An Unfortunate Mindset

You know there is a very fine line, thin and almost obscure, which connects the mindset which deems it ok to insult someone in public by calling them names – especially when the person in question is of the opposite gender – and the mindset which is ok with ‘light beating’ of wives to be ok for things which are not ‘acceptable’ in terms of their behavior.

This very thin line of connection whilst cannot be seen so easily and to the naked eye is actually one of many big problems with us. And it’s a problem not just in one way or one level. Multiple ways. It’s an entire thought process or school of thought if you will which isn’t really the produce of a well-researched and intellectual think tank or anything of that sort. Just the opposite. Fueled by an ignorant and ancient mindset which refuses to embrace good for humanity and wants to continue ruling with their veil of ignorance on top of everyone to stay in their positions of power and influence. I am sure it won’t require any rocket science to guess who I am referring to.

But that’s one of the things. We are ok dissecting and discussing it in drawing rooms and condemning it as if it was the most natural thing to come to us. Whereas upon closer introspection you might find that one some levels you are just as ignorant. Ok maybe not ‘just as ignorant’ but definitely more ignorant than you would like to admit.

Khawaja Asif’s remarks in the Parliament against Shireen Mazari were uncalled for, unbecoming and definitely not something that should be part of the nation’s parliament much less coming from a federal minister for crying out loud. It was not the first time from Khawaja Asif and definitely not the first time in the history of the country. There have been many incidents in the past involving women parliamentarians of all parties. Benazir Bhutto too had to face such ridicule.

It is sad that such things happen. But these things happen not just here – they happen in other parts of the world as well. So this is actually a bigger problem world over especially with the whole ceiling on women’s achievements and growth and success etc. Till we as a whole get out of this need to differentiate between genders in the professional realm – things will remain the same.

This discrimination and mindset world over is there but perhaps most parts of the world have become a bit more subtle and sophisticated so they don’t tend to boil over like it still does here. It was also unbecoming of people chiming in with ‘Keep quite aunty’ etc. It was also unbecoming of others present there not doing enough to control the situation and try and make amends immediately. Surely this is not something which cannot transcend different political party lines. Respect and all?

Sadly it doesn’t. It is this very mindset which will perhaps condemn the light beating issue of the CII (the wonderful people that they are) but will actually internally agree with them and then well who knows what happens in their households. It is the same ignorant and ‘jaahil’ soch that thinks it is ok to go around beating the weaker sex. As is the case. It is the same mindset which then goes on to connect with other problems like honor killing and all. The one which would most likely look down upon the victim of a rape and take out their flaws and faults which led to the crime rather than look at the perpetrator.

It is the mindset which thinks it’s a man’s world and only men are allowed to be kings and rulers and have every single inch of power available in this world. And that anything else is here to be man’s objects of desire, use and rejection. It is unfortunate that such a mindset occupies the parliament of our country. It is unfortunate that such a mindset is allowed to spew negativity towards development. It is unfortunate that we have not done enough to battle this mindset.

It is this mindset which has for years continued being an obstacle towards girls education. It is this mindset which has given liberty to elements like TTP and the like to go about attacking and murdering innocents, destroying structures and lives, vanquishing dreams and hopes. It is this mindset which is unfortunate and which hasn’t been dealt with where it needs to be dealt with the most – in the mind. The military operation has beat the TTP in the background. But the social fabric of our society is still suffering.

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Attack on Lahore, Attack anywhere, Attack on Humanity

Prayers for all the lives lost in the attack in Lahore yesterday. Prayers for all the innocent gone. Prayers for all the families broken. Prayers for the sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers who are no more. Prayers for those who are undergoing treatment to try and recover. Prayers for those who are trying to recover from the trauma. Yet again prayers. Yet again we are the same juncture. There will be widespread criticism of security arrangements or the police or the intelligence or the politicians. There will be criticism that (and rightly so) the politicians will just be doing what they always do. They will come on media and ‘strongly’ condemn the barbaric actions of those behind this attack. There will be criticism of western media not giving equal weightage to the tragedy of an attack in a non-western state or country as given to the attacks in Belgium or France. There will be lots of noise on social media. There will be some sanity. There will be some chaos. It will all be there. And then once the cacophony has dimmed over the course of the next couple of weeks – we will move on. The world will move on. As it always does. As it always has. We lost 144 bright futures in children in Peshawer in December 2014. There was hue and cry. There was a black day. There were black profile pictures and black cover photos. Then after a couple of weeks, a year passed by and people marked the anniversary of the attacks. The same happened in Paris – there was a wave of people who changed their profile picture to mark their solidarity with them by having a watermarked French flag. Then life moved on. Belgium happened. Life is moving on. In between Yemen happened, Istanbul happened – life continues moving on.

We blame ISIS, we blame RAW, we blame the US. Life still moves on. But tell me how does any of this actually bring about any change? How does it comfort the lives of the ones left behind of the victims? How does it help the world in the future? What real action or objective is being achieved in the eradication of all these evils? It will only be better when we stand up to the evils of all these extremists. All these people who in the name of religion carry out murders, terror and destruction. They are not representative of anything or any religion or any race. They are all an evil against humanity and humanity must prevail against them by recognizing this fact. By moving beyond religion and race and standing up to them and saying this isn’t about any of that. This is about humanity. This about an attack on humanity – regardless of where, regardless of on who.

The change will come when we come forward and stand up to the mindset that was there in Islamabad yesterday. If we don’t stand up to that and stop it now – there will be more Lahores, Peshawers etc. If we don’t stand up to and stop extremism world over, there will be more Belgiums and Paris’s.

There cannot be any place in this world for extremism. We as humanity must stand up to it.