August 9, 2010

The Flood Alert

People are without food, water and shelter.
(Source: Dawn.com)
There are many ways to gauge the interest of people in a particular topic or story. One such way is to post a comment beneath the story on some newspaper's website and link it back to your own website. The number of hits that you get on your website from the comment is indicative of how much interest people are showing in that story.

I also indulge in back linking and I usually use the Express Tribune as the link back platform; and the story, I've concluded, that has failed to arouse the nation from its stupor is the devastation caused by the floods. From the 4 comments/links that I've posted on the Express Tribune's site, the only hits that I've gotten are 0. But that's not all. I was the second person to comment on the news anyway, so you can imagine people aren't even bothering to read the floods-cause-devastation news.

Let me give you a comparative analysis here. When the AirBlue flight crashed, I got 700+ hits on my blog post. Similarly, when news of the desecration of Prem Chand's coffin spread, I got 200+ hits on my blog post about Prem Chand. When Sarah Palin opposed the building of a mosque in Manhattan near Ground Zero, and I wrote a response to her benign accusations and Islamophobic apprehensions, I got 150+ hits on it. All these comparisons are based on the same constants and variables: Just 1 comment with link back on Express Tribune. But in the case of the flood disasters, I posted 4 link backs.

So you see we really don't care much for what is happening to our country. Just yesterday I gave away blankets and clothes to a friend who was sending a relief goods truck to the flood-hit areas. The sad thing was that in a colony of around 1500-1600 households, only a handful came forward with donations.

In today's The News newspaper, there is a report about how people aren't contributing to the relief effort by sending in donations to the National Bank of Pakistan's PM relief fund. This situation is indeed alarming, but it begs the question why? Why aren't people donating or contributing as much as they ought to? Without getting into finger pointing, I do feel that there is a credibility issue at work here. The government has spent millions on Zardari's foreign tour, while our worthy PM is asking international donors to come forward. In the words of Sohail Warraich of Aik Din Geo Kay Saath, "Kya yeh khula tazad nahi?"

Irrespective of who is to blame, or who isn't to blame for this appalling turn of events, it does not absolve us of any responsibility. It is heartwarming to see that youth organizations have come forward in troves to help those who have lost all. It is imperative that we show the Pakistani spirit and do our bit too.