Living in an Indifferent Soceity

Posted on January 16, 2007
Filed Under >Darwaish, Economy & Development, Society
18 Comments
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By Darwaish

If you are living in Lahore, Karachi or any big city of Pakistan, you must have seen the beggar children with a broken arm or amputated legs or a bleeding organ at every traffic Pakistan Povertysignal. During last 3-4 years, the number of such children and adults in every big city has increased alarmingly. They knock at the car windows and people generally give them money immediately just to avoid looking at them because they are in such a bad shape.

I have seen people just lying on a side of roads with both their legs and arms amputated and somehow they drag themselves around and we, the people from passing by cars, throw some coins at them. There are variety of cases, from severe burns to bleeding organs. I have even seen one young guy near Barkat Market, Lahore (near that famous fresh juice shop) with part of his skull fractured and I could actually see some part of his brain.

Sadly, everybody knows that organized gangs are behind these horrific crimes who have successfully established this highly profitable business. Yet we are least bothered about it. The level of indifference that exists in our society today which allows us to ignore this extreme height of human misery, to me, is the most striking aspect. The ease with which we have accepted this as a part of something ‘usual’ is equally shocking. This should have been considered crime against humanity; but it is now seen as ‘sad but routine.’

I have personally seen children of age 7-8 years and young men who were perfectly alright and then suddenly after a few weeks I saw them at traffic signals with their legs and arms amputated. It breaks my heart to see all this happening in front of our eyes and we are unable to prevent it. Last week, I decided to take photographs of such beggars around the Kalima Chowk area so that I could post them on ATP or elsewhere, hoping that someone would see them and decide to do atleast something about this issue. So I picked out one of the beggars and just when I was about to click, he looked at me and there was so much pain and suffering in his eyes that I couldn’t click the camera button. I felt like I was making fun of him and treating him like a caged animal which we show our kids in a zoo.

When I was a kid, I was taught never to give out money to beggars because they are professionals and blah blah. As I grew up and developed some sense of economics, I realized that until our society keeps on failing to fulfill its responsibility towards its less fortunate members, by not giving them money we only add to their suffering and make life more miserable for them. I once read somewhere that throughout history it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered the most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph. Today’s Pakistan represents people in all three categories.

If over a million people in a country like Lebanon can peacefully demonstrate for their rights, why can’t we here in Pakistan? But sometimes when we try to do, we are treated like the young man in the Adil Bhai’s earlier post.

I wonder, therefore, are we really living in a dead society?

18 responses to “Living in an Indifferent Soceity”

  1. Zainab says:

    Very important issue you have highlighted here. Begging has become almost like an industry now with huge profits for people involved. I pass through Kalima Chowk in Lahore everyday and there are beggars, which you mention in your article, everywhere. How can we allow this to happen and do nothing? We must do something to put pressure on government to arrest these gangs.

  2. NH says:

    According to The Nation Khalid Khawaja, the chief coordinator Human Rights Defence, has been arrested by police. He is accused of posing threat to law and order situation. His crime is raising voice for the families of missing persons in Pakistan.

    “A local court on Saturday granted three-day physical remand of detained former intelligence officer and Chief Coordinator, Defence of Human Rights, Khalid Khawaja.
    Aabpara Police produced Khalid Khawaja before Magistrate Irfan Sheikh amid tight security and stated that the accused had been held for spreading sectarian hatred, posing threat to law and order situation.
    Allowing the three-day physical remand of the accused the court asked investigators to produce him again before the court on February 3.
    Khalid Khawaja’s production before the court also brought to an end the mystery of his disappearance on Friday early morning from outside his G-10/2 residence. The former intelligence officer came to limelight when he took up the case of missing persons and along with their families staged protests outside the Parliament House and Supreme Court.
    The elderly mother and other family members of Khawaja were also present when he was presented before the court.
    Talking to reporters outside the court, Khawaja said he was not deterred by the arrest and would continue to support the cause of humanity. Khawaja said he was innocent and arrested under the pressure of United States of America (USA).
    The FIR against Khalid Khawaja has been registered under sections 188 and 295 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).”

    This country has no justice.

  3. Ahsan Bhatti says:

    There was a breaking news on Aaj tv about the person (Khalid Khwaja I think) who is leading the protest to force government to provide the whereabouts of 443 missing people in Pakistan. As everybody knows, the families of missing persons have long been accusing govt/military of selling them to United States and Afghanistan and Mr Khwaja have been very instumental in raising voice for them. He himself has been picked up by some agency few days ago when he left home for Fajr prayers and has not returned since. Nobody knows where he is and unfortunately he is now the 444th person in that missing persons list.

    Last time when the families of missing persons were protesting, a young man was stripped half naked by police and the picture was published in Dawn and there was a story here too. And now, the lead coordinator has been kidnapped by agencies.

    This is how we treat our citizens when they ask for their legitimate rights. Anybody still wanna protest?

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