Friday June 21, 2024

Developing the spirit of self-reliance

By Zafar Alam Sarwar
May 26, 2019

One can recall the time when college boys and university students used to ask their teachers: “Sir, are we an independent and self-reliant nation? Are we still on our knees?”

Such questions persist in people’s minds today.

Many senior citizens who believe in faith, unity and discipline, in a way emphasise on the Independence Day that they are in fact neither free nor independent. “We’re economically dependent on others, politically unprincipled and socially caught in the cobweb of depravity.”

The poverty-hit common people -- rural and urban -- in the wake of colossal loss of life and property caused by heavy rains and floods, open their eyes to the lure of leaders who reportedly never forsake their luxurious ways of life.

“A piece of bread, or better call it livelihood with dignity and honour, is my basic problem,” says the ordinary man in trouble. “How I should celebrate the Independence Day cheerfully when I have no shelter and ‘roti’ price goes up in violation of government policy.”

The fact again is: sudden surge in prices of food items such as pulse, rice, sugar, garlic, ginger, tomato, potato and lemon -- and that too on the eve of the holy month of Ramazan -- adds to worries of lower people who fight for democracy. By the way, leaders just back them up.

One wonders why the words like ‘corruption’ and ‘accountability’ pinch some politicians who come into power every now and then.

Undoubtedly, circumstances turn adverse in the wake of the natural calamity. Rainstorms and floods eventually cause food shortage. A businessman or an industrialist may not pick a consumer’s pocket, but he may overcharge as much as he likes.

In the past, control for the businessman only meant an opportunity to create scarcity and resort to black-marketing to his heart’s content. As a result, the consumer in utter helplessness would say: “It’s better to have things without control than to have control without things”.

The time is long past when we could depend upon the personal righteousness of traders, producers and politicians. Then, what is the need of the hour? That’s to achieve peaceful co-existence and survive honourably.

The Independence Day demands of us, irrespective of caste, creed and colour, to get united with people engaged in the country’s defence, work together to develop the motherland into a people’s welfare state on the basis of self-reliance in the light of teachings of Islam.

By the way, Islam does not approve of provincialism, ethnicity and sectarianism. --