Getting used to ‘civic disobedience’ all over the country, be it on the roads, trains or in our neighborhoods is a rite of passage for many amongst us. The menace comes in many different forms and shapes; spitting out Pan on the streets, fiddling with the cell phone while driving, jumping the traffic signals etc are just some of the trademarks of people within the land of the pure.

It appears, if there is one commodity that we truly lack, it is civic sense or how to behave in a civilized manner once we are outside our homes.

This is despite the fact that we all learn about following rules of good behaviour and yet we do not see it in practice anywhere around us thus offering a proof of the harsh reality that we all become lawless in our own quirky ways. Most of us have a ‘herd mentality’, which is to follow something just because someone else happens to be doing that. To comment that we are more like sheep and buffaloes than intelligent human beings taught to follow not only the law but its very spirit would not be out of place.

The need for a special disciplinary force which makes us follow the law until it becomes our habit to do so cannot be overemphasized. In advance countries, promoting an inbred civic sense within the society is one of the primary responsibilities of the state that begins right from early schooling. Though all this is covered in our textbooks in schools and colleges and even our religion promotes it as well, the laws of the land or norms of decency for that matter are rarely given the reverence they deserve. A genuine democracy cannot survive unless the people are good citizens.


Islamabad, November 26.