Demonise and exclude

Amna Iqbal May 05, 2010

The Sunday magazine of this newspaper published a story on the existence of an adult films industry in Pakistan. The story was an outsider’s snapshot of the industry’s workings, refreshingly objective and making a deliberate point to not moralise. It was a mature piece, grown up enough to not paint the story in seedy, garish colors.

The reaction that it evoked, however, was far from so. The web link to the story was flooded with comments, ranging from the good, the bad and the downright ugly. There were the naysayers who said that the story had to be fake. Then there were the condemners; Even if things like these happen, do we have to talk about it .

Also, if we are talking about it, what kind of principles led us to not judge and dissect the lives of people and their choices we know nothing about. Yes, lets shove things under the carpet, that will solve all our problems. And then there were those who were downright delusional and in denial, as in that how could something like this happen in Pakistan. To give the readers credit, there was appreciation as well but it was lost somewhere in the tide of negativity. It would be a good idea, maybe, for all of us to grow up.

A sexually-repressed society like ours is bound to have demand for such fare. We are so quick to express outrage over the things that we think should or should not happen in our ‘culture’. What is our culture, how do we aim to define something so diverse and volatile with one stroke of moral condemnation? It’s fun to throw stones at others.

It serves two excellent purposes; one, it reaffirms our belief in our own superiority and two, it deludes us into thinking that by taking the higher road we are somehow righting your own wrongs. As a nation, that is what we do best, demonise and exclude. Its not all that fun, however when most of us are living in glass houses and those stones, inevitably will be thrown right back at us.


Mahvesh | 13 years ago | Reply Some of the more saner ones did not deny it's existence nor did they want to brush it under the carpet. As for questioning it's credibility, come on. It did seem like a half-baked effort which made claims too tall to believe. It was badly written, researched and presented - deliberate effort not to moralize, yes, but also did not delve into the actual reasons why 'volunteers' would come up to act in porn movies in a society like ours, rather than the unfortunate ones who were forced into it. No one denys that people in Pakistan do all sorts of things - another paper covered the operations of an S&M accessories factory, but that was quite well presented and researched. The way this article was written, you'd think we have a flourishing, tasteful (if you can use that) porn industry that makes 'classy' movies, which isn't true. You need to realize that the problem wasn't with the issue that was raised - the problem was with HOW it was presented. And yes, it was seedy and sensationalized. Had it been merely 'reporting' something instead of adding masala to it, it would've had a more positive reaction.
Tanzeel | 13 years ago | Reply True, its always interesting to see head-on clashes between Arm Chair Jihadis and pseudo-liberals.
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