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Disruption of Social System in Pakistan: Causes & Remediation (Part –I)

By Dr. Muhammad Saeed

The major cause of disruption of social system in Pakistan is that we have adopted others’ thoughts and socio-cultural norms, leaving the golden principles which Islam has listed in the holy Quran and hadith. Broadly speaking, there are two types of rights i.e. rights of Allah, and rights of people (the creation of Allah). Islam gives importance to both of these rights, but greater emphasis rests in the rights of people. The second major cause of disruption of social system is the disruption of our family system. If we go back to about three-four decades, our parents and grandparents used to sit together, discuss problems and many times joint sitting resulted in the solution of many problems. Some leftover problems were resolved under the umbrella of Panchiayat (group of wise people, usually elders, in a village/ town).

The culture of the villages/towns was exemplary. Usually all brothers living in a town or village lived in the same compound and sometimes their daily meals were shared. gradually, there had been shift of the rural people to the urban areas to get better educational and health facilities. There was a difference in socio-cultural patterns, values and norms of the villages and big cities. When these migrated people used to visit their villages, they brought with them some norms and values of the urban localities, hence village cultures changed rapidly.

Furthermore, the platform of masjid, which was once the key place of social and religious discussions for all the natives of the village or town, became detached from socialization as people have no time to sit in mosques.

Therefore, the social system which was to a large extent well-built, strong and in accordance with the fraternity of Islam, disrupted rapidly, which also affected economic, political and educational systems. Thirdly, in the olden times, the people of all age groups, especially youth used to feel proud to help and serve their elders. They were trained at homes and schools accordingly. The elders were the source of learning ethical norms and values by the children of early ages and adolescence. The children did not indulge themselves to waste much time with friends just in idle sitting and gossiping. Gradually materialistic approach among the elders and the youth followed it. The good values of the society such as respect for elders, helping others, obedience to parents etc. were affected adversely. Hence social system collapsed and resultantly value system declined.

Fourthly, gradually we (the Muslims) have moved away from the teachings of Islam, especially in regard to rights of the people. We have indulged in many social evils such as violating rights of common people especially neighbours and relatives, injustice in daily life, ignoring social and religious norms like truthfulness, sincerity and loyalty to the nation, respect for others, lack of patience, negligence in patronizing orphans and needy persons, intolerance and violence.

Fifthly, our social system is closely integrated with ideological and religious injunctions. gradually we (the Muslims) have developed a distance from the good deeds, especially the five basic elements/components of Islam: Firm Belief on Oneness of Allah (Tauheed), Namaz, fasting, Zakat, and hajj. In general, now people are becoming busier in their daily business and do not observe the mandatory prayers, Allah (SWT). This is a phenomenon of nature that those who remember Allah much by doing sacred deeds, are highly respected in the eyes of Allah and became successful in this world and the world hereafter.

Sixthly, in the modern era of e-technologies, things have become automatic in the sense that means of communication and transportation have become too fast and now people prefer to do tasks via online to save time and energy. No doubt, this is a positive aspect but face-to-face interaction has been minimized, therefore, social relationships have become weak. The matters resolved through joint sitting or meetings in olden times, are now pending unresolved.

Seventhly, with the modern inventions, life has become comfortable and sometimes even luxurious. People are looking for how to save their time and spend a luxurious life and for this purpose they use unfair means which result in the disruption of social system and ultimately undermine the economic and political systems.

Lastly, the healthy sports like race, kabaddi, volleyball, football, and hockey are not frequently organized at institutional and community level; these were quite popular three or four decades before. These sports were a good platform for maintaining fitness and discipline and promote team spirit, but now these have been confined to occasional times in the educational institutions; the community generally does not provide such opportunities. The latest gymnasia or clubs exist in big cities but only youth join these and people coming therein rarely have close interactions. And mostly the average and below average people cannot afford to join these gymnasia.

The writer is Chairman Department of Educational Research and Evaluation, University of the Punjab, Lahore. He can be contacted at: drsaeed1961@hotmail.com

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