Overcoming Fear.

My late father Nazir Ahmed Malik strongly believed that an honest and upright person must be fearless. Being a man of action, not words he penned some of life's dos and donts. On the top of the list was 'No compromises, do not fear confrontation.' Within the ambit of law, he operated fearlessly. At times it was scary for a young lad growing under his tutelage. With a grin on his face, he would say if one has not committed dacoity or murder there is nothing to fear. On one occasion I experienced real action under his command. In the decade of the seventies, he had purchased property in Anarkali, despite the registration and full payment, the seller was not handing over possession. After the brotherly negotiations failed, he decided on direct action. We raided the property and took control, the watchman tried to intervene but he was overpowered. Police were called in. My father remained cool and presented complete papers of ownership, a set was also given to the SHO. Instead of arresting him, a case was registered against the seller. His approach was action combined with immaculate paperwork together with respect for the law.

A few days back I stopped at a red light. Two policemen on a motorbike wearing uniforms with the printed sign 'No Fear' went through. I was taken aback and decided to take them on the next time which happened a few days later. I stopped them and inquired why they were breaking the law. Fearlessly they replied, 'Do whatever you can' (Kar lo jo karna hai). When custodians of law break the law, it is called 'badmaashi' not fearlessness. Unfortunately, in the land of the pure, real fearless individuals like my father have become extinct. Sheepishly, the most honest and upright people do not stand up against this blatant abuse of state authority. The term 'sharafat' is often used as an excuse for this timid behaviour. Roguery prevails over 'sharafat' which is indeed sad. It seems most people have given up. Instead of fearlessness, there is hopelessness-why?

I decided to attend a course on effective confrontation during my days abroad due to the inspiration from my father. Today, it is considered an important trait in modern management practice. For course correction confrontation plays an important role. In order to be meaningful, it...

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