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.