A Very Unhealthy Social Contract

I like to talk about some of the important things and issues that the urban bourgeois of Pakistan faces. Something that I haven’t consciously realized until recently. Issues particularly of the male variety, of course some of you may call that a bit chauvinistic but being a guy and proud to be one, it’s just natural that my opinions are sometimes a bit gender subjective. But that is natural and to be expected… any way we stray from the topic..

But what is the topic you may ask? I wanted to write about a few things that have been bothering me lately and I hope that by the end of this post we will have a suitable topic to categorize this entry.

So, continuing from the start. The urban bourgeois, yes this particular class of the Pakistani society is something that people generally do not talk about. Every time somebody mentions the word Pakistan we think about two categories of people:

 The Downtrodden Poor Masses

When we talk about terrorism, death, destruction, mayhem, famine, hunger, child labor, protest, rise is oil prices, no electricity, public lynching, suffering, acid victims, Pakistani awam (Paki citizens) etc. it is usually this category of people we are talking about.

These are also the people whose opinion is most reflected by the Western and local media on issues concerning Pakistan.

The Ruling Elite     

And then when we talk about the landlords, feudal culture, parliamentarians, government, civil services, army, ISI, big business families, Prof. Abdus Salam, Salman Taseer, Sharmeen Obaid Chinnoy, political parties etc these people are usually what we are referring too.  Also to be noted is that these people are also given extensive coverage by the Western and local media.

In the modern history of the world, in fact in the collective conscience of the World, these are the two main characters that define Pakistan; The Downtrodden Poor Masses and The Ruling Elite.

Nobody talks about the urban bourgeois. Those fairly well off, hard working and educated Pakistanis who spend their entire life trying to get to the top of the food chain. I mean who is interested in Pakistanis who are somewhere in between the social ladder? They have clothes to wear, good food to eat, they can send their children to good schools (by extensive financial planning and prioritizing), they can afford to enjoy leisure activities once or twice a month.

These people are for all practical purposes are just like any other citizen of any country in the world. I can only see two reasons why this class of people does not get much limelight:

1-      The World refuses to believe that there are Pakistanis just like any other 21st century progressive human beings.

Or

2-      They do accept that they exist, it’s just that their issues are not important enough.

This point number two is what I want to bring to your attention today. These issues have been bothering me for quite sometime and frankly speaking there is so much bullshit out there in the media and the world  knowledge sphere, religion vs the state, the state vs the judiciary, the army vs the state, Pakistan vs the Americans, Pakistani people vs Zardari, Pakistani people vs KESC, Pakistani people vs Pakistani people, bullshit family issues, liberal vs conservative, Right wing vs Left wing….

Versus

Versus

Talk

Talk

War

War

More talk

Conflict

Struggle

Struggle

Struggle Struggle Struggle Struggle Struggle Struggle Struggle!!!!

……that normal problems of normal human beings fail  to get addressed.

Have we completely forgotten to just……Live….. as normal, peace loving, modest human being? Will there never be simple problems or for that matter were there ever simple problems in Pakistan? I long for a time when our most dire tensions become:

1-      Not able to spend too much time with family

2-      Arranging cash to take our girl out

3-      Getting the roof repaired for the rain

4-      Discovering what we had to do in life

5-      Trying to find enough time for people we care about

6-      Figuring out which movie to watch over the weekend or which club for a night out

As more time passes by, the deeper it seems we are getting inside this blackhole of deceit, abuse and broken dreams. It is just sick…

The elite are apathetic about this concern and the poor are oblivious for they do not know any other reality but for the urban bourgeois who have seen good things in life, this blackhole of deceit is appalling and that is my anguish.

Where are the solutions to the issues faced by ‘normal Pakistanis’!?

I feel that those from the urban bourgeois that survive and come out at the top will join the ranks of the elites in their apathy and complete disregard of humanity but those who do not quite make it will evolve in to something twisted and horrid.

All of us need to revaluate our relations with one another because this social contract that we Pakistanis have with each other and the rest of the world at present, is very unhealthy. It has to be changed. It must be changed!

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