If you are a regular follower of the Pakistani blogosphere and mainstream media, chances are that you have come across these three stories – the fake degree scandal, Fox News declaring the countryPornistan and a heartbreaking rape incident of a nursing student. It is amazing how the stories that appear completely different are in one way correlated.
Starting off with the Fox News story, which claims that Pakistan tops Google’s chart when it comes to ‘Sexy Searches’ (Though personally, I find nothing sexy about horse sex). Frankly, Fox News is infamous for its special love for Pakistan and the Muslim world over the years and Google’s disassociation with the Fox story takes away our special internet achievement. But I am sure folks around the world might have had a good laugh at the story and our sexy (the correct word would be perverted) nature. But does it take away the fact that some of us actually make these searches or watch porn of similar genre. Scary thought? I think not. It actually signifies another attribute of our hypocritical nature. We banned Facebook, YouTube and even Wikipedia but not porn sites, I wonder why?
The second story that continues to receive much media coverage is the fake degree scandal. The story reaffirms the value of education in our society and lack of intellect in our ruling class. While they invest millions in their election campaigns; the only investment they made in the education department was to acquire a fake degree. Those who follow the budget speeches in the summer are aware of the government’s annual spending on education which turns out to be conveniently three per cent or less of the total. This explains the literacy rate of the country. Not only do our rulers want us to remain illiterate, the majority of us hardly make any sincere efforts in attaining quality (or any) education.
The most heart breaking story is the tragic rape incident of a trainee nurse. I heard the sad news when it was aired on a local channel with an ‘exclusive’ video clip where the poor rape victim (survivor hopefully) was being brought to the hospital ward for treatment. In the 30 second video clip the cameraman zoomed into the rape victim’s wounded face and other apparent injuries. It was one of the most painful sights I have ever seen; I wonder if the media present on the scene didn’t feel a sense of shame?
The appalling coverage didn’t end here. Everyday there have been video clips of the injured rape victim on Pakistani channels. The entire country recognises her name and face. Only her oxygen mask protected her from embarrassment. Allegedly it was doctors who raped her and the hospital administration who ignored her genuine harassment complaints – now the same administration has failed to protect her from unwanted visitors and media coverage.
Apparently in the society we live in it is okay if the name or face of a rape victim is made public. Everyone knows that Mukhtara Mai and Dr Shazia were raped but nobody can recall the identity of their rapists. Deep down the perversion that we embrace, negates the severity of this crime. The lack of education that we all are subsconsciously proud of breeds the inhumanity which leads to the broadcast of rape victims receiving medical treatment. But what if she was a member of your family? Would you still allow the broadcast?
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.