Sometimes, people reach a stage where their insides are erupting with feelings of anger, confusion and disbelief. This is when emotions are heightened to a point where it becomes too hard to jot them down in the form of a structured essay. That is why I’ve decided to format this piece as an open letter. The teachings I’ve had ingrained into my brain about how every article needs a hook, lead, body and conclusion can’t be applied here, because what I give to you today is pure, uncontrollable word vomit:
Dear Those Who Participated in the #RallyAgainstALiberalPakistan,
I understand why you felt the need to organise a rally. Apparently, the rest of the country has not been leaning in your favour. A bill was just passed that protects women against violence, hence, making it harder for you to suppress them without any restraint or fear of consequence. A man whom you’ve hailed as a hero for committing murder in broad daylight was just executed. You’ve convinced yourselves that he was fighting for a valiant cause. Maybe you’d feel differently if those bullets pierced the skin of your loved one instead of somebody else’s.
So yes, my sympathies are with you. I’m sorry that you’re being left in the dust while Pakistan strives to progress. I’m sorry that our country is not cooperating with people like you who have narrow minds and sour hearts. I’m sorry that your primeval views don’t have a place in our world today.
Even though I initially rolled my eyes while reading about the rally, I actually felt my jaw hit the floor when I saw pictures of young boys and girls participating in a demonstration they probably didn’t even understand. Some were looking utterly confused — they clearly didn’t know where they were, or why they were there. Some were just shouting — I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but their eyes were gaping wide and empty, as if they were being brainwashed. They were partaking in a movement that encouraged senseless aggression and blind hatred. That is no place for a child.
These children were dragged into a spectacle that will surely leave a lasting impact as their personalities begin to take shape. Let them be children, let them be carefree. It is their right to grow up without minds that have been tainted with hostile beliefs. They should be playing outside and enjoying their innocence, not waving posters showing images of a deceased killer. You have clearly stooped to an all-time low by using your babies as props to air your grievances. I’m appalled at how you want your children to grow up with a desire to kill and hate. The moral lapse in this situation is far too reprehensible to even discuss. What I find even more disturbing, however, is your utter lack of concern for their safety.
These are your children, you are supposed to protect them, not inspire them to fit your definition of a martyr. Do your beliefs matter more than their well-being? If that is the case, then not only have you failed as human beings, but also as parents.
Protest if you must. Crowd the streets and scream until your lungs beg for mercy. It is your right to speak out against developments that you vehemently disagree with, even though people with enough sense have become accustomed to drowning you out. All I ask is that you leave your children at home.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 16th, 2016.
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