Monday December 06, 2021

People are talking about —

July 18, 2021

-- the grandiose new provincial assembly building in Lahore and how some of the materials used in its beautification have been imported from other countries. People say Pakistan has beautiful indigenous materials and enough to be exported, so why were some of these items imported, raising the cost to Rs5 billion, something the country can hardly afford because of the debts that have to be repaid -- besides which a national building needs to reflect our own heritage.

-- how online fraud has become the order of the day for many businesses which cheat customers by putting up false pictures of goods and then delivering sub-standard items. People say fraud and corruption are eating away the very vitals of our country and these days online ‘markets’ have no qualms or feelings of guilt in even selling sacrificial animals that do not meet the requirements of those who buy them, so they should be blocked from doing business online.

-- the fervour over the tax on saving schemes and how small investors and pensioners are hard hit by this new policy of the government. People say there should be a mechanism to ‘sort out the wheat from the chaff,’ as they say, and only those avaricious persons who put in large amounts of money to earn profit offered by these schemes should be taxed since they would rather invest in them than in schemes which offer a lower rate of return.

-- the fascination with ‘fair and lovely’ that rules the thinking of many humans and how it is so prevalent in our own society. People say a recent fashion shoot drew disparaging remarks that the models looked like ‘maids,’ (maids can’t be fair?) knowing that these days ‘brown is beautiful and dark is divine and all complexions are equally stunning’ is the rallying cry around the world celebrating and encouraging girls to embrace their dark skin by challenging colour-based beauty standards.

-- the pathetic state of our washrooms, not only in public places but in so called posh buildings as well. People say it is disappointing that management pays little attention to the basic but critical elements of cleanliness, hygiene and sanitation that need to be present in a washroom, especially in hospitals and other places like schools and colleges etc: which are used by scores of visitors every day but usually their condition is beyond disgusting, to say the least.

-- the excerpts of a talk show which has triggered a debate online because members of the show talked about women in sports and a male cricketer casually made sexist remarks over female cricketers ‘manly’ appearance and future in the sport. People say while all these members from different backgrounds had no business making fun of the professional female player, the host should have stopped them in their tracks as he is unprofessional and his show should be boycotted.

-- how Eidul Azha appears to have become an unfair and unhealthy competition between the citizens, having a bad impact on society where young ones, while following their elders, are only learning how to compete with others in pomp and show, with the tendency to buy more and more expensive animals to ‘show up’ their neighbours. People say the fact that TV and social media also talk about the price of prize animals and who bought them is quite shameful. -- I.H.