SOAPBOX: Zakir Nagar – Apathy of People and Authorities

Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime. – Aristotle

Idiot was ‘this’ the only place to wander around. Looking for his lost dog, furious, when sighted his dog roaming near Ashoka Park in Zakir Nagar- a man from Friends Colony (colony of elites, as it is called in Okhla, Jamia Nagar) driving his Hyundai car, that adds sheen to standard of living when accompanied by a dog seated on front seat, an ill-effect of globalization, imitation of the West, thinking ill of humans, but dogs their loyal friends.

Aijaz Malik

Jamia Nagar engulfed by Dengue during past summer was an experience of excruciation pain and despair as viral infection by mosquito Aedes aegypti made me realize the suffering of those unprivileged living hand to mouth whom apathy has reduced to penury and ghettos. I think it was my rebirth when after a month i recovered, still suffering the after effects of this fatal disease, sciatia and periodic depression compounded by digestive inefficiency.

My friends advised me to go to Safder Jung Hospital or AIIMS both at considerable distance from Zakir Nagar, but for my worsening health and drastic reduction in platelets, i couldn’t resist the dog days of July and visited Holy Family Hospital in my neighbourhood, expensive staff moving around, the concerned doctor forcefully and empathetically advised homegoing, the valley whose air has remedial characteristics, atmosphere politically polluted, questioning health and hygiene regulations of my residential area, pronouncing it ghetto.

Nowhere in Zakir Nagar would i find authorities concerned about general healthcare so as to construct a hospital in the locality thereby facilitating people with basic amenities of life or clearing and dumping garbage at the earliest without delaying for stench to stimulate their smelling conscience to act for preventing occurrence of enedemic. When healthcare is privatized or when healthcare infrastructure is elitized, common man’s access to life saving medicines and medicos gets restricted. Only those with hefty sums afford to taste drugs, undergo prescribed costly medical examinations and subsequently accompany a disease free life. The only way out for have-nots ends up purchasing drugs from licensed medical stores pathetically without any prescription but by practitioners whose ‘little knowledge suggests mostly dangerous things.’ But who cares. I would never dare even in my wildest dreams to think of people whose inner-self is anhilating, conscience breathing last and who are reluctant to change their fate and fortune when enlightenment for empowerment emanates from their close vicinities and they merely perform hosts to every seeker.

Muslims are not a discriminated lot, the otherway of calling them backward is most appropriate, when faculties of reformation and revolution are confined to teachings of religion. why is God so kind to non muslims asked one of friend whose keen observation remains within the permises of his own self without observing the plethora of problems within and around. I answered promptly without delay that even ‘God helps those who help themselves.’ Nobody on earth can change your fate unless you yourself do not strive for change and ‘be the change you wish to see in this world.’

Great reformers have ideas of change not the stick to make them applicable by reinforcing their essence. When people face difficulties, ideas suggest remedies and only those havind serene understanding make efforts to do away painful experiences. Experience comes with understanding and both are fundamentally intimate acquaintances of standard of life. If policies are framed so as to legitimize your ignorance, you are made to believe that pathetic condition of life is an outcome of your poor existence even if your efforts are simply the hardest.

What of those who live luxury without knowing what actually it means to work. Why only they have the right to live life at its best. Introspection will yield nothing but embarrassment. Learn to educate your mind, you will rise from none to one who can contribute, like we receive warmth, light and life from the bright sun, which shines without caring who receives, who not.

[Editor’s Note: In an effort to provide space for all Jamia students to express themselves on any topic of their liking without being edited, we have created a section called the Soapbox. Articles under this section are presented as is. Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of The author bears full responsibility for its content and format.]

About Aijaz Hussain Malik

Aijaz Malik is a contributing writer and a postgraduate student in the Department of History and Culture. He can be reached via email at: aijazias[at]

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  1. an eye opener piece.yes,blamegame,rhetoric is enough,let us realize the hard bitter truths of our own responsibilities and faults which pave a way to backwardness and the lower standard of life.cursing destiny and then govt.’s is a routine but the fact is

  2. it is a brilliant write up, dear u we get many feed backs who only will praise u but i think it my responsibility to make u correct ( where i fell) I may be totally wrong. I expect lot more from u and want your place much higher. Dont u think that u have not done justice with title.write up is wondefullbut title does not suit and i feel that conectivity is missing. I also found some spell mistakes. Hope u will not take ill of my exression or view point. u know better why I am…..
    thanks keep it up brilliant

  3. you r right Fayaz Sahab… In mistakes do experience lies… I can never think otherwise of those whose crriticism i personally know is constructive… Thanks for valuable suggestions

  4. but the fact is we are ourselves too responsible for the mess we are in.the central arguement which the writer wanted to highlight is perhaps,that we the muslims need to pull our socks up to come at par with the rest and have to shun lethargy,ease loving but struggle to come to some plateform.let us all work in what ever ways we can and bring honour to our nation and then to the entire muslim community which has been branded enough as undesirable chunk,violent,illiterate,intolerable and what not.
    the writeup by the young student though seems a bit ambiguous for having been touched so many aspects and later somehow being unable to bring coherence,continuity and proper linking,but the ideas thrown are simply par-excellence.keep it up and never look back.
    adfer syed

  5. ambiguity… yes. U are accurate the way u summed up the central idea Adfar sahab. I shud consider wherever positive criticism deserves space… Thanks

  6. i appritiate your thinking you have said very well but it is a process that need a stumli on indivisual basis .according to me everyone has his own responsibility and he should perform.

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