Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pakistan or Orwell's Animal Farm?

When Mumtaz Qadri, the killer, was brought to a court in Rawalpindi on Wednesday a motley of lunatics showered him with flower petals and chanted slogans in his support. Just like an individual can suffer from schizophrenia or paranoia, these psychic diseases can afflict a whole lot of people. This is what Pakistan is passing through these days.
But the situation becomes all the more alarming when these schizophrenics and paranoids take control of the mass media, attire modern dress and bray for the blood of a few liberal voices. It becomes a classic case of Modern Media, Medieval Mind (Zafarullah Khan in his seminal research used this term for jihadi web-based newspapers in Pakistan).
But the line dividing hate-based jihadi and mainstream media is getting blurred. Blogs like are the only alternative and saner media in Pakistan. Liberal voices have been stifled. Blogs have become the only islands of freedom of speech. However, they can be no match for the mainstream media that have been taken over by the lunatics.
How many people in Pakistan have access to the Internet? How many people can read and understand English, which is the lingua franca of blogposts? People everywhere are dependent on newspapers, radio and television to have a world view. Private television play a havoc in Pakistan, because the common viewers have a blind faith in them on account of their being not government-controlled.
Gone are the days when journalism used to be a profession of the left; now it has been taken over by the rabid rightists. Even the present-day left has taken a U-turn. In the words of my journalist friend, Iftikhar Firdous, left is now only a sign of direction. This shows bankruptcy of Pakistani society.
Those chanting for the killer and garlanding him for his despicable crime forget that Salman Taseer was not an individual; he represented a section of society which does not see life in black & white. The criminal silenced that section of society; left them chilled in fear. Pakistan is fast becoming George Orwell's Animal Farm where people like Ansar Abbasi, Meher Bokhari, Shahid Masood and Hamid Mir will tell the people what to chant and how to chant. Goons like Qadri will stalk every nook of the country to silence any dissenting voice.


  1. Blogs like Cafe Pyala, Kala Kawa, Five Rupees, etc are such a tiny piece of the saner minority in Pakistan. Their outreach cannot be matched to that of Hamid Mir, Shahid Masood, etc. If only it could, I still wonder if the younger generation would be able take their message or not. As it is, many students from top-class institutes in Pakistan support Qadri.


  2. That's why I say that not madrassas, but our mainstream educational institutions breed extremism. The lawyers who garlanded Qadri are not madrassa graduates; they are the so-called educated lot of our country. The rot lies in the syllabus that is taught in our mainstream educational institutions.
    Blogs cannot compete with the national media--no doubt about that.