[video width="640" height="360" mp4="https://i.samaa.tv/wp-content/uploads//usr/nfs/sestore3/samaa/vodstore/digital-library/2016/06/FRUIT-BOYCOTT-START-KHI-PKG-02-06-ALI.mp4"][/video] By Minerwa Tahir It seems like the country has united against the poor. Under the pretext of their ‘campaign’, people are boycotting fruits with the belief that the measure will bring the prices of fruits down. They claim their campaign is against profiteering. However, if we actually sit down to think about it, is the idea all that revolutionary? Are we actually waging a war against profiteering and hoarding or are we simply sucking the leftover blood of the working class The pushcart vendors, who do not even have the means to feed their children the same fruits they sell, are the only ones who are suffering as a result of this misplaced campaign. Should the pushcart vendor really be the one who suffers? He buys fruit from the market at exorbitant rates, transports them to your neighbourhoods on his own expense and sells them standing all day under the scorching sun. Often, he is seen sleeping on the same cart. The question is, is it the vendor or the middle man who is the real profiteer. Who is responsible for the exorbitant prices that fruits are being sold at? Does hoarding have a role in it? If yes, why don’t we go after the ones responsible for hoarding stocks for Ramazan? Who will hold the state accountable for failing to implement pricing mechanisms? You complain that each plate of fruit chaat is costing you around Rs80. Through this ‘campaign’, you will save Rs2,400 per person. What appalls me though is the fact that we have no qualms over spending this same amount, which we’ll save in an entire month, on a fancy dupatta for Eid. It is interesting how we will spend thousands on an iftar deal at different absurdly overpriced restaurants, yet we will deprive the pushcart vendor of the few hundreds he makes by selling his fruit. At the end of the month, we will splurge on branded clothes and bags for Eid. Meanwhile, the vendor might not even be able to buy plain clothes for his children. The campaign was initiated on social media and gained acceptance mostly through messages spread over WhatsApp. The commissioner and the mayor have also endorsed the campaign. If only we could unite, organize and participate in a campaign over the real issues affecting the masses such as water and electricity! But we will not pursue any such causes. We will continue to let our rulers exploit us and sublet pretty much the entire country to anyone ready to pay us peanuts. We will let women die in the name of honor in Orangi Town. We will continue to let them remain deprived of CNICs in Mauripur. We will allow enforced disappearances to perpetuate unhindered and won’t speak a word against. We will not demand our basic rights to honour and dignity. Why are we like that? Perhaps the reason lies in our lack of will to get out of our comfort zones. It is convenient to wage war against the poor thanks to the helplessness of the working class. All we’ll have to do is order pizza in place of the fruit chaat that we’ll miss during the campaign. But we won’t call out the real perpetrators behind hoarding and profiteering. Why should we get out of our comfort zones and challenge power? Let’s continue with our war against the powerless and feel that adrenaline rush that it’s such a romantic, adventurous ‘campaign’. After all, conscience is something that we have long been devoid of.