Where the new moon heralds a blessed Eid, and the holy month of Ramzan draws to a quiet close, the masses count their blessings and take stock of how arduous this past sacred month has been for the common man this year.
In the backdrop of a tenuous political climate and a state in confusion, the country saw a challenging month fraught with uncertainty. While the political drama sets the stage for a rancorous election, the month itself was beset with more than a few trials for Rozedars and non-Rozedars alike. With scorching temperatures beating down upon the citizens with heatwave alerts across metropolis’s like Karachi and Lahore, a month in which livelihoods are already decelerated to facilitate those who are fasting, also saw the city being further paralysed by the unforgiving heat. Where the rising temperatures are set to become an annual forecast, the heat was made harder to bear in the face of a dwindling water supply. Where the heat and drought had left millions in distress, the escalating food prices with a currency devaluation at its heels has made basic necessities unaffordable. With the water deficit giving way to a failing kharif crop season effecting our staple food supplies, scarce potable water available for drinking, and the water poverty resulting in escalating power outages, cities and peri-urban areas across the country suffered through a calamitous season.
Where the establishment has been occupied with the political machinations and intrigues of the tenuous transition to a caretaker government and the upcoming elections, the country itself was seen to have been left rudderless, with the woes of the people becoming amplified in Ramzan. The dire need of the hour was and still remains a comprehensive countrywide heatwave management plan to alleviate the effects of the rising temperatures. Similarly, as opposed to parroting adherence to the nebulous parameters of our Water Treaty, the government needed to timely formulate an implementable water conservation program with an eye towards accelerated completion of suspended dam projects and a more sustainable energy matrix.
However, it remains a testament to our resilience as a country that despite such hardships, people find the heart to celebrate the little joys in life. No matter what the constraints and shortcomings, Ramzan has still been marked with charity, largesse and will be celebrated with similar geniality; a redeeming trait, one which the Governing can learn from the governed.