Militants and extremists are of two kinds. Those who don turbans and brandish Kalashnikovs and those often termed as the elite, the powerful and the influential who flaunt English language and their smart phones as weapons of mass influence, connections and class.
Members of this classist breed, whose numbers now run in thousands, would most obsequiously submit to the lowest official in a foreign country, but find it absolutely insulting to follow the laws, stand in a queue, follow an office procedure or stop when asked to do so by a plain police constable in their own country. Faced with such a situation, they would promptly pull out their weapons – English language, smart phones, connections, and a few pet jargons such as ‘what about my fundamental rights’ or ‘who is your boss’.
A society cannot be at peace with itself if the ‘rights’ are meant only for the privileged and the powerful. Why is the Pakistani elite not concerned with the basic rights of more than 70 percent labour, who get less than the minimum legal wages? Why does it have no interest in the human rights of the 25 million out of school children? Why is it not moved by the plight of sweepers who clean their streets for Rs.11100 per month? Why has it not spoken for the 215 children who died of malnutrition in the last 100 days in Mithi? Why is it not supportive or respectful to the ordinary police constables who control traffic or check vehicles on the roads? While it is fine to defend one’s own ‘rights’, can we remain so grossly indifferent and callous towards what is due to others?
10 April 2019