Proverbs and jokes based on caste are common in our society. Race related jests and anecdotes against descents, other than one’s own, enjoy perennial popularity. Opinions established on stereotypes like Pathans are simple-minded and hot headed, Punjabis are uncouth, Behaaris are mean and Bengalis are opportunists are circulated via SMS, internet chats, online discussion forums and picture messaging. Jokes that poke fun at caste are often made by newsmakers, celebrities and authors in the name of freedom of speech. Students in academic institutes and people at work places exploit caste as a joke topic, for ragging and bullying peers. Such offensive comedy creates nothing but prejudice and is contrary to Islamic teachings and basic moral values. Therefore, we should avoid discriminatory humor to set a good example for our younger generation.

SIDRA TALHA,

Karachi, January 6.