Thursday, November 02, 2006

You need Halloween in Pakistan!?

Sometimes, I get plain angry. Reading a blog about celebrating Halloween in Lahore a few moments ago, it was one of those times.

Here's my response on the thread:

What a complete waste, and completely beyond the point too.


It is appalling how on the one hand, the economic and social situation is worsening in Pakistan and a society still deficient in primary and secondary production is being pushed to consumerism/media and on the other hand, the privileged of the society are maddening at an increasing speed.

There are serious economic implications in that a good part of our GNP will now represent pointless, wasteful economic activity. Which is becoming the basis of government's falsified statistics, leading to conclusions such as: poverty is decreasing.

Ever heard of the butter/gun argument in economics? You can fill the economy with guns and balloons, and it will still register a healthy GNP. But does that feed stomachs?

More nonsense in the name of: "It will create jobs/ People need fun." People need to accept the reality of the country that is Pakistan, and the privileged (i.e. those with access to EDUCATION, health, money, time) must realize they are not earning more and more to brun more and more, but to give back more and more. In the shape of schools. Hospitals. Meaningful businesses.

One used to get surprised at the ignorance and callousness of Nero and Marie Antoinette who frolicked in dire times. Now one realizes we are always living in times where on the one hand people are dying, and on the other hand, people can't have enough silly fun!

I don't have a personal problem with any festivals, and I believe we genuinely need to create more avenues of creative, positive, constructive fun for the children and the young. In fact, that's been my battle #1 for a long time. But actions are judged by intention. The import of all sorts of festivals in Pakistan is more to do with a mentality that fails to contribute to the development of the country, and instead diverts resources elsewhere.

In other countries, where we import these cultural festivals from, they at least do their work before they start dancing. In Pakistan, we have a different case. There is utter poverty and hopelessness right outside and even within the urban centers. I am sitting in Karachi, a city that is fast decaying and marred by terrible planning. Where are the brains that are needed to dream and construct and build? They are busy with utter nonsense - with image and status and what-nots. Many of our young have the emotional and intelligence quotient of a misguided child. The only time most show a spark of purpose is when they are speaking of flying out of the country.

There is yet another group of young, who are running on the fuel called media. The concept of "life," to them, is "the happening scene." This is one group that I most often encounter... and bless their souls! but I don't see how are they any more productive or useful or conscious as citizen than many of the villagers I have met. The villagers, instead, tend to be better at times.

This society is delusional!


  1. couldnt agree with you more, especillay about the media fuelled individuals - I often wonder what it would take for the socialy aloof to snap back to reality.

  2. So very true, prophecy, I dont understand with brutal realities standing in front of us ... I wonder why a certain class in Pakistan is still after adopting and promoting western cultures whether it be media or whatever ... !

    BTW nice blog!

  3. Its only the people with 'haraam ki kamai'who are fuelling this consumer behavior in Pakistan.

    Offcourse the media is equally involved -- thats corporate whore behavior to put it succintly.

  4. our commander in cheif calls it 'enlightened moderation'. promoting the softer side of Pakistan.

    nice blog. good read. keep it up!