If Getting Your Lost Wallet Back Helps You Regain Your Trust In Humanity, You Have Set Your Standards Really Low
Ahmed Naveed in this article paints the real picture of Pakistani society plagued with rape, murder, bigotry, misogyny, and everything that would make you lose your trust in humanity.
A couple of days back, a friend of mine shared with me an incident about how he recovered his wallet that he had lost some time back at a public place in Karachi. The details of the event are not interesting enough to be presented here, however, his final comment got my attention. “Finally my faith in humanity is restored”, he said. According to him, our society is not “really that bad”.
This made me wonder if humanity in our society still exists and it is only about how we look at our society. Although, the meaning of the term ‘society’ could vary, but for the purpose of this article I will stick to the meaning that my friend had in mind when he shared the incident. When he talked about the society he meant, generally, the people and everything that is happening around us on a daily basis. Is my friend right in believing that everything around us is not evil and good still exists? Let’s see.
This is the same society where a few days back a girl was kidnapped from one of the busiest areas of Defense. Her friend was shot and he lies on a bed in a hospital in critical condition as I write this article. One cannot even imagine what the family of the kidnapped girl went through but that is not important for us. What actually matters is her upbringing, her choice of clothes and her audacity to walk around with a male friend at night. Some people even believe that she got what she deserved.
This is the society where rape culture thrives, misogyny is at its peak and women empowerment is seen as a threat to the status quo. This is the society where children, boys and girls, are raped and then killed. No one talks about the issue of child sex workers at the mines in Balochistan. It is in this society that graves of deceased women are desecrated and their dead bodies raped. Not to mention honor killings and acid throwing victims. Mukhataran Mai. Qandeel Baloch. Namrita. Rings a bell, anyone?
As far as I know, this is the same society where, last year, two children died due to food poisoning after dining out at a restaurant that served them expired meat. In Lahore, people were caught selling dog meat. Counterfeit medications, mixing milk and water, selling and utilization of used syringes, the recent HIV/AIDS scandal, and the list goes on. In 2017, I was working at Interactive Research and Development on a project that aimed to cure patients suffering from Tuberculosis. My field manager once told me how he had caught a nurse in Lyari prescribing medicines to poor patients while the doctor had decided to take a day off. Upon getting caught red-handed she made up some story and when it did not work she pleaded with him to not tell anyone. The field manager also told me about an NGO, “helping” tuberculosis patients, which would not update the list of patients. Does it not seem like much of a problem? Well here is the issue. By not updating the list of the patients, the NGO concealed form its donors the fact that many of the patients were no longer TB positive and their medication needed to be stopped. Organizations like these do this because showing fewer patients needing treatment may lead to reduced or no donation. Those who did not need medicine were kept on high dosage (including regular injections).
I cannot say much about the other cities of Pakistan but in Karachi, you are always on the lookout for motorbikes crossing you. Firstly, because there is no traffic sense. And secondly, you do not want to lose your belongings to someone who doesn’t want to earn them. You resist, you die. Simple as that.
Let us move from thieves to policemen. In fact, is there really a difference? It is better to just leave it there.
This is the kind of a society that we live in. This is what we deal with every day. If getting your lost wallet back is the kind of thing that helps you regain your trust in humanity then I am sorry you have set your standards really low. This society has no boundaries or limits. Here, you could wear a black suit, call yourself a lawyer and attack a hospital without an ounce of shame or regret. It is time we collectively raised our voice against this system. Tell the authorities that enough is enough and we do not deserve to be treated like this. We deserve to live in a society free of rapes and crimes. A society that looks after the poor and sick. A society where we could live without fear. But make sure you’re not wearing your leather jacket when raising your voice against the status quo. If you know what I mean.