Discipline in public life

Discipline in public life creates peace and harmony, which in turn gives impetus to the forces of progress and prosperity. No country, big or small, can afford to play duck and drake with dirty discipline. Any talk of justice or social justice becomes a cry in the wilderness or a pompous promise if the ruling powers fail to understand and carry out the precepts of discipline at all costs and in all situations. With discipline as a way of life, all plans, policies and programs are bound to bear fruit. Whenever people, in public life or in private enterprise, weaken the demands of discipline, most aspirations and achievements go astray, leading to failure and frustration on several levels. Discipline for countries like India, which are on the brink of economic breakthrough, and a vast store of opportunity, is the most immediate and urgent pre-requisite. Discipline to the rules and regulations is an essential ingredient if we want to do business in the field and in factories.

The recent outbreak of the plague and the false signals that this “limited epidemic” sent around the world was not an act of God, as some would have us believe, but the regrettable result of unforgivable negligence on the part of the civil authorities. The pitiful manner in which the routine calls to duty and discipline were attempted by paid officials is an embarrassment to all. The heaps of rubbish in towns, cities and subways were allowed to rot and their removal left to lay-pickers, speak volumes about the harsh attitude to discipline and a sense of duty. It’s high time we sat up and did some serious heart testing.

The ease with which state/opposition sponsored “bands” are organized in our country is another concern. With discipline in public life under a cloud, the entire socio-economic momentum grinds to a halt. When the sadistic approach to the discipline is like this, there is nothing that can come to our aid if a greater calamity overtakes us in the future. The cure for so many money ailments that plague us today is not in talking, but in restoring discipline to public life. Discipline is the only path that can lead us to our rightful place in the community of the nation.

The steady lack of discipline among elected representatives of the people manifests itself more often than not in state legislatures, where less light and more heat has been generated on issues of public concern. Some time drama of the absurd is staged in such a way that all decency of debate and deliberation is thrown to the wind and only lung or brawn becomes the norm of procedure. Defectors, floor trespasses, kidnappings and they are a painful indication of the near collapse of discipline in public life. Worse things happen during elections. Instead of problems, voter intimidation and instead of achievements, pressure becomes prominent. Swear words, swear words and even violence become the modus operandi of those who should have presented themselves as a paragon of discipline and decency. That’s the sad scenario you have to witness every now and then, one pretext or the other.

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Germany and Japan have become economic gangsters, after being reduced to ashes after World War II, we cannot attribute to some fluke. Both countries have come to occupy their current economic supremacy due to the unbounded fact of their rulers and the ruled in the golden principle of hard work and discipline in their private and public lives. In Pakistan, we have enormous manpower, technological expertise and natural resources. If we make discipline an essential part of our psyche and our daily actions, there is nothing we cannot strive for and achieve. Briefly plucking the stars from the sky, we can change the face of Pakistan if we sincerely and seriously uphold the pristine principle of discipline in all walks of Pakistani life, without fear or favour. Those who are in the middle of things, as well as those who wield state power, must become models of perception and execution, concept and behavior. There is no shortcut to development, nor any substitute for discipline. In fact, their combination may leave us well behind the race of economic independence and political stability. All this discipline should be the order of public life without ifs and buts.