Blame the West: of inequality and duplicity

Published: October 15, 2011

Our economic affluence is restricted to a select few and the Gini Coefficient of 68 is a testament to the grotesque inequality in our society PHOTO: REUTERS

Pakistan, in addition to the myriads of socio-economic problems and political instability, is also one of the most unequal countries in the world.

Our economic affluence is restricted to a select few – our homes, academic opportunities,  state institutions and overall society cater to a specific segment of populace. Our Gini Coefficient of 68 (according to US state department report in 2006) is a  testament enough to the grotesque inequality in our society.

My point of contention, however, is related to how segments of our society have gone about addressing the problem.

Specifically, how have the ‘mullah defenders’, so bent on instituting Islamic theocracy in Pakistan, fared in addressing this perennial feature of Pakistani society.

If one is honest in analysis, it is evident they have very little to show for their beliefs. They might deliver harangues proclaiming how the West has crippled our morals, economy and country’s security and how America and its cohorts seem bent on waging war against Islam. However, virtually none of them has the gall to stand up for the poor and marginalized of Pakistani society.

By doing so, they have also forgotten the message of the religion they proclaim to be defending – equality.

When I see them delivering diatribes of how corrupt Pakistani society has become under the influence of West, I see hypocrisy -plain, jaundiced and remorseless. They take no account of the opportunities we deny children of the lower classes, the nefarious treatment we met out to our domestic servants (if the latter should be there in the first place is another debate), and the education opportunities barred to a large majority of the poor, just to preserve our status quo – to provide us all with the assurance that times are always better for the ‘chosen’ ones.

That is duplicity and for once, the reactive ones will have to realize the problem here lies within;  no one else can be blanketed under the blame. For once, they would have to take in account of their own preaching and edicts and how hollow these become for the new generation of Pakistani youth. For once, they would have to explain the contradiction between the ideals they tend to emulate and the tangible evidence their actions furnish.

Taimur Arbab

Taimur Arbab

A former sub-editor at The Express Tribune, college teacher of Sociology and English Language and a graduate student at Aga Khan Institute for Educational Development, who leans toward the left side of the political spectrum and looks for ideas for his short stories and poems in the everyday happenings of life. He can be reached at [email protected]

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

  • Hasan

    Though short, you have pointed out towards an issue that is eating this society from the inside. You are very right in your analysis and I agree with you that for the ‘religious’ leadership, it’s like all is the fault of the West and we are innocent. Such ignorance. Recommend

  • Modazul

    These so called religious parties are hypocrites. They don’t follow islam properly and misuse their beards to loot innocent grief stricken Pakistanis. If Pakistan had followed islamic laws properly, we would have been successful. These corrupt politicians should be taken out and shot in the head deadRecommend

  • Syed

    interesting article but misquoting the Gini Index of PAkistan

    Gini index of Pakistan (31.2) is still very good as compared to other say for example India (36.8).

    A note to the editor, and writers, please verify the data posted in articles and blogsRecommend

  • Ali Tanoli,

    Very well analysis man well done and this is the truth no army no fuedal politics nor reliegous parties delivered any system at all. they not even decided what lang we use
    in offices pakistan is half teether half bater.Recommend

  • taimur

    Syed, thanks for the appreciation..well, the gini coefficient I have quoted is from a 2006 US department report, mentioned in the bracket….the one you have is not in the offical records…they point out to a much better one….:PRecommend

  • antanu

    As i said often…this gap exists in india also…and to a larger scale. Still we indians keep our heads high and make it a subject of ridicule when it comes to our image at International fora. Recommend

  • Parvez

    Blaming the religious extremists for not achieving much, is right to an extent. The argument needs to be deepened as to why this religious lot are running amok. If the organs of the state had functioned reasonably and a respectable quality of life was given to the common man this sense of frustration, inadequacy, inequality and deprivation would not have surfaced. The religious lot, in order to further their agenda of gaining power and control have seen this discontent and have seized the opportunity. Recommend

  • Umer Khan

    This is what Pakistani nation lacks the most in my opinion, the knowledge of how vulnerable they are from inside, and that how wrong it is to blame all the external forces when they are not doing anything to make things right within the country. Recommend

  • Awais Khan

    It is clearly not the West; it is actually our mismanagement and corruption that has led to the sorry state in which our country is today.Recommend

  • Reluctant Fundamentalist