‘The abuse dies in a day, but the denial slays the life of the people, and entombs the hope of the race’.
Who would know the bitter effects of denial than I myself and still suffer from it’s guilt till date.
On visiting my parents in Delhi in July 1997, I clearly remember how my mom begged to me that she felt that my Papa wasn’t well and he needed a thorough cardiac check up. But my confident Papa, shooed her idea of an echocardiography . We went for a basic blood test which was all well.
Mom wasn’t convinced. Heeding her concern, I continued to watch my father with a side gaze, off and on, to see if I could get a trace of any signs of being unwell in him. He was radiant as ever, and after all he was my Papa, and how can my Papa be wrong about his own health?
On the contrary we construed a conspiracy theory that Mom was going through Menopause, and was hence anxious and unwell.
Twenty days after I left, I got the news that my Papa passed away, hale and hearty, while working on a computer, typing a chapter for his new book. He had a massive heart attack.
I have not forgiven myself ever since, for having lived in denial, to escape the harsh reality. Had I faced the truth head-on, life would have been different.
In a wider context, most human beings live in denial—with just the difference in the degree. We deny a thing and then wrap it in the garb of ‘conspiracy theory’.
On one extreme end, are those who deny Holocaust, the landing of man on Moon, the 9/11 incident, even the Abbotabad operation in which Osama Bin Laden was nabbed and killed. The other milder extreme are those who express “ We have stopped watching news because it is very depressing.” in an attemopt to not accept the day to day happenings around us.
But then the reasoning that we are endowed with in the neocortex, restores the rational thought s and we learn from our mistakes.
In Pakistan, one sees that denial has become a way of life. And we do not even learn lessons from those mistakes.
Most of us refuse to accept the problems of Pakistan as its own, and pass the buck on others—most favoured excuses being America, India.or if this doesn’t apply then we have the easiest scapegoats, the Ahmedis. And then to forget not, the new villain in town, the “hidden hand’ or the “teesra haath’ which we hear so often. God knows what that is?
Twenty years ago when I was new to Pakistan, first ‘conspiracy theory’ I heard was that Pakistan’s big or small problems, even in the early 1990s, were because it wasn’t given the ‘right’ piece of land during partition owing to the love affair that Edwina had with Nehru, which influenced Lord Mountbatten’s decision..
Whenever anything untoward happened, in Pakistan, some of my ‘friends’ and kin, made sure that I knew that all that was happening was linked to India too, in some way or the other.
Last I remember being the PNS Mehran incident—in which a ‘friend’ of mine took pains to mail to me while I was visiting my mother in India that it all happened because of the involvement of RAW/Indian agents. The proof she had was that those men who came there were uncircumcised. I did not shock me, for I had heard the same explanation when the armed men had attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore.
And now enter the video of Amir Liaqat. It again shows the manifestation of the same ailment. . We all have a bit of double faced Amir Liaqat in us who has one face in public and another in private. Even if I wasn’t a fan of his, I would still have a corner of sympathy for the human Amir Liaqat who swore. But not after his following video of denial.
Despite of all the actions he does, including the mimicry of the Qawwali claps or the humming of “hum to thehray pardesi” Bollywood number sitting sandwiched between two Mullahs, majority of his fans are again ready to close their eyes of reasoning and follow him blind to call this ‘dubbed’ and a conspiracy against him by the Ahmedis. The support I saw ‘virtually’ on some of the facebook or twitter statuses and in passionate ‘real’ discussions with ‘friends’, is mindboggling. And worse still, most of his women supporters are blind and deaf towards the mockery he makes of the ‘nazuk’ ma’amla of a girl being raped. Have their minds gone “ghass charney” ?
I have yet to come across a person, man or woman, who previously followed him, was now changed.
Unfortunately nothing will change in terms of numbers. In fact, those who called him Jahil on-line will continue to call him so, with more surety. While those who revere him as an Aalim will upgrade their reverence for him, and of all you know he might end up to be beatified after this incident, as a saint( aka Pir or Mujahid or whatever you chose to call) who is the victim of the ‘hassad’ of the liberals or the infidels.
Denial enmasse, has become a “National Sickness”. And conspiracy theory is it’s outward symptom. This sickness has led to our demise as ‘thinking’ and ‘reasoning’ individuals to a large extent. Our brains have become the vestigial organs and it is the kneejerk reaction at the spinal level that forms our opinions.
So aptly has Meredith Grey summed up ‘denial’ :
Sometimes reality has a way of sneaking up and biting us in the ass. And when the dam bursts, all you can do is swim. The world of pretend is a cage, not a cocoon. We can only lie to ourselves for so long. We are tired, we are scared, denying it doesn`t change the truth. Sooner or later we have to put aside our denial and face the world. Head on, guns blazing. De Nile. It`s not just a river in Egypt, it`s a freakin` ocean. So how do you keep from drowning in it?
Needless to say, not just Amir Liaqat, several Pied Pipers of Denialistan are out in the open, who have led and already drowned a large chunk of us into the sea of ignorance.