The vileness of ingratitude.

6 Oct

When Brutus stabbed Caesar, it was not only the instance where indifference was at its climax, but another emotion was also rising up like a tide, albeit a silent one i.e. ingratitude. The ingratitude of trust and faith which Caesar had in Brutus. The ingratitude of all those moments when Caesar thought of Brutus as a “noble man”. Ingratitude is a curse. Once it seeds itself in the habit and faculty of a person, seldom things can counter its growth. Like a dark shadow that silently creeps from under the door, ingratitude makes its way into the daily dealings of a person in a most subtle way. Perhaps it was the slow culmination of this poison that eventually budge the hand of Brutus, which was holding the dagger, to push through the crowd and aim at the heart of Caesar.

Today, we live in an amazing century where mankind is at its pinnacle of new discoveries and rapid scientific growth. The technological growth has saved man’s countless hours of strenuous work. But there is other, and rather grim side of the picture: man is all the more dependent on machines. It has made man increasingly lazy and easily irritable. Tolerance has vanished as this user of an efficient machine expects the same efficiency from the human beings that surround him. Naturally he fails in such pursuit and hence he feels disgruntled and annoyed. 

Even if some person does show a little, unexpected spark of that “required” efficiency, then the one who required this efficiency is hardly moved by this act. He demands more and more to an insatiable fill. This gives birth to Ingratitude. The inability to appreciate; the incapacity to give hope’ the disability to see an optimistic future. Ingratitude entails not only pessimism, but applies brakes to the very drive of achieving something significant.

People can be cured of this terrible disease only if the state wills it so. But if that state becomes one of the patients of Ingratitude, then little can be done. It is a charge leveled against Pakistanis that they have a knack of forgetting the services of their national heroes. One cannot deny it. It is almost self-evident with a store full of examples. But has the state, in 64 years, done anything to commemorate such heroes? In the Western world, there are statues, museums, special sessions of television broadcasts which indoctrinate, if that’s the right word, the love for their national heroes and their deeds. In our part of the world, we hardly find any statue of any personality. I have not seen even a single statue of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Iqbal or Sir Syed Ahmed Khan for that matter. People show little enthusiasm to go to the nearest museum and learn the deeds of their past leaders and popular figures. Due to this general ingratitude in the masses, television channels, that are largely profit making firms, little care for the nationalistic fervor and only show “what people want to see” and not what they need to see.

Kant once said that “Ingratitude is the source of vileness.” It almost seems that he said this when he had a nation like the Pakistanis in his mind. The sense of ingratitude towards our forefathers who had to bear the brunt of the Partition, the lack of thankfulness for those who have served their whole lives for their community, society or this country and not feeling the pride of our skin, color and race has led us to feel ashamed of ourselves. Hence we have become stagnant in a way that we are going nowhere while the world around us prepares to re-create the scenes of Big Bang. We remain tangled in our domestic issues pertaining to identity while forgetting those very people who let their bodies to become heap of ashes so that they can give us an identity. And what do we do? We conveniently forget them. Oh! the shame.  

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