“Man is by nature a social animal and that one who does not socialize in society is either a beast or a god.”—Aristotle
It is a universally accepted fact that we are nothing if we are not interconnected, interdependent and interlinked in a chain and does not feel each other’s pain, sorrow, and agonies.
According to a research report published in Dawn, Pakistan’s most reputed and oldest newspaper, those societies lag behind if the individual members of that particular social order are unconcerned about each other’s affairs. Thus, it is very important for us to have some sort of connection to each other to collectively move forward against social barricades and injustices.
Since we live in an unjust society where there are no institutional social or economic safety nets at the state level, we are prone to sufferings. Therefore, we need different kinds of social supports. For example, some people essentially need financial support, others need physical support and some are in need of constant emotional support. In such a society we have to pass through different phases in our life and face unfavourable situations wherein we desperately need the help of others and every time we see our left and right to find someone to extend a helping hand. Regrettably, in most cases, we find none other than God.
This shows that society is facing disintegration and heading toward a highly incoherent ruptured social structure.
Interestingly, knowing all this, we still don’t want to make efforts for social change and contribute towards the collective cause and do some social work. We think that social activism or work is something not worthy of praise or even if we accept the importance of helping someone but offer lame excuse of time to do so. This is a common behaviour or mindset of the whole society.
This is, indeed, the reflection of the unreasonable education that we have been receiving for many years now. If our education does not teach us humanity and consciousness to help or at least raise our voice for the rights of the poor or working class or to secure future of every downtrodden segment of society, we are not worthy of anything at all.
Since Gilgit-Baltistan’s is a secluded mountain society having no say in the political arena to impact or influence policymaking or decision-making process of the country, it is necessary for the social agents to create awareness about social change, fundamental rights and work for the benefits of one another. It will bring positive changes in society. Also, Social work can be substantive to our society in the creations of jobs if we start doing it by creating proper institutions in all the districts of GB.
Social scientists, thinkers and development experts vehemently say that a society cannot grow if its members do not learn to use its capital for their well-being. Hence, social thinkers of GB should learn from developed and egalitarian societies to offer solutions to complex issues.
In so doing, we can also be able to create emotional links between people to strengthen social bonds. Social work creates a sense of voluntarism and humanism and motivation for contributing towards noble cause to help people pursue their goals especially the youth who should not be disappointed to chase his or her dreams due to financial constraints.
Social justice and collective work, indeed, is solely a panacea to the ills of a capitalist society. It helps in creating an egalitarian society and a new functional process by which it can reduce disparities and inequalities. It treats all the member of the society equally to share resources and wealth equally.
Since Gilgit-Baltistan is a backward society divided vertically and horizontally into the lines of social class, sect, ethnicity, and race. It is imperative that people should speak for everyone’s rights, development prosperity, equal distribution of resources or to provide a chance to the downtrodden to grow up equally to their rich counterpart.
Last but not least, it is very important to feel one another’s pain to provide emotional, mental and psychological support in society. This can be done by creating infrastructure for social work. It is vital for the Gilgit-Baltistan’s development because of the less attention paid by the state of Pakistan due to the region’s imbroglio status.
Shahzaib Hassan is a student of Forman Christian College, Lahore, studying political science and English literature. He hails from Jalalabad, Gilgit.