Writing for minorities isn't easy

When I informed him that I report on behalf of the rights of vulnerable minorities, he questioned my faith as a Muslim

Rana Tanveer March 04, 2013
Journalism as a whole needs courage, and more often than not, a journalist has to face pressure from the field for rendering his professional duties. But sometimes, a reporter comes across a situation which he never expects to be in.

You may think attack, threatening phone calls or encountering indecent attitude from people are unusual but, in fact, they are routine for a journalist in this country. However, I want to share an unusual experience, which had an everlasting effect on me.

It was October 2012, when my family and I went to my would-be in-laws with a proposal of marriage. Everything went smoothly. Their family approved of me and my family approved of the girl.  We had a pleasant lunch and both families sat in the drawing room to discuss general matters.

All of a sudden, my brother-in-law to be, who was about 10 years older than me, started chit-chatting with me. I figured he wanted to ‘interview’ me, as is customary in our society.

After about two minutes of conversing, he came to the real question and started asking me about my profession and my assignments in office. I told him that I had previously been covering crime stories and now had begun reporting court proceedings. Besides this, I told him I also covered activities of religious parties.

I think my brother-in-law to be had serious reservations with my line of work, especially since I write a lot about minorities and their rights and the treatment meted out to them in our country.

This somehow made him question my religiosity and my faith as a Muslim.

I informed him that it was my duty to report on behalf of the rights of vulnerable minorities whenever and wherever they are meted out unconstitutional or illegal treatment at the hands of extremists in our society, regardless of who they are.

He may or may not have been satisfied with my response, but he became my brother-in-law on November 12 of last year. Since then, we have not discussed my work.

While facing criticism in one's line of work is part and parcel of a reporter's life, I never expected such disdain to emerge on a personal level.

Thus, when they say that reporting on minorities is difficult, it stands true in every possible sense.
Rana Tanveer
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Oswald Saldanha | 10 years ago | Reply Rana Tanveer, Thank you for picking up the gauntlet for the Minorities. May be for the illiterate Muslim population of our country, you should write about the contribution of Pakistan's minorities. The Christians of Pakistan are very Patriotic. They have built schools, colleges, clinics and hospitals. The majority of student's in a class room were muslims. The muslims benefitted with top grade education. The sad part is that, these educated muslims, NEVER come forward to defend the very Christians who taught them and their children. Christians, served in the Police Service and the Armed Forces of Pakistan with great distinction, honesty and integrity. The defender of Karachi Flt Lt Mervyn Middlecoat was flying F-86 aircraft. In the dogfight that followed, Mervyn shot down two enemy aircrafts, a feat for which he came to be known as the ‘Defender of Karachi’ 1965 war. In 1965 Flt Lt Cecil Chaudhry levelled Halwara. Please inform these illiterate muslims that it was Lt Gen Niazi who surrendered E Pak not a minority. The Christian Community of Pakistan, has served their BELOVED country with Great Distinction and honour. No one can deny this fact. No one.
Burjor | 10 years ago | Reply Writing for majority is even more difficult. Because one might break more hearts and minds, if one writes the truth, which may not go down well, with the majority. Needless to mention many of my responses have not been published, for reasons as given above.
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