Thanks to the inflation promoting policy of the government, bread has become more expensive. It is hoped that the latest increase will soon be followed by another price-hike. Rampant inflation is the hallmark of our economic virility. An inflation-proof economy is a stagnant economy. The rate of economic activity is directly proportional to the rate of inflation. The more the inflation, the more the economic activity.

Air, water and bread are three absolutely indispensable things for our survival. Luckily, nature has been infinitely generous with respect to our air and water needs. It has created air and water in inexhaustible quantities and made them available to us free. We can consume as much air and water as we like. Nature will send us no bills. But unluckily nature has been extremely stingy with respect to our bread needs.

Had bread been as freely available as air and water, we would have been completely spoiled. Or had air and water been imbued with protein or carbohydrates, man’s economic activity would never have come into being. But nature wanted man to be active. It decided not to make bread freely available like air and water. Man was forced to work for bread.

Nature made bread-policy and made bread-earning a horrible ordeal for the common Pakistani. Our economic planning is so designed that bread in Pakistan keeps becoming more and more expensive. We have been doing all this simply to pamper nature. If nature does not want bread to be easily available, we must, to please nature, make bread more and more expensive. We understand nature’s intentions better than the West. In the West, bread is cheaper than dust because the West knows that man does not live by bread alone. In Pakistan, bread is horribly expensive because our rulers know that the common Pakistani lives by bread alone.

If the Pakistani bread is beyond the economic means of the common Pakistani he need not worry. He is absolutely free to leave the motherland and earn his bread in the Middle East or the West. Bread-earning is as easy in those parts of the world as it is difficult in our part of the world. Maybe the government has intentionally made bread exorbitantly expensive so that all the starving Pakistanis flee the land. Already starvation at home has forced numerous Pakistanis to flee the country.

Luckily, they have been earning a lot of bread abroad. Some of it they have been sending home in the form of foreign exchange remittances. The motherland starved them. But they haven’t minded it at all. The memory of the starvation has failed to kill their patriotism. They are feeding the motherland, as a token of their gratitude for the starvation. They are great souls. Let’s create more such souls. Let’s drive all the starving Pakistanis out of the motherland so that we could have more of the foreign exchange remittances, which we badly need for the prosperity of the rulers.

The world is teeming with different kinds of human rights associations. Unfortunately, every association is a blatant mockery of human rights. The most fundamental human right is the right to live. But one cannot live without bread. A State which does not guarantee subsistence to its citizens is a violator of the most fundamental human right. No human rights association has so far forced Pakistan to guarantee subsistence to its citizens.

Only living human beings have rights. But one cannot live without bread. So all sorts of human rights spring from bread. Breadlessness means death and the dead have no right, except the right of being buried. If the various human rights associations around the world are seriously concerned about human rights, they must collectively force every State to guarantee subsistence to its citizens.

All our governments have told us that most of the Pakistanis are miserable because Pakistan has limited economic resources. The miserable masses must wait till the resources become unlimited. (So long as the resources do not become unlimited, they must patriotically continue starving.) If, however, they cannot wait for the miracle, they are constitutionally free to leave the country in search of new pastures where bread is easily available.

The masses must know that the rulers have also been making sacrifices for the country. Our rulers are fabulously affluent. (Perhaps, their affluence is a gift of the country’s limited resources.) If the rulers were to leave Pakistan with all their wealth and settle permanently in the West, they could have infinitely more gay life there than what they have been having here. Obviously, they have been living in Pakistan only by sacrificing the immense fun, which they could enjoy round the clock in the West. If the rulers can make sacrifices, why can’t the masses?

    The writer retired as professor of the Department of English, Government College University, Lahore.