By: Mariam Saleem
Karachi: Pakistan is a South Asian developing country having a population of approximately 182 million, with 97% Muslim folks. Being a developing country we face a lot of issues from power failure to circular debt to street crimes and so on. Though we are unable to tackle any of such issues, but still I gratify that at least we can talk about them. Hilariously, there is an issue popularly known as social issue, which by definition is social and by practice it is one of the most confidential.
Nowadays, gay marriages has been legalized and become our new muse. Our so called educated class has gone all gaga sharing there rainbowmatic and not so rainbowmatic views. Surprisingly, Pakistan has nothing to do with gay marriages, which is being legalized in U.S. It is not legalized in Pakistan any way. It is forbidden by our religion. So being a Muslim to condemn such a law is our right and we did it. Cheers! But to condemn or raise your voice on something that is not for us and that is not in our control appeared to be easier, isn’t! We knew Obama will not come and ask us as to what we think about his decision. So, yes we did a lot of writing on it.
In Pakistan, suicide is on a rise, child labor is on a rise, selective abortions are on a rise, aids is on a rise, prostitution, child abuse, and domestic violence all these social worms are on rise. But we do not talk about them, probably because we don’t like to see our own wrongs. What is happening in Pakistan is less “happening” for us? We don’t talk about serious issues, the real termite, which is eating our society. One of the most common yet the sheepish of all reason stems from our dear Muslim parental belief.
Don’t Talk About it… Just Don’t!! When you talk about evil it spreads at a faster rate. Most of us have been listening to this phrase from our elders in the daily life affairs, which apparently mean that we must NOT discuss ‘certain matters’ with anybody. Our parents don’t give us sexual knowledge. They don’t teach us what it is all about. Because, we have this hidden fear that “what if they get indecent”? Well, if you will not tell your kids, they will know from the outside. You don’t have any control on what your child is learning from the environment. So it’s better to educate them yourself.
Second reason we don’t talk about social issues like aids, because we are afraid what our religious advocates will say. We cannot talk about it; we cannot spread awareness, because we don’t want to believe that this social issue exists. Reality is, closing your eyes, will not disappear the problem any way! In Pakistan we don’t have Aids. Really! People don’t report it because we don’t have any facility, no rehabilitation centers, no cure and above all no acceptance. People in Pakistan will not have any sympathy for an HIV victim and that’s the irony of our society.
When, the whole world is fighting for gender equality and people are talking about women discrimination, we are fighting the same battle, but on a very different platform. They are protesting against discrimination in work place, salary, growth etc. we are fighting for right to live. Shocked? Don’t be! According to the Population Research Institute, that collects data on sex selective abortion, over 1.2 million female fetuses were aborted in Pakistan in the years between 2000 and 2014. The yearly average of sex selective abortions is 116,384. That’s alarming, isn’t it! But we don’t talk about it, as we cannot portray ourselves as an anti women society. Our zipped mouths are increasing these numbers day by day.
People are stuck in issues like electricity, water, gas, security concerns. They do not find time and effort to work for the change of alarming norms of the society. We are least bothered as to what is happening in the society, we don’t talk about them. We talk about BIG things like apple, coke, and galaxy. We are busy doing dub mashes and playing face book games. We can crush candies on our smart phone, but we cannot crush are sick beliefs. Still the victim is treated as a culprit. A women get raped will never get married, but the rapist will. The social issues will never get resolved unless we face them, talk about them, and fight for their solutions collectively. So let’s do it, raising our voice can do wonders. All you need to do is to realize the importance and sensitivity of the issue.
The writer is a BBA Graduate from IOBM Karachi.