Ethnic harmony

It is truly disheartening that even after 70 years of independence we couldn’t emerge as a single integrated nation owing to inter-ethnic rift and mistrust. This had already cost half of Pakistan in 1971. Nonetheless, the situation remains the same. Often, such incidents occur that thwart ethnic harmony in the country, Dow University incident is just a new entry in this regard. Allegedly, a lady doctor was issued a show-cause notice for speaking Sindhi with a patient within the premises of the hospital. That has caused much uproar on social media which in turn rose feelings of resentment and alienation in two major communities: Sindhi and Urdu speaking. Another tragedy is isolated incidents are generalized and linked with whole community. Hence, community is held responsible for an individual’s act. It is more worrisome when such cases are politically exploited by certain nationalist quarters. In this post-truth world, rhetoric runs over fact and logic. Thus, even without proper understanding of the matter, people want to make example of a person belonging another ethnicity. It is what is being done to the two communities who have lately come closer. But this stirs intolerance and bad air between them.
First, it is highly irresponsible and unwanted act on the part of doctor who restricted his fellow doctor from talking in her mother language. Second, blowing the act out of box is equally unwanted. If history is any guide, it is a testimony to the fact that narrow rhetoric and ultra-nationalism have only wracked havoc. Instead of uniting people it divides them, and makes them more cynical.
There is only need of realisation of a simple fact that both communities are here to live forever. There is no way around it. So, the sooner these people accept each other and learn living in diversity the better it would be. Urban areas of Sindh have lately witnessed peace and ethnic harmony after decades of mayhem done in the name of preserving ethnicities; therefore, burgeoning feelings of nationalism and goodwill ought not to be sacrificed over narrow perspective of nationalism. Hopefully, sense will prevail.
KASHIF HAKRO
Karachi

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