Why porn is popular in Pakistan

Published: February 15, 2012
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If not controlled, pornography will cause the country to spiral out of control and lead a whole generation astray.

It’s late at night and the hands of the clock signal that it is just past midnight. The whole family is sound asleep with the sole exception of a young man sitting on the bed, with the laptop right in front of him. To anyone, including his family, it seems as if he’s studying, or working on an important project, or checking out the latest headlines online or watching innocent, comical clips on YouTube. All it takes is a peek over the shoulder and all is not what it seems.

This scenario is part of an average, everyday lifestyle for thousands of young adults right across the country, where in the late hours, viewing explicit material is more important than getting eight hours of sleep.

Known commonly as pornography, it is the latest epidemic in the world of technology and computers of the 21st century. Understood to be one of the causes that destabilises a solid and strong society, it ‘is the explicit portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purposes of sexual arousal and erotic satisfaction’.

Varying in different types of media, pornography is produced in the forms of books, magazines, postcards, photos, sculptures, drawings, paintings, animations, sound recordings, films, videos and video games. An era once existed when magazines publishing vulgar images were very common. However, these print materials have dried away and are now replaced by DVDs and CDs, supplied openly in major cities such as Karachi.

One person recounted how a shopkeeper in a DVD shop in Karachi grabbed a handful of porn DVDs and suggested them when the person mentioned an interest in romantic Bollywood films. Frowning upon the vulgar material, the customer left the shop, disgusted with the way these things were being sold so openly as if it was nothing to be ashamed.

Pakistani adults are growing frustrated and feel that they are being abandoned by their government under the current circumstances. Youths who lack employment or education opportunities are more likely to experience the frustration and become entrapped in this mess. Because they are unable to find someone to confide in, young adults find solace in these communication networks, and thus the problem of pornography continues to plague us all.

Parents blame the internet, but there is no point in doing that. If someone took a fatal bullet to the chest, does it make sense to blame the factories that manufactured the guns? Unfortunately, it does not occur to some parents that rather than the internet, it could be something lacking in parental upbringing that leads their child to view such crude material. After all, no one forces or pressurises these youngsters to view such things. Upper-class housewives pay more attention to the latest dress designs released in “Kayseria” or “Bareeze” than what their child is up to on the computer.

With this subject, stats don’t matter. The fact that pornography exists on a wide scale in Pakistan is shocking enough and that is quite a sizeable problem on its own. With the government turning a blind eye to youthful frustrations and parents occupied in other matters, pornography is the dilemma that will cause the country to spiral out of control. A whole generation will be set on the wrong tracks and will end up at the wrong destination.

Before things hurdle out of control, it is imperative that parents spend more time with their children, discussing the good and bad things about the internet. Parents need to monitor their children and the activities they carry out through the day while using laptops, PCs and mobile phones. Broadband companies  also need to play their part in eliminating pornography by restricting access to particular websites that mistakenly end up on the friendly list.

Pornography is a vile and loathsome form of material that discriminates human nature and probably is one of the greatest ironies ever – humans discriminating their very own nature. The sooner it fades away, the better it is for all of us.

Read more by Aneka here.

aneka.chohan

Aneka Chohan

The author is a freelance journalist and human rights activist. She tweets as @anekachohan (twitter.com/anekachohan)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.