FEBRUARY 19, 2018
Most of you might have come across the term ‘banana’. It is often put before a word to make a compound word which twists the meaning and brings a quite satirical taste in it. The pioneer of the term, as M Akhtar mentions in his book “Civil Society, Secularism and Liberalism”, is American short story writer, O Henry. Henry puts the term ‘banana’ with republic which mirrors a state coupled with institutional failure and infested with political instability and corruption—a state in the hands of a dictator considering himself wise enough to exploit the masses but made a ‘cat’s paw’ himself by the masses he intends to exploit. The collective sense of deceit, as a result, the term implies, brings the state to a grinding halt.
The term ‘Banana Republic’ was mentioned by Australian Prime Minister in a radio interview in 1986 where he feared Australia turning into a ‘Banana Republic’. Secondly, in 2005, a British Judge mentioned it in a hearing about rigging in elections. Finally, it was also used by the then president Pervez Musharaf in 2008 where he brushed aside the ‘rumours’ against the county being termed as a ‘Banana Republic’.
The term descends to its lowest ebb if it is crocheted with an institution. It makes a sense as clear as that of a ‘Banana Republic’. Bolan Medical College (BMC), the sole public sector medical college of Balochistan, if viewed through a lens of a ‘Banana Institution’, makes a comprehensive scenario of loot and plunder! It attracts a huge number of students from across the province. Students flock in with a hope based on ‘becoming a doctor-frenzy syndrome!’
Putting the term with the institution’s name is quite a legitimate concern as it reflects a view from within, as depicted by the American Writer O Henry who is believed to have coined the term ‘Banana Republic’. After having a profound understanding of a ‘Banana Republic’, there lies a bunch of similarities compared to the prevalent kleptocracy in ‘Banana Medical College!’
Virtually, the term is used for the Central America countries where ‘Banana’ is widely cultivated and relied on as an economic source. But, kleptomania looms over the fate of the people. In ‘Banana Medical College’, on the other hand, there is nothing such as ‘Banana cultivation’, but the ‘kleptocracy’ looms large over the heads of the ‘Banana Students’ who wish too high to avail a ‘Banana Seat’ on merit base—a thought extremely insulting to ‘Banana meritocracy’!
Floating over the worldly ocean, a ‘Banana Republic’ is a face of many hats. But a democratic hat is the most suited to fool the world with its democratic outlook. Quite interestingly, the ‘Banana Administration’ of the ‘Banana College’ wears a hat with a shining trademark of ‘NTS’ or ‘HEC’ before conducting the entry tests.
However, after reaching at the logical end, the ‘Banana Institution’ inducts the ‘sharpest’ student – students belonging to kleptocracy – through its ‘Banana quota system’ and leaves the fate of other ‘Banana students’ floating in uncertainty.
Few days before the entry test of Banana Medical College, a former student of mine, and a to-be Banana student texted me. He seemed anxious and craved for my benedictions and prayers for passing the entry test. I asked him where his hard work of one year had gone if he had to seek my prayers for passing the test. I got perplexed thinking about whether he was unaware of the affairs of the ‘Banana Medical College’ or was he quite sure that he was calling a ‘Banana Resident’ of a ‘Banana Province’!
Writer is a cancer patient suffering from corruption, intolerance and illiteracy