Collective Sickness


I wanted to write about the degradation of the collective Pakistani Psyche, but then I would be generalizing. If I am a dissenting member, then I am sure others do exist or at least, I hope.

But then there are several things I do not understand:

(i)                 What kind of self-respecting Pakistani will fill up everybody’s facebook feeds with Veena Malik and her latest antics? Are, our brains slowly reducing to the size of peanuts? Is this all we can think?

(ii)               What kind of shameless Pakistani will send you texts and update their Facebook statuses and behave like twits (reference to tweeting! Sorry, I have no love lost with twitter), wishing death to the country’s President, a human.

For starters, I am not a Zardari fan. As far as I know no one is. But will I wish death to him, even if in the form of a lame joke?  No way! Not to him, not to anyone else. I feel sick at this moral decline.

And when Pakistani blogging pioneers and umm.. “social activists” like Awab Alvi ( who of course screams allegiance to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and whom many youngsters look up to) updates his Facebook page with a below the belt joke about President Zardari and how he wishes that his doctor behaves exactly the same way that Michael Jackson’s doctor did, I almost throw up.

We need to be better than this. I beg of you, my Pakistani brethren. We really should know better. Let our psyche not deteriorate into the gutter. :/

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19 thoughts on “Collective Sickness

  1. Seriously it’s called blessing in disguise, since I came to SA I stopped watching television. Believe me when I see my decision and the people saying to know why you are torturing yourself. Don’t watch Indian channel, watch political shows and news channel. I say I am at peace. And no wonder I am.

    Even after coming from office, I don’t open my laptop even.

    When I look at all these situation I say to myself one thing, “If you can’t convince them confuse them” media is being used as a very strategic psychological weapon and tool whether it comes in the shape of media or in the shape of advertising.

    The purpose is only one in my books, make the general people of any country occupied so much into things that they cannot enjoy the life.

    Seriously our life is so simple but we made it so complex. Remove the television and internet out of your house and see how much time you have to give to your family. We will get afraid, what we are going to do if we don’t have television and internet in our houses. The answer is, we will build a family a house, such that will create a wonderful change in the society.

    A wonderful blog to read early in the morning!!!

  2. I was reading one status of a scholar by the name of Abdulbary Yahya he said something very beautifully relating to your blog:

    Change society for the better so it doesn’t change you and your principles as a Muslim.

  3. It is easier to sink into filth by saying that it is all that exists around you, absolving yourself from all responsibility.

    How is it that our opinions can only be expressed as personalized taunts, slurs and jokes? We need to re-educate ourselves at the most basic level… Akhlaaqiyaat, before we study anything else.

  4. This veena is far too overrated methinks. I kept skipping the posts on her but finally succumbed to looking at it! But i do not comment or discuss that anywhere in my women-forums. It is my choice , my time ..and I decide what is worth giving my precious time to. As for Zardari, we know thats his way out..or whatever..someone who thinks that constructing a basement/bunkers or building high iron bars and barricades outside his house will shut Mulk ul mot out..is running away! But praying for his death..No. Why? Because mera kaam nahi hai ! Exactly! Our peeps do not mind their own business. Apna kaam tou kar lo bhai.

  5. Firstly I have as much right to say what I want, as much as you have the right to disagree. The extent to which I dislike Zardari is quite evident, but I do NOT wish him “death”. If you focus on the comment without any bias it was intended to be only as a JOKE, and then to see someone taking it seriously like you [and I admit a few others as well] – is something i am left scratching my head on. It is possible I could have worded it differently, YES, but that is what I updated the status as such and can be debated

    Had I said this in a face-to-face interaction with you, it is possible you “may” have laughed or shrugged me off with a wry smile that my joke was not funny, but to have it written down on a facebook status, without the “winky ;)” can be perceived differently by many – it seems you may have been offended by it – but by all means I meant it as a joke and you should see it as such

    Im not being apologetic, but that is the problem of communicating on email – the human inferences change, the weak smile, the soft look, the sharp point all disappear on the facebook wall, we are then left with acronyms like ROTFL, LOL, :), ;) etc etc to help soften that same blow – but sometimes one writes a funny comment “in the moment” of it as a joke, not knowing how it may sound one hour later or for that matter after it is published

    Thats said it is MY PERSONAL FACEBOOK WALL and I should have enough liberty to say what I want, without the worry of overlooking my shoulder and second guessing my freedom and the right to express my opinion. But if you are offended :) sorry – jokes do tend to rub some the wrong way

    If you read in that thread alone – you would see, I do NOT want to stumble democracy with a coup or a military takeover – I want PPP to complete its term so that people KNOW not to elect these crooks again if that means tolerating Zardari for another one year SNIFF then so be it. As much as I want him out – its probably essential to swallow the pill and await the full term

    BTW – I hope you will choose to BLOCK me on facebook, you need not tolerate people who you are sickened by, I would do the same, its my personal space and I can control who to see on my wall and who not…

    Cheers

    • Thank you for stopping by. Ofcourse you do not have to be apologetic and you are entitled to joking in any way you want including yet another “innocuous” joke about Veena Malik you posted. Similarly, however i am entitled to my opinion. Thanks for expanding on your political view as well, but my blog post was not about that.

      You have a “public” facebook page so logically you should be prepared for public opinion as well, just like i am prepared for the same on my blog space.

      Cheers to you too.

    • O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.(Quran 49:11)

      ‘O you who believe! avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is a sin, and do not spy nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? But you abhor it; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, surely Allah is Oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful’(Quran 49:12)

      ‎”Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.” Noble Qur’ân 16:125

  6. So glad you took up this issue. Ironic it certainly is, that this nation falls into the footsteps of the same people it more than often ridicules, and its only defence is the statement that is quite similar to, “It’s my personal opinion, and you shouldn’t have a problem with that.” If that really is the case, then what our rulers do are their personal deeds and we need not criticise them.

