The Limits consistently crossed & pitiful situation faced by Shahbaz Gill is a painful commentary on the willful attempt to cross the laid-down limits in national affairs. The mayhem caused by free-for-all public discourse defies all cannons of rationality and decency and is required to be deeply resented and condemned. It is unbelievable to witness such scenes being repeatedly enacted at a time when democratic governance is attacked from all quarters and the forces that be are bent upon decisively destroying the reputation of elected representative institutions. Such a dishonourable conduct will certainly aid the efforts of the non-democratic forces and may further weaken the democratic process.
The process of Pakistan getting developed as a mature polity is beset with growing intolerance that is undermining the positive aspects of this important national exercise. The drawing of battle lines in case of Shahbaz Gill amply portrays the distressing impact of intolerance on social structure. Most worrying part of this intolerant strain unfortunately is that it is gaining in substance in direct proportion to the maturity gained by the society. The danger is that both these strands have the potential of cancelling the impact of each other that may result in long term loss to the national matrix of Pakistan.
It is now recognised that the surest way of inculcating rational sense into the gradually maturing thinking patterns of an individual is education laced with appropriate training. It is more than clear that all parties involved are apparently educated in the literal sense of the word but they showed no sign of being trained in social chores. Social training begins at home and is undertaken in family circles that keep a check on unwarranted behaviour. It is clearly discernible that the family bonds that worked as the first training environment have lost their influence and it is generally complained that the younger generation considers itself far advanced than the older generations.
The main reason for the growing gulf between older and newer generation was primarily the trend of younger generation being invariably sent abroad for pursuing higher studies. This generation developed an unfortunate tendency of viewing itself as more advanced than their earlier generation and, more importantly, the older generation grudgingly conceded its inferiority. If examined dispassionately the main reason for the older generation throwing in the towel was the English language that gradually became the yardstick of intellectual and educational superiority. It was conveniently forgotten by both generations that language is just a tool and in no way represents any intellectual development.
The most important way to reverse the current imbalance is to start re-emphasising that knowledge of social traditions is far more superior than just pedantic knowledge. The local traditions and social practices should once again be placed at the forefront of learning and half of the time spent in educational activities should be devoted to social instruction. The reorientation should begin from the blessings of eating together in a family session during which the usage of knife and fork is properly explained and practiced. This usually was the first traditional rung of training. In developed countries, kids are initially trained in social chores and the teachers read stories to emphasise the moral lessons.
Young, exuberant and many possess rebellious spirit but it is the duty of the educational institutions to keep them within limits of trained behaviour. In Pakistan we consistently lack this requirement on a flimsy pretext that they give rise to rowdy behaviour and negatively affect the learning process. While insisting on this argument we conveniently ignore the consistent falling standards of education in the country indicating that union activity is certainly not the factor responsible for academic regression.
The rising intolerance has created a chaotic atmosphere in the country and it now appears that all quarters directly or indirectly associated with it may have lost control of their protagonists. The problem however is that such quarters do not have an exit strategy therefore the situation has the potential of getting more complicated. Many rational voices have been advocating restraint but the radical agenda gained ascendance and it’s reigning supreme now. The situation is fast hurtling towards a stage where no force would be able to decisively rectify matters. This is a sure recipe for letting extraneous forces to follow their respective agenda considered detrimental for Pakistani national interest.
The nation has endured five decades of almost incessant turmoil and its resilience is bursting at the seams. It is too much to expect that a besieged polity can bear adversity interminably and retain its psychological harmony. Pakistani polity is long recognised as suffering from deep scars of incoherence and the cumulative social behaviour is far from normal. The time is fast running out for retrieving the situation but there appears to be no sign of rectifying the state of affairs. The only hope probably is the media that shows acute sensitivity and enough sensibility to create a sense of reality and rationality. TW