Split Images, Split Realities: We Deserve Better

Posted on May 2, 2010
Filed Under >Farid Ahmad, Society
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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.’

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

  1. Adnan Siddiqi says:

    @aamir: awww little aamir, hate? I don’t even consider you worthy enough to be hated. Infacting hating someone is the most destructive process for a human. Your hate/grudges are actually helping me since you yourself is acting up like a “suicide bomber” for yourself. Keep hating!!!

    Some one said quite true:

    All men kill the thing they hate, too, unless, of course, it kills them first-James Thurber

  2. Salman says:


    there is huge difference between some policemen abusing their power …

    and a whole “movement” of extremely religious ‘students’ bent upon making wholesale sacrifices of common people in order to please their god..

    we don’t see policemen all over Pakistan in a defiant “movement” vowing to abuse their power and chanting slogans praising God while doing that..

    so lets keep things in perspective..

  3. Aamir Ali says:

    @Adnan Siddiqi

    Noone has filled my pockets, only anger and condemnation has filled my heart at terrorists like that New York bomber Faisal Shahzad and the supporter of terrorists like you.

  4. Musalman says:

    Adnan is right. The only certificate he needs is from the Taliban, and that he has. Note, everytime Muslims are killed by the Taliban he will appear to defend the killing of Muslims. He certainly needs no certificate from anyone.

  5. Adnan Siddiqi says:

    @Faraz: Frankly I don;t need your certificate for whatever I say. Offcourse Adil et All only “promotes” those rants which always keep them in good book of USA. I have been reader of this blog since beginning and I exactly know what kind of content is promoted here which is usually biased and one-sided.

    How come this is off-topic? The author is not even trying to figure out the issues in Pakistan, the lady in video who was beaten up by police could be your family member too, I guess at that time you were not going to make same lame remarks which you just made. Even the CJ has taken the notice of such incident

    @Dear Aamir Ali: And Obama has filled up your pockets again to come on the forum and defend him on his behalf?

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