The Women Of Pakistan!

The death of ‘girl raped in the bus’ in Delhi has stirred the emotions of billions of people through national & international media. This incident has once again spurred the much forgotten role of women and their empowerment in the social system of the world.

This issue of rape, sexual assault & abuse is not only a stigma to India or United States of America; rather it’s a quandary which has crept in the social systems of every nation throughout the globe. The sexual assault expert at the Utah center for sexual victims says that behind a rape the sole motive isn’t sexual pleasure rather its an amalgamation of anger, frustration & aggression.

With the societal confinements lessening for females, we expect that the number of sexual harassment will also diminish gradually. But unfortunately, the numbers continue to rise at a higher pace in countries like America where liberalism abated chauvinism long before Pakistan.

What could be the reason for this horrendous but factual increase in sexual assaults? Experts agree that perhaps with awareness in developed countries, more people are prone to report this act of brutality which was a hidden malice before.

What’s unfortunate for countries like Pakistan here is, that this desecration still lurks in our society either more or at least equivalent to the developed countries. This tyrannical rule of  men is difficult to treat or even identify as an issue in cultures like Pakistan & India. The woman of the house is considered an honorable ‘commodity’ which is to be kept within the confinement of the four walls.

Since Zia-ul-Haq’s rule the concept of Chaardewari(home) & chaadar was linked with Islamization. This further accentuated the fanatics who considered that a woman out of the Chaardewari was indulged in an unIslamic activity & ought to be reprimanded accordingly.

Pakistani society under the influential bureaucrats has exploited Islamization on many avenues of which one is the subjugation of females. We all know about the incident of the girl in Delhi because the police efficiently took notice of it.

But we all remained ignorant of the 12 year old Muqadas Kainat raped in Sahiwal on 25th August, 2012. The girl was brutally strangled to death while her father Rafiq Masih was attending to her mother at the hospital. The laxness showed by police in the investigation in this case went unnoticed for two reasons. The first is that she was a woman & this label in our society is enough to undermine her basic right of living. The second reason was that she was from a minority; her religion & beliefs adduced her as a vulnerable & inferior being whose murderers didn’t deserve any predicaments.

This case of Muqadas is not a one of its kind. 23rd December, 2012, a 14 year old Hindu girl was raped in socially primitive area of Chachro, by a political worker.  The girl was atrociously abused & bruised. Her parents took her to the hospital where she wasn’t admitted for check up without a registered FIR. The police invariably refused to register an FIR as the Hindu woman was worth abhorrence anyways.

Asiyah Masih in Vihari was raped for eleven days by politically influential culprits until she was recovered on November 22nd,2012. The two perpetrators Mohammed Javed & Mumtaz forcibly converted her to Islam & defied all norms & values of humanity concurrently. Once again the cyclical violence of our society flaunted its vindictive attitude towards females & the criminals were neither arrested nor an FIR registered against them.

The abuse of women is increasing not only due to the appallingly silent police. But the major chunk of this violence is contributed by us! Our silence & societal treatment is a sign of our sub-conscious support of these spiteful acts. The silence is prolonged & justice eventually dismissed especially when the victim is from a minority religion or an ethnically different caste.

While, the whole globe has accepted women as an equivalent to men, the fanatics in Pakistan continue to despise any sort of freedom granted to women. No matter what liberal stances we put forth, we are still under the influence of Zia-ul-Haq’s Hadood ordinance. Our nurturance, our brought up & social environment still considers women as a subordinate to men. Their individuality, sexuality, passions & expressions are all bound to be under domineering rule of men.

The faulty beliefs upheld by the Pakistanis ought to be changed and modified according to the real principles of Islam. Our upbringing is faulty which assuages the desires of male ego in the name of religion while disregarding the basic rules of humanity & morality. Islam never taught us to treat females as an inferior half of the society. Women the source of humanity & perpetuators of our species, how can we defy their basic rights? How can we negate their literacy, education & dishonor their existence?

