[Op-Ed] Our eroding civic sense

Mustafa Kamal

The bad thing is not that we are always put in state of sectarian war after the leap of few years in GB. The bad thing is that the basic civic amenities and civic sense among people in GB are eroding rapidly.

The Shahi Polo Ground – the only place in Gilgit city where one could get introduced with the oldest and cultural traditional game Polo is completely desolated as the pictures published in Pamir Times indicated. And yet we are not intrigued by the topsy-turvy.  Inside of the ground is dumped with heaps of solid waste. Boundary walls are collapsed and damaged. We hope the stones of the boundary wall are safe.

Old ‘Shahi Shuwaran’ has been neglected long ago by the respective governments and soon the new ‘Shahi Polo Ground’ will face the same fate. It is a pity on us that our basic amenities are eroding and decaying rapidly and we are silent spectators of the situation.

Two cinema halls of Gilgit city are vanished, too. Once there used to be a crowd in Gb visiting these cinema halls and even Pushto and English movies were shown regularly.  But now, there is no way to entertain oneself.

Mustafa Kamal

Many people will argue that the influx of satellite media is the cause of demolishing the cinema halls in Gilgit. But the sad thing is that it is not true even for big cities, where many cinema halls are still operative amidst satellite channels, cables and social media facilities.

Either we have lost the sense of entertainment or we have preferred killing over entertainment. Whatever is the reason, the outcomes are dreadful for the region in general and for youth in particular.

Our only famous poet Ustad Jan Ali has lost his value and grace. A voice of a national caliber and recognition is living a miserable life. Neither he has been previously recognized by any government of GB, nor currently. In whole GB, he is the only one man who diagnosed the real causes of sectarian violence through his oral poetry.

Is anybody, for example aware of the great contributions of Khalifa Rehmat Malang – the legend Shina poet of his time? I doubt if our younger generation even know his name. I have learned his family possess many written work of him in Persian, but is it not a responsibility of our provincial government to translate such valuable works and bring it to the broader audiences for debate and discussion. And many other such legend poets of other languages.

The stupas, the uniquely built olden mosques in Chilas and the other historical areas need vigorous revitalization and marketing for exploration to outer world. But unfortunately, a cohesive and punchy mechanism has never been adopted by the provincial government of GB. No particular party is responsible for this destruction of our society, but all. Bit by bit they have contributed to cause the social degradation in the region.

  Can the educated and sensible citizens leave all the responsibilities to be done by the inept government? It’s a question every single citizen of GB must ask themselves. If we can’t leave it up to the government alone, it becomes our collective responsibility to restore our lost idea of civic sense, sectarian harmony, brotherhood and fraternity through small initiatives at community level in our own capacities.

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  1. Good job Mustafa. You’ve dared to highlight a crucial issue, which the people of the region have really ignored. But these straightforward inhabitants of the region are used (or forced) to ignore and forget, for quite some time now, such important aspects of life one after one. One of the factors of the present degradation in the values, traditions, culture, etc and that too in the name of religion, is simply but the departure from collective responsibility, the society has adopted. One cannot afford to stay away for long considering all this as victim of circumstances.
    I join you to invite the youth, the real custodians of our future, to start thinking on such issues and coming forward for rescue of the precious cultural values and traditions and taking pragmatic steps in collective and concerted efforts.

  2. the truth is that current representatives of GB are busy in wealth Accumulation of wealth, its up to us that in what way we structure our future … these puppets of PPP must be realize and we should teach them lesson,
    We need to restore our tradition and culture, the mentioned personalities are our identity, … need work in collaboration for progress of GB

  3. Great one Mustafa. You have pinpoint a grave issue. Cultural degradation is the way forward for our destruction. We all should stand together to restore it

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