A modest ‘proposal’
If you write a story on the gay and lesbian community in Pakistan, you get threats. I got a 'rishta'.
The reaction that one expects after having written an explosive story on the gay and lesbian community in Pakistan is threatening warnings and murderous calls. All I got however, apart from that usual list of fiery comments on the article, was a very interesting email suggesting a ‘match’ for me (replete with a bio-data and picture akin to a rishta service).
I honestly don’t know what to make of it especially since the email that was sent to me with this ‘proposal’ of sorts several months after my story was published.The fact that it coincides with my recent change in marital status-and the email states as such- makes me wonder if indeed I should be flattered that I am that good at my job that a reader couldn’t believe that someone who isn’t a homosexual could feel so deeply and sincerely for the cause. Or feel thrilled, as a close friend pointed out, that I am ‘hot enough to incite both sexes’.
My well-wisher certainly found it hard to believe that I could be ‘straight’ and still report with the depth and sincerity with which I had written that feature-and that made me sad. Sad that if you demonstrate good will and an earnest intention towards someone, or a community at large, general compassion has atrophied to the level that people have no faith that you would do good unless you had a vested interest.
Well surprise, surprise.
As a reporter the only vested interest I have is work on a story that creates a stir and is talked about. This is not to say I support the vulgar sensationalism that Pakistani media is increasingly imbibing. Blame it on my academic training as an anthropologist but if I am to pick up a social cause or pen on gritty matters, I will write if I can ‘feel’ it.
Perhaps if we all did justice to our job and not treat it as ‘something we have to do’ instead of ‘something we want to do’, we might be able to bring about serious social reform- even if it’s something as simple as being a mouth piece for the disenfranchised in society.