Narratives and Alternatives —- Noman Ali Khan 

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(“Cry in Chaos – The Human Condition in Pakistan” series)

Existentially speaking, “it” is all chaos that we happen to be in. We cannot do away with “chaos” and meaninglessness whenever we are faced with it in our lives. The first cry of a newborn in this existence is the announcement of his first revulsion against the abrupt chaos that he finds himself in from the meaningful and familiar comfort of the womb. Chaos is the most painful condition in this existence. The human child spends each and every moment of his life in making this meaningless and chaotic existence more and more “meaningful”. So, by nature, we are bound to break this chaos and its agony one way or another by putting “meanings” in it. We create art, science, language, logic, culture, state and government, etc. in order to get over this unending abhorrence against the chaos of life. We call these meanings, comfort in life. Yet, the state that we create to put meaning and comfort in our existence, becomes a tool for a few fellow humans to rid the rest of humanity their natural meaning of life and replace those meanings with a set of superimposed meanings packaged into specific narratives purposefully designed to create a non natural chaos. T

So that is all about general human “existentialist condition” but the last issue that the forces that drive the state often turn against general human comfort brings us to another question. What we can “individually” do for the sufferings that we go through in life to keep the pain of meaninglessness of existence at a bay from our lives? And still fight out the superimposed chaos created by the powers driving the state? t

People face sufferings when a few powerful introduce misplaced meanings in the conventionally agreed set of meanings which thereby leads to bulging of “gaps and islands” and “chaotic havoc” in the collective life. Those who get trapped at these islands of chaos are the direct victims and biggest sufferers of this misplacement of collectively agreed meanings of that part of life. t

State exists because it has a meaning which all humans agree at. State is considered to be as motherly to a large group of people as the biological mother is to a child. The first meaningful embodiment a child encounters is his mother in this chaotic existence. To a child mother means to be the provider of basic necessities of survival, development, protection and growth. Similarly, the meaning of state has evolved and exhibits through the purposes of modern state which guarantees to its citizens, access to justice, security, equal opportunities to growth, development, social security, etc. and fulfillment of their basic necessities of life (food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, education, etc.). Such state is called, “welfare state”. Whenever a state deprives its citizens of their above mentioned rights to basic necessities of civilized life and survival, it generates that “chaos” and “havoc”, leading to that agony and pain in the lives of the affected citizens which a new born goes through whenever the “mother” does not respond to its demands. t

Individually, we all need to understand that we can do one thing for bringing in the correction in the misplaced meanings of our social convention about state responsibilities in order to address the sufferings of those whose constitutional basic welfare rights got hijacked by tormenting the conventional narrative of the state. t

If we believe that the state narrative must be restored and if we understand that our failure to restore it would lead to total failure of our state, then all those who hold such opinion must cry like a newborn. There should be an innocent humane cry at the height of our conscience in our individual and peculiar or specific ways, that each of us, is best at. A cry powerful enough to build up such a forceful public opinion and enough pressure to restore the will of the state. If one is good at writing, write in the media reminding the government of its fundamental duty and helping it to follow the welfare articles of country’s constitution, for example, Articles 38BCD of our constitution. t

If one is an educationist, teach your pupils Pakistan’s welfare constitution. Give them the confidence about the welfare assurances their state grants them through its constitution.
If one is a legal and constitutional expert, make a plea to chief justice of the supreme court, begging him to take the suo-moto action for the implementation of these suppressed basic welfare articles of the constitution in letter and spirit. t

If one is a parliament member, bring up the points of order regularly on these suspended articles of the constitution in each and every session of the assembly. In democracy, that is the prime purpose of the parliament but in Pakistan, parliament has barely ever played that role. t

These are a few things that can turn around Pakistan to its original state narrative. The narrative, that was given by its founders but it was displaced through mischievous “alternatives”. t

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