Paraded naked: Duly deserved?

Call it immunity to such incidents or simply not being bothered, it fails to justify our acceptance or even silence.

Zainab Aqdas August 15, 2012
Whilst the world quickened its pace along the path of progression and enlightenment, a mother and her sister were paraded naked in the streets of Muzzafargarh for having the audacity to approach a ‘superior tribe’ for its daughter’s hand in marriage for her son.

One would expect a zealous outrage directed towards the oppressors of this unfortunate mother. However, several fractions of Pakistan’s populace believe the one to blame is the woman and that the humiliation she has endured is justified.

Ironically so, women are marginalised within a nation that prides itself on having installed the world’s youngest female foreign minister, that has signed and ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and whose Constitution claims to guarantee the protection of life, liberty, body, reputation and property of an individual.

The tribe in question has been vehemently denying all forms of accusation, claiming that the women entered their house for the purpose of robbery and that their parading was merely ‘their punishment’.

Interestingly, a mere week before this incident took place, a woman and man were paraded naked by the Khairpur Police on allegations of ‘intent of adultery’. Therefore, logically speaking, the actions of the tribe of Muzaffargarh are a reflection of the example set by our law enforcement agencies. The nail in the coffin was the crowd of spectators, who did nothing to stop this act of barbarity. It seems that the frequency of marginalisation has turned our hearts to stone. Call it immunity to such incidents or simply not being bothered, it fails to justify our acceptance or even silence.

Sadly, such incidents further highlight the mass chaos amongst our people. We are a society which is neither purely capitalist nor socialist, not having granted equal rights to all individuals under such systems. We are, however, under our self-proclaimed ‘banner of Islam’, which itself is tainted by our hypocrisy. The gap between the enlightened moderates and despotic tribal leaders is growing with the passage of time, as the latter’s corrupt practices escalate and their hold upon the innocent and unsuspecting tightens.

With oppressors and law enforcers treading in each other’s footsteps, prospects of improvement for Pakistan’s women and other marginalised communities are fading fast.

Follow Zainab on Twitter @zainab_aqdas
Zainab Aqdas Is a freelancer and recently got done with her O levels. She enjoys reading South Asian writers and hopes to pursue a career in International Relations. She tweets @zainab_aqdas
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