Who will catch the big fish?

Posted by Admin On Thursday, 11 April 2013 0 comments

In Pakistan we believe, not in addressing causes, but getting overwhelmed by effects. Our law makers know they can’t execute well thought out policies effectively, so they just trim the weeds to make them look like grass. Not realizing unless the weed is uprooted it will grow back, and create room for more of its kind. We have seen it in the routine network jams that major cities experience every Eid, any holiday, even some Jummas. Another example is banning of ‘double sawari’, Basant, one wheeling. Most of us have come to terms with this bizarre system of ‘damage control’. 
I have frequently heard people gab on ‘so what if it saves lives?’ Ethically speaking I’d rather be deprived of the luxury to text for a day than have a few dozen dying in a bomb blast. But the issue is not the inconvenience, rather the lazy psyche behind it. It takes almost no effort, and leaves the big fish swimming free, finding loopholes in these second grade solutions our law makers come up with. Such solutions are like allopathic medication, antibiotics, and antidepressants. They should be the last resort because your body becomes immune to the dose, and heavier doses are required to have the same effect. Not to mention they have severe side effects. Essentially they are making your body more and more dependent and continue to take a toll on normal bodily functions.
What people need when depressed or ill is medication for temporary relief, but more importantly a change in lifestyle. Depressed people have started going for therapy, they sit with a psychologist and talk about what’s going wrong. Ill people find out the cause of their illness and adjust their diet, exercise schedules and lifestyles accordingly, rather than taking heavy doses to just dissipate the pain. If we understand the importance of focusing on the health of a system as a whole, instead of finding synthetic replacements, we will improve the quality of our lives. Rather than living vegetables, it is important for us to be able to walk, run, and enjoy our surroundings.
The human body is only a microcosm of human societies. We have a past that we inherit, young populations with energy and a need for positive outlets; we have jobs, families and households. We want to experience our surroundings in the best way possible, not just live on aimlessly. Quality of life matters. Banning ‘basant’, a festival that the rich and poor together celebrated, that brought money into the province from all over the world can only help our economy. It is part of our heritage. Kite flying and making is a skill that is hundreds of years old. The effect of banning basant has not only been economic but also social. Celebrations and festivities keep people happy and have a very positive effect on their attitude towards their surroundings. Why ban the festival altogether? Instead why not allocate open areas (which Lahore has in abundance), and make sure the strings and kites are made according to said safety standards? There are only less than 500 very small setups making these. Is it worth the monetary and social cost?
Similarly one wheeling is considered dangerous not only for people participating but for others on the road. But what causes one wheeling among youngsters? Excessive energy, the need for an adrenaline rush, something channelized sports can also attain. What is Gaddafi stadium doing empty and locked? Why not arrange sports events for these youngsters? It would generate funds and be a healthy outlet for a very natural and understandable need. Does banning diminish what is natural? If anything it only broadens the range of very normal things that have been deemed wrong. Shisha is another such example. Banning has only made it a shady affair, where cafes hush you into dark damp corners and make you pay twice as much for the ‘inconvenience’. The same places are selling cigarettes even if they aren’t daring enough to accommodate former customers. Wouldn’t it be better instead to ask for an ID? Most believe it would be more effective than this pseudo ban.
But the problems are not only social societal, but some more grave than that. Countless operations have been conducted in Karachi over the years. Countless terrorists have been caught, and killed, and yet the security situation is only getting worse. It isn’t normal for Karachites to be outside the house after 7pm. All Karachites I know have been robbed at gunpoint. Staying home with doors locked, and making it back from work and school as early as possible is their best bet to see the morning light the next day. For any outsider such circumstances would be suffocating beyond tolerance. But in Karachi operation after operation is conducted, only to witness escalation in violence and greater strife. This past week an operation was being conducted, the success of which is premised on the number of ‘suspected terrorists’ arrested: more than 50. These terrorists have advanced weapons that a paan shop owner for instance can possibly not afford. So while the rangers are locking up the executors of violence, should they not also be looking for the masterminds behind it?
Shouldn’t the courts demand such evidence on priority basis? Parveen Rehman, a social worker who was gunned down last month, had constantly addressed this and the absence of government in the city. The people actually conducting the violence are part of a bigger strategy. Her answer was land mafia. Some would say drugs mafia, and others ethnic politics. But it’s definitely not caused by no-name-bearded-men out on the kill for some sort of reward in the afterlife: terrorists. It is conducted by them, like tools. We need to burn the poppy leaves, rather than snatch opium from all over the globe. As long as it’s being produced people will still find some. We need to catch the big fish.


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