Nothing changes by itself. Let us stand up as a nation before it is too late. Let us face the stark truth, the truth that is unpleasant and bitter
As I started walking towards my house, it was nearing dawn. The stars were busy in their usual dance and not a cloud wavered in the skies, but in a matter of minutes, the breathtaking scene turned into a horrific nightmare. The crackling of thunder sent a numbing sensation through my body. The lightning, blinding my eyes tilted all perceptions into an odd axis. An instinct of urgency spurred me to walk faster. In a space of moments, the drizzle turned into a storm. Every drop felt like a storm in form and feel.
I had never seen such a horrible storm in my whole life. A golden dawn was covered by black clouds showering rain worse than acid. After stumbling through the ruthless storm, I finally caught a glimpse of my house, and as I got closer, I realised the storm was only around the area of my house. By the time I got at the entrance, the storm had reached an incomparable ferocity.
As I entered my house, I could not believe it was my abode. There were many people there; they seemed to in millions — of different colours, different races, and different languages. Before I could recover from the shock, a beast jumped in. It was enormous, a beast probably bigger than the Empire State Building. I witnessed a sea of faces going pale in a matter of seconds. Fear was in the air and everyone was breathing it. Adding to that the howl of beast played the whistle of death for everyone. People started to die, one after the other; I could see the bodies falling. House that was not home anymore, bodies that were not alive anymore. Hell must be a better place than this; that was the only thought to hit my mind. I was witnessing something worse than hell. Before the beast started to make the bodies his food, I saw my house collapsing, walls going down one by one, and I ran towards the exit. Before the last wall of my home fell down, I realised it was not my home, it was Pakistan.
As I woke up, a transition from darkness to brightness started, splashes of white light ascended on the dark curtain. A cool breeze welcomed me into a different world. The sweat dripping down my brow felt as if it had just rained. It was another storm but this time it was in my head, the storm of thoughts that was hitting my already occupied mind. Soon the blurred dream cleared, the questions answered themselves. I realised something: the beast lives somewhere in our twisty heads. It is feeble and small, but it grows when we silence our voices against the corruption. It develops when we close our eyes to injustice. It laughs when we support nepotism. It dances when tyranny prevails. We ignore it every day, becoming more and more indifferent, and that apathy is making it stronger.
Our ancestors dreamed of a land, they struggled for it, sacrificed for it, not to throw it on the mercy of people who do not have the moral courage to stand for a cause. The country was on the path of development when poison of bad governance went through the veins of leaders. It spread like an epidemic among the people in power, slowly but precisely polishing their lust of greed. One after another, rulers worse than Pedro the Cruel damaged my land.
There was an argument in the last decade, which with time had become the most used argument: ‘Pakistan had been subject to dictatorship for a long time’. We all thought that there might be a shelter in the safe shadow of democracy; perhaps, the dictatorship has ruined our rights and wills. Who knew in coming years, people would recall the dictator’s reign with songs of nightingale. The democracy for which we fought for has disabled our minds and souls.
We do not have basic necessities of life. In this era of nanotechnology when the world has made weapons as small as the size of a fly, we still desperately wait for electricity, water and CNG. The illness of the people of this nation has endorsed the already evil minds of our rulers. The silence will lead us nowhere.
We must awaken ourselves. Our home is ablaze, and the time has come when the blazes will engulf our very souls. Let us wake up before it is too late. Let us give a little motion to our tongues and our act. For, no miracle awaits you amidst crises, but miracles are materialised by the will and want of people. It happens when they believe in themselves and stand for a change, when they raise their voice against tyranny and when they look in the face of aggression fearlessly. Nothing changes by itself. Let us stand up as a nation before it is too late. Let us face the stark truth, the truth that is unpleasant and bitter. We are developing the beast into a barbarian monster. With this height of apathy, I am afraid someday the beast might become real and destroy us.
Published as Op’ed in Daily Times : http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20128\16\story_16-8-2012_pg3_6