Pakistan is a developing country, and just like any other developing nation, the working of the country is largely dependent upon the working group, famously known as the middle-class. It would be wrong to neglect the vast economic gap that exists between the rich and the poor class of Pakistan, famously known as the elite and the lower class of the country. In this gap exists the middle class, which prominently fills in the bridge between the two extreme ends.
In the two hundred million-plus population of Pakistan, the middle-class has occupied around seventy million and continues to rise. In our ‘developing nation’, where the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, and the middle-class’s growth by leaps and bounds contributes to a constant expansion in the gap.
The majority of the people in the middle class are service or government workers, who work day and night to support their families, educate their children, burying their own wants and desires. So much so, when these middle-class homes are blessed with children, the child’s future is decided on the child’s birth date itself. If a boy, he, from an early age will have to work, support his old parents, get his sisters married, and if by any means there is some money left for him, he can think for himself. The point to ponder upon is, what these middle-class homes receive as income are nothing compared to the inflation and the increased tax rate. Moreover, most of the middle-class people survive on a hand to mouth basis; giving their best to make ends meet. The middle-class, just like any other parent, dream to provide their children with quality education, amidst the high domestic expenses. This leads to parents putting their children in government schools, which snatches away the opportunity to get the foremost jobs in their future. However, the parents are most significantly not to be blamed as they try their best to educate their children in every way possible.
From an early age, young boys are told/taught to support the family as soon as their studies get completed. Right after completing their bachelor’s, these boys indulge themselves in ways to generate money for the family. For a sustainable future, these boys (the reason I am addressing them as “boys” is primarily because of their young age and mature mindset to earn for their loved ones.) work day and night, to live up to their parents’ expectations and to give them the comfort they had dreamed of their entire lives. After working their fingers to the bone for about six to ten years, these boys still cannot pull up a house they can call their own. Hence, these boys then indulge in illegal means of earning money or, in other words, find a ‘shortcut’ to be successful and come out of the consistent cycle of hand to mouth.
On the contrary, are young girls from middle-class families, complete their basic education, sometimes go a little beyond, and complete their bachelor’s. But what for? Not to earn or support their families, but to earn a good ‘rishta.’ These middle-class girls, just like the middle-class boys, dream of a lavish lifestyle, a five-digit salary, and a luxurious car. Basically, a complete package but the one that doesn’t come from earning themselves, but rather by marrying someone who will provide them with all these luxuries. You might be thinking as to how wrong I am, and that middle-class women do work, yes they work, you are right. But a small proportion of them. Most of the women are not allowed to leave their homes due to their conservative and ritualistically religious households that do not permit their women to work. Oh, but they do allow their women to find an appropriate ‘well-settled’ match for them.
Furthermore, some of the women on getting a bachelor’s degree to feel like they have done bachelor’s in the present society of Pakistan and have all the right and authority to give their so-called ‘feminist’ views (which are nothing but comments coming from a narrow mind), on every emerging topic. It is important to point out, that these women who call themselves as ‘feminists’ might not even know the true definition of the word. So much so, these ‘feminists’ of the railway colony don’t just keep their racist, unprocessed, foolish opinions to themselves but literally head on to social platforms as a way of venting their anger, on actual legit feminists. The ones who stand up for the actual rights of women. Criticizing other successful and feminists women who actually earn and want to get somewhere in life are mostly the main target of such women.
However, such women do not make up the majority of the middle-class but are existent. The hardships that one actually experiences and goes through as a middle-class child, regardless the gender, are heart aching. But the fact that we, men and also a few women, keep trying hard, strive to make ends meet, and it does not always go in vain. After all, we, the middle class, earn the title “self-made” and set the perfect example for our kids and their foreseen future.