Você está na página 1de 2

Pakistan: Arresting Moral Decline By Ahmad Raza 16 Sep, 2011 OUR society today exhibits all signs of decline.

The institutional structures of a post-colonial administration have become redundant. They do not respond to th e needs of a modern and free democratic polity of the information age. The state which is a declared nuclear power is run like a mediaeval principality . We find ourselves in a state of social abandonment and political chaos. If you are not part of the patronage culture, you will be killed by the anonymous target killers and your body will litter the street. Whenever an innocent person is killed, tortured or raped, a part of our Pakistan i self is scared and mutilated. A shameful silence and withdrawal from the painf ul reality of social and political breakdown follows. We need to reverse the pub lic discourse on this ever-increasing sense of despair, insanity and abandonment . We have got to work on public ethics in order to reverse the decline in govern ance. Let us face the reality squarely. What is the most fundamental task of a governm ent besides tax collection, appointments of diplomats and ministers? In my humbl e opinion, it s the maintenance of a just and peaceful social and political order. I f a government cannot protect its harmless and armless citizens, then it must en gage in deep soul-searching. It must reassess the ethical grounds of its being a government. If government functionaries are not accountable to moral and legal imperatives, how then can we expect it s just functioning? What we find instead is a differential application of both law and ethics in soc iety. If you are part of the culture of patronage then you have access to every resource. If you are not part of this fabulous system of reciprocal favouritism, you are simply doomed. You have no respect and self-esteem. You will always be at the lowest ebb of the food chain. We inherited the mantle of an elitist-driven colonial administrative system from the British Raj. That system evolved from the ashes of a decadent Mughal, darba r-centered administration. The British-added civil service, military organisatio n and legal institutions were designed to meet the needs of the foreign rulers. The police system which was put in place also perpetuated fear and domination of the same privileged classes in the post-colonial era. We have continued with th at legacy of fear and domination. The post-colonial Pakistani Nawabs have continued that decadent Raj tradition of mass slavery and misuse of state resources. The logic of this decadent governance system was simple: divide the people throu gh fear of state power and rule as you wish. This kind of governance style cannot continue anymore in the historical context of the information age. The historical moment has arrived for us to decide whether we desire to live as free, just and morally aware people or we like to be remembered as a herd of she ep that lost their way in the battleground of history and civilisation. In order to exist as a morally aware people, we need to rebuild a new public morality wh ich is driven by self-accountability and self-responsibility.

Each one of us in different social roles has to be self-conscious as a citizen o f a democratic state, which is geared towards the creation of a cohesive and jus t society of self-conscious individuals. By protecting the autonomy and self-res pect of each individual, our state shall be able to protect its autonomy and nat ional respect. We need to shed the cloak of a Machiavellian rogue state and rebu ild a republic of spiritual democracy of Iqbal based on the principles of freedo m, autonomy and honour for all citizens. We have to dismantle the present culture of patronage rooted in a decadent tradi tion of mass slavery inherited from the Raj.

This can be accomplished by changing our moral attitude to governance practices and state resources. There is no denying the fact that man is socially programme d from childhood to rely on and trust one s kith and kin, one s close friends and later on, one s peers. But when it comes to public responsibilities, we need to draw a bou ndary line between blood, friendship and the public good. Why should I promote my incompetent nephew or niece over a competent Pakistani? Should I favour my inefficient uncle over an efficient citizen? Should I appoint my corrupt son-in-law as a public official when I have the choice of putting on e honest man in his place? The public circle of incompetence, inefficiency and c orruption is perpetuated by me and none else.

Thus, decline in personal ethics has a direct bearing on management of organisat ions, society and state institutions. We have to learn again to say no at home so tha we can save the state from further chaos. There is also an external component which threatens our state, society and way o f life. This is the result of our cumulative strategic misadventures in the regi on. The Afghan syndrome has left us divided as a society and state. Where to go from here? Why should we sit quietly over our past mistakes? We should learn from them and redress the wrongs done, and heal the suffering of our people. The external thre at can aggravate our social disorder if we do not respond to the internal lack o f will to act, and live as a morally self-aware people. History will judge us by how we react now and not on the basis of what our ancestors did in their golden age. The writer is a social scientist at the University of Management and Technology, Lahore. Source: The Dawn, Karachi URL: http://www.newageislam.com/NewAgeIslamIslamicCulture_1.aspx?ArticleID=5517