By Anushay Babar
Every year we must feign enthusiasm for an independence- applicable to only a faction of the population: straight, Sunni men.
The reason for this conviction became ever so pronounced owing to the events that unfolded just outside Minar e Pakistan: 400 men, supposedly in the name of honour and protecting the sanctity of their country- assaulted, harassed, and groped one woman.
What must be iterated: nothing can justify this barbaric and filthy act. Crimes against women in the name of honour have to be addressed with the most stringent of punishments. With every such tragic event, we are reminded of the inefficient judicial system of the country, which relies on its kangaroo courts, if anything. The woman against whom this brutality took place is one amongst many nameless, faceless women- women all around us. The event told us that this is the abominable and repulsive mentality of the majority which enables this reality. Anytime, a mob of 400 men can assault. Just like in the last month, a man can behead a woman, or stab her 23 times and get away with it, or throw acid on her. All in all- abuse inconsequentially and justify it using religion and patriotism. They are not reptiles. These are the men around us. They are animalistic- yet recognised with respect.
Conveniently, there is no Moulvi now crying on television about the nation's men. And that in itself speaks volumes of the dynamic that exists in the so-called Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
In an effort to legitimize the sickening events, some came forward to point out that they think that it was a transgender woman who was being abused. That does not make it better. We are still just as intolerant. Any individual with a semblance of femininity, it appears, is deserving of disrespect in this country. Respect for women is always conditional. Never viewed as strictly humans, we must always be someone’s daughter, sister or mother. We will only grieve the perfect victim- the sweet girl. The innocent girl. Loving daughter. Doting mother. Caring wife. Anyone who does not meet the requirements may silently perish away.
Others were claiming that she was calling wolf, that it was a publicity stunt on her part. This is even more shameful. The fact that we would choose to discredit an event- ask the women around you if they have felt unsafe in Pakistan; they will not lie. No woman gains anything from speaking up about her abuse- it is usually the other way around, where she must face baseless allegations of this sort, accusations that she is lying or exaggerating, fabricating events to ruin the name of the country. A woman need not do that when the men are enough to taint the supposedly sacred reputation of the country.
Perhaps instead of policing women and confining them to the four walls inside their homes, restrictions on the movement of men should be implemented, and we may then learn of how safe the outside world is for women. Speaking logically, if men are perceived as sort of animals who cannot control themselves, will be aggressive each time a woman is in their presence, then it is quite clear who needs to be in confinement. Humans are social creatures. They will behave the way that they have been raised, and we need to expunge this concept that men are naturally incapable of civil behaviour. It will hold that if the aforementioned is true, then yes, confine them. Because The women of this country deserve better.
Alas, on Jashne Azadi, there were no celebrations, there was never an azadi.