The lynching of two teenaged brothers in Sialkot is perhaps the most brutal of all incidents we have seen in recent times. I for one think neither cyclical downturns nor disparities in living standards have a relation with the widespread occurrences of hate crimes of this nature. According to sociological research, the hate crimes occur not because of any worsening of the economic conditions but mostly because of a breakdown in law enforcement and encouragement of civil disobedience. Instead of viewing these hate crimes as a response associated with poverty or ignorance, I suggest we view it as a response to political conditions. More often than not, a crime of hate is generated because of a longstanding feeling of frustration that has little to do with economic circumstance. That is why acts like this are often committed by people that have grown up under repressive political regimes. Now lets take a look at our political condition for a moment. Our country has sunk literally to the bottom of the box. People all over are confused totally about where the country has to go and where it actually is going. The President, who has the responsibility of steering the setup, is a stranger to the basic truth that governance is not just about talking big. The failure of administration he runs is so obvious that our political elite is currently engaged in the most popular game of chattering about breaking up one 'marriage of convenience to hastily rig up another. The fact is that the desire to be in power is almost never motivated by the ethos of public service or good in this country. It usually stems from a lust for power that keeps the addicts constantly engaged in manipulation to remain in power at all costs. -UMER MUMTAZ, Rawalpindi, August 29.