Since time immemorial we are known for our spices. The westerners – the Portuguese, the French, the British all came to Indian subcontinent not for the intentions to rule us , but on a look out for spices. India at that time was known as the ‘spice heaven’ of the world..
And till now, we have maintained out appetite for spicy food. A little less masala in the Biryani and we complain it wasn’t delicious. Infact, we refuse to eat it.
Same is the case with our appetite for Masala news. WE LOVE SPICY NEWS , RELISH IT, CHEW IT LONG IN OUR MOUTHS, AND EVEN REGURGITATE IT with blogs after blogs. But any boring bland news we just swallow it like my son does to the tasteless vegetables.
Human rights group called HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, based in New York, way back in 1999 published a report that Pakistani women, 90% of them, are subjected to verbal, sexual, emotional, or physical abuse in their very homes. I remember seeing the news in various newspapers. But am sure it just went unnoticed–one, that not many have the habit to read, two, it didnt come as a dramatic news on the TV tagged with a celebrity announcing it.
Yes we are a nation who loves to watch TV too and we love dramas the most.
When our dramas became boring with loaded intellect of Sania, Marina, Samina like dull boring women, we switched to watching STARPLUS from India–because they are more spicy.
TO HELL WITH INTELLECT.
So right was Mehr Bukhari on a TV show just a day ago that, ”We are intellectually bankrupt, and hence we want media or the starlets to take the lead in reformation of the society.”
How many of us remember the name of a faceless girl Amina on whom acid was thrown on her face by her husband in Karachi a couple of years ago and YES she too protested a great deal and came in the media and was evenhighlighted by I A REHMAN, the director of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
But why should we?
Neither she was a starlet wearing sphagetti sleeves in front of a Mullah nor was IA Rehman a macho.
How many of us even can recognise the picture of Dr Shazia Khalid who was gang raped in Balochistan and that triggered the war between Pak army and Baloch tribes. Not a small issue.
Why the hell should we–she was not at all a Bigboss enterant. And she did protest too, that too against the rapists, who we know who they are ,and then left to USA out of frustration and her safety. How many blogs came out on her–there were but not as many, I can bet.
But she never became the champion of the raped girls or symbol of oppression..
Yes Mukhtara Mai did become one. I am glad and I laud all of us for making her so- the media, the bloggers, the FB friends. We all made her the ‘hero’. Not she herself. Exceptions are always there.
A schoolgirl, Kainat Soomro was gang raped at the age of 13. Four years later, today, she is still fighting for justice.
“Kainat Soomro should have stayed silent. After being battered and gang raped for four days her traditional, conservative village in rural Pakistan expected the 13-year-old girl to keep her story to herself. She refused.”
Writes Robin Crilly, from Daily Telegraph on just 26 December, 2010. How many of us cross posted after reading it. And this includes me too. I do not absolve myself from this indifference.
This is what a 13 year old Kainat said,
“This is what happens in Pakistan. Poor women have no chance. These men set the rules and think they know how to deal with these issues. They don’t.”
But who noticed? Who called her a Warrior Princess? Who claimed that Kaanat is ‘me’?
And then just yesterday the DAWN blog by Shyma highlighting the killing of a faceless SAIMA etc and addressing to the frenzy of the bloggers to ‘hot’ stuff.
And I waited for 24 hours with impatience to see how many of my FB friends, who went and crossposted Veena , went gaga over her courage and valour, will crosspost this. Not even ONE did. Yes not even ONE.
Who are we kidding guys?
I can go endlessly with such cases who are loaded with serious issues and serious struggles. But the point is again we are a masala loving nation. And we want masala, the hotter the better.
I was wondering for the last 24 hours as to what is wrong with my brain, my thinking. Did God assemble it wrong order when doing so. Why do I think ‘wierd’ from others, when all of us agree to one thing that this is extremism, bigotry, moral policing is wrong.
I too think Veena being moral policed is wrong but then why am I not being a veena wannabe.
Is it because I am old or I am jealous of her beauty. May be, subconciously.
I even love hot food. But why not hot news then?
Then suddenly I get a flash in my head in the middle of a very important presentation that I was doing for an international organisation begging them to pay their attention to the Maternal Mortality in Pakistan too, not just India or Bangladesh.
And then the reality flashed probably because I donot ever ever switch on to the never ending soaps that run on STAR PLUS. I am so feeble minded that I cant recall even one name.
To what extent am I blind will be obvious from this incident- when I ran into a ‘huge’ startlet who was a VIP for a fundraiser we had worked for–I just didnt place her and offered her a seat in the audience much to the offence of the organisers as well she herself.
Yes I donot watch Indian STARPLUS and that is my anomaly. I get it now to the peace of my mind. Hence, I dont get the greatness in the two minutes screaming of a STARPLUS heroine to a two minute moral policing for her.
But I love ‘hot’ food , please.
P.S. I WANT TO CLARIFY THAT MY PROTEST HERE BLOG AFTER BLOG IS NOT WITH VEENA , IT IS THOSE WHO BLOW THINGS OUT OF PROPORTION WITH NO END ACHIEVED THRO IT. AS FAST AS THE BUBBLE ERRUPTS, AS FAST IT BURSTS. I AWAIT HOW AGAIN WE WILL SLEEP A DEEP SLEEP AND SWTICH ON TO STARPLUS WHEN THE VEENA BUBBLE BURSTS.