Tuesday, January 24, 2012


By: Muhammad Saqib Tanveer
Before I start jotting down my whole catharsis, it is imperative that I give a brief background to my piece. It all started with a morning show, in which the host along with some other ladies were chasing dating couples in the parks. I didn’t watch that program live but when I saw so much fuss on blogs and twitter about this program, I planned to search it on youtube. I must admit that I could only watch the video for not more than 3 minutes. It was one of the most horrendous and dire video I ever watched, though Secret Pakistan on BBC still tops my list of torturous videos ever.
We just cannot condemn this act of the host and her accomplices, however, the retortion that emerged out after all this is more abominable than the program itself. One such was found on your blog Ms. Mehreen Kasana and you literally tore the host of that show apart. And I really loved you for that. Nonetheless, what followed in your article was a manifestation of the ever present stand-off between the liberals and the ghairat-brigade. I won’t budge much on the divide between the two sets and will move straight towards the issue at hand and will try to answer some of the points raised by you on your blog.
The issue of freedoms and allowing females to live their life according to their wishes has become such a hot and much discussed issue in Pakistan over the last decade. Countless NGOs, foreign-educated students as well as expats and virtually whole of the media have been up to bring the females out in the mainstream. This is the need of the hour and above all a religious obligation. But whatever has been happening under the garb of bringing the females into mainstream is as pathetic as it could ever get.
Your article was completely on those lines i.e. invasion of privacy and ensuring personal freedoms. As the West moves away from their freedoms with certain new draconian legislations, we are the ones that are trying to emulate their society that has been so flawed. You scribbled your own experience when you were little and used to hang out in the parks with your father. Maybe your father wasn’t much concerned because you were a kid back then or even he might not have any problem even today. But I want to ask you a question. Not many in this country share the same ideas as your father. We have to accept that majority of Pakistan do not condone these acts, in fact consider them preposterous.
You mentioned about the nature of young people and I totally agree to it. People do fall in love, whether infatuation or flirt. No one can say that he doesn’t have a liking for the opposite gender, except for homosexuals. However, there is a proper way to satisfy your instincts and demands and Islam provides us with the option of marriage. I am sure you’d say that we can’t get married at a young age but I can quote you instances where people have married at a young age and are living happily. To be very honest, one of my mentor also got married at 21. Besides, having this nature cannot be an excuse for warming the benches in public parks. Every human is greedy but that doesn’t mean that he has the right to do corruption and whatever he deems appropriate.
The question of privacy? I, literally laughed when I read your statement. How can someone demand privacy in a PUBLIC park? I understand that “ethos of your faith” urge you to not to point finger at anyone else unless you are perfect in moral conduct. You are correct cent per cent. This statement of yours testifies to the fact that dating in the gardens and plaguing family parks is happening and a wrong thing.
Another thing that was pretty apparent in your blog was the mention of Zaid Hamid etc. I really want to make one thing very clear, not just to you but to all the liberals out there. Zaid Hamid or Maya Khan, they are not the voices of general masses of Pakistan. The irony is that, Pakistan’s media is occupied by the liberals and the voice of majority has been suppressed by the minority. General masses, who are cobblers, shopkeepers, hawkers and 9 to 5 clerks etc don’t have any voice in the media. Liberals having the resources and the skill of manipulating the words in their favour have occupied our voices.
Blogs and papers are full of praises for audacity of Veena Malik for giving her point of view by shedding her clothes. I expect that on this rate, the day will come when pornography will be considered an act of expression or art in Pakistan as well.
We got it all wrong when we envied the industrialization in the West. It is beyond doubt that industrialization brought West from sombreness to brightness. We tried to emulate that and there is no issue in doing that. The problem started when we planned to copy their system in the whole package i.e. their societal values and morals. Democracy comes in a complete package of freedoms but looking at the dynamics of our society, we cannot follow that. A father cannot allow his daughter to roam freely in our society and you know that. We have to admit that we live in a society where people don’t come out on streets due to inflation but when the issue of caricatures of Prophet PBUH occurred, people came out without any leadership. We are descendants of the people, who were part of the biggest movement in the history of sub-continent i.e. Khilafat Movement.
We cannot allow our society to be dictated by the media. Ten years ago, the concept of dating was not much common in Pakistan, only lawyers had a date back then but now every individual is apprised of the date only because of our media. While we move towards modernism, we are cutting down the very foundations of our society. Our youth has gone audacious than ever. Maybe a positive but negative in so many ways.

 The video that started all this