Labor Day is celebrated every year on May 1, and each year we see that only lip service is paid especially in the Third World where the Capitalists and industrialist only laugh at the dreadful conditions of the workers and labourers working under their stranglehold.

A number of political statements, and programs on ‘labour rights’ are aired as well as columns written about ‘labour rights’ in newspapers and magazines; the general public enjoys the holiday; but the class for which this day is celebrated goes to working as usual because celebrations cannot feed children of the laborers. Have you or I ever given a day off to our maid or driver as it was Labour Day, not ‘Executives Can Have a Day Off’ day. I saw many daily wage earners on the streets all day, the painter, the vendor, the electrician and the motor mechanic were all working, while white color class had a day off!

Instead of criticizing the government for not fulfilling its constitutional obligations, or industrialists for exploiting laborers, or land-lords for keeping the poor their slaves for generations, let us make one solid resolution on this Labor Day that we will give self-respect to the labor class of our society. We, the common citizens of Pakistan, can make a huge positive change in the lives of the labor class by giving them the respect they deserve. This will definitely give them hope and reaffirm their faith in hard work. If they are deprived of their self-respect despite all the hardwork, they may resort to other means of attaining wealth that may be illegal and even violent. After all respect is all that a poor man has!

MUHAMMAD ZAHEER ABBAS,

Islamabad, April 30.