Dr Bibi is Dead, so is our conscious as a society and state

Pakistan ‘s first female PHD Doctor Bibi Qureshi died at the age of 90 in Edhi Old people shelter . She held the first doctorate degree in Agriculture Economics from the London school of Economics and had also been the Instructor of the former UN Secretary General Kofi Anan. She willed that her dead body should not be given to her family.
These few lines of seemingly unimportant piece of news shared by a friend from Scotland with the comment, that I have now lived in Scotland for some years and I thought they take care of their elders like us; but I was wrong , suddenly made me very anxious and sleepless. I always held myself proud of my roots and my eastern values but this and another incident made me think that we are indeed changing…or may be deteriorating stealthily as a society. The other incident again unfortunately belonged to another lady , a PHD with a prolific resume who after retiring from her Government Job was desperately looking for almost any job that could keep on providing Bread and butter to her family. The state and society has somehow forgotten to take care of its elderly and the highly educated. I dono exactly remember the development economic theory that postulates that a state invests too much in its university level education churning Doctrates while it gets over saturated with them and in presence of the lack of opportunities results into disillusionment and wastage of such people.
Here in both the cases , we are experiencing the cliché institutional decay that is the societal decay. A society marred with sectarian violence, political rhetoric and confused identity, we are some how losing the uniqueness of our Culture. A culture where no one could ever thought or perceived of giving up their elders. Parents raised children and as they grew up they reversed the roles and start nursing their parents. A very symbolic Banyan tree (Burgad) , which used to be the gathering place of the elders for “Panchayat” stand alone and dejected in most villages now. The Burgad used to be a father figure for the community, where local poems analogize a Burgad to the head of the family, the old Father or a Grandfather in the village s extended joint families. Slowly and steadily, as we are becoming more materialistic and capitalist; the real utility of things and people gets priority over the more subtle emotional assets. Elders left by their families are the victims that do not find a voice , they are not media sensation and society endeavors to sweep such issues under the carpet to avoid the shame attached to such incidents due to perceived values. Its almost same as the reaction to the writings of Manto and Ismat Chughtai that were a mirror to the vices in our society and were rejected as being obscene. The most ironic part is that we all think among other things that this will not happen to me, as we thing in all other chronic issues.
The state stands as responsible as the society for abandoning its highly educated to the tide of time. Very few people in the status of literacy level we boast gets to the level and experience actually useful for the state. The dearth of research institutions and emphasize on explanatory in place of the Exploratory research is not more worrisome then qualified PHDs especially the women of Pakistan , looking for shelter homes to die or an accountant s job to make ends meet!. The local values , the family system and the state’s mentor status needs to be revived to stop further deterioration in our cultural fabric. Legislation and implementation of such legislation for the protection of the elders is highly required, since them being the weakest class cannot stand up for their right to respect and love from the society and state alike.


About quratulain16

A wanderer in soul and body
This entry was posted in Social Issues. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Dr Bibi is Dead, so is our conscious as a society and state

  1. Sarwat AJ says:

    you have stated righteously on the topic. most of the time, its a matter of evaluating the worth while, in which our society fails. it happens in all areas of life. and some how its a matter of generation gap, which is exaggerated and brought in light in a forceful way, letting both generations , realize the gap and hate it. we have to be more steadfast in these areas , at a very early time to cope with the issue.

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