We need to stop & reinvent the patterns of thinking we are living & sharing with our coming generations as per the rules of our religion & humanity!

[49:13] O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant.

 

 

Pakistan….A day of Sadness

Reading a novel makes us sentimental….A news piece makes us restless…. A beggar invokes frustration & guilt….

Countless emotions and thousands of expressions….

When you see a child who was martyred in Gaza, you cry! You feel sad or at least heavy hearted for some time. When you find a dead cat laying at the corner of a street in a puddle of mud…you feel disgruntled with the lack of empathy shown by the people towards this little body.

Many other small moments can be exemplified as the ways we feel and express our emotions. But I believe I should rather come to the point which needs more emphasis than the background theory behind it.

So we feel pity for the destitute, anger at the government, fiery when someone pinpoints our religion…but the question is do we realize we can be the cause of such intense emotions for others?

You might feel quizzical over this question raised, but we all are somewhere the cause of provoking such negative and fierce emotions in others. The question is who those ‘Others’ are? Who are the prime targets of our unconscious provocative actions?

We all protest against the religious and cultural ethnocentrism shown by ‘The Westerners’ towards our ‘culture’. But do we realize the magnitude of Ethnocentrism practiced by us? Do we ever observe what happens when we treat someone from another subculture as an alien to ours?

Ever tried to be in the shoes of the ‘Muslims’ we segregate as Shias or Sunnis, the ones targeted as a ‘Cultural Deviant Group’ just because they follow their own beliefs. When a Christian criticizes a Muslim, this is sheer Cultural & Relational violence. But what about when we crack jokes about the Aftar timings of a Shia who probably is a part of our social group? The Muharram and Shia Mournings not accepted? Or the other way round, When Shias show abhorrence with the way Sunnis perform their Religious requirements/Ibadat?  Isn’t this also Cultural Violence, rather an extremity because here the target is of the same religion and just another Sect!

The man of a Thousand Emotions…how could you not witness the cruelty you perform when you segregate the men in the black dresses from the men in white in Muharram? When you loathe them for the way they pray?

Oh don’t you remember they pray to the same Allah? They bow down to the Same Lord….Our Lord…Our Allah!

This is sheer violence…when you see the men mourning over the death of Hussain (R.A) and don’t feel the pain. I am a Sunni, but does it lessen the pain of the Shuhada-e-Karbala? The beloved Grandson of Our Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) martyred brutally ….it makes my eyes wet too, it makes me tumultuous and tears away a portion of my heart too.

Though we differ on certain arrangements in Islam with the Shias, but the core beliefs are the Same! Same Lord, Same Prophet (P.B.U.H)…yet no pain?

More than a 4700 Shias have been martyred so far in Sectarian Violence in Pakistan, since 1989. Today November 22nd 2012, a day when 4 blasts were recorded in 4 provinces while 3 were targeted at the Shia Majalis. Isn’t this sheer brutality against our Muslim Shia brothers and sisters? Islam orders us to love, tolerate even Non-Muslims and what do we do? We demarcate a boundary between Muslims as the ones We accept & the ones We don’t?

Whenever a blast or a bullet thrashes the flesh of a Shia…the blood & the flesh leaves a wound on the body called Pakistan. When this body is full of internal wounds, what’s the need of external forces against this Islamic nation?

The internal wounds will gradually weaken it till the body deteriorates and falls down itself…but when it falls down, the cause will be these inner organs….

The cause will be these countrymen, the men of thousand emotions & still Heartless!

 

Media: Great Power Without Responsibility?

Musharraf’s power gave away media freedom and consequentially Pakistan witnessed an emergence of more than a dozen news channels in the past decade.

Almost one half of the advertising expenses in Pakistan are absorbed by news channels, this shows the commitment of viewers contributing magnanimously towards the TRP’s of these channels. The power of the media is precisely explained by Toni Morrison, a Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, editor, and professor:

“For a long time I am convinced that the conflict between Jewish people and black people in this country was a media event”.

