Karachi: The Fine Line Between Resilience vs Indifference

Jun 17, 2014 by     3 Comments    Posted under: Expressions, Opinions

Karachi has been called the bravest and strongest city in the world. Whenever a catastrophe strikes, we always recover from it within no time. Whether it is Shias, Sunnis, Ahmedis, Christians or any other group targeted in any part of this city at any time of the day, we get back on our feet and move on with our lives within a matter of hours like nothing happened.

I always thought of this as our greatest strength until recently it hit me that this might actually be our biggest weakness. I cannot help but think that this undying spirit of ours that we proudly refer to as “resilience” might actually be “apathy”.

We have become so prone to calamities that we have mastered the art of “moving on”. But do we really move on? Do we even bother to give ourselves enough time to grieve – or are we simply running away from the harsh realities of life in Karachi today?

Whenever disaster strikes, Pakistanis – especially “Karachiites” – tend to talk about it amongst themselves thriving in living room political discussions, with the news channels in a frenzy to be the first to report “breaking news” to the people. Politicians continuously scream at one another at the behest of being the “winner” in the arguments staged in reality talk shows.

We as a people have become so used to daily disasters that we completely disregard the fact that numerous families may have been destroyed in the act, many must have lost the sole bread earners of their families, many others have become orphans, while some must have been forced to pick up the dead bodies of their little children and all must have been traumatized for life.

When Shias or Sunnis or any minorities are targeted, the other half simply shrugs it off and goes about its business like nothing of import really happened.

Even after the disastrous attack on Karachi airport, where so many innocent lives were lost, I was shocked to see my newsfeed full of people who went out for lunches, movies; people joking about the tragedy and the operation on social media as if it were an everyday occurrence in our lives.

That is when I realized that this is not resilience; we have actually become numb to everything around us. Unless we are directly involved in a tragedy, we will only discuss it for a while and then shrug it off like every other “breaking” news. This could probably be the reason why this city has been targeted over and over again, because no matter what happens, we get up the next morning and pretend like nothing happened. But this shouldn’t be called our strength, this isn’t being strong or resilient. This is utter indifference.

This is what years of lawlessness and insecurity have done to us. No matter how many dead bodies we see, how many mourning mothers we see on the roads, we cannot step out of this state of numbness.

In the end I have come to realize that this is where the enemy might have been successful. They have made us apathetic. What strategy would be better than killing a man’s emotions towards his own brother? You don’t have to wipe out cities, you only need to wipe out people’s emotions and the society will destruct itself. Make them stop caring and your job is done.

But enough is enough! It is high time Karachi stood up for its people. Why can we not put our petty differences aside and get united against the enemy? What more do we need to see? If even today all of us join hands, there is nobody who can dare to destroy us. Because indeed we are very strong and resilient people. But there is a fine line between resilience and apathy, and that is precisely what we need to realize right now.

The Author

Click to view all posts from .

3 Comments + Add Comment

  • Couldn’t agree more! We have indeed lost all emotions and no matter how many innocent people lose their battle of life, we simply don’t care. I mean, as long as I am not the victim, I don’t mind another hundred dying. That is what Karachiates are today. Excellent thought provoking piece Fizza!

  • “This could probably be the reason why this city has been targeted over and over again, because no matter what happens, we get up the next morning and pretend like nothing happened.”
    That hit me so hard.

  • This is written beautifully. To the point and reflects reality to the fullest. I couldn’t agree more. Big up to you.

Your Voice Matters to Us

Send in your entries, ideas, thoughts, VLogs, Photologs and related to editorial@youthcorrespondent.com today.

Subscribe to us on

Youth Correspondent RSS
Youth Correspondent on Facebook
Youth Correspondent on Twitter
Youth Correspondent on Youtube