Does anyone remember Kasur?

Published October 5, 2015
A conversation about pedophilia will scandalise us much more than the crime itself.. —AP/file
A conversation about pedophilia will scandalise us much more than the crime itself.. —AP/file

Over 15 articles were published when the paedophile ring in Kasur was exposed. Each article said more or less the same thing; ‘this is horrific’, ‘how could we let this happen’, ‘these kids and their families need justice’.

Then, the week ended and Pakistanis moved on.

The same thing happened after the APS Peshawar massacre – some weeks of articles and condemnations and then, on to something new.

We, as a nation, do not seem to have a conscience. It appears we also hate tough questions. We feel uneasy dealing with the hypocrisy that has come to form the very basis of our society.

In some cases, we are barely bothered to even acknowledge (let alone deal with) any wrong, because that damages our ‘pure’ image and no matter how messed up we really are, all we seem to care about is how we appear to the world.

Appalling things continue to happen in our society not because the government is powerless, but because people have weak characters. They are hypocritical and find it easier to simply look the other way and allow the bad to keep happening than to counteract it; be it incidents of sexual harassment, rape or massacres of our children.

And none of this is about to change because people do not want it to change.

Also read: Kasur scandal: 'I thought of killing myself everyday'

Incidents like Kasur will keep reoccurring because even as pedophilia cases rivet the nation, happen around us and to our own children, a conversation about the subject will scandalise us much more than the crime itself.

Is that surprising? Especially to a society where the majority does not even consider marital rape as rape.

To be fair though, a small segment of the population has started to talk about issues like sexual molestation more openly now. But even in these talks, you will find the basic working principle that informs our societal dynamics everywhere: time and energy being spent on rationalising the phenomena, finding excuses about why it happened and blaming it on someone else.

One of our worst problems is that we immediately try to rationalise the worst of things.

In such instances, we are so focused on shutting the debate down that we will latch on to any explanation available other than the one based on the tough realities. That is also why we are so fixated on politics and nationalism in our country because such obsessions give us ideal opportunities to focus our minds elsewhere and away from inconvenient truths.

Also read: Our denial killed children in Peshawar

Be it the by-elections of one or two constituencies out of the 272, or some celebrity’s wedding, our media will be interested in anything that does not force the Pakistani society to look inwards and where the debate can be dichotomised into good and bad.

For the last four years, we have been fixated on a meaningless political fight. ‘This millionaire is better than that millionaire’ is an easy distraction from real issues like a stunted economy and a decadent society.

The only way I understand this that we simply do not want change. In fact, our real mantra is not change but escapism.

There is no better tomorrow, because that requires introspection. And introspection requires the courage to acknowledge our vices, which we are not yet ready to do.

So, when the next tragedy strikes, cut the outrage and know that we, as a society, enabled it. Whatever that tragedy is, it will be on us. All of us.

Opinion

Window of opportunity
05 Mar 2021

Window of opportunity

How do we ensure growth revival built on a sustainable, efficient and stable foundation?
March for freedom
Updated 05 Mar 2021

March for freedom

Those demanding ‘azadi’ are moving society forward.
More of the same
Updated 04 Mar 2021

More of the same

Civil society groups and political parties tend to treat their paid employees as casual labour.

Editorial

Ravi project
Updated 05 Mar 2021

Ravi project

THE assault by an enraged group of farmers on a provincial revenue team assigned to acquire land for the...
05 Mar 2021

Climate change

PAKISTAN received much less rainfall in January 2021 as compared to previous years, making it the 17th driest month...
05 Mar 2021

Antimicrobial resistance

WITH the focus on Covid-19, many health issues, though otherwise recognised as serious medical problems, tend to be...
04 Mar 2021

Senate upset

THE Senate election results have delivered a stunning blow to the PTI. While the ruling party has seen an increase ...
ME ‘security pact’
Updated 04 Mar 2021

ME ‘security pact’

THERE has been an overflowing of bonhomie between the Gulf Arabs and Israel over the past few months, much of it...
04 Mar 2021

Students’ protest

A GROUP of university students in Karachi and Hyderabad caught the media’s attention when they announced a...