Living in an Indifferent Soceity

Posted on January 16, 2007
Filed Under >Darwaish, Economy & Development, Society
18 Comments
Total Views: 23899

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. Saqib says:

    @Rehan: Its more of an economic problem rather than law and order situation. If you won’t provide people with basic necessities, they will become beggars, thieves.

    @Ali: The only politics present in Pakistan is power politics and that’s what we discuss.

  2. Ali Choudhury says:

    It’s not really the depoliticisation. Pakistan is a country where politics is endlessly discussed. The poor are so numerous, you quickly become numbed to their presence. The same applied in 1988-99 as it does now.

  3. Rehan says:

    I agree with addressing the economic depravity that creates such a problem. However, I have a hard time getting past the fact that this is a law and order issue as well. What conditions allow such gangs to thrive? I guess when they say business is improving in Pakistan, it is true in more ways than one.

  4. Hana Khan says:

    We all have mixed emotions regarding this ugly issue. In my opinion lets all send this posting to edhi, save the children and other known humanitarian agencies around the world.I feel very embarassed to confess that we as muslims dont really do much to volunteer to make difference in our own community and to improve living conditions for the under privileged people in our own country. Any government in Pakistan to my knowledge hasnt done any thing to solve this ever growing problem and we conveniently blame others for all the miserable things. Also I would like to draw your attention to the fact that people you see in Makkah & Medina with their hands cut are the people who try to steal from pilgrims or pick pockets and then they wind up becoming beggars…lets all wake up and do something…

  5. Imran Ahmad says:

    Very thoughtful post! I also think that de-politicization of Pakistani youth has contributed to increasing indifference and lack of interest in social issues. I am sure our parents took to streets more than we do (if we ever?). They were more vocal about their rights than we are.

    This also reminds me of what Hazrat Umar once said that ‘even a dog dies due to thirst at river faraat, I will be held accountable for that on the Day of Judgement’. I just wonderful if Mushy’s and Shuky’s of Pakistan ever think about it.

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