BY ALI NAQVI –
When philosophers argued that “Man is a social animal”, they elevated the status of an animal which was supposed to be social. A social being in order to become a ‘civilized human’ ought to subdue the animal inclinations lurking in his subconscious not deep enough to be dormant.
Is there a slightest semblance of a social order in our country, or the men living in it be called ideally social? The answer is a big ‘no’. Here, the law of the jungle is the code we all live by. Take the case of Saleem Ahmed the Photographer who has earned himself the repute of being professionally dishonest, corrupt and deceitful. Being the active part of the advertising community and a B-grade photographer, Saleem has contacts with a number of brands. What he does is that he creates freelance opportunities for designers and creative writers, hires them for a job, get the work done but instead of paying the freelancer he gets the money for himself.
Recently Saleem the so called photographer discovered a clothing and footwear brand called Nauroz. The brand required the expertise of a content writer to develop a catalogue. Saleem contacted me for the job. He trapped me with assurances that I will be paid soon after the completion of work. Had he asked me for a favor I could have done it anyhow. But once you make a commitment however small, it must be honored. But Saleem did not honor his own words.
It is not a matter of a few thousands or hundreds of thousands. It is about professionalism, commitment, work ethics and above all human dignity. This is also not about Saleem the crooked photographer, the entire marketing and advertising community is plagued with fraudulence. One of the main reasons why J Walter Thompson (JWT), a multinational advertising agency, closed its operations in Lahore was that the company failed to recover millions of rupees from its clients. Corruption is rampant but we are only good at pointing fingers at others.
Our society is on the verge of a major collapse. We are becoming animals more worthy of a jungle we are creating for ourselves than a society that requires a social contract. A bond that compels every individual to honor his/her commitment to make society bearable.