“I want to grow up and be a policeman”

Published: June 10, 2011
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I believe the educated class must come forward to become a part of the system they wish to change.

We are a sad lot. Whiners — worse, complacent whiners.  Whether it be a dinner, a wedding or a funeral, we refuse to miss any opportunity to whine and complain about the current political setup.

But what do we do about it? The taboo attached to any profession remotely related to politics or the bureaucracy is quite unfortunate; but whining about it being unfortunate is not the answer. Despite all that, there are a few who choose to do something about it. In order to change the system, you have to become a part of it.

Watching from the sidelines is of no consequence.

A few months ago, I chanced to take a trip to Hyderabad to attend a book launch. Sometime near the end of the event, I was shocked to see a policeman — and by policeman, I mean a man dressed in the typical beige pants and grey uniform shirt with a stick in his hands — conversing in English, no less fluent English, with an elderly woman. I chanced to catch a few snippets of the conversation and slowly, my shock turned into frank admiration and respect. The typical-looking police officer was a graduate from LUMS, an accounting and finance graduate in fact, which gave me no choice but to not question his academic competency.

During the course of the conversation, he was trying to explain his choice of profession. Despite much opposition from his family, he chose to join the police force. But why?

Why would a smart guy who has graduated from one of the best universities in Pakistan choose to become one of ‘them’?

Because he wanted to actually become an agent of change; not just sit in an air-conditioned room in front of a television and talk about change while criticising the current political set-up.

Despite the demonisation of the field of politics, I believe the educated class must come forward to become a part of the system they wish to change. A nine-to-five job in the corporate world might be all that for some, but then those some really have no right to complain if they decided to choose luxury and convenience over trying to put in some effort to bring a change.

Sumaiyya Lakhani

Sumaiya Lakhani

A sub editor for the Sunday pages of The Express Tribune.

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