). Why do we forget the respect for humanity? Is the conductor not a human. A couple of posts back, I wrote a post titled “Do takay ka aadmi” where I mentioned how a parking ticket collector was treated by a rich man, thinking that he had all the rights to insult a poor man. By all means, the conductor was right in claiming the full travel ticket because the government did announce a holiday for all schools and universities, but for some reason, my university was open. It supposedly becomes my duty to pay the full travel charges, but my try to save some bucks got the conductor beaten :-(. I thought I had a justified reason for paying the student ticket as I was coming from after having a class and because my university was open, but this was not the conductor’s fault. At least not something that he got beaten for.

The lady from the ladies compartment, soon after the fight was over, handed some money to the conductor for his shirt that got torn during the fight. I really hope that emotional teacher saw this and that he felt that he was way too harsh. One thing that I noted specifically was, the conductor, never for once, used any harsh words or attacked back. He stayed at the back foot, defending himself. He had a slight smile on his face, the one a person has when he is shocked with something happening to him. He never showed his anger. Later that person asked the conductor of how his shirt got torn off because he had only grabbed him from his collar, the conductor smilingly replied and asked that person to go home and have a glass of cold water. I think this is how you show what you can do.

I paid the conductor our full ticket and apologized, but the harm that was done to him was probably way more than what our sorrys could have healed. I hope Allah forgives me of the mistake I committed, for my intention was not wrong, and Allah knows our intentions.


29 Responses to “Respect for humanity”

  1. […] This cup of tea was served by: Amar Bail […]

  2. That’s sad. I feel sorry for the conductor and I wonder what on Earth has happened to our teachers. Somebody has to knock some sense into them.

  3. Umer Toor said

    Rights. Rights. Rights. An illusion! I am trying somewhat to shed off this attitude of speaking out for rights in the favor of simply doing the duties, because that’s what ordinary men like us are supposed to do in a true Islamic society.

  4. Asad Ali said

    Bahi hota hay..(hona nahi chaye)
    aap be aayenda yaad rakhna kay ticket lena chaye full mein holiday walay din…takaay itna masla naa banay…

  5. zain said

    so sad! why we always try find to short cuts.

  6. very nice post Haris…it brings up a lot of questions and highlights whats wrong in today’s Pakistan.As you know i have extensive experience of traveling in public transport so i also face these issues everyday.Lets keep the teacher aside,what he did was wrong whatever the reason…you just don’t go up and start beating a man.
    But the behavior of conductor with you at start was also nothing less then appalling.If you had your university card then it doesn’t matter if its a holiday,you can avail half ticket price.This just shows you the lack of sympathy we have toward others.
    Even in this holy month of Ramadan Conductor treated you badly and then mr.teacher for no apparent reason started beating the conductor.We call ourselves Muslims and i am sure both of the guys whr Fasting but none of there action indicated slightly that they are Muslims.
    Totally agree with topic “Respect for humanity”.Conductor should have shown respect to you and mr.teacher should have reacted in a way that is representative of his profession.

  7. Assalamoalikum
    Ahhh! Thats really a sad story. The growing misattitudes are concerning everyone. It really should not have happened. So sad to listen about this. May Allah bless with wisdom to our student generation.!

  8. I think we are badly confused with rights and over confidence infact “Over Battamizz”…. I am astonished to know he was a teacher, if he couldn’t follow the noble and descency values what would he teach to his students…..
    Very Sad….

  9. Asma said

    It’s shocking! I mean the teacher must have been fasting. It seems as if we’ve truly lost our values. Teachers are supposed to be the role models not only for their students but even the rest of the community! I’m just shocked!

  10. masood said

    It’s Ridiculous, am sure he is not a teacher or not a good teacher then. Can’t believe this is happening in the Islamic country..Allah hu Akbar. I think you are not guilty what so ever happend, but I suggest, try to stop physically when someone is under oppression. May Allah guide us all to the straight path and make us become the true followers of Islam..Aameen.

  11. @Closed Eyes: Exactly. I mean I was just plainly shocked to know that he was a teacher and I couldn’t convince myself, after what he had done, that he was a sensible teacher :-(. Welcome to Amar Bail.

