By Engr. Bilal Awaisi.
Since the inception of this world, people have been accumulating knowledge through multiple channels and have been expressing it in their writings. These are writers. The importance of a writer for society is just like that of the brain for the body. Brain directs all the parts of the body and so does a writer with all the classes of society. A society without its own writers gets paralyzed and ultimately meets its death.
The culture of a society, which includes its language, ideologies, lifestyle, and is its identity. A writer preserves the identity of the society to which he belongs. When he writes in his native language, he strengthens the vocabulary and grammar of it. When he writes about the religion of his society, he actually reinforces the faith of his fellows. When he writes about the ideologies and lifestyle of his society, he actually promotes them and keeps them living. But the situation is opposite in our society – Pakistan. It is witnessing a paucity of writers. Due to this reason, its national language – Urdu – is not getting due attention and it is still underdeveloped. The criticality of situation can be well understood from the fact that the orders of the court to translate administrative documents from English into Urdu could not be executed even after the deadline. Apart from the underdevelopment of Pakistani language, its religion, lifestyle, and ideologies have also not got due attention in writings. The result is gradual disappearance of Pakistani culture giving way to foreign cultures, a practical example of which is telecasting of Urdu dubbed Turkish television programs on Pakistani TV channels.
A writer is also like a gardener who waters the plant of history with the present to ensure its unabated growth. Every writer, no matter whatever genre he writes, reflects characteristics of his era and in this way, these are saved and passes from generations to generations. In fact, the history we study today is the result of this very phenomenon of writing. Historians witnessed events of their time, converted them into words and saved them for the rest of generations. Machiavelli, for example, said that in order to defend a kingdom, it was necessary to conquer it suburbs. This clearly shows that he talked about the era that existed Peace of Westphalia because after Westphalian Treaty, the concept of sovereignty emerged and to respect the sanctity of borders became mandatory.
A writer, through his writings, also influences inter-societal relations. He ponders upon history, scrutinizes present and establishes patterns for the future. These patterns help political elites of a society to manage their relations with other societies. Samuel P. Huntington, for example, wrote a book named “Clash of Civilizations” in 1996, in which he predicted that future wars would be fought on the basis of differences in different civilizations instead of competition for resources and other such reasons. His predictions proved to be right when 9/11 happened. The recent confrontation between terrorist organizations and the so-called champions of democracy is also in line with the concept presented by him. The most recent example is Trump’s ban on citizens of some Muslim countries after which it was in the air that Pakistanis could also face such a ban. But, the articles of different writers, including me, presented the case of Pakistan in much stronger fashion and the United States, resultantly, clarified its stance that Pakistan would not be banned.
Last but not the least, a writer also provides a source of entertainment for people. When people are tired of their monotonous routines, the entertaining writings add colors to their lives and refresh them. Sometimes, these sources of entertainment become sources of lessons and judgments for people. They depict reality in a sincere and true manner. The most recent example can be Panama Leaks Judgement in which one of the judges quoted a verse – behind every great fortune, there is a crime – from the historic novel “The godfather”.
Putting in a nutshell, a writer, in many ways, is important in the life of his society. He directs it in a specific direction protecting its identity at the same time.
Engr. Bilal Awaisi – Currently serving in the faculty of University of Management and technology; can be reached at email@example.com