Misplaced priorities are the perfect words that can describe Pakistan, whether it be our economic priorities, our political culture, our political affiliations, or what is acceptable to us. We are just dying to look through the rubble to find that one piece of rock that is going to validate what we think is right. We choose to forgo and ignore the actions of those who we believe should hold more power in shaping who we are as a country. We are a nation of tall words and no substance, when someone walks in, all about empowering the People, safeguarding our rights, our religion, we follow them blindly.
How can a single human, be so pretentious that he makes promises to revive the whole country of 225.2 million and then falls short. Then, has the audacity to come back and make more tall promises, because he suffered the injustices of the system, needs people to listen to him because him suffering injustices is somehow the people’s problem and people still walk behind him on promises of seeing “the real face” of the country. While the people that oppose him stand in line, laying down threats and criticisms he and his followers also continue to lay it on thick and the whole country becomes an arena of smack talk, with the people scrambling to one side or the other. We are the country! We all know who’s running who, we live here, we are just confused in the face of all those misplaced priorities. Inflation is getting worse, with our currency devaluing, our dollars drying up and debt at an all-time high with government policies not exactly helping. The State Bank announced interest rate hikes to balance the exchange rate, to slow down the economy of Pakistan, but that’s not going to stabilize the inflation rate as the production cost will increase because of this cost push interest rate hike and increase prices of goods.
Let’s not leave the curse words out, let’s not leave “humanity” out from being a victim to the misplaced priorities of our people, our nation, with our “leaders”. Where is the power to the people, when we are hurting ourselves, by supporting instability in an already instable environment? The government has to block roads to limit people’s mobility, and all the while masses are flooding, further trapping people inside their homes, is that what empowerment is all about? When children can’t go to their schools and have to learn about people gathering on the roads, hindering their parents living, their learning, do they then learn about empowerment? The common people are already troubled by the increasing prices on commodities, the prices of petrol continue to hike, and stoves are cold at dinner time, but at least they are empowered enough to follow the “one true leader”, who changes every few years like a fused-out lightbulb.
If gender discrimination or God forbid an abusive word is added to the conversation it is a bigger slap than any curse words. The gatherings on the roads after a tragic accident, rallying men of the big bad obstacles that hindered them from crossing the road to become something more, is definitely our priority. Rather than demanding justice for women making a living, crushed under the weight of the humongous containers on roads, everyone is quick to point fingers towards everyone but themselves. It was the government, it was the crowd, it was the pressure on a woman to compete with her fellow male colleagues, it was bad working conditions etc. The question is, why was a woman only crushed under a container, when there was a crowd of people, security personnel, and her fellow male colleagues? Another misplacement of our priorities is the idea that the empowerment of the people stems from monetary compensations and the delaying of big plans in the face of the need of justice. It is certainly not a tragedy that demands tears; it’s an injustice that demands fairness.
It’s how we sweep injustices and our real troubles under the carpet to accommodate people who want the limelight to shine on them for eternity. This is why, what we choose to ignore and where we misplace our priorities, define who we are as a people.
(Bachelors from IR Department of FJWU)