The takeoff non-starter | Pakistan Today

The takeoff non-starter

Keeping society on th ground

Muhammad Fayaz may have his head in the clouds, but at the moment, he has a more immediate problem– he wants his aeroplane back. Fayyaz, who comes from one of the chukuk of Pakpattan district, has developed an un-nerving familiarity with disappointment, but has never given up. As a child, he wanted to become a PAF fighter pilot. That was not to be, and a combination of a lack of formal education combined with the need to earn a living, forced him to work as an aluhomemade plancminium technician in Saudi Arabia, but did not make him give up his dream of soaring in the sky. He came home, and after much effort, made a plane for himself. That plane flew, and he was a pilot at last. Instead of rewarding him, the forces of society decided to crush. After he had conducted a test flight of his homemade plane, he was arrested for misusing the link road of his village, which he had made a runaway. A Pakpattan court released him after fining him Rs 3000. However, the Rang Shah police has retained the aircraft, presumably to prevent future offences, such as illegal flight or misuse of public roads (not to forget unlicensed flying and plying an unregistered vehicle).

Muhammad Fayaz has the sort of spirit that officialdom wants to crush, but which is needed in the modern age. Bureaucracy the world over wants order; creative spirits like Fayaz challenge that order. There is the spirit that challenges colonialism. Aerospace engineering is one of the cutting-edge thechnologies which denizens of the Third World cannot master. For a semi-qualified boy from the chukuk to dare to fly is to challenge the primacy of the Aviation Division and the Civil Aviation Authority, and other licensing and regulatory which is full of people with heads full of Western models, and not an original bone in their bodies.

Fayyaz may be a flash-in-the-pan, but he deserves encouragement. A government as deeply committed to youth as this one should see that he, as well as other young people with ideas off the beaten track, get the chance they deserve, to follow their dream, and soar as far as they can go. But so far, officialdom seems to be winning.