Mob violence and channelling anger

Published: August 27, 2010
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We must not let our anger control us

Anger is a gift. It is a feeling related to one’s perception of having been offended or wronged, and there is a tendency to correct that wrongdoing with retaliation. It is also a gift because it signifies restlessness and a will to change things.

It’s a good thing we are an angry nation because it shows that we aren’t as complacent as we like to believe, and we are not satisfied with our current state of affairs. We are people who feel wronged and we want that to change.

But first, we need to learn a thing or two about expressing our anger through sports, music, art or even speech. We need to channel it in constructive ways instead of abusing the Zardaris, the Sharifs and dictatorships in our drawing rooms or worse, directing violence against fellow human beings.

What happened to Muneeb and Mughees shows how desperate we are to vent the anger that we harbour as a nation, and how destructive and cruel that expression can be.

A few weeks back I witnessed something similar to what happened to the two brothers in Sialkot. Of course the incident was not nearly as barbaric, but I would categorise it as brutal and senseless, and sadly, I was a part of it.

As I was trying to park the car in the busy Bahadurabad area of Karachi, I saw a car and motorcycle collide. What followed was shocking. People immediately gathered around the car and started to beat the young man who got out of it. They punched him, beat him with shoes and hurled abuse at him instead of inquiring how exactly the accident occurred.

Their course of action seemed to be based on the perception that if a car and a motorcycle are involved in an accident, the car owner must be at fault as he must be the richer one. “Maaro is nawabzaade ko, ghareeb ko kuchalta hai,” said a man in the crowd.

As much as I was upset, I didn’t get out of my car to defend the person being beaten. Rather, I watched as the police came, dispersing the crowd.

The people who attacked the young man were maybe venting the anger they felt about increasing prices or a personal problem. If we don’t address the frustrations we feel as a nation, more innocent people will lose their lives in mob violence.

natasha.raheel

Natasha Raheel

A Karachi-based sports reporter for The Express Tribune.

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