    @Umer Toor: I didn’t get you. You mean that instead of asking others to fulfil human rights, we should just follow and do that on our own? And I guess this is your first comment here, so welcome to Amar Bail. Do keep visiting.

    @Asad Ali: Hamaray liye tou chutti wala din nahi tha… But I’d try to be even more careful in the future Insha-Allah :-).

    @Zain: 😦

    @Azeem: About availing half ticket price, I was not sure if it was actually announced to be a holiday or not, and what added to me confusion was the fact that IBA was open, but because other universities and schools were officially closed, hence I guess the bus conductor was right in not accepting the student ticket even though I had my student card. And you’re right that at least Mr. Teacher should have acted and showed some respect for humanity, if not for the hard work that the conductor was doing.

    @Hassan: Ameen, and May Allah bless our teacher generation with wisdom as well :-).

    @Captureuniverse: You’re right. He wasn’t probably trying to take the rights of students, he was only showing off his strength over a weak person… A teacher shouldn’t just stand up and start beating someone in public on the name of students…

    @Asma: It was shocking for me too, especially when I came to know that he was a teacher.

    @Masood: I so wanted to stop that teacher physically, but on a very serious note, he was way more healthy than I am, and he was way more emotional and loud in volume to make me frightened of the so-sudden-situation. Ameen to your prayers and thank you for your comment

  12. I think one a few occasions something similar has shappened to me. but not in the same context, sometimes we dont want people to stand up for us..

    As for the humanity bit, this is true, and even as I was reading in the beginning I thought, this is a case smilar to your previous post.

    Although in this cse I think the person may not intentionally ahve been disrespectful to the conductor, maybe he was venting some inside rage, maybe the remembrance of seeing students wrong in front of him or something may have triggred the attack. In this case he ay not inteniotnally wanted to be disrespectful.

    This shows how we should control ourselves and our emotions and judge the severity of the situation before we act. Sometimes I am angry with somehting back home in Pakistan or upset nd I take it out on my immediate family. It does happen. I also use to shout at minor things if my brain is pre occupied with something else that may have been bothering me.

    Thinking before we take any action or utter any words could help us.

  13. sohni said

    I think the teacher was probably fasting and un ko “roza lag raha tha” and in effect he managed to scream and shout and not only ruined his roza but also made a pointless display of stupidity. He wasn’t the wronged party, and even if in his mind what he was equivalent to standing up for you, there was really no need for voilence or the abuse. There rarely is. Happy Ramadan. Lol and pay the full ticket if in doubt.

  14. Intricate said

    Technically, you were right for giving only half the fare, being a student you are allowed to do so, and as far as I know, this rule applies even if you are not actually coming back from your university.
    But there is are ways to get your rights, and the one that involves fighting isn’t one of them.
    I am amazed the conductor didn’t fight back, that was nice of him.
    We’ve seen this a lot. People start fighting for no good reason. Once my friend and I had to leave the bus, because of such a fight.
    And it’s more amazing when the so-called educated people do this. What difference is there then, between the educated and the uneducated. The above shows that the uneducated is far better.

  15. siras said

    Maybe I’m being too emotional, but that post brought tears to my eyes :(.

    The conductor really was someone great to have been so calm about the whole thing. And Allah will surely reward him for his patience.

  16. @Alhamdolillah: This was shear demonstration of power and nothing else. I mean, the conductor of the bus and I were hardly engaged in a conversation when that teacher, as he called himself so, just stood up and slapped the conductor. How on earth could he think of hitting someone without even asking what was going on. I’d say, this was only disrespect and nothing else.

    I totally agree that we should first judge the severity of the situation before we act. Anger, I think, is natural, which definitely needs to be controlled, but letting out so vigorously is totally wrong.

    @Sohni: Yeah probably unko roza lag raha tha, but Im sure after shouting and using power, unko zada roza laga hoga :-P. Ohh and yeah, I’d definitely pay the full ticket now whenever I have the slightest of doubts :-).

