AND whereas it is incumbent upon all and sundry
in this hour of heavenly warning to introspect
dispassionately as individuals, groups, political parties and between nations over our conduct and dealings among ourselves and seek His forgiveness for our excesses upon each other, one had thought that perhaps a new World Order was in the making this time for a change not man made but caused by the Creator. Looking at the positive side of the Corona malady, a measure of self-discipline has been adopted perforce among the humanity, which had largely gone astray; forcing a sea change in man’s outlook to its very fragile being.
Pakistani leadership which had been weary of corruption from top to bottom in its social system, had been endeavouring to reduce personal contact in public dealings which were prone to exploitation such as revenue record, personal registration and other manual transactions with little success. And it was not until the Corona scare forced it into measures leading to automation in several sectors already, increasing efficiency and transparency. Much of its environmental hazards appear to be in control with most of its smoke emitting ill-maintained vehicles off the roads, conscious efforts at personal hygiene, and considerably abandoning filth-spilling habits; indicated by the flush greenery of the rain-bathed hills, with smog in the plains somehow disappearing.
Moral ascendancy of nature appears to be in force with the world chastened to observe washing of the hands and face, which is inherent in the ‘Wuzu’; a ritual requiring washing of hands, face, ears, forearms and feet, five times a day for prayers among those following the Islamic faith. Social distancing is being advocated today across the globe and promiscuousness abating as a result, where smooching and embracing, inhaling freely into each other; much less debauchery, and commercializing of the female body in the name of women’s rights qualified by slogans such as ‘my body my choice’ which were becoming the norm. The mask has been made a compulsion even though out of fear of the invisible virus, whereas in most of the West, the veil or the scarf covering the face among practising Muslims to keep out of harm’s way of the evil eye had been declared forbidden and seen as a cover for terrorist identity, as if the mask was not likely to provide the same today; ridiculous, was it not!
But the human lot still appears to be failing to grasp the opportunity by getting rid of its false values and pretensions; particularly the self-professed greatest Democracies; namely the United States reliving its inherent hatred of coloured races amid the Corona curse, in the manner a black man was gasped to death by a white law enforcer, triggering outbreak of violence throughout the US in protest, and the Indian secular myth exploding in its face with the worst racial discrimination in contemporary history in the footsteps of Israeli atrocities in Palestine, against the majority Muslim population in its occupied territory of Kashmir, reminiscent of Nazi Germany; revealing the true face of the evil triangle to the world.
One had hoped with the demise of the moribund League of Nations, that the United Nations would serve as a genuine broker of peace and stability across the globe which unfortunately got hijacked by a few powerful nations from whose clutches it must be released if it has to function as a true representative of all nations big or small as equals; time for everyone to contribute towards the creation of a genuine new world order believing in co-existence and cooperation for peace not war, nor expansionism or hegemony.
In Pakistan, whereas it was time for the charitable to earn God’s blessings by chipping in incognito for the wellbeing of the suffering and the deprived, one sees donors gleefully making sure that they were publicly noticed while the recipient leadership at the highest level is seen indulging in photo sessions posing for the camera, including those deployed as a matter of duty to distribute rations and essentials. This ostentation puts to dust all such charity, because Hadees-e-Nabvi quoting last of the Messengers (SAW) says that charity should be so given by the right hand that the left wouldn’t know; much less those receiving such donations.
The real change in our outlook to life and to the affairs of the State will come about when the Pakistani political leadership stops seeking publicity at State expense through Government-financed ads with their photo insets, making claims of accomplishments seldom seen on ground. We marvel at naming national monuments, airports and projects etc after self-chosen political persons out of Government funds when in power, and their opponents in turn tearing down such self-adulation i.e. Benazir International Airport or Income Support Program being re-named as PTI’s Ehsaas Program; as if funded out of their personal pockets or Party resources. This practice, unheard of anywhere else in the world, must cease forthwith because the right to name monuments and places after men and women of consequence recognizing their contributions, only belongs to history.
Instead of wasting their breath on trivial matters, energies of the entire nation ought to have been concentrated on finding a medicinal remedy for the omnipotent Corona virus. But one is astonished that while a video from a Britain-based Pakistani one Dr. Aziz went viral suggesting a one-time administration of ‘Sana Makhkhi’ leaf boiled, filtered and mixed with a spoon of honey; to be taken by Covid-positive patients, and guaranteeing elimination of the virus within 12 hours, the Government has not paid any heed to it so far; particularly when according to the Holy Quran there is not an ailment on earth for which Nature has not provided remedy and cure. Even if claim by the Doctor was not authentic, the harmless herb was certainly worth trying; or else why should this video be promptly deleted the moment it appears on the net in one form or the other!
—The writer is a media professional, member of Pioneering team of PTV and a veteran ex Director Programmes.