BY ALI NAQVI –
Broiler chicken is a symbol of weakness. Most of us consider them as harmless, useless, impure and frail. A broiler chicken does not have the strength to run or even think of escape from an open cage. An animal so dumb and powerless when confronted with the enigma of life and death conjures every ounce of strength to cling to life. Even when the blade of the butcher slits its throat it resists the eternal darkness to the very last second of its consciousness.
To mention broiler chicken here is to stress the importance of life over everything else. No one can imagine that a chicken who has a knife to its throat would think about its next meal or its cozy place in some corner of the cage. When it comes to survival nothing matters but life. The latest address of the Prime Minister Imran Khan has shown how to yield before a life threatening disease. How to surrender before death and how to allow darkness to prevail over light. Unlike the Broiler chicken we are giving in to COVID-19.
Imran Khan has told the nation that death toll will increase and there will also be a hike in the number of cases being reported daily. When things are becoming more alarming than ever the PM Khan has announced to further ease the lockdown. Once again he showed his concern for the poor wage earners.
A large number of private and semi-government offices are still not allowed to resume operations. People who work in such offices are at home without pay. Did Imran Khan ever think about a hawker who use to sell corn outside a school or a college? What about the marriage hall workers, cooks and janitors who are penniless in this crisis? Easing the lockdown is not going to help the poor unless it is totally called off.
Before talking about the poor the PM should have a fair idea of the extent of poverty the country has sunk into. Poverty is everywhere. How could he exclude so many people associated with different sectors that are still not allowed to work? If, according to the PM, Coronavirus cannot be dealt with then why pick and choose? Why not open the entire country as it was before corona?
When you know that someone is going to die the first reaction is to save that life no matter how dismal the circumstances. Just like the broiler chicken we do everything to hold on to life. But as a nation we have fallen way below the level of a chicken that puts up a fight. Our Prime Minister is unwilling to take charge of the situation. Soon we will find ourselves in company with broiler chickens waiting for our turn and when it comes the butcher will say “I warned you”.