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Sensing The Disconnect

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I have travelled across my country with the goal of discovering it and myself on the way. As years pass by, the realization and the apprehension gets cemented unfortunately. The divide that I witness between the classes seems to have increased each time. The gap widens perpetually.

I question the existence of this difference. Study of national history provides answers to many questions as I believe this ‘rift’ is embedded in political evolution. But is that enough? It is through interaction with people belonging to different groups and class structures as I travel that I seek answers.

The difference persists not because ‘they’ are weak but because ‘we’ do not want them to rise. The ‘power’ we hold, that we define our identity with, becomes baseless otherwise. Therefore, it is clearly not the responsibility that power brings but ‘power’ in itself that drives us to this behavior.

It is the policy makers and the ‘leaders’ then to be held responsible, right? Let’s play the blame game yet again and move on. It’s simple. But we need to change if we are to survive and become great.

As I come across common people on the road as I drive pass by them in my air-conditioned car, meet special people at the institute my grandfather was affiliated with closely or those students I interact with in my class, I strongly sense a disconnect with ‘them’. We do not know them and believe in fallacies that have been fed to us by certain ‘powerful’ groups and reiterated by social agents. They do not want their girls to be educated, can only think about earning bread, and their principles can easily be bought for a price (often a small price) – full stop! It is in fact ‘our’ indifference, incapacity to empathize and courage to act that widens this gap. Assuming that they do not want their girls to be educated, go to their community, sit with them, understand their rationale and then convince them! Hasn’t your education given you enough strength and clarity to convince a person who you are supposedly academically ‘superior’ to?

This is what we need to do if we are to succeed – CONNECT with them. They do not carry branded accessories and neither are their homes comfortable nor do they hold ‘respected’ positions. Do not despise them but look beyond that is apparent to the eye. Look within their heart and accentuate their ability to dream. Reassure them that you care and belong to the same ‘group’, Pakistan.

Their requirement is not just two meals daily. Each of them deserves a chance to fight the ‘basic needs’ and advance to the next level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. We need to break the notion that they are not capable of doing it and quit creating barriers that though support the notion yet makes them believe that we share their grief. They do not want sasti roti but in fact belief that they can earn a higher standard of living. Can we do that or is the country asking for too much?  

It is time to move our hand towards them so they can grasp it. Let the journey towards ‘good’ be covered together so that greatness be achieved.