Resurrecting Napier! My thoughts,
16 million inhabitants ago!
BY MENIN RODRIGUES
THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2016
At 28 years of age I was put this question “If you could bring back to life
someone who could deal with Karachi, who would it be?”
Here are a few snippets from my piece of 1986:
In this context, I would like to take up the issue of the massive degradation of the
city of Karachi and bring back Sir Charles Napier who envisioned and described
Karachi to be one of the cleanest cities of the East, and also dreamed of coming
back in time to see this city in its entire splendor. Napier said, “Thou shalt be
the Glory of the East, would that I could come again to see you, Kurrachee,
in your grandeur.”
People don’t care for role models anymore! Living role models don’t seem to have
the charisma and power to influence young people anymore; therefore, I would
rather resurrect Napier and make him re-live the life, albeit distorted and
disruptive now, that made him an eminent luminary and the city of Karachi a
better place to live in.
After all it is just a dream!
One of the biggest issues in our day-to-day lives is the complexity of living in a
metropolis like Karachi – which has grown from a small fishing village of a
few hundred people to more than 7 million (*) people today.
The problems of Karachi are entangled in a web of deception, and therefore, it is
necessary that we rather bring someone back from the dead because those living
don’t have a clue to what needs to be done!
Realistically speaking, Karachi lacks ownership. There are too many ethnic
overtones with one group claiming influence over the other and vice versa. From
broken roads to overflowing gutters, from dirty neighborhoods to garbage heaps
and from stealing of electricity to organized crime – all such vices have literally
made Karachi an unsafe place for the common man.
There is no such living person in Karachi or anywhere in Pakistan who can
handle this melting pot, therefore, I would like to ‘Resurrect Napier’ to chart out
a ‘Dream Map’ for Karachi to, once again, become one of the cleanest and most
beautiful cities of the East.
Fast forward 30 years – has it changed?
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
(*) 1. The 1992 Census lists Karachi to have a population of 9.2 million
2. 2016 – Wikipedia notifies Karachi to have a population of 23 million.