By Hafsa Amin.
My Pakistan – My beautiful country which have a blend of so many cultures, languages and ethnicities – have already suffered from a lot of political turmoil. But this time, the problem is way beyond the basic humanism.
For a country that has already suffered from loads of crises and disheartening situations, the majority of the public of Pakistan had at least a teeny tiny bit of humanity inside their hearts. The basic mannerism and ethics were common practice. The right was appreciated and the wrong was condemned. But lately the culture has been shackled to the core.
We are having “leaders” (almost delusional) who would claim the public to be “gadhay” (donkeys) mentioned recently by PTI Leader Imran Khan for those who went to the airport to receive Nawaz Sharif, “tawaif ki olaad” (sons of prostitutes) mentioned by Pervaiz Khattak for those who’d vote for PPP in coming elections. At the same time PML-N’s leaders would have super natural claims as if Nawaz Sharif had been a prophetic soldier for the country as Rana Sanaullah claiming that greeting Nawaz Sharif is greater than performing Hajj (pilgrimage), a candidate of PML-N claiming that it is against the Shariah to vote for a women, Pakistani public across the borders cursing and giving rape threats to Maryam Safdar infront of her son and many more.
It’s hard to digest but a wild culture has been introduced in Pakistan. Earlier a culture of “sarcasm” was raised which used to shuffle between light jokes and hard liners. It was obvious even then that hate speech camouflaged as sarcasm was igniting. Though it could still be deemed as a joke. But this election campaign is exhibiting a lot more hard to digest facts.
Fact number 01 – Bad – mouthing is a tactic used in election campaign to “efficiently” inspire the public.
One such example is already given above. It might seem to be an anti-PTI agenda but a lot more is coming from a party that promised bright future to the youth. Though there are many examples from PML-N as well where bad-mouthing, discussing women in abusive and foul language (Remembering Khwaja Asif talking about Sheeren Mazari INSIDE the parliament house) became a common practice. The leaders who were supposed to guide the public are guiding them into a deep sinkholes of crap.
Fact number 02 – Animal abuse
This fact is something one cannot quote without cursing the inhumane people who executed this barbaric act. A lay donkey seen on the streets was tortured by a group of people. They painted “Nawaz Sharif” on it’s body and then started beating it with shoes, sticks ultimately injuring it. Luckily the donkey was noticed by ACF Animal Rescue team who fed and treated it. But it was obvious that people have lost their sense. Another such example was when some people caught a dog and piled it with PTI posters just to exhibit their rage and hatred for the party. Its high time that these people start consulting psychiatrists.
Fact number 03 – Gender discrimination and hate speech
And the obvious target are WOMEN. Being called a slut, whore, prostitute are common practices. Slut shaming and then giving out “rape threats” in retaliation is a great source of contentment for Pakistani men. These women varied throughout the political history of Pakistan beginning with Fatima Jinnah – the mother of the nation , being called traitor by Ayub Khan, and now a days the victims are Reham Khan, Maryam Safdar, Ayesha Gulalai and many many others. Many female bloggers who simply “don’t agree to people” and have their own views are prone to such craziness. Surprisingly (actually not) a lot of this comes from the religious fractions. From deciding who shall go to heaven and who to hell to actually making their lives miserable, the religious extremists leave no stone unturned in telling a woman with a voice to zip it. So if you are a WOMAN and if you have a BRAIN and God forbid if you actually USE IT , you’re in trouble.
Fact number 04 – All idealists, socialists and activists are RAW agents
That’s one of the most favourite practice of many illiterate, insensible patriots and one of the reason behind “persistent dark ages” for our region. Any idea of peace, arms control, freedom of speech results in violation of some secret patriotic code ultimately landing you as a traitor, agent and an enemy. And most of these “agents” represent RAW or MOSSAD. You’re either “dushman ka agent” or “yahoodi saazish” for your country. If the nation catches you, you’re in trouble.
Fact number 05 – RECIPROCITY TO EVERY ACT IS SOMEHOW JUSTIFIED
And No, this isn’t about a good act of kindness or welfare. Its about “Hamara leader corrupt hai to kya hua? Apka bhi to hai” (It’s okay for our leader to be corrupt as yours in corrupt too) Every bad, illegal, immoral act is acceptable because other side is having the same quality stuff. If Nawaz Sharif is corrupt, examples of Jahangir Tareen or Zardari’s money trail are enough to lift the burden. If Imran Khan bad-mouths so does Khwaja Asif or Rana Sanaullah. From corruption to humiliation it’s all covered up if the next person has the same traits. Because “iss hamam main sab nangay hain” (No possible translation – you have to be a Pakistani to comprehend this one)
Fact number 06 and the last one (it’s a fact as well as a plea)– DO IT NOW OR REGRET LATER
Though many of us are already regretting the situation we still have time to get out of this wild affair and try to bring humanity back. And it all starts with our own behaviour. Learn about abuse and try to abstain from it. Elections are temporary and so are the people. Stop creating violent, illogical situations and avoid steamy discussion. If anyone around you curse or bad-mouths stop him, if you do that go get a duct tape or whatever you could use. Give your little share of sanity to your surroundings until we have time. There are sane ways of joining politics, choose them. And maybe, maybe one day we’ll be able to watch the news or read comments without hesitation and disgust. Maybe we’ll get a little closer to what we were supposed to be. If the current conditions prevail, the time is not far when we’ll be named as “The Zoological Garden of Pakistan” and there would be nothing in our hands to alter the situation.
Hafsa Amin is Lecturer of Social Science and a Social analyst. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org