Optimism of a ‘Burger’

The following piece came up after reading a highly optimistic post in a famous newspaper, written by a musician. The artist has written a very optimistic piece on Pakistan that I really appreciate. In such times of sorrow, grief and pessimism, we need some highly optimistic views like these. We live in a society where every day bad things are happening, but we are still optimistic. It’s great to have some people talking optimistically in such hard times.

But this optimism fails to address why every hour, women are abused in Pakistan. I would have felt glad if the writer had conducted some research on this issue before writing an optimistic piece. After year 2009, 248 cases of physical abuse were reported from Larkana, 71 from Sukkur and 19 from Hyderabad. Also, 11 cases of rape/gang-rape, 150 cases of mental torture of women, 179 cases of forced marriage/child marriage and 53 cases of illegal confinement of women were reported from places like Sukkur, Larkana and Hyderabad. These are just the reported cases. There would be more even that don’t attract media’s attention.

Now coming to unemployment, over the past seven years after 2003, the unemployment rate were (7.40%), 2004 (7.70%) and so on till 2009, where it was 7.40%. It suddenly jumped to 15.20% after 2009. Does this figure serve as a sign of optimism anymore? There are so many graduates and masters unemployed, sitting at their homes. About 2.04 million youth, aged (19 to 25) is unemployed in Pakistan. The people above this age group are not included in the statistics. Does it make someone optimistic?

The piece on optimism fails to address long hours of load shedding in the country, increased power tariff, CNG shortage, a stagnant economy, sky-rocketing inflation, suicide bombings, attacks on religious places, lack of social security, honor killings, child abuse, social frauds, fake recruitment agencies, religious and ethnic discriminations, meager judiciary, nepotism, extreme fanaticism and insensitive culture. The piece doesn’t even address when minorities in Pakistan are shown discrimination. The corporate world is even not free from discrimination, reference culture and nepotism. About 23% of our population lives below poverty line. We have a public debt of more than $50 billion.

Should I mention the violence against two Sialkot brothers that took their lives? Can one be optimistic here? Forget about the match fixing. It happens in other countries too. There isn’t any internet in some areas of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, and people are using wireless due to PTCL strike. These are some common man issues. I forgot about the ban decision on Hindu mythology cartoons that never served optimism.

A burger celebrity may not be able to go through the pain that ordinary citizens go through in Pakistan. There are some parts of the country, where even clean drinking water isn’t available. He may not have to go through all these things being a celebrity. This level of optimism doesn’t even support the fake degree issue. Does it?

The only thing that is optimistic this time is the guy Aisam Ul Haq and those who contributed a lot during difficult times. People who have some humanity left in their hearts for their fellow people can make us think optimistically. I won’t say that we are a failed state, but would love to analyze things quantitatively as well as qualitatively. Those who collected donations and helped the flood victims come in this. Let’s not lose hope; it’s good to be optimistic but worst to be unrealistic and extremely idealistic. The glass seems half full to him though it’s not even filled one fourth. It’s actually empty.