Fire-proof Dawn?

Published Apr 17, 2013 05:06am

THE editorial, ‘Futility of violence’ (April 9), refers to the violence used by members of the Jeay Sindh Mutahidda Mahaz in many parts of Sindh. They burnt copies of Dawn and prevented its sale because of non-publication by Dawn of its views and activities.

The violence is contemptible and should be punished. Was it? Your refusal to be pressured is fully supported.

But what is all the fuss about? For years, one has noticed the generous abundance of space devoted by Dawn to statements by ‘nationalist’ parties and their leaders, often at the expense of many other laudable equally nationalist causes and persons.

By the bizarre illogic of aspects of the mind, even a reprehensible action acquires some credence by the level of importance given to it.

The violence did not deserve an editorial. Many other causes await similar attention.

The violence is perversely amusing. The spectacle of destructive action being taken against inert, unarmed mere paper, crudely but vividly captures the incapacity of some to be rational, and restrained. Such behaviour also sets a bad example.

For instance, such acts tempt this letter-writer to consider drastic alternative responses to the fact that Dawn fails to cover nine and a half out of 10 of the events with which the undersigned is associated. Should one resort to new forms of protest to oblige Dawn to take notice of such gross discrimination?

To prevent one from considering violent options, may we request Dawn to switch immediately to non-burnable paper? And once Dawn has switched to a non-incendiary medium to print news and views, kindly do not inform those who are potentially likely to be offended, about this switch. It would be charming to witness unsuccessful attempts to set aflame fire-proof copies of Dawn. This could be the beginning of a new era in Pakistan’s history when ideas also become immune to violent attack.

JAVED JABBAR Karachi


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