Hence, it was media, hosting an enmity for the sake of TRPs.

Whenever there’s a blast or a disturbing issue at hand, we divert our attention towards these numerous news channels. We, the gullible sum of 18 billion people, look up to these channels for the right message to be conveyed to us at the right time.

Media has gained the power to make or break an issue, a rapport, a reputation or a nation within the sixty minutes of a Talk show.

We see an advent of dozens of talk shows, each being hosted by an anchor who leaves no stone unturned in criticizing the running policies of Pakistan. These shows, being supported by the nation, invite the most powerful people from our nation and create a controversy by creating enmity between them in front of billions of viewers.

Another treachery of this media is the coverage is 100% irrelevant: either flawed or intentionally skewed.  By irrelevant I mean the issues given coverage are not the ones which are of utmost concern for the Pakistani common men. For example, if Bollywood is crashing or Hollywood is thrashing, it should have no whatsoever importance for the person watching news to learn what’s going on in his country.

‘Intentionally skewed’ because these channels cover the relevant material with an exaggerated concentration on one sided arguments. When an epidemic poses a threat to a nation, why only the dead are being shown while those alive can also be an example of the intensity the disease is posing on the nation. Why the government is blamed for lack of awareness, when creating awareness is the ‘Prime Target’ supposedly for a ‘Responsible Media’?

As Thomas Griffith states:

“The news is staged, anticipated, analyzed and reported until all interest is wrung from it and abandoned for some new novelty”.

At the end, all I would like state is that Media needs to buckle up and start focusing on its code of conduct. Media literacy is or rather should be the primary aim of any ‘Mass media’ which claims to serve the people. I hope that the hopeless immaturity shown by media will soon be replaced with a much stronger and genuine approach directed towards the betterment of the nation:

“Newspapers & TV networks have sometimes been outrageously abusive, untruthful, arrogant and hypocritical. But it hardly follows that elimination of a strong and independent press is the way to eliminate abusiveness”, Potter Stewart.

 

The Life Of A Pakistani!

The first page of every newspaper is enough to give you goosebumps, take care because you might spill your tea due to the horrendous mishaps that occur everyday in almost every city of Pakistan. Some say, due the persistent attacks Pakistanis are left with no empathy or shock for those who were just murdered brutally by God knows whom!

But i firmly believe that no matter how staunch, obdurate or insensitive you are, somewhere deep down you feel ‘weak’. A blast or an attack, in a far-fetched area might not affect you. But when it is your own city or sometimes your own neighborhood…….you are just left a little more assailable and devastated!

Did you just hear a mother crying over her son’s the dead body who was martyred while catching a few terrorists? It cuts your heart, so that you bleed out all your anger and frustration?

A man who slaughtered his own family because of poverty leaves you pondering for hours. An act of insanity or a wise decision to protect them from dying of hunger? It just hits you….and it hits you hard.

A normal human can’t sustain such amount of savagery, so we try to distract ourselves. Some get drowned in their career and others start living a lie to pretend as if nothing happened. But when we take a step into realities, we experience the same trenches of poverty and shackles of inhumanity. When you hear about a blast near a place which you visit everyday, it make you quiver. You have a flashback of all those people you saw there yesterday. Are they still alive? Or they are the victims of this act of violence?….Am I lucky that i survived? What if i was there at that point of time? Then my life would also have been wasted as just ‘another victim’ of an attack.

I met a foreigner and we started a discussion about current affairs. He said that all Pakistanis must be used to attacks and violence since excess of it makes you apathetic. But is it that easy to become numb? No! Its not.

No matter how long you have been living in summer……..the heat of sun still excruciates & makes your body sweat.

No matter how long you have been hiking the mountains a rock thrown at you………… still hurts you in the head.

No matter for how long people have been slaughtered………each time the color of the blood is still red!