Neither of us has the license, nor the courage to call himself a saint. We have all sinned, and continue to sin in our private lives. What varies from person to person, is the definition as well as the magnitude of the sin itself.

I found it ironic to see how people who bullied Qandeel Baloch and employed abusive language for the departed soul in their comments on Facebook, were interestingly the ones to talk high of “humanity” just a couple of days earlier on Edhi’s demise, when they felt it incumbent upon them to update their Facebook statuses with statements that explained how beautiful the world would become “if everybody brought out the inherent good present within”.

Is it human of anyone to mock and batter someone who is not even alive anymore?

The conflicting attitudes, expose how hollow our disposition as individuals is.

It’s ironic how most, if not all, of my Facebook newsfeed was filled with debates inlaid with statements that started with, “Although I have never been a follower of Qandeel Baloch but…”,“Never been a fan of Qandeel Baloch but…”, “Never liked what she did but…”. I wonder how she managed to amass so many followers on her Facebook page if nobody ever wanted to see her, and further ironic the fact that “although nobody followed her” yet everyone perfectly knew who she was and perfectly knew that it was feasible for them to quote her as an “extreme sinner”. If they never followed her or never watched her videos, how come they so adamantly knew she was to be called an “extreme sinner”? May be the work of some saintly djinns possessed by them, who privately whispered the remarks in people’s ears so that they could make use of the term in their Facebook statuses or use it in any of the comments relating to a debate on a friend’s status.  It’s very comfortable for people to label someone a ‘sinner’ when he stands alone and is collectively pronounced as one, because it gives everyone the opportunity to camouflage the flaws in his own face under the veneer of that pronouncement.

No matter how much people denounce her now, the truth is that we, ourselves, are responsible for fashioning such characters. Our never-ending lust for masala on the social as well as on the electronic media,is the reason why Fauzia Azeems turn themselves into Qandeel Balochs. Had it not been the masala that we hungered for with which we fed our eyes and fed our ears, had it not been for the 786,000 of her ‘registered followers’ on Facebook and had she not been trending on various social media apps after every bold video of hers, there wouldn’t have been a source to serve as reason for her to derive her motivation from, to continue doing what she did.

Not only have our softer sides gotten transposed into crude ones but also have been devalued by being made into mere tools for updating Facebook statuses, where we know we would get ample likes and shares for a beautiful statement explaining the virtues of humanity on Edhi’s demise. What we often tend to forget, is that darker, uglier side present within us, which cannot be easily repressed. This darker, uglier side, manifests itself when we have to choose between options like calling a deceased person “dirty and whorish” or simply letting her rest in peace. Certainly, the latter would be just too boring and without any spice.

What sets human beings apart from animals is their ability to feel and manifest organic emotions in an ‘ethical’ manner. May be the littlest that we could offer to remind ourselves of the fact that we honored Edhi and his efforts for humanity by vowing to bring the human within us to life, would have been by not disrespecting a departed soul just a couple of days after his death. It could have been done by letting ourselves connect to our deepest humanity, by burying all objections and forgiving her, knowing that she was now no more present among us.

Sinning is a universal and a natural phenomenon. Most people are cautious about concealing the nature of their sin because of the many social factors involved. At times we consider the nature of the sin too trivial to not give it any form of consideration, whereas in cases with a high degree of the sin, we get increasingly conscious over it and feel as if this sin would eventually consume us. It is then that we vow to make essential efforts to break away from this high-degree sin of ours.

As individuals, the pleasure we take in highlighting how “sinful” the other person is and how whatever misfortune that befell this person was something deserved by him in actuality for the sins that he committed, is our collective sin, and one that can consume us lest we do not break away from it.

We could have left Qandeel’s affair to God, we could have abstained from calling her names and we could have let her rest in peace. But what we decided to do instead was both, heart-wrenching and disappointing.

Perhaps it was a means of displaying how virtuous and moral we, ourselves are, but it actually defined the masochistic nature that continues to enslave our very attitudes… and for some reason we thoroughly enjoy nurturing it.