    @Intricate: It was very nice of him, and the way he stayed calm after the entire episode was really commendable. And you’re so right in saying that this display of power proves that the uneducated is far better than the educated. Plus, the teacher who was trying to teach me the way to take our rights was something I could totally not understand. I mean, is it really your right to just stand up, and slap the poor guy as hard as you can, just because you have the power to do it.

    @Siras: He surely displayed cool temper. May Allah reward him for this and may Allah forgive me…

  17. Wakas Mir said

    Well baat wohi aa jati hei ke aise bohat hota hei ke apne ghuse pe log kaboo nahi rakh pate.. sadly happens too often.. 🙂 God bless

  18. Khurram said

    The conductor had a lot of tolerance and the teacher had absolutely none. And it is the lack of tolerance that is at the root of many social problems today.

  19. Asad Ali said


  20. @Wakas Mir: True, and anger is one thing we should really control. Welcome to Amar Bail. Do keep visiting

    @Khurram: Thats so right. Tolerance plays a major role in building the character of a nation as a whole. Rightly said. And Welcome to Amar Bail.

  21. N.A. said

    Your post reminded me of countless incidents that I have personally observed while commuting through public buses – specially on the way to the university! The most shocking – now not so shocking, of course – part is when people begin using abusive language the moment an altercation begins. At times the words use dare such that one feels like jumping off the bus at the very moment! Anyway, before I get off the track let me come to your post… In the incident you mentioned, the horrifying part was that he was a teacher who misbehaved! I don’t know what to say of such a ‘teacher’… but the fact that he was a teacher says a lot about our society. “yeh waqt kon si ummat ka haal kehta hai…” this line fits perfectly well on us when we come us such characters in our society. Every word we utter is an index of our personality… I wonder how does this person deal with his students with this level of haughtiness in him.

    At the same time this also gives us a clue to the frustration levels that have drastically gone us in our society. The sudden impulse with which this man reacted was a little too much… And it all bring me down to just one question that each one of us needs to address and as early as possible: where exactly are we going?

    “yeh waqt kon si ummat ka haal kehta hai…” SIGH!

  22. Ali Adnan said

    I think everyone’s comment quite sums up that the behavior of the teacher wasn’t appropriate, etc .. etc 🙂 I agree with it

    I will just add some “different” two cents of mine :

    Woh zaroor biwi say lar kar aya hoga 😛

    (buddi naal lar k aya hoye ga)

  23. first time visiting ur blog…. i usually quickly scroll down if i see a long post … but ur writing style jst didnt let me…. i kept reading all da way to the bottom n read few other posts by u ….

    i thought that teacher mst b some student gang leader or somthing … it was a shock

  24. @N.A: I totally agree. Every word we utter is an index of our personality. And this was obvious from both the victim and the offender. The sudden anger by the teacher, and the calmness by the conductor, both just say it all…

    @Ali Adnan: hehe. Yani Qusoor sara biwi ka 😛 sara mudda biwi pe daal do :-P. Biwi na hoti tou wo larayi na kerta aur conductor ke sath misbehave na kerta :D. Waisay don’t you think this is another of our weaknesses? Blaming others for what we do?

    @Yesterdaywazbetter: Welcome to Amar Bail and thank you so very much for your comment. I hope you do keep visiting my blog 🙂

  25. Mishall said

    This world is full of different kind of people, N they got their different mindsets – Anger is one thing that everyone need to control, but sadly so many of us let anger control us. This was a real sa incident hmmm – happens yeah but definitely shouldn’t happened.

  26. @Mishall: Welcome to Amar Bail. Thats exactly what anger does to us, without even letting us realize that it is controlling us…

  27. Sabahat said

    That’s what the irony of people is . . They think whatever they are doing is for other people’s rights is RIGHT, no matter HOW!

    And yes one more thing, this is another situation you experienced to learn the DISADVANTAGES of anger 🙂 So, try, try and try HARD to control your anger 🙂

  28. @Sabahat: As someone above said, at times we don’t want people to stand for us! This was probably one of those situations…

    And you’re right. I have had many lessons in life that end up teaching me how bad anger is, and all I can do is get real angry on not being able to control my anger 🙂

  29. Sabahat said

    LOL. Complex situation. Needs urgent therapy 😛

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