Right and Duties
Every right has a corresponding duty. God has arranged innumerable agents and systems that together make my life possible. He has given me parents who loved me and fed me when I couldn’t even reach my mother to feed myself. My parents could not have taken care of me, were the society not there to fulfill their needs. Every single individual in the society played a tremendous role in my upbringing. One can hardly tell from where the wheat grain comes. How many people put their efforts from planning, ploughing, watering, harvesting, grinding, packing, transportation and distribution, a complex system that makes sure we are properly fed.
I have enjoyed rights to education, health services, freedom of expression, opportunities to grow, move in the country, and use all the facilities that are available in the country. I take these rights as my birth rights. Some call these basic human rights.
Reason and morality both tell me that every right I enjoy has a corresponding duty. If I have the right to live, I have to respect the life of other fellows. If I have the right to be fed, I have the obligation to work and be a productive member of the society. I have the right to be offered an ideal political system where my rights are protected, I have to positively participate and help the country choose good people for offices. I need to share my views, if I believe they are helpful in any respect. I have to offer my services, when required to give my opinion like, for example, during election.
When I examine my past behavior and that of most of my fellows in the country I see that we do not bother to fulfill the obligations and always complain about the unfulfilled rights. Even intellectuals in the country have the courage to say that they never went to vote for anyone. It is not something to be proud of. Can a delinquent have a claim over the right that was immediately attached to one of his past duties? I believe if I choose to watch movies and lie in comfy beds in an air conditioned room on the day we are called for voting, I have not the right to criticize and blame the others for choosing the wrong individuals into office.
Experience shows that if we develop a culture of responsibility and raise the value of fulfilling the obligations to be a ‘value’, then the criminals and frauds shall never be hailed as heroes. If the literate and knowing people will evade the duty on the voting day and the only people to vote will be those who get the opportunity to grab a qeemah wala naan and biryani then the people elected shall surely have paid the voters off. They would not be bothered about the demands of the public, think over the problems of the state and try to resolve the maladies of the nation. Why would they?
A look at the statistics about the participation of the nation in the election over the six decades shows that most of us are not responsible. We cherish rights. We shun duty. How can those elected into office behave differently? They are only our brothers. Rather more fortunate ones.
Are values really values in our society? Sadly, no. When you leave your home for office or school and get to the road crossing, if you are fortunate enough to make to it, you get stuck. Why? It is not because the roads are narrow or that there is no way out at all. No, certainly not. We have a “value”, a unique one, violation of all laws, including the traffic laws. We know that by ignoring them we will get stuck, we will get late from the office and any other assignment. But still we try to violate it. Why? Because, we pursue the value. The one who crosses the traffic signal is a hero. Those, who while struggling the social norm, try to stay and wait for the signal, are sneered at and jeered at. It is the road where our national character is fully exposed. Unless we mend it, and let me stress, mending it means mending myself, and replace the present order of values we cannot move ahead. Unless duty is the word in our mind not right we cannot progress.