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The International Writers Magazine: Comment

Refuting Power
• Umm-e-Aiman Vejlani
I had watched on television a speech made by a political higher authority of a certain third world country at a local union somewhere (I prefer not to get into specifics). In it, an overtly defensive declaration was made directly accusing the citizens for unabashed sovereign disloyalty for harshly criticizing the governing system the country.

The speech was political with all its emotional drama and stirring righteousness in one’s mind and soul. Amidst the strong words diverting blame and responsibility in clever, political mannerisms, the live audience at the union was cornered. As I watched waiting for someone from the audience to come up with a statement or question, they just gaped some with ape like expressions and some intelligent others with speculative cocked eyebrows, but none spoke. It was then a mock snicker escaped my otherwise pursed lips, and planned to further elucidate my reaction to it, in writing of course.

My cynical mind has forever riddled and rattled with thoughts that are normally dismissed as negative in any point of debate. This I credit to my counterparts that prefer to probably stay politically ignorant, but “honest [blind] patriots”. I prefer criticizing authority and being labelled a traitor.

My first contention to any Government is:

Why do you give the people of your country the freedom to criticize, which reflects directly upon your mismanagement of the country?

Before passionately questioning people about what/how they contribute to society and the country as a whole, I believe the supreme order must first debate on the services they pledged to offer to “our” country when elected an authority. This should be irrelevant to state the imposition of laws, fines, penalty codes, rules & regulations, usually the work of an authority, and not the confused population. It’s very easy for the governing body to reprimand the nation for obeying laws in a foreign country and violating the same in their own, forgetting, however, that it’s natural human conduct to submit to laws in the face of a forceful superior authority.

It is the contentment of its nation in terms of a quality standard of living that every human regardless of caste/creed/nationality is entitled to, general security of property and life, peace and opportunities of growth and development that curbs emigration. No human with resources and an ambition would waste time, effort and money in a country that does not return its investments. In a country where the future is bleak, depressed and steeped in problems of providing basic necessities such as electricity, water and mainly an effective system or routine of approachability in government sectors. Belittling and criticizing their people for striving for a living that is comfortable, found only in other countries, only drives a deeper contempt. Anyone with resources wouldn’t find the need to leave, if only their country lived up to desired standards. Surely, such a sacrifice cannot be expected of any nation at the cost of a deprived living.

People become the power when given the space for realisation of a weak system. People criticize the failing system and not the soil of a country. People criticize the faults and failures of a reigning authority that consequently lead to negative actions. I may contradict my point here and say negative actions of the nation should be severely condemned that are the causes of civil unrest and internal terrorism, but, that brings us back to my focal point of a failing [much rather nonchalant] supremacy. Littered pavements, broken roads, walls smeared in paint and vicious graffiti, law-breakers, pollution, poverty, are issues for the Government to deal with, not the nation’s. Laws are the business of the government to enforce and not the nation’s; otherwise which, it’d be a tea party of whims and fancies by the common man with money to burn.

Patriotic speeches about how the positive attitude of one person can change the nation are in actuality transference of “regal onus” unto idle population as means of diverting minds and energies. If we the people could improve the standards of any country on our own, why bother with elections of any authority to govern us?

It is a serious misconception of a blind patriot to lash out at the expatriates with accusations of negative critical analysis of their country that is done to improve, and not regress. To say one person makes all the difference speaks of the illiteracy amongst the patriots. One person cannot make a role-model unless he decides to recruit a team and begin promoting himself. A single, honest, law-abiding, tax-paying citizen who, to use small examples, does not rally, gun people down, plunder, litter or spit on roads makes no level of difference to the nation. He makes a difference to his personal growth of character, and the growth stops there. Role-models are idolized, idealised, remembered, discussed, in some cases emulated and forgotten in faces of trivial hindrances that escalates frustration. Without a strong system of efficient law enforcing officials as back-up, a reigning body should be ashamed for giving such a defensive speech in hope to evoke guilt in the nation’s minds and hearts. In lieu of aggressive law enforcers, corrupted police fall prey to low intrinsic bribery usurping pride and honour of uniform and responsibilities attached to it. And all this falls back upon a failed government, not the nation.

“People such as you spoil a country”, a very common statement most non-residents (or expatriates) may have been a victim of for expressing wonder at the situational plight of the country. If that be the modus operandi, then I represent the millions who form the “select” nation.

The “select” nation that:

- - Does not harm its country but opposes to its standard.

- - Speaks negative but participates in no destruction.

- - Criticizes its people but does not kill them.

How did we all turn into such spoilt children exercising no tolerance in respecting the other’s line of thought? Is this the motive of any government: to rouse catfights instead of encouraging healthy debates?

Is refusal to submitting to the norms of a declining lifestyle because of the downgraded economical conditions a unpatriotic state of being?

Is it called being selfish?!

© Umm-e-Aiman Vejlani July 2013

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“You should make quick decisions about marriage because you are a girl and you carry an expiry date on you.”

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