THE social sciences and humanities both help to instil civility in individuals. These subjects also allow us to think and pen down our thoughts which, in turn, can compel many others to use their brain cells because human beings by nature are ‘cognitive misers’.
A writer is not less than a social scientist who prescribes measures to encounter social evils. A poet, a writer and a columnist all of them aim at painting a vivid picture of society through their words.
This means that writers are an integral part of the social fabric as they point out social disorders and also suggest solutions.
It is a heart-rending fact that in Pakistan the profession of writing is fading away. Even those who wish to opt for it are discouraged and asked to do something else that can help them to earn a reasonable income.
The merit for journalism and social sciences is low as compared to science, medicine and engineering. A writer is as important as a doctor, engineer or a chartered accountant. Aptitude tests similar to MCAT and ECAT should be conducted to test writing skills and those who are capable of doing so should be selected.
I remember that when I was a child, creative writing classes were essential and students were encouraged to write on their own.
Now, all that is expected from students is to learn by heart the material suggested by teachers or printed in books.
This deprives young minds of being creative and innovative at an age when both these qualities can perk up. These children eventually lack the ability to rely on their words.
If this situation continues, then there will be no prolific writers who can be lauded at home and abroad and earn a good name for Pakistan.
The red-tapism involved in publishing a book discourages those who wish to write for their country and answer the questions assailed at their homeland.
As it is the age of communication and information technology, Pakistan requires skilled writers with excellent writing skills.
Dedicated and passionate students should be encouraged to join the profession of writing while the government should
introduce incentives to make sure that their future is not bleak.
This was originally published in Dawn Newspaper on June 20. 2011.