The murder of Zainab is not the first case of this kind; thousands of cases of such nature go unreported or unnoticed but nobody talks or admits that we are a sick nation which is not ready to face our hidden shame. All we are told by the hyper nationalist media is that we are a pure nation, and our defense is invincible. Nobody dares to bring to light our hidden shame in discussions; all that is said, this social ill exists because we are no longer good and pious Muslims. Our obsession with religion has turned us into a nation of imbeciles devoid of thinking. 

We are still mourning over the tragic murder of Zainab, and I don’t know how long we will continue to bleed our own eyes like Oedipus. However, we are not the victims of the fate like Oedipus rather the victim of our own sick mentality which breeds on religion. Our great philosophers are yelling on media that vulgarity and obscenity are responsible for such incidents and media should be blamed for this. These mentally stunned philosophers are bounded by their own thinking and cannot think out of the box. They think religion is the only panacea to every ill of the society. And, their truth is the only truth and anything contrary should be suppressed. 

We have to admit that we are living in such an environment which gives birth to sexual frustration caused by rigid moral code enforced by the state. Thus, this environment is conducive for pedophiles and child molesters. Moreover, we do not talk about sexual issues and have not imparted sexual education to our young generation. Consequently, cases of sexual abuse of children are rampant in our society, especially in rural areas. Some foreigners have highlighted this issue such as Jamie Doran in his documentary Pakistan’s Hidden Shame, but society does not prioritise this issue. 

The question is: What is the solution to this ugly and heinous crime? As far as my understanding is concerned, we need to lax our sexual rules as suffocating environment creates monsters who can prey on innocent children. I would also dare to say with all risk involved to my life that we need to legalise prostitution and need to build brothel houses rather than mosques: It would at least minimise the crime. Moreover, severe punishments should be granted in such cases and no compromise should be allowed between the parties in these cases. Police should be responsible for not taking action in these cases as it is the common practice of the police to coerce parties to compromise in these crimes. Furthermore, the media should summon up the courage to talk about these issues and should encourage people to report such incidents to the police rather than being quiet due to the fear of humiliation. It is a tragedy that victim feels shame for no reason while offender feels no moral compunctions; it is the evidence of our dehumanisation and degeneration. 

It is said that every child is the father of a man. The children are the real pride and asset a nation can have. If all human activities revolve around children, then how we can be numb over this lurking danger to the future of our kids? Now the time has come to raise our voice against this social evil and, we should leave no stone unturned in exposing our hidden shame so that criminals rather than the victim feel shame and humiliation. 

TAYYAB BUTT ADVOCATE,  

Sialkot, January 16.