Sad news indeed


It is quite depressing to receive one after the other sad news from Pakistan over a span of last few days. A couple has been arrested for dousing their 15-year-old daughter with acid, the unfortunate soul later died in the hospital, a husband has been arrested for defacing and badly injuring his wife with blade, a jirga (local elders’ court in rural areas) ordered publicly beating of a boy and girl with shoes – all these atrocities are being meted out in the name of family honour.
Another sad news came from Lahore wherein a charged mob attacked a girls school and put it on fire, school principal and several teachers have been arrested and are under police custody as their bail applications have been rejected by a local court. Their crime, a teacher got few pages of homework mixed up by mistake changing somewhat the context which were taken by local religious leaders as blasphemy. Yesterday, when girl students and lady teachers visited their burned out school, they started crying on destruction of their school which was imparting knowledge to a widespread segment of society for last several years.
What is all this? Why people are resorting to violence on such issues? In my opinion, in the last few decades, Pakistan has witnessed a rampant increase in religious extremism and hatred is the only feed on which religious extremism survives. Therefore, blasphemy and family honour are the two outlets to fan the hatred. Someone needs to review whether influence of semi-educated religious teachers and leaders is playing any role in inciting hatred and violence towards vulnerable segments of the society. Perhaps, educationists and sociologists should come forward and analyse the reasons for such crimes. Otherwise, we are fast moving towards jungle rule.
Jubail, Saudi Arabia