The corruption within

Published: January 14, 2012

Negligent drivers put not only their own well-being but also the lives and property of innocent bystanders and law-abiding citizens at risk.

Irony appears to be wasted on many citizens of Karachi. I’ve had one conversation too many sitting in the passenger seat of a car, hearing an animated driver furiously lambast devious politicians of the country from behind the wheel, then promptly run a red light at a crowded intersection. Surely some parallels could be drawn between these two sets of people: the corrupt politicians and the negligent drivers.

Politicians are entrusted, among other things, with the responsibility of being honest and fair during their tenure in office. They are expected to have concern for the welfare of the general populace. Corrupt politicians are those who shun such notions, acting only with personal gain in mind. They violate laws and tread on the rights of others, earning a considerable degree of condemnation from the public if exposed.

Similarly, when one steps behind the wheel of an automobile, he/she assumes responsibility, not just for his/her own self but also for the well-being of others on the road. The driver is expected to abide by relevant laws and regulations. Too often though, we see drivers violating even the most basic of regulations — pausing at the red light — with reckless abandon, putting not only their own well-being but also the lives and property of innocent bystanders and law-abiding citizens at risk. In rare cases of genuine emergencies or situations where an intersection is otherwise deserted (such as in the early morning or late at night) the driver may be excused. Sadly, however, the majority of such violations are needless crimes committed during rush hours. Prompted by a force of habit, they are preceded by deliberate intent and not accompanied by any feeling of remorse.

Is it not odd, then, to see negligent drivers criticise corrupt politicians? They have more in common with their ‘counterparts’ than they realise. Both value personal gain over collective responsibility, and both act when they are confident of escaping due punishment. The corruption lies not just without but also within, and I personally feel that we need to eradicate the latter before moving on to address the former.


Talha Nadeem

A sub-editor at the sports desk 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.