Headline Nov 19, 2014/


 SIRES ! ''' 

FOR SURE, a black cat had crossed my path only; and that too some minutes ago. 

And I did consider and weigh  that, for a fleeting moment, as an ill-omen. But I trekked on, towards a huge, filthy, smelly and  open garbage dump.

Taken in by the awfulness , I stood figuring the Terra-data  of the flies ecosystem, when as ill-luck would have it, a very close friend, stopped, rolled his window down and bellowed:

''Hey, A, If the Captain Imran Khan, ever wishes to acknowledge your genius, he ought to consider making you a ''Minister-at-large for Garbage Collection''.

Although stung and shrivelled, I did consider breaking his head-lamps. But worse was in store for me: how this darned happening,  somehow,  leaked to Mariam, Rabo and Dee remains an enigma? 

My spies, and tattlers  tell me, that behind my back, Rabo, Dee, Mariam, do everything to address me as a  '' Minister-at-large for garbage collection.''

The real dimension of this  truth, I dare confess, is that some while back, I did propose this concept : that every country ought to consider having a  Minister-at-large for garbage collection; but sadly, and even tragically, it did not stick.

My argument was, that just so,  unique an appointment, would elevate politics. 

And since politics increasingly devotes itself to making people feel good about themselves   - by elevating their sense of self-worth-

And affirming their belief in their moral superiority. The  Minister-at-large for garbage collection,  would be so much a  coveted an appointment.

And , because by contrast, the standard view of politics is that it mediates conflicting interests and ideas. The winners receive economic benefits and political privileges; the losers don't.

I still feel that this is an apt time to resurrect my theory because it just may help explain why very happening in Pakistan gets so inflamed.

What Rabo and Dee, most conveniently overlook, is that  unlike economic benefits, psychic benefits can be dispensed without going through a Parliament, Congress or whatever.

Mere talk and simple talk does the trick. Shrillness becomes coin of the realm. The ''other side''  cannot simply be mistaken.

It must be evil, selfish, racist, unpatriotic, immoral, or just simply and plainly stupid.

A culture of self-righteousness sizes both left and right. Stridency from one feeds the other. Political polarization deepens; compromises becomes harder, harder and harder.

Dangers are plain, as political scientists Morris Morris Fiorina and Samuel Abrams argue in their book:

''Disconnect : The Breakdown of Representation in American Politics''

Using opinion surveys, they show that polarization is stronger among elites, elected officials, activists, journalists) than the broad public. Various ''disconnects'' result.

Politics that seems  too bare-knuckled  alienates voters. Or that Parliaments and Congress responds to the passionate party  ''base'' and enacts major programs without wide support.

All politics increasingly caters to people's natural desire to think well of themselves. But in so doing it often sacrifices pragmatic goals and sows rancour that brings:

The government and the  political system into friction, fire and disrepute.

But to be totally honest to Mariam, Rabo, Dee and then to all of you, I don't really mind being named as the Minister-at-large for Garbage Collection. 

My preconditions are that the UN should first define  ''garbage''  and determine the scope, then go ahead and  appoint me. And

Not just for Pakistan but for the whole world. Because.  just don't forget, that purging moral questions from politics is both impossible and undesirable. But today's tendency is:

To turn every contentious issue into a moral confrontation. And that is damn divisive.

And one way of fortifying student's and people's  self-esteem is praising them as smart, public-spirited, and virtuous and.......... which. by the way, Mariam, Rabo, Dee are, for sure.          

But an easier way is to portray the  ''other side''  as scum: the more scummy ''they'' are the superior  ''we'' are. On both left and right, here and there, this logic governs the political conversation:

Especially talk-radio, cable-channels and blogsphere and the students of the world.

But what matters to me right now is that : Mariam, Rabo and Dee never consider calling me the  ''Minister-at-large for Garbage Collection''  to my face,........ atleast.

For what these girls get from the political process are what the thinkers call ''psychic benefits''  

Economic benefits aim to make people richer. Psychic benefits strive to make them morally upright and superior. 

So as a ''Minister-at-large for Garbage Collection'' why would I not stand tall and effective?
That is a comforting prayer and somewhat  -lifting thought. In a world so damn filthy,noisy and unfair. What more can one wish, anyway?!

With respectful dedication to a great personal friend : Technologist Muhammed Hanif Ghaniwala/ {University of Chicago}  -and family. And for his sharings in many laughs and many teachings on : 


With respectful and loving dedication to the Students -*billions of them*-  of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Your Esteem '''

'''Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


  1. Love this article !! Standing for the right thing and ignoring everyone who laughs at you is the best practice. You grow higher and those who used to laugh at you, they'll still be at the same place laughing on someone else; they got nothing better to do.


Grace A Comment!