Just as the auspicious month begins, the entire class of gifted elite and business community wears a false veil of benevolence. They blow heavy trumpets of charity. They organize ironic Iftar parties. They throw in buffet deals. And yes, they make more money!
The ones who delve on the sweat and blood of poor labourers start with ration distribution ceremonies. They do it purposely to earn a clean slate for continuing exploitation for the rest of the year. A few years back, we all heard an incident of kohri garden which took lives of several people following a stampede in a ration distribution ceremony. No one questioned the piousness of the organizers. Instead, all blame was put on the greedy, poor ration collectors.
Another segment playing an abusive role in the holy month of Ramadan is our media. It is not for Islam that these TV channels change their schedules, launch Sehr/Iftar shows and employ the same set of celebrities they would use for entertainment, dance and music genres. The most terrible are the ones which are hosted by the leading actors of this industry. For example, Amir Liaquat, the leading Santa Claus, just need to crack a few jokes to gain better TRP and visitors to his channel. Clowns like him have full support of all sponsors who are mainly concerned with marketing and advertising both at a cheaper cost and under the pious label of Ramadan. No one seems to bother that all the morality and piousness being taught by such people who don’t even give a damn to all the things through the rest of the year.
I am not here to bash everybody out there, but we should realize that all this second-hand piety and charity is developing an attitude of beggary on the whole. The rise in commercialism in Ramadan, the NGO-like approach to charity, at all levels, and the temporary benevolence of Muslims in general is adding to a continuous class anomaly which shatters both the spirit and the purpose of Ramadan.
If we continue to promote a culture of extravagance and commercialism in Ramadan, we will stop the fight against this economic and moral injustice. The way these hypocrites help us tends to create a false hope that we don’t need to strive to change this system. Until we realize that their enormous wealth all comes of the labor’s sweat, we will not be able to solve the issues of poverty, hunger and class struggle.
Act now to stop putting the holy month of Ramadan for sale, both for its holy spirit and for our country on the whole. Here is a short check list to begin with.
- In your household, make sure that at least the food consumption goes below the average level. We are fasting, why should the budget for food go up?
- Discourage viewership of Iftar/Sehr shows. You could spend time more profitably by reading Quran.
- Spread charity donations throughout the year, not just in Ramadan.
- Make minimal spending on Eid items.
- Iftar parties and buffet deals? NO.
He is a gold medalist from University of Karachi and a regular contributor for Awaz-e-Pakistan.