Season for saying sorry - Najmul Hasan Rizvi (Life) - 2 May 2011

Source :

Inspired by the Muslim League-Nawaz leader Javed Hashmi’s recent speech in parliament asking some leaders to apologise for their past misdeeds, Mr Right has sent an appeal to the ruling party to set up a National Apology Commission in Pakistan.

“The commission should facilitate apology by all those who have betrayed the trust of the people in one way or the other,” he said.
“But the commission will be flooded with work if all wrong-doers, cheats and tricksters in the country decide to seek the nation’s forgiveness for their big and small crimes,” I pointed out.
“The commission should seek the help of volunteers among the citizens to receive apologies from erring persons,” Mr Right suggested. “Small apology centres on the lines of confession booths can also be set up in different areas to collect the declarations of sin.”
“I take my hat off to Mr Hashmi for admitting his mistake and seeking the people’s forgiveness for becoming a minister in the military dictator Gen Zia-ul-Haq’s regime,” I said. “Do you think the other political bigwigs have the courage to express their repentance for going astray?”
“Never mind if they fail to muster courage now, we will force them to repent later because Mr Hashmi’s ‘Seek an apology’ campaign has the potential to spread countrywide like wildfire, ” Mr Right said.
“How can you say that with certainty?” I asked. “By tradition, no criminals and outlaws in our country ever accept their guilt as they know that the prosecution is fully trained to prove them not guilty.”
“Once an apology commission starts working in the country I hope more and more people will come forward regretting their past actions,” Mr Right said. “With so many grand palaces, big businesses and fat bank accounts overseas in the name of some of our beloved leaders, one should expect a huge rush of repentant personalities offering their apologies to the nation.”
“This may need an efficient system to classify the apologies according to the nature of the crime,” I said.
“I have designed a letter of apology which may serve as a common application in all cases,” Mr Right said. He showed a neatly typed letter. Addressed to the people of Pakistan, it went like this:
“Dear poor people of Pakistan, I hereby acknowledge my most deplorable conduct in the past. I am ashamed of my selfish motives and sincerely regret my actions, which were aimed at making you most poor from very poor. I seek your forgiveness for the actions listed below and I assure you that I will never resort to such unethical practices in the future.” The list included scores of unlawful acts. One of which was accumulation of wealth through misuse of power.
“It gives an impression as if the country has been robbed by the corrupt politicians only,” I said. “What about the men in uniform and those responsible for running the government machinery, the bureaucracy. A big block of the government secretariat should be converted into the secretariat of the apology commission.”
“I agree,” Mr Right smiled. “The remaining cases of apology seekers are mentioned overleaf.”
I turned the page and saw a longer checklist of “I am sorry for” actions which included some very interesting entries. One of these read: I am sorry for dozing off while batting in the cricket world cup.
Some more references went like this: I am sorry for submitting a fake degree to the election commission, I am sorry for causing a bank failure by not retuning loans, I am sorry for leaving a pair of scissors inside the stomach of a patient during surgery, I am sorry for hitting an anchor with a glass of water in a TV talk show.
One more entry said: I am sorry for snatching a mobile phone from a pedestrian at gunpoint.
“Perhaps this refers to those involved in street crimes. Will they also be ashamed?”
“They should be,” Mr Right said. “The fact is if we take the season of apology seriously, we all will realise that everybody of us has breached a law and social etiquette at one time or the other. So let’s be honest and offer apology to one other without hesitation.”
Najmul Hasan Rizvi is a former Assistant Editor of Khaleej Times

No comments:

Post a Comment