M Hassan |
You want something, you need to stand up for it
One of the earliest ads of Zong went along the lines of, “…stop giving bribes, bribery will end; stop interceding (sifarish), intercession will end…” That was one of my favourite ads, and I cannot find it anywhere on the internet, as I would like to share that with people and use that as a reminder to myself, for that message is still very relevant. I think the message, in the ad, echoes the Quranic verse, “Allah does not change the conditions of people until they change what is in themselves.”
Likewise, Allama Iqbal spent his life explaining the concept of “Khudi” in his poetry, a term that translates to “self-worth.”
And although this was not the first time I, along with other similar weak and vulnerable people, was subjected to the on-road VIP Protocol, for some reason, however, I felt it, this time, more than before. The only thing I see that has changed is my exposure to the people abroad, who go extra miles to protect their rights. May be because they do not believe in God (hence Karma) Who would eventually right the wrong or they believe in God but understand the significance of a simultaneous struggle to receive His help, or maybe they had not given in to the idea that this world is in a chaos and only a Messiah can save us now. Nevertheless, knowing these people has, I think, taught me my self-worth. Rumi RA says, “you are not a drop in an ocean, you are an entire ocean in a drop.” Likewise, Allama Iqbal spent his life explaining the concept of “Khudi” in his poetry, a term that translates to “self-worth.”
Before you get any ideas, I do not mind waiting in the line nor do I intend to use such protocol to my advantage, if I ever got one.
They are as you see them
And if you do not understand your own value, you should at least understand the power of those who claim or appear influential. Are they really this powerful if we stand up to them? Quoting V from V for Vendetta, “people shouldn’t be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people.” It is true, is it not, they are powerful only if you do not stand up to them. Recently in the month of Ramzan, I went to a restaurant, with my cousins, for one of these Iftar-Dinner deals. There was a huge queue in the waiting list. I said to my cousin, “if we were a VIP, we could have just got off of our fancy number-plate car, two or three guards sitting at the back, and walked right in, right in the face of all the people waiting to get in, and no one would have raised any voice.” Before you get any ideas, I do not mind waiting in the line nor do I intend to use such protocol to my advantage, if I ever got one.
That show was hilarious and unfortunately disheartening because it was bitterly true. Will we ever realize as to how much we have been wronged? Please stand up, if you want things to change.
Arjumand’s a Hero
Hats off to Arjumand Hussain, who showed us how it is done and that in fact it can be done. His courage led to two of our MNAs being thrown out of the plane. I think it is time we start standing up to these injustices. It is not fair to think that someone else will protect your rights for you. We need to do this and do this together. We have seen the impact of our unity time and time again, most recently in the decision to not purchase fruits during Ramzan; that did pay-off you know, fruit vendors had to lower the price. Next time you see a road blocked for a VIP movement, stand in front of his/her car, stop him/her and tell them that you will pass through this road like a normal citizen, like everyone. If you see a VIP traveling on a road rashly with their protocol, honking inconsiderately as if they own the road and us, do not let them go past you, and if you get a chance to talk to them, tell them that they are not any more important than any other citizen, and they need to go like anyone else.
I am going to conclude this rant by quoting what Late Moin Akhtar said, while acting as a Corrupt Politician, and blatantly confessing to taking excessive bribes in his line of work, in a famous comedy show Loose Talk, Anwar Maqsood reminded him that he will be stripped of all this illegal money if someday the Awam woke up, this is what Moin Akhtar said, “I have testate all this money be returned to the people, should and when they wake up, because I know they will never wake up.” That show was hilarious and unfortunately disheartening because it was bitterly true. Will we ever realize as to how much we have been wronged? Please stand up, if you want things to change.
Muhammad Hassan is an undergraduate law student at the University of York, UK. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the author.