By Sardar Khan Niazi
Reports about profiteers who do not bat an eyelid when they want to increase prices are making rounds on social media. They have raised the prices of daily-use commodities like vegetable onions, tomatoes, garlic, and ginger which are now well on the way to touching the skies.
An effective crackdown against such black sheep is essential. After all, protecting the common person against the unrelenting greed of traders is a piece and parcel of the government’s job description.
Regrettably, Pakistan has created a standard when it comes to the benefits-inflicted attitude of VIP people, yes, people who are very important like businesspersons, traders, and politicians.
We have seen these people and the kids of these very important people; use the privileges of such a culture that does nothing but ease out their life by treating them differently. Never mind if their super smooth convenience is possible only by inconveniencing the public.
As long as they enjoy benefits, why bother with the inconvenience of the imbecile population, who do not even deserve to breathe the same air as they do? We have heard many instances wherein public figures have disrupted the humdrum of a normal civilian to suit their needs.
Are the leaders up for blame or does the blame lie with us people who are fanatic about any leader and will not mind disrupting many individuals for the process? Can we actually blame the person who gets to enjoy such benefits? After all, all humans are greedy whether they are good or not.
Perhaps, we are poorly parented people prone to disruptive behavior and indifference. We overuse everything; in spite of learning some manners, good civic behavior, and basic discipline, we have grown up to take ourselves as kings or queens or to serve them.
It took unparalleled downpours to make the political class realize that enough is enough. Millions of people impacted by the never-before-witnessed scale of a climate disaster were too much for even the notorious heart-of-stone of those whose inconsequential quarreling remained the order of the day.
One cannot help but marvel where was this devotion to help the masses for the last two-and-a-half months when millions upon millions of unfortunate Pakistanis faced the deadly waves and lost all their belongings. The same is the case for all leaders, whose tears at the heart-wrenching sight of flood-affected people leave an impression of a kind heart, but nothing more.
Regardless of what the party leaders may like to assert, one cannot blame the forces of nature alone for the rain afflictions. Those at the helm of the affairs need to answer some hard-hitting questions about why they waited until the continuous rains worsened the situation despite getting information about the upcoming catastrophe well in advance.
The meetings with the suffering people show the leaders have failed to convince their voters with relief measures that many dismiss just as a cosmetic move. Nothing can succeed until the long-standing unpleasant speechmaking takes the back seat for a change and all of us move ahead as one. The politicians who have enjoyed their deep slumber until now, having been jolted out of complacency are showing some patriotism now.
Undeniably, the philanthropic spirit of the Pakistani nation is unquestionable. The kind of generous acts and philanthropic deeds that one gets to witness in every tragedy; free food served for the underprivileged, money given to charitable organizations, etc. is amazing. This whole exercise becomes wonderfully noticeable at the time of disaster.
Interestingly, philanthropy is associated with the affluent classes. What is remarkable about Pakistan is that people belonging to the middle and lower middle-class segments of society, too, are stepping forward to look after those who suffer.