The country is on fire and the intelligentsia has nothing to offer except moan and groan and ‘blame the other’, or a silence that screams of a self-destructive apathy. Is it not time to look at ourselves? As a lifelong educationist I submit that I am guilty of betraying the youth that came to me at the university for, as I list below, look what we delivered in the name of:
• EDUCATION – all natural instincts of curiosity, questioning and creativity killed; servile obedience, non-questioning of texts and distorted history, pursuit of marks/grades through any means rather than seeking of knowledge
• PROFESSIONALISM – Self-centered, egoistic, narrow operators in a rut with off -the- shelf knowledge and a world view of an insect in a cocoon.
• PATRIOTISM – Unquestioned acceptance of the dictates of the State
• RELIGION – Intolerance and bigotry, narrow interpretation of one’s own religion as being the only true faith, hatred towards the others, conflict resolution only through murder,
• CULTURE – Complete denunciation of all cultural values that have come through history which promote tolerance and respect for the alternate views, a behavior pattern that accepts no deviation or variety.
Any reason to wonder at our today’s Pakistan! Can we do anything? Yes. First assume and accept responsibility, rethink deeply and discuss the issues with friends who are willing. Change begins at the individual level; networking with similar individuals and groups (there are many and that makes for optimism) create organizations that make a difference. No Ayub, Bhutto, Zia, Nawaz, Imran or any other will descend to save us. This has to be our struggle. If you are willing then think of a way out and seek such friends, if not then lie back and moan and groan and curse the country etc., while enjoying the elitist existence. It is the highest form of hypocrisy.