Don’t vote (but don’t complain)

Published: March 3, 2012
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As a young Pakistani I often feel patriotism is a virtue deficient in the Pakistani youth. To us, the phrase, ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’ is a suitable misfortune.

We dwell upon how to escape – to a different country, a country more ‘suitable’ for the development of our skills or a country swelling with appreciation for individuals from other nations; those individuals being us. We, who didn’t like the working of the corrupt government in our country and didn’t bother making it suitable. Us, who didn’t vote and chose the ‘corrupt’ government by default.

Our talent was wasted until we landed in the “functional” democracy which gives us a feeling of freedom – an identity we confuse with reality, a body search, retinal and finger print scan, for our own ‘security’ and accomplishing a sense of gratitude by paying average salary, in dollars, with the liberty to send it back to our parents upon the massive conversion into rupees.

Our own politics is dirty, the government is corrupt, the legal fraternity a sham, the forces undisciplined and the schools and hospitals illequipped with the rapid advances of technology and science. These sensationalized ‘words of wisdom’, passed down to us by the immensely ‘reliable’ media, can easily be attached to any developing nation and even aptly to developed countries. The possibilities of improvement do not disappear in the face of riddles such as these, in fact, despite our mistaken beliefs; opportunities of growth and improvement only increase insofar as we want them to.

The mere existence of a country evidences its success in achieving this growth, slow perhaps, but steady nonetheless. The ability to steer a field of interest all the way to victory, specifically centered on our own personal views and capacity, is the benefit we don’t seem to be grateful about. The opportunity, that knocks and knocks and knocks at our doorstep in vain while we choose to enrich and capitalize on the established success rate of an already developed country.

The high expectations of our beloved increases with the ever rising benchmark created by ‘the others’ with no actual advancement toward it due to insufficient brain power. It’s not that we don’t have it, we suffer from two distinct problems as Pakistanis. The first is we need global recognition in a ‘respected’ nation and the second that we use our brilliance to annoy, aggravate and embarrass ourselves.

Pakistanis are proud, arrogant and hard working individuals. Sometimes we stick our noses up so high we forget we are a developing nation, and that we have a responsibility to it. We forget the value of home.

You want the luxuries of the good life in Pakistan but don’t want to give anything back in return? Who do you think you are? How could you rape my country of its resources, comforts and freedom without giving anything in return?

There’s no security in Pakistan.”

“The education system is hollow.”

“The welfare system corrupt.”

“The legal fraternity incompetent.”

Well, then whose fault do you think that is? Where should we put the blame? On the government I suppose!

Uff that corrupt government has just ruined our lives!! Wait a minute… didn’t you NOT vote for this government?

If you are reading this article, you are old enough to realize the importance of the decisions you make and those you don’t. Do you want to be a slave to other people’s bad decisions forever? Make your own mistakes. Get off that couch and make things happen.

Don’t vote, but then don’t you dare complain.

Vote, and it may not show results immediately, but you did your part. You showed faith. Things can change if you adopt Pakistan. Make it yours.

 

erum.shaikh

Erum Shaikh

The writer is a News Editor at The Express Tribune and has an Undergraduate Degree in Law from the University of London. She tweets @shaikherum (twitter.com/shaikherum)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.