When the Quaid and his colleagues passed a resolution against discrimination of Muslims in British India some 65 years ago, this is certainly not what they had in mind. People classified and sub-classified into a staggering 10 categories. First of all there are the ‘Whites’. They comprise of the Super-Elite of the country, ones with green plates and the ones with red plates and plenty of stars. They occupy the largest space on the parade venue, ofcourse, as this is their show. All the soldiers salute them while passing by and the tanks lower their barrels in their honour. Whole avenues have been reserved for their chauffer-driven limousines for this occasion.
Then there are your average ‘Reds’ and ‘Blues’. Ever eager to join the Elite club, all they ever wish is to climb that ladder and be included among the ‘Whites’ the next time around. And then there are the unfortunate ‘Yellows’ and ‘Blacks’ comprising of lower ranking officers and public servants of little influence. They are crammed in small enclosures far far away and are not allowed to eat, drink, talk on phones and bring their children, all in the name of Security! Ofcourse, the Blacks belong in the back of the bus.
One might imagine this picture represents the medieval Europe, some British colony or Nazi Germany. Sadly though, this is the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the year is 2005. Now don’t think such discrimination is rampant across our mosques, bus stands and other public places, but only because the Elites do not go there!
As for the forgotten common folk, like myself, having no influence whatsoever, they are simply not welcome at such chauvinistic charades. Yet we savour simple joys in life like a day off in the middle of the week!