As a citizen of the 3rd world, my favorite childhood game used to be “what if I were born in ………”. Those used to be fun times when I would envision myself living my best life, acquiring quality education, and utilizing golden opportunities which life has to offer. Even though I was a child with little to no knowledge of the world geography, the names “USA”, UK, “Europe” would make me think of lands where dreams come true. This was not something taught in school or downscaled by my parents but maybe the observation of a child is sharp enough to understand and analyze his surroundings. The life we live, the life we could not live but imagine living, full of desires, longings, wants but most importantly the needs. We were taught to differentiate between our wants and needs from very early on in our lives. Such is the dilemma of the 3rd world.
If any of us is asked to tell the biggest problem our society and state is undergoing, it would take for us a long time to decide which one it is. It is not because these problems are so meager that its hard to pick one but the fact that we are struggling in every aspect of life that it is hard to pick one out. The world can’t blame us. We are the victims of colonialism and are still facing the aftereffects. The colonizers, with their imperial agendas loyal to their own nations exploited us to our very cores. Our resources, our values, our norms, our culture, our local languages, all were subjected to the whims of the imperialists. This continued for quite sometime and when they left, they left us deteriorated, demoralized, distraught and in despair.
Even to this day, we, the citizens of the 3rd world, face a lot of issues which never get resolved. Generations after generations, the very same issues trickle down. There is a State. There are Structures. There is a government. There is Democracy. But what good are these when the people have to go to bed hungry after a day of humiliation to find employment only to wake up to the very same misery the next day? There is corruption. Inflation. Unemployment. Nepotism. Political recruitments. Bribery. Deteriorating health and education sector. Local and domestic issues. Societal crimes of kidnapping, rape, domestic and sexual abuse. The “bhatta” culture and the targeted killings in many parts of the country. The ethnic, sectarian, and separatist movements. The pandemics. The 3rd world is self-sufficient in these ailments. Under such dark stormy clouds of a miserable life, these people start to question if they really are the children of a lesser god.
The post-truth era has helped us develop a sense of a lot of things. The discourses generated by the elites and the 1st world used to dominate our lives and shape our decisions. But thanks to the technological advancements, media, and the increasing awareness among our people, we can view things for what they are. This has developed in us a heightened sense of the level of exploitation the public is facing daily. Wherever we go, corruption exists. Ranging from high-ranking government officials and down to the grade 11 employees. It is like there is a mafia at work working towards wringing the poor dry of everything they have, including their dreams and aspirations. Inflation is at its peak. Governments are seen blaming the global market, but the truth of the matter is the hoarding culture in place creating an artificial shortage to increase the prices of products. The edibles, the furnace oil, the petroleum, and gas products have gone out of our range and their prices continue to soar higher making many a people to take their lives since they can not feed their families. Unemployment is another root problem of the global South. Our youth wasting away their talents and lives doing meager jobs on daily wages. Nepotism and the culture of political recruitment takes the best of us, and the people of humble backgrounds are left fending for their own selves despite their education and due right to employment. A certain amount of money or a bribe has to be paid to the clerk mafia to get our files and our cases forwarded without a guarantee whether it would reach the relevant official or not. The education sector is in turmoil. Our children have no access to even the primary education in a lot of places. Limited public universities, limited seats in the medical colleges and a not-so-great quality of the education imparted overall indicates the level of corruption in this sector and the use of funds elsewhere. Similar is the situation in the field of healthcare. Basic facilities and dispensaries are unavailable to major population of the country. Scores of women die every day due to complications of childbirth, children die of viral diseases, the prices of antibiotics and the unavailability of pharmaceuticals drugs and vaccines tell us an altogether different story, a tragedy in its own. All this has in turn led to adverse effects on our society as we observe a significant surge in the crime rates, theft, robbery, social injustice, violence, domestic and social abuse. The level of intolerance, hatred, prejudice and hate crime has increased to a dangerously high level. The economic and social disparity and the resulting relative deprivation has resulted in the rise of ethnonationalism and separatist movements in many parts of this region. The recent pandemic added insult to injury when the level of medical facilities were not up to the mark to cater such a large turn up of the infected. If we come to think of it, if not for the “humanitarian aid” or the scrapes of the 1st world in the form of vaccines, God forbid the situation would be unthinkable. These problems are not specific to one particular country, but the rule of generalization applies as the 3rd world undergoes mutual existential crisis.
The purpose of highlighting these issues is not to project pessimism but an aim to end this vicious cycle of deprivation. Efforts will have to be made and everyone will have to put their drop in the sea. It is about time we understand why we are the way we are and who is benefiting from it. Who is pulling our strings and makes us believe a certain fact? The view will start to get clearer only when we are able to imply our resources and our minds in the right direction. It will take time and even blood, sweat and tears. But the glory of the world created after this labor would be unparalleled.