Archive for July, 2012

ImageSuch times come to a person’s life when either out of sheer desperation he has to seek help from his close-ones or the acquaintances lend a helping hand without even asking. Though this kind of practice is now a getting extinct due to robotic life style of the era, we live in, but it is not completely vanished. It is worth commendable and the ‘helped-one’ usually remains obliged to the ‘helper’ and the life goes on provided the aide doesn’t keep on reminding of his deed.

There is another kind of friendship with is pretty dangerous. This is the relation when your friend becomes your mentor for whole of your life once you seek opinion from him, forcefully. You want to get rid of his advises to make decisions independently but because of social bounds that “what would other’s think and (or) he think if I reject his advice” – it becomes complicated and you are not able to do so. Also another fear prevails, what if you need him in the future and because of your non-capitulation at that very moment you won’t be able have your friend by your side.

This may be present in the whole world but I I’ll discuss this scenario from Pakistan’s perspective only. What I believe is that we are under the influence of such friends-cum-mentors who are not letting us (as a whole) be a sovereign decision making entity as we do what we are dictated in a way or another. Such relation is between common man to common man, professional to professional, private organization to private organization, between government institutions, media firms and last but not least between countries.

Talking only about Pakistan, a common man of a village or urban area is usually under the influence of a certain ‘honourable’ person, who may be a religious leader, political activist, an ‘atai’ doctor or a school headmaster. The friendship between the common man and such “knowledgeable” is based on one sided only and that is taking advise from the decision to simply to open a bank account till wedding of their beloved children.

That was an example of where the literacy rate is too less. Let’s discuss about the people who are literate.

When a youngster enters his/ her professional life he/ she usually meets some seniors who give directions as to how to survive in office politics and impress the boss etc. The professionalism tactics are told and sometimes the favour is granted by taking some work load etc. Steadily the trainee is entrapped in the friendship of the senior(s) and if in future he has to deny their opinion, let’s say in a meeting, he thinks twice and sometimes resorts to keeping his mouth shut. The business is business and a cup of coffee is a cup of coffee seems existent only in the books. It may take one third of the professional life in overcoming this hesitation. So the advice which was provided by seniors in a good faith kills the leader from within of the trainees.

The same is the situation with our political parties. Main stream parties and their so called leaders seem to be under influence of the some mentor who is sometimes a column writer, a saint or a senior person in the party. These people direct the leader in which way to go. With which party they should make coalition and against which party they should go on the streets and what policies should be made if they come to the power etc. This becomes a very difficult situation for the political leaders to overcome their advice because they have long lasting friendship with them and openly rejecting their proposal can give the enemies so much to speak on. Column writers are most handy also in propagating their point of view and if they had bad relationship with them this tool is lost. So the political leaders in themselves are not leaders as they are entrapped in the web of friendship of such instructors who counsel them in really good faith but arguing with them and denying their proposal published in the media is not that easy.

Coming to the situation of Pakistan as a country; we are deeply entrapped by the friendship of the other countries, Islamic or non-Islamic, who claim to be our all season friends. The matter of fact is that all the countries find their own interest in advising us, e.g., which country to be given MFN status, who to vote for in UN, where to find the business and which country should be given the contract of, let’s say, roads etc and Pakistan out of sheer friendship is helpless. We think if we disregard the particular advice we will be stranded in the world etc.

History is that leaders – either these be persons or nations/ countries cannot be hostage to friends. They should be able to call the shots by themselves and on principals. Respect friends and their advice but make decisions by yourself in your best interest. Otherwise you will end writing a book “Friends Not Masters” out of sheer desperation when ships are sailed.