Split Images, Split Realities: We Deserve Better

Posted on May 2, 2010
Filed Under >Farid Ahmad, Society
28 Comments
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Farid Ahmad

I look out the window at the beautiful mountains, the clear blue sky, and the wonderful winter sunshine. I see cars driving along the road – from the luxury four-wheelers, to the economy small cars. Busy people. Peaceful people. People going about their daily lives. People working hard on their jobs to feed their families, to fulfill their ambitions, to make something of their lives, to raise their children, to love and to live.

Then I hear the news of some terrible incident somewhere close by. The contrast between what I see all around and what I see in these isolated incidents is jarring.

And I think to myself, we’re peaceful, friendly peoplewe deserve better.

I walk out of a meeting and reflect on the people I have just been talking to. Intelligent, smart people. People with a sense of purpose, a sense of direction, with ideas, with the will to find new solutions, to overcome every obstacle and succeed. Articulate, intellectual people who fill you with confidence and hope.

Then I switch on the television and see a public figure harping on the same rhetoric he’s been spewing for years. He has no ideas for the future, he has no inspiration for his countrymen, he offers little hope and little sense of direction. The contrast between the people I meet everyday, and the people on television is jarring.

And I think to myself, we’re an intelligent peoplewe deserve better.

I finish reading a book on our history, our traditions. I think about the glorious selfless individuals who once led us, about the people who were kind, who had honor, who had values, who put their principles before themselves.

And then I think of our current crop of people in authority and the contrast is jarring.

And I think to myself, we are a people with a proud history, with a glorious traditionwe deserve better.

I drive along the M2, taking in the wide lanes, the lovely countryside, the clean, efficient service areas. As I stray above the speed limit I get pulled over by a traffic sergeant. He is polite but firm, courteous but confident. He doesn’t even hint for a bribe, simply writes me a ticket and advises me to drive more carefully for my own safety.

Then I reach the city and get mired in traffic again, the road is crowded, the lanes are narrow, and patience is running low. The contrast between where we are and where we can go is jarring.

And I think to myself, we are capable of so much morewe deserve better.

I visit the market and stopover at the video shop. I browse through DVDs of the latest hollywood blockbusters, and a dazzling choice of music from around the world. I head over to the bookshop next and spend a pleasant hour leafing through literature on every topic under the sun and from around the world. The place is buzzing with people, moderate, intelligent people with an interest in the world around them and a hunger for the creative outlets.

Then I turn on a foreign news channel and see a couple of guys discussing Pakistan as if it were some prehistoric backwater filled with people disconnected from modern life. The contrast between how we live and how people see us is jarring.

And I think to myselfwe deserve better, we deserve so much better.

I have no answers.

I don’t know how to bridge the contrast between the reality of a great country, with proud people and glorious traditions; the equally jarring reality of a greedy, spineless set of people holding them back; and a suspicious world that is bent upon painting 170 million people with a single, morbid brush .

But I know this: change will come, change is inevitable. We have too much potential to go down as history’s footnote! We deserve better!

Farid Ahmad blogs at ‘How Many Roads Must a Man Walk Down.’

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28 responses to “Split Images, Split Realities: We Deserve Better”

  1. -Farid says:

    Actually, I was thinking of Jinnah and Iqbal when I wrote this…

  2. nh says:

    … think about the glorious selfless individuals who once led us, …”

    WHO?
    Ayub Khan? Ghulaam Mohammed? Yahya Khan?
    Anyone remember East Pakistan……….??
    Wonderful memories indeed!

  3. razia says:

    i request the readers of this blog to watch/listen to alternate sources of news. there are several on-line: air america, free speech tv, link tv, real news. main stream media including new york times are not fair or unbiased.

    democracy now video/audio stream if not available locally on tv or radio can be watched on line. it’s one hr summary of previous days news and events. it is the most reliable and unbiased source that you won’t find any other place. http://www.democracynow.org/

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