Weekly reflections: Price of hatred in society
By Dr Abdul Saboor
This is quite unfortunate that Pakistan’s society has become hate-ridden society where the quantum of hate is prevalent in a variety of colors and forms. One can watch the ripples of hate from the evil wrinkles on the faces and foreheads of humans. Otherwise beautiful, some eyes are blinking with full hatred just for nothing; so are the hearts and heads which carry heavy load of hate against others. The extent of hate ranges from minor disliking to extreme disliking and finally to complete hatred. Majority of the population is prey to any form of hatred. They are actually trained and groomed like this way in some stage of their life.
There is cyclical nature of hate that transmits its dusty fumes not only from the eldest to the youngest persons of the society but from one generation to another generation as well. Parents demonstrate hate to the very odd learning of children. Teachers practice hate somehow or the other either intentionally or unintentionally and then expect love from students who have so far learnt so much hatred. These students when become ‘public men’ in the shape of civil servants, bureaucrats, military men, business persons, police men, and teachers, they transform hate to others with new dimensions. At occasions, we try to erase hate with more hate. We are finished but hate remains alive. For how long we would continue inheriting hate to this nation.
There is hardly any organ of the state which is free from the viruses of hatred. In a family institute, simple liking and disliking of individuals start among brothers and sisters on trivial matters. If the tiny desires of children are not fulfilled, they start creating hatred against family members. Even students do not like the package of advices from their teachers. They criticize their teachers who ultimately blame students for everything odd in their confidence and character. In this way, all members of the society are potential candidate of anger which implicitly reflects hatred. The parents’ anger is its key source among children and young chaps.
Most of the speeches of political leaders both in the ruling and opposition benches are full of hatred against one another. The language being used is quite irritating for others. In the continuous streams of hate and hegemony, they market hate quite comfortably. The ripple effect of such a hate goes everywhere in the society. Similarly, there is heavy sprinkling of hate talks in some of the electronic medias which are totally against the ethical norms. In the race of chasing high rating, the tool of hate acts as a profitable adventure. Since long, a large number of people have been trained in listening ‘hate speeches’ delivered by some of the religious scholars, political figures and media anchors. What good we should expect from society now?
The society has to pay a big price of hatred of its people in the shape of institutional failure, fractured democracy, dwindling economy, disharmony and disintegration among the masses. Political system cannot work effectively when hatred is prevailing among its stakeholders. The survival of economic system remains at stake if economic agents are making weak transactions while staying in hatred mode. Labour efficiency and productivity is ruthlessly suffered. The extreme nature of hatred may take the shape of jingoism, sectarianism and terrorism which crack the economic pillars. There may be cost in terms of assets, life and wealth of masses. The rising tendency of hatred may lead the social system nowhere but destruction.
The gender perspective of hate in society cannot be ignored which perpetuates hate across demographic and spatial lines. In our social system, it is not merely male who is using hate oriented language against female but some old women folk treat the younger ones of their own gender with harsh words. This is translated into hard treatments at some occasions. Being member of male dominated society, we demonstrate hate against our sub-ordinates and servants. Similarly the house maids are treated hatefully. Most of the domestic conflicts of our society revolve around the phenomenon of hate.
Whatsoever is the reason, either genuine or based on doubt, when we hate others we actually degrade ourselves. Our disliking against any of our fellow or colleague gets the ready response of hate from them. As we sow, so shall we reap? The element of hatred in our personalities also reflects how much weight of doubts and animosities we are carrying. The language of hate cannot be hidden; it is quite clear to everyone. In the whole process of disliking others we invite tension and depression. Our precious time is wasted in useless direction. Our physical energy is gone in the odd way. Our spirit remains functionless. Corpses fight with one another.
Some of the psychological narratives justify the fact that hate is actually an odd product of superiority complex. Most of the victims of superiority complex are individuals belonging to communities and families where hate has been transmitted since the time of their childhood. It all goes along the age of an individual. It takes much time and care to heal the age old wounds of hate of such nature. On the other extreme, inferiority complex leads us at the brink of hating ourselves. A depressed and dejected person is nothing but a vessel full of revulsion. Such is the situation which makes the image of our society quite odd among the comity of nations. The hate ridden character of our nation reflects a weak icon of the country.
If we start learning the art of liking ourselves, we can easily remove disliking for others and thus create love for them. One need to be self respecting and self loving so as the love and respect for others could be generated. Hate can easily be evaporated if we start thinking that the person in our confrontation is at least as important as for we are considering ourselves. The repair is more likely when we offer high level of respect to others without expecting some extra-ordinary treatment from others. Given the fact that hate kills the beauty of our life; let us hate the very idea of hating ourselves and others.
On the part of state machinery, all out efforts should be made in a way that difference of opinion in any matter may not be converted into any kind of personal hatred. In all public affairs we will have to honour the opinion of others. If at some occasions, our opinion is not being treated, this does not mean that our worthy colleagues and members of society have become hate-able. Top down approach would work better than any micro level interventions. Top leadership must realize every bit of their arguments and utterances. Neither the facial expressions nor their heated words should display even a slight dimension of hatred.
The sale and purchase of all kinds of hate should be banned in the country. Quite a vigilant eye needs to be kept on international agencies and organization for they could not produce a report showing hate and impressions creating hate among the masses. Similarly, the big media houses should be restricted to conduct sober and soft programs. Similarly the judicial remarks on sensitive issues and the ones which are coming from the lawyers’ community should be censored on moral grounds. Circulation of any hate speech and hate arguments should be completely avoided.
It is high time to mend the walls of hate before it is too late and before it takes the shape of extremism and terrorism which would cost to the society higher than what we expect right now. Our religious scholars, researchers and mentors should divert their attention on this serious issue by enhancing their efforts towards its prompt solution. We will have to kill all shades of hate we have inherited since long; otherwise such a chronic psychological disease would be sufficient to kill us. If we still carry hatred, we need not to have any enemy; we ourselves would be enough to deteriorate our social fabric.
Dr Abdul Saboor is Professor of Economics and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi