By Dr. Khalil (Jughooru)
Culture is a force which plays an important role in social and mind setup of society. Culture defines good and bad in our daily life. It is the force which determines our destinations in life, and is so powerful that often overwhelms even the religion. On the other hand, this force sometimes nurtures social evils under its cover, promoting bad habits, and malpractices in society. We have to realize that culture is a changing phenomenon and needs necessary amendments with a change of environment around us. It then becomes crucial to adjust our cultural values to comply with need of the time. One of many social evils which are deeply engraved in our daily life is giving undue-respect to some people who don’t really need it.
Respecting the elders, specially senior citizens, the molvies, teachers and women has been part of our culture for centuries. It started at the time when there used to be a handful of molvies, teachers and elderly people in the thinly populated Chitral. Now this aspect of culture is creating problems for ordinary men. As the respect, which was supposed to be limited for certain group of people in certain occasions, is so widely practiced which disrupts daily life activities in government offices, banks, hospitals, police stations, in ticketing desks, etc.
At the same time, we have also unnecessarily enlarged the circle of the so-called respectable group encircling uncountable molvies, numerous teachers, hundreds of doctors, politicians, lawyers etc. This unethical and unnecessary practice is spoiling the attitude of the people, as instead of being thankful to society they feel themselves above the law and expect special treat everywhere they go which causes disappointment, feeling of oppression besides developing anger among ordinary men. The recipient of special treats, which they get, in fact is a cultural privilege, but it is now being considered as their right.
Without understanding the difference between privilege and right, they have started breaking through the queue and penetrating through others to reach service desks without thinking that the others waiting for their turns are also human beings like them and have equal rights to be served. Time has come that we must think about this malpractice, and priority should be defined first and only be confined for disabled or very senior citizens and women in some cases.
Understanding their rights, everyone should have to develop the courage to stop these law breakers who walk over the shoulders of others to reach service desks and often penetrate directly into the offices. The office-bearers should also stop favoritism and nepotism under the cover of cultural practice, and social lending of undue respect, to get back the same in return when they go to other’s places. We have to quit this attitude as it is against the ethics of Islam. If we don’t care about our religion and path of Sunna, we can at least follow the people in rest of the civilized world.
Taking the law into one’s hand, being served first on the basis of status, family and tribe used to exist in western world centuries back. At this age, if someone still lives with primitive mindset, he/she is simply not acceptable in society.
By Dr. Khalil (Jughooru)