This week, Pakistani Twitter saw a plethora of backlash against instances of people exhibiting a sense of privilege and entitlement. From Ali Rehman’s infamous ‘do you know who I am?’ rant against a fast-food chain worker, to a Karachi woman’s verbal abuse at a police officer after she was pulled over for running a red light, Pakistan has always faced a serious problem in regards to how we view our lower/lower-middle class but the advent of social media has bought these instances more to life.
Regardless of how ‘very important’ a person may be, they cannot break the law. However, this concept is foreign in Pakistan where there is such a deep-rooted class system and feudal mindset, that the transgression of law and order are commonplace among citizens of a higher socio-economic class.
This mindset can be traced back to Pakistan’s exorbitant economic inequality which has been disastrous for the nation.
Increased inequality means undermining education opportunities for children from lower socio-economic backgrounds, decreased social mobility and hampering the development of skills. This skipping out of educational opportunities means less productive employees and lower wages resulting in overall lower participation in the economy.
This not only makes it harder for economies to benefit from businesses and entrepreneurs, but also gives way to increased extremism, crime, lack of women empowerment and a rise in gender inequality which hurts people from all socio-economic backgrounds.
It is important to raise awareness and educate people on the adverse effects of increased inequality on people from all walks of life. Perhaps then, instead of abusing their power, people from privileged backgrounds might their resources, education and advantages to help those they consider ‘less than’ for the net benefit of the nation and it’s residents.
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