    More often than not, I have seen people tweeting super-inappropriate jokes about Veena Malik, only to earn the so-called ‘respect’ of their followers in the shape of retweets.

    Though I’d agree with Mr. Alvi that I surely would have laughed (or grinned) if he was narrating his jokes in a real-life situation, but it doesn’t necessarily mean I would have been welcoming to more of such jokes.

  7. ok so Zardari is literally screwing with the country and its people, selling Pakistan’s interest to the US yet its a big ‘No-No’ that people say bad things about him when he is sick? Dont you think its unfair?. Sure I too dont want him to kick the bucket as I hope he comes back to Pakistan and then his real retribution start (from all the shit of rental power plants to Memogate) and stand trial for his ‘treason’. But I will agree with you that the country psyche has become really really bad esp in the last 4 years…

  8. I have been thinking about this article and our way of life in Pakistan. I come to this conclusion:
    – All the media news channel are full of crap, why? if you analyze and research a little bit, you will find one anchor favoring one political party agenda, while the other might be doing something else.
    – If we talk about politics and when I see people of my country indulging so much into political dramas and all things relating to it. Tell me aren’t we doing a big sin. We are doing back biting against someone we don’t know about something we don’t know in detail about something we don’t have any idea whether it’s true or false. In the end what is the result, we are giving our good deeds away effortlessly to people without gaining a single bit.

    Today as well, while coming to office I picked my colleague and he was again saying to me, why you torture yourself by not getting entertained with something, I said to him, for me entertainment is not to polite my mind with political crap, for me entertainment is doing sports activity, read books or do something positive.

    I guess our society is being wisely confused, just see when the Veena malik headlines started, the memogate issue and the border issue. What is being done is nothing else except to deviate the mind of the people from the important task. Which is to seek for Allah’s blessings and HIS guidance on such important time.

    JazakAllah for telling us, someone is thinking on the straight lines. MashaAllah, Alhamdolillah and InshaAllah Taalah!!!

  9. Narrated Anas Radhi Allah Taalah Anhau. :

    Allah’s Apostle sallallahu alaihe wasallam said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” The Prophet said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.”

    Bukhari :: Vol 3 :: Book 43 :: Hadith 624

  10. Assalamu’alaikum!

    I’m an American born Pakistani and I have to say after watching my parents glued to the television…watching the Pakistani news on our dish…I began to abhor Pakistani politics and news. I watched my parents one day love one Pakistani leader…and the next day hate him. I watched my parents fall into ridiculous conspiracy theories and fall for every word the media says. And then…I sat and listened to them discuss these ridiculous rantings with family and friends!

    After I had enough…I completely disconnected myself with Pakistani politics. I stopped reading about it and just started praying for the best for its people.

    You are absolutely right. The way people talk is ridiculous. Even our Prophet (saw) warned us to be careful about how we talk about leaders…b/c if we do “joke” or speak negatively…we will be held accountable for backbiting them. People need to stop sinking to the same low as the people they ridicule.

    • Sabirah, very well said. Sadly our brains have become used to sensationalism. To be honest we have stopped questioning the morality or the rationale of most conspiracy theories and statements we hear. Everything is slowly being accepted as “ok” when in fact it was never ok in the first place. It is easy to point fingers and much difficult to cleanse our selves of faults and even easier to sadly be hypocritical. God Bless.

  11. Hi SaFire,
    I like your name! I’m new to the blogosphere. It seems to me that you and I think alike. I’m an expat (for now). I gather you’ve figured what kind of stuff I write. I’m a spokesperson for a team of great kids (& a few adults) in Houston working closely with an organization in Karachi–we are pushing our minds (& of our kids) asking questions pertaining to education reform. By profession, I’m a pediatrician. I think that whatever happens (or not), we will leave a ‘legacy’ behind that our kids will need to deal with. More and more voices (yours, mine, others) are needed to question ourselves and those whom we align with. Politcs, as oft repeated, is dirty business. However, someone has to wallow in that filth. That someone has to be other than me. I choose to work with kids (my ‘day job’ is as a pediatrician)–we discuss and then implement ways of bringing about some ‘alteration’ in ourselves (our atitudes & behaviors) before considering even for a second that we’ll have an impact on others. That helped us tremendously to keep working towards the promotion of socially relevant education reform in Pakistan. I agree with you that wishing death on someone (even if I were to ignore the Hippocratic oath for a second) is unwarranted. No matter how frustrating the situation gets. One never knows what the other person really is all about. It would be an assumption on my part that all politcians are corrupt and dishonest. I question my own integrity and honesty at times–if my own honesty is unclear to me at times, then how can I possibly question someones else’s? Why should I assume then that the next politician who starts governing over the land of the pure will be any better than his / her predecessor? I do agree that our moals are lower than they appear.
    Best regards,
    Asad

    • Thank you Asad for stopping by on my blog. I am curious as to how exactly are you “pushing minds” and “asking questions about educational reform?” It seems like a great thing to do and this is perhaps exactly what we need – raise the future generation to be better Pakistanis and most importantly better HUMANS. We need to be more than the label of “Muslims”. A Muslim instead should be synonymous to honesty, morality, humanity, care, integrity and impartialness. It is only education and by that I do not mean the solely in books, but the values passed down by our ancestors and the values of our Holy Prophet ( may peace be upon him) that we can be saved. I always maintain that hating is the most easiest thing to do but loving and accepting others the way they are is perhaps the more difficult things. Thank you for an introspective comment.

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