Amar Bail

A plant of eternity

Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan’

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.

Posted in English | Tagged: , , | 29 Comments »

The “Pakistani Style”

Posted by Haris Gulzar on June 28, 2009

I have always criticized the way Pakistani media presents the picture of Pakistan in front of the world. Showing war within country, lack of peace and security, lack of satisfaction within people, hatred amongst people of one area for the people of another area, blood, dead bodies, corruption and what not? All of this might not actually be a wrong picture, but I have always wondered if anyone out there ever thought about the impression outsiders would get about Pakistan. Pakistan is way way better than what is portrayed on the media, and this media does not only consists of news channels,  but newspapers, radio stations, and even bloggers play a major role in presenting Pakistan to the world.

But, on the other hand, I also think the media should very positively criticize openly, to issues that need attention. Issues, that definitely are a dent in the image of Pakistan but with a small step from each Pakistani, can be sorted out. Issues, that definitely aren’t leading Pakistan to any successes, but can be turned into success factors. Issues, that are issues for now, but can be made into reasons for Pakistan’s growth and success Insha-Allah. This post discusses one issue of this very sort.

I happened to visit WAPDA office a couple of days back. I had to apply for a new connection of electricity. I asked the procedure of filing an application, the required documents, the time it’ll take for the entire process etc. I was given the forms to be signed by the owner of the land and a list of the required documents to be submitted. When I submitted the application, the officer who received the application file told me that a surveyor would come to the site to see the load and where the electricity pole is, and I’ll have to treat that surveyor in “Pakistani style”.  Yeah, that’s exactly what his words were. He was blunt in saying this, as if it was part of his training to guide every customer this way. The expression “Pakistani style” was supposed to be a code word, but the tone and facial expressions with which he said it didn’t let it remain a code at all.

The way I was told about how it all works, I couldn’t even ask that officer what exactly did he mean? I was expected to understand the meaning myself. Being a Pakistani, it was implicit that I am aware of the Pakistani style. Why has bribing become a Pakistani style? Who has helped this style flourish to this extent that government officers direct their customers to adopt this style when applying for new connections? Isn’t it us promoting this style, and what’s worse is, associating our country with this as well :-(. What will it take to eliminate this thinking from the government officers minds that it is a Pakistani style? To make them believe in this country, and believe in themselves. Not only them, but to make everyone believe that Pakistan is not what they think it is…

Posted in English | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

The green flag…

Posted by Haris Gulzar on June 24, 2009

Today I got a text message from an x-colleague which I think is good enough to put on my blog.

In all the prevailing anarchy, chaos, instability and bombings, eleven men in green bring home a cup. A cup unexpected, a cup to be welcomed with nothing but tears, countless tears to welcome a good news, finally.

Time for the world to know that we are not just terrorists, dont just blast bombs; we hit sixes, we crash the stumps, we thrash the whole world down, we are the world champions.

The green flag is high. Its not just a cup, its a statement to everyone that PAKISTAN STILL ROCKS!

PAKISTAN ZINDABAD!!!

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The above words are as I received them, but I disagree with the words that say “…we are not just terrorists, dont just blast bombs…”. Actually, we do nothing of this sort. We are not terrorists at all. Those doing this are not amongst us, the green flag is not for them…

Posted in English | Tagged: | 4 Comments »