The National DNA

This nation can be a very frustrating one at times. More so over the last couple of years. Maybe because that thread of hope for them is wearing thin. With each year, with each spectacular failure or blow, with each new low – and not just the government and political family. Not just the establishment and the boys. But overall, of us as a nation.

Take the incidents of the attacks on the bus in Safura Goth. The perpetrators carried out the attack without any remorse. Without any shred of humanity being visible in them. Almost as if one was going to slaughter chickens in a simulation! That bad. And lo and behold some kid from IBA pops up as involved. The murders of Masood Hamid (Dawn Marketing Director) and Sabeen Mahmood (Activist – T2F Café). The general manner in which we continue after the mandatory condemnations and drawing room talk. I don’t see anyone actually making or doing anything to make a difference. Save the few souls who are actually working for some betterment. We will come to him later.

Take the Axact situation. Take the Ayan Ali situation. Take Moin Khan during the world cup. Take our nation’s reaction to that. Take the common man who cheats his customers during Ramadan. My friends actually encountered this – samosas empty of any filling. And that’s just one example. Take the numerous AC walas who overcharge or do the kind of work which requires repeat services as the ‘AC’ is just not staying fixed.


Take every single person who drives in Karachi and thinks that every road, every market area is named after him or his father. Or that somehow the property rights belong to them. Parking will be done in the middle of the road blocking the cars. Traffic signals will be broken without any regard for the safety of others and one’s own self. Take all the hit and run cases. Take all the bikers. Take all the spoilt rich kids driving. The 4x4s. Take every feudal. Every security rich entourage travelling through the city and blocking everyone’s path. Take every one who just drives on the wrong side of the road. Take every traffic cop who looks the other way when a red or green note appears. Take every cop who flags down cars for no reason hoping for the red and green notes. Take every person who takes out those red and green notes.

Take every ‘professional’ from the corporate world or in a government job who is looking to make themselves just a tad more richer on the company’s expense through kick backs. Take every corrupt official sitting in the national institutions waiting for the general public to come and fill their small coffers with ‘small’ amounts. Take the general public for filling them.

Take the absolute lack of civic sense not only on the roads but off them as well. The concept of time is lost on us. We give one time and expect the other person to automatically know this could mean plus 1-2 hours. Or simpler yet, just don’t show up. And don’t inform either. Why bother? It should be a given. Because that’s the God given right. Taking every other person’s time for granted.

The problem with us as a nation is that our DNA is already lost. It is broken and unhealthy. The DNA has over time corrupted itself into accepting certain norms which should not be accepted. It has corrupted itself into adopting certain behaviors and attitudes which should not be adopted. It is in the DNA. Our DNA should be rejecting these so called ‘Political Leaders’. They are serving us. Or should be serving us. Not the other way around. Not us servicing their bank balances.

The situation at hospitals in Karachi after the recent heat wave. The complete disdain of the provincial government and the Chief Minister. The utter shame in the manner in which corpses were piled up due to lack of facilities. The fact that it took one Jibran Nasir to say it out loud and follow it up with some action at the JPMC Hospital. I have found Jibran Nasir in the last year or so especially to stand up and speak for what is right. To not shy away. To do what the nation as a whole should be doing. Speaking out. Raising their voices and playing their part. He got JPMC 18 air conditioner units to battle the heat wave and to bring comfort to the patients admitted in the hospital for varying ailments. He is perhaps one of the few that I mentioned earlier. 


But how has the nation been affected by all of this as a whole? By all of the above. By the systematic decline of things, the systematic rot setting in. Not really. We grieve, complain, condemn, raise volumes (not voices really), contribute perhaps for a couple of days. The problem stays, there is no constructive resolution. It just goes in the background and life goes on. Continues to go on. And we keep going to our drawing rooms and intellectually say that the Chief and the boys are truly the ones running this place. The civilian leadership is corrupt. That they are incapable. And that we hope that General Raheel is the savior we have all been dreaming and waiting for. There is no concerted effort to look at the general public DNA and how to fix that. How to fix our approach. To fix our own inconsistent standards of ethics, civic sense and morality. Jesse qoum wesse hukumran.



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