Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Let's celebrate!

Recently, at the end of the academic year at NED University, where I was teaching until recently before coming down for my graduate studies, there was a lot of "celebrations" by the students, not only of final year, but also in certain cases, of some other years.
They celebrated because they thought they are about to graduate. Well, many of them, and the most celebrating ones will have to stay back because they will fail some courses. People who cant get a decent grade are the foremost in celebration, which is sick. Having been in the US, myself, I saw the gora saheb working hard and with dedication and honesty toward their job, and on the weekend, or the holidays, he wouldnt work even if you shoot him. A well deserved celebration indeed.
I saw some of the third year students shouting slogans along with the final year students, and I saw one of them in particular and the whole episode went through my mind, when after the last class in their section, I had given them a lecture on responsibility, about self regulation, about all things good, about changing ourselves to change the society, about how important they were to our nation, and after that lecture, he had come to me to apologise for coming late to the class, and endlessly chatting with his friends in the back row because he couldnt (or didnt) understand jack about what was going on on the blackboard. Maybe he would rather spend time at the gathering of the activists of the student group of his favorite political party who damage public property. I saw this young man, doing exactly what he had apologised to me for. That was my last day at NED University before coming to Lahore. An eye opener indeed. All my time there, seemed completely wasted. All this time, banging on ears that refuse to listen, and if they listen, the refuse to understand.
Look at us, our employees start showing up at 9 am when the working hours start at 8:30 am. Then, they need 15 minutes for the tea. Then, the lunch hour starts at 1 pm, and the employees disappear at 12:30 pm. In the US, if you were at an office before 1 pm, the employees would deal with you before they go on the break. As students, we sit in the class, dishonest to our studies, looking for excuses for the class to end quickly.
Such lethargy! If you ask me, we dont deserve to celebrate. We are already at least 50 years behind the rest of the world. (If you ask me honestly, though, we are at least 100 years behind and counting.) I dont agree when we call ourselves "developing" nation. We are a "degrading" nation. Look around you and you'll see why I say that, and if you dont, dont even bother reading the rest of this entry, and might as well, not read this blog again. Let's face the facts.
If we are so far behind, and the gora saheb work 8 hours a day, and we work 8 hours a day, quick, how many years until we will be able to catch up with them? Never. We should be working 16 hours a day to catch up with them in 50 years. I'm not asking you to work 16 hours a day. All I ask is be true to yourself.
One of my students had said to me that the American is being bred and raised by the goverment, so they are true to the state. They arent true to their parents, because they are not the ones raising them. He said, that we are not true to the state. I dont care if we arent true to the state. I dont ask you to be true to the state. All I ask is be true to yourself. Have some justification for your actions. Have some sense of responsibility towards yourself.
We are at a very dangerous juncture of our nation's history. I'm not talking any 9/11 bullshit. It is now or never. If we dont improve now, we're history. We have great examples. We are a nation of individual achievements, and we dont play well as a team. Look at the individual achievers, so many of them. Few nations in the world have so many individual achievers. Hakeen Saeed, Edhi, Imran Khan, the list goes on. People who alone built empires, because they were true to themselves. We need to have them as role models, and not some dumb ass singer, actor or sportsman.
So, wake up, take a deep breath, look around, realize and see the death of the nation staring it in the eyes. Would you rather do something about it, or would you rather be consumed with the rest of the nation. Oh, no, wait, maybe you would just use the proverbial parachute. Canadian Immigration, Australian Immigration. Easy solutions to all problems, you might think. But you'll realize soon, like so many others have realized, only too late. So, keep kicking while you can.

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