Monday, February 13, 2012

Lets Talk. No Wait, Lets Act for Pakistan!

Are we a nation of blabbers and jabbers with no desire to act upon our own words?

Let’s take a look at our home country, Pakistan. Wherever we see, we see chaos. So it’s high time we sit down and discuss about it. Let’s talk to our politicians who run the show. Let’s talk to the bureaucrats who will eventually have to handle it all. Let’s talk to some psychiatrist to know why our society is turning down. Let’s bring together the opposite parties and find out who is right, who is wrong, who is better, and who is not.  Let’s bring the forces and the rulers on the table and let’s decide what should be the best strategy for our sovereignty, for our safety, for our progress, for our development. Let’s sit down together and discuss, because that’s what civilized people do. Find solutions through dialogue.
And that’s what has been happening in Pakistan with the gift of free media and freedom of speech. Our sophisticated analysts on television put together the who’s who of this country and present to us one after another topic of esteemed importance. They talk, we talk, they think, we think. And then we all go back to our beds to start a new day. For a new topic, a new discussion, and then another day.

There are about 80 operational television channels in Pakistan and about 75% of them cater to the news industry. Every channel has 3-4 programs of news analysis and dissection and every program has 2-3 guests along with the expert analyst and every day they discuss a new issue of national security and stability. All without any result, all without any warranted action.

This whole set up reminds me of the novel Akhri Chattan by Naseem Hijazi. The novel talks about Baghdad as the last solid battle-hold of the Muslim Dynasty in the times of Chengez Khan. Baghdad was the city of cultured leaders and sophisticated scholars. When the attacks of Chengez Khan gained speed and span in Muslim areas on the north east, they all started gathering up in the city centre and stage a wholesome discussion over what should be done and what is the right way to tackle the problem. All the leaders, politicians and scholars would sit together and brain storm, with contrasting ideas and novel solutions. Each day they would discuss and refute each other and each day they would go back home with much to think and nothing to do. Till the day Chengez Khan attacked. Then they didn’t have anything to talk and discuss. They hid or fled and some went praying in masjids where the soldiers of Chengez Khan cut their heads off while they were in a state of Sajda.

I cannot, but find a striking similarity between the Baghdad of then and the Pakistan of now. We aren’t much different than the gentlemen of the yore who lost all their glory because they were overconfident, overindulgent, over-thoughtful, over-democratic and less of everything that time expected them to be. No matter how sizzling the topics of our talk shows get and what big names come together for the battle of blames, the truth remains they are just shows and they merely do the talking.

Even ignoring the fact that the moderators of these shows are now analysts, who neither moderate the talking nor analyze it beyond stating the blatant facts in a tantalizing way, even ignoring the fact that their questioning never brings up any answers, nor do they conclude on any reasonable note and at times don’t even conclude at all, these talk shows don’t do anything except politicising the country’s environment and providing a better bitchy entertainment than all the Indian soap dramas could do together.

But the worst of all is that, these stage shows effectively represent what we’re becoming as a nation. Much of talking, much more of thinking, a lot more of whining, mostly for the things that matter the least and for the reasons that don’t matter at all and yes, not a little bit of action. We all want a change for the better but the best we do is talk about it. In our daily lives, in our social lives, on our social media and on our electronic media, we talk and talk. And barking dogs seldom bite, you got it.

The constant in-fighting clearly suggests that those who are arguing and those who are the moderators of such arguments are all working for their own good. They are down-right selfish, that's why they disagree with each other because good for one is bad for another. And it seems as if in the last few years that has rubbed on us also because, essentially speaking, we are from them and they are from us.

Before the Chengez Khans of today come to wreak havoc upon us, the time begs us to be more of men of action now than it has ever done. Otherwise prayers would fall short to save a nation that’s too busy bickering to be any good on the battleground on any front, for anyone, never mind being good for its own self.

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