There are two major things bugging me right now. No wait, there are actually four but I’ll the ignore the other two for now.
Thing numero uno is the now wildly infamous incident that happened in Sialkot a day or two ago where people from around Daska followed two brothers, 17 and 15, in Sialkot city and beat them to death alleging that they were affiliated dacoits who had robbed a village near Daska, killed a man, and injured a few others. If that wasn’t enough, the mob tied their corpses upside down and beat their lifeless bodies for… only God knows what. And what’s worse, there is footage. Yes, there is footage that is being played on television channels all over the country. What’s disturbing is that the boys had NOTHING to do with the robbery, they were innocent little boys who went to school and were just normal kids. It’s mind-boggling, disgusting, and completely cringe-worthy.
Now there’s so much wrong with this incident that I can’t even begin to describe how heinous and brutal it was.
It’s not that the police wasn’t there; it was there, very much so but somehow more involved in facilitating the scene rather than preventing it. Mind you, there was incident last year in Karachi where two men were burnt alive by a mob over a the same allegation. I don’t get it, if we have our mobs to take care of things like these, why do we have a police? I don’t get it, was there really nothing they could do or were they afraid of the mob turning on them? Their job is to protect and make secure, not to humiliate that uniform that they proudly parade around in.
It’s not that people weren’t there; there were, they were part of the mob, the mob that thinks its the boss, the mob that doesn’t care, the mob that will ultimately pin the blame on the circumstances and poverty. Well, boohoo, get over it, I don’t care if you live in a jhonpri or a mansion, if you don’t have a conscience, you don’t deserve sympathy. This whole mob mentality thing is becoming quite the catch here for some reason. Just a few days ago, I saw pictures in the newspaper of a mob that had blocked road in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa because they hadn’t been provided with aid as swiftly as they wanted. Really? Couldn’t you just be glad that you’re getting something? Then there was this woman on TV, criticizing the government because she didn’t have a charpai and had to sleep on the floor. I mean woman, seriously? I’m from an upper-middle class family, and every summer I sleep on the floor so that we all can fit into one room and don’t run multiple air conditioners. Our people don’t care, as long their are hands feeding them, they’ll be fine. But the minute that hand turns away they will leap at it to bite it.
It’s not that the media weren’t there; they were, they were busy recording footage of a heinous crime. In my two years of studying journalism ethics, I’ve come across various incidents where journalists have to stop and think for themselves and their well-being before involving themselves in a story. In certain cases, you can’t do much and I do believe that if somebody had tried to stop the mob, like some people did, they would have ended up injured, like some people did, or even worse, dead. However, there are many times when a journalist has to stop being a journalist and be a human being. If you couldn’t help the kids, you might as well have put down the camera and not have kept rolling until you had footage of two young brothers, bleeding from head to toe to pay the price for something they hadn’t even done.
In the past few weeks, there has been a lot that has made me ashamed of this country but this whole thing is probably the last straw. I’m ashamed of this country. Correction, very ashamed. From the president, to the bureaucrats with the fake degrees, to the ungrateful people without a conscience. I am ashamed.
And to think this all happened in Ramadan and in stark daylight when people are fasting. I bet the mob thought their fast had been glorified by what they had done. I wonder what they thought of when they broke their fast with their own kids at dusk. I wonder how they’d feel if they had to break their fast with the knowledge that their innocent kids had been murdered for no reason. I wonder if their heart ever broke. I wonder if they even know that they were wrong.
So much for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Like I said, I’m ashamed.