When doctors attack Javed Hashmi, we have a serious problem

Published October 6, 2014
My outrage does not arise from my admittedly favorable stance towards Mr. Hashmi. It stems from my disenchantment in the students’ inability to voice their political concerns in a civil manner.
My outrage does not arise from my admittedly favorable stance towards Mr. Hashmi. It stems from my disenchantment in the students’ inability to voice their political concerns in a civil manner.

We have consistently held our nation’s doctors, lawyers and engineers to a higher standard in terms of civilized behavior and social awareness. The harassment of political stalwart Javed Hashmi at Nishtar Medical College demonstrates the need for us to finally lower these expectations.

The convoy of the senior politician was blocked by a sizable group of doctors and students at the Nishtar Medical College hostel, where he went to attend a funeral prayer.

As the mob proceeded to heckle the ex-President of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), some attempted an attack on the convoy by pelting stones.

Also read: The doctor glut

I acknowledge that these persons are not totally representative of Pakistan’s community of doctors, and certainly not the whole of Pakistan's upper middle-class. I also recognise that this blog may be an exercise in self-flagellation, as I am a young, middle-class doctor myself.

In recent years, however, the broken state of whom we reverently call the “cream of the nation” has been made all too evident.

We’ve seen enough footage of lawyers and doctors strutting about like gangsters to forever shatter the allure of an MBBS or LLB title. We’ve encountered enough engineers and MBAs trolling the internet as ‘like’-armada for every bigoted and jingoistic post available.

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The youth of Nishtar Medical College carried out their hooliganism with the best of intentions. Being ‘doctors’ (angelic chorus plays), these men and women circling Hashmi’s vehicle were so utterly convinced of their superior intellect and virtuousness, that they felt no need to question the crudeness of their ways.

My outrage does not arise from my admittedly favorable stance towards Mr. Hashmi. It stems from my disenchantment in the students’ inability to voice their political concerns in a civil manner.

Blast me in the comments section if you must, but I cannot help but partly blame PTI’s leadership for inculcating this boisterous ‘Storm-the-Bastille’ approach to politics among our youngsters.

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We, the upper middle-class and middle-class youth, may be the most dangerous social segment in this country:

  • Too young to be adequately experienced.

  • Too ignorant to resist the manipulative rhetoric of politicians.

  • Too proud to admit we’re wrong or being played.

Our degrees offer us the illusion of being wise and righteous, while we’re worked as half-wit pawns by the numerically disadvantaged elites.


We are sufficiently privileged to exert meaningful influence, yet dim enough to be controlled

The diploma-less poor, though effortlessly manipulated, at least possess the humility to bow their heads from time to time, and confess that they don’t clearly understand what goes on in this country, or how they should act. This humility is rarely found among the smug upper middle-class and middle-class.

This wounded nation has clothed us – the doctors and all our socioeconomic equals – in immense respect, and looks up to us as models on how to behave.

Thus far, I am less than thrilled with the way we have utilised our privileges.

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