Why did Akhter become a criminal? Relate your answer with the relevant theories.

Akhter was caught by the police while he was running away after snatching a cell phone from a pedestrian. During the investigation, it was revealed that Akhter had been committing various types of street crimes for four years. He lived in a low-lying locality on the banks of the Liyari river. Several of his family members and relatives were involved in petty crimes, drug peddling, or gambling.

He came to Karachi from the south of Punjab some 10 years back. Initially, he worked as a laborer and later started driving rickshaw for better earning. However, with a steep rise in the number of rickshaws in Karachi over the years, it became difficult for him to earn smoothly. Somedays, he couldn’t even pay the daily rent of rickshaw. His uncles and cousins enticed him to gamble to “increase earnings”.

As time passed, he started taking drugs with his colleagues, especially when he lost heavily in gambling. Later, he joined a small gang of criminals involved in petty crimes. It is here that his financial condition started improving. He could now afford better drugs and higher deals in gambling.

When police officers asked him he wasn’t ashamed of his crimes, he strongly objected to their questions. He said that it was his “profession” and he was putting in a hard effort into it. He told them that he took pride in his “profession”.

Discussion questions

  1. Why did Akhter become a criminal? Relate your answer with the relevant theories.
  2. What connection do you see between crime, drugs, and gambling? Elaborate.
  3. What type of a deviant Akhter currently is? Why?
  4. If given the responsibility, how would you help him become a better, law-abiding citizen?

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Social Change 1 Answer Omar Khan