Selfless Humanitarian, Adbul Sattar Eidhi’s life and death both held a mirror up to our face. His life showed how incompetent our state has been in fulfilling its responsibilities and his demise revealed how easily we get carried away by emotions.
Here I would like to discuss the latter. Eidhi Sahib devoted his whole life helping the people in need and everyone took his death as a personal loss. Government gave a state funeral to him, news channels dedicated their transmissions and people spared their time to discuss and revere him. Social media trends; rather a new way to measure most discussed and searched events during a specific time period on the internet—also showed his name on top.
Observing an increase in Eidhi Sahib related searches, internet giant Google put a hyperlink about the departed soul on its Pakistan homepage. On one click, that link took you to another page which carried further links, pages and information about Abdul Sattar Eidhi. This was purely a professional step taken by a tech company to facilitate its Pakistani users about a subject they were most concerned during that day. But the minds of overly sentimental people like us took it as a “befitting homage” to their humanitarian hero and people not only started taking pride in it but also pouring the words of appreciation for Google.
People are people, they have a tendency to get carried away but even news websites, channels and their paper versions also gave stories praising Google for reserving a hyperlink for Eidhi Sahib and also taking pride in it.
What is so special about it…..!!!
Was there no one to tell them that it was just a link to make internet search easy for Pakistani users, so that company’s actual business—providing information on internet—could go well and help increase internet traffic on their homepage.
Google officially pays tributes to historic figures and marks important events through specially designed Doodles. We have seen such a tribute for legendary singer Ustaad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan when Google changed its logo on Oct. 13th 2015 to mark his 67th birthday. Google didn’t present any Doodle on the death of Eidhi Sahib that means it did not officially pay any special tribute to him.
In fact the life of Abdul Sattar Eidhi was way above any such token tribute. But the wave of emotions and sense of pride about Google’s mere act of everyday business represents a major fault in our social mindset. As a nation, we get blinded by emotions and lack critical thinking. We start taking pride in fallacies. We make idols in a moment and break them in other.
Let me present a few examples of this national attitude.
On Aug. 2nd, 1989, Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussain invaded Kuwait, accusing it of stealing oil through slant drilling. One Islamic country had invaded another on the basis of financial dispute and we here in Pakistan got excited, only God knows why, and started terming Saddam Hussain as “Salaha ud Din Ayubi Saani.” In those days I remember, religious right would hold rallies on Lahore’s Mall Road and participants waved posters showing Saddam Hussain riding a horse and marching towards Jerusalem.
An interesting example of this mindset is the story of Sunil Gavaskar becoming popular in Pakistan after 1992 cricket world cup. Gavaskar had termed Pakistani national team favorite for 1992 cricket world cup. It was just a calculated analysis, which later proved right and us Pakistanis, instead of just praising his analytical skills, started adoring him as a true friend of Pakistan.
We feel immense pride when Indian artists praise their Pakistani counterparts and instead of taking it as one professional’s recognition for the other, we start terming that Indian personality as a ‘good human being’. We proudly repeat how Dillip Kumar once termed the dialogue delivering ability of Late Mohammad Ali exceptional and also don’t forget to mention that veteran singer Lata Mangeshker once said that God speaks from the mouth of Ghazal master Mehdi Hasan.
On the basis of social behaviours one can predict future of a nation. We need to improve our Simple mindedness, naivety and lack of critical thinking otherwise we will keep on taking hilarious or disastrous steps. We also need to stop pleading for validation by foreign groups and individuals.