Beauty within or without

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Beauty within or without
Beauty within or without

Eye of the beholder is the common refrain where beauty is concerned. Is this so when one considers the enchantments of a nation, city, or state? Does a smile or frown accompany this beauty enhance its level of seduction?
Many times on social media, one encounters posts regarding Islamabad being the second most beautiful capital of the world. No quotable travel magazine like Lonely Planet has mentioned this fact but just a myth coined up by the Capital Development Authority. Is nature’s beauty all that makes a city beautiful and thus can be successfully advertised as heaven in Pakistan.
Jewels of a state equally seem to be revolving around the notion of image. In the present globalized and data-flood digital world, can an entity’s soft image shadow its actual hard image? One can fool one’s own cultists but cannot sell the same to the informed world. The status of such a regime, in the eyes of the world, would be akin to the story of the emperor’s clothes.
Images of these kinds do provide self-respect to the residents of a country but what the populace requires in sense of being taken care of. There is where the charismatic beauty of a statesman comes in. Imagine a country that is free of moral corruption. If this were in Pakistan, the pharaonic hunt for accounting politicians’ financial ills would be replaced by the merits of the actions taken. Thus the merit and intention of the initiative would be the bone of contention and not his greed.
Coming back to the natural beauty of Islamabad, one can easily say in times of corona pandemic it’s one of the most unsafe cities to live in. Here people seem to have disdain for adhering to simple directives of wearing a mask and keeping at safe distances from one another. Apart from this, the normal aberrant behavior of disposing waste improperly and violating traffic laws seem to enhance the notion of beauty.
The municipal authorities of the capital seem to believe either in applying cosmetic layers of beauty or in looking the other way. Off late, the CDA is beautifying the city, which meets with disdain of residents. The complaints focus on green areas being removed and being replaced by non-native plants and focusing only on elite neighborhoods while neglecting areas with stalled development processes. This state of affairs suggests a condition of moral corruption on part of both parties.
The beauty of a country, state, and its people cannot be advertised through an advanced sense of ego that fails to see its negative attributes. Even a bit of criticism is taken as an affront. An effort of positive criticism is met with a similar response albeit with a nuanced approach. Staying in line yet proving one’s point becomes an art. Red lines are born, which many a soul consider that it would be better to adhere to self-censorship instead of rubbing salt on the diktat’s blood to dilute its poison.

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