That August, This August

Prologue:
August 1947: Biggest exodus of its time by the people of sub-continent after the independence. With dreams of an apparent better lives for their future generations, hordes of people emigrated from all over the colonial India to what they now call Pakistan. These people knew that they had to abandon their life savings and their homes for the sake of fulfillment of dreams that their leaders had promised them. These people were lucky enough to have their leaders on their side to guide and motivate them during this great displacement of human beings.

August 2010: Biggest displacement of the people of Pakistan since Independence in 1947.This time its a displacement from one part of the country to another part of the country. The threat this time is not that of angry mobs of other races but the raging waters of the rivers that flow through the country. This time the poor people have left their homes and belongings only to be swept away by the currents. No dreams in their eyes, only hollow hope of survival, no leader to be found to motivate them coz they are rather enjoying their vacations abroad or too busy playing politics over the dying hopes of these poor countrymen.

1 – Why O’ Why?

Now that the floods have done their damage, delving into the root causes of this massive flooding takes us nowhere. Although me and lots of others like me would say something in lines of ‘climate change’ or ‘frozen jet stream above the atmosphere’ but the illiterate masses and the ruling elite and the ever-influential mulla have found a simpler answer to this probing question and their answer is the one word that is taught to a kid in Pakistan ever since he is born…. and the word is ‘God’.

So, they say ‘God sent this flood’ and then they forget everything after saying it.

Ok, I agree with you, God sent this flood and that He does everything for a reason and that a justifiable logic exists for every action of His. Have we ever thought what was the reason for this flooding? Certainly God didnt cause this flooding because He wanted our villages to have their very own water resort eh?

This very question – once asked from the people who seem to know best (the Mulla party) – resulted in answers representing two opposite poles of logic: One group says this flooding is because of our sins and because of prolonged ignorance towards their religious and moral duties.  However, the other group is of the opinion that this is a test, and only the faithful will pass this test.

I would like to wrap up God’s logic and move on by saying that If this is a result of our sins, then we are lucky enough to be sent just a flood. we-the pakis-the scums of this human civilization have gone to such level of moral degradation that we need a far worst punishment than just flood.

2 – Our Leaders, Our Sins

Now moving on….. Thanks to a large number of news channels and their constant race to break the news first, a lot of other controversies are being brought to light and they being related to the act of utter selfishness by the “leaders” of political parties (ruling and opposing parties combined). There are numerous reports of deliberate acts of breaching of banks of rivers and canals so that water can be diverted to poor villagers’ homes so that the mansions and factories and cultivated lands of these landlords and political bigwigs can be spared (again these leaders were publically thankful to ‘God’ for not causing the damage to their personal property). These acts of selfishness were not limited to a particular area or province but were noticed throughout the country thus proving the concept that no matter if you get into a public service role, your personal interest comes first than national interest. I sometimes wonder that if there exists such a thing as God’s wrath, then these ruling elite will experience such a severe punishment that we the common people will forget our own misery. I wish… such thing existed. ah!
However our people are bigger jerks than existed anywhere. They voted to elect these people at the first place and even after being bitten times and times again, they will get bitten again. These people will forget their miseries and will again believe and cheer for the false promises that these political men will throw towards them…. and the vicious cycle will continue.

3 – A Friend in Need….
Apart from these stories, we Pakis tend to help each other in the time of need, and this behavior was observed this time as well (only not at a scale that people had expected from the fellow countrymen). Lots of local and international relief agencies are currently busy in relief activities and so is the Pakistani government (at least thats what they seem to claim). At every road we find a stall and a banner that asks the people from providing their support for the cause. However in my opinion, relief camps at every street is not a good sign at all. because:
1 – It symbolizes how much fragmented we are as a nation that we have decided to go our own way but to devise a strategy based upon consensus.
2 – The moral hazard exists about which organization or charity will provide our money to the needed people. The more the distributed ‘relief camps’ the more chances of these be used for personal gains instead of national/community benefit.
3 – Irrespective of the fact that we are sincerely trying to help our fellow countrymen, This very much signify that we have lost our faith in our government bodies or we would have rather donated to the PM relief program, haven’t we? But what i see from around here is that PM’s fund is not the ideal choice of charity. This is due to the sad truth that our government and its subsidiaries are mostly comprised of crooks who consider corruption as their inborn right and people suspect that their relief activities will end up nowhere but in their own offshore bank accounts.
Due to this distrust in others and fake belief in our own abilities, good legitimate charity organizations have felt the burnt of our distrust as well… the organizations who have all the necessary experience and motivation to help the people in need.

4 – Complications

Moving further to another section of this blog post, i am going to share my two cents on the apparent problems that have or may arise due to flood victims and relief workers. Since the victims have left their villages in search of safer grounds, they now reside at various makeshift camps without much belongings and knowledge of how to cope with this situation. Due to the unhygienic conditions and lack of available infrastructure the biggest problems faced by the victims are availability of food and healthcare services. We have already seen rising number of cholera, dysentery and skin disease patients in the camps. These diseases could result in epidemic proportions if not catered properly. In addition to this, we have also experienced brawls among the groups of victims during the distribution of rations. The animalistic instincts have started to dominate, and if the needs of these victims are not catered, the brawls would spread out in the streets as they will try to grab what they cannot obtain from the relief agencies. These needy people can easily fall victims of various terrorist recruiters who can use them for their chaotic activities.
Similar problems may face relief workers too. Although lots of us have jumped the wagon to provide relief but in reality we do not know the ABCs of relief work. The magnitude of this disaster is so huge that the faint hearted relief workers can easily lose heart and can become the part of the problem instead of being the part of the solution. We have also seen hundreds of foreign aid workers arrive in the country to help those in need. Although well experienced and equipped, they can be easily identified and targeted by the demented terror groups who would never like to miss this chance.. thus bringing more humiliation and isolation to the demented country.

Anyways, this post will keep on expanding its scope if i want to, so i would rather bring it to a halt.

Epilogue:
Somehow life will continue. Waters will recede, some of the people might return homes to pick up the threads of a suspended life, some of the people will not return. What will remain with them is the memories of what they experienced… and we collectively can make these memories either pleasant or nightmarish.

P.S: In case you want to provide support to the flood victims, act wisely. Donate to only well known international organizations. In case you are supporting any neighborhood relief agency, then please see to it that your sincere contribution doesnt fall into the wrong hands (corrupt govt officials or terrorists).
For further information you can follow the #PkFloods hash tag on twitter.

 

 

This entry was posted on Saturday, August 28th, 2010 at 1:32 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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