By Karim Murad Siam
“My daily walk from my point (bus) stop to my apartment is nothing less than a torture for me,” writes Saba Fatima Ali in her article.
Saba is one of those brave and dauntless girls who speak out if something erroneous happens with them or around them. But there are many other girls who do not dare to raise their voices on such issues. Whenever I walk through the bazaar I see people staring at females with extreme interest and passing lewd comments. A couple of days earlier, when I was on my way back to home from my community center, I saw an old toothless man passing comments on girls passing by. I was thrilled to see all that happening. If I ponder on this situation, I feel like we have lost something. Something very precious. Something which was the base of our survival. Something which was the basic ingredient of our character.
We are kind of people who follow a female if seen outside of her house until her destination but have restricted our own females inside the walls of our houses. We are people who always scrimp other girls on phone calls but our manliness awakes when one of our own females gets a phone call from a wrong number. We harass girls on social media but we do not let our own sisters to use it. We get amused seeing a girl in jeans walking along the road but get choleric if our own females do so. Ratan Tata, a famous Indian philanthropist says “none can destroy iron, but it’s rust can. Likewise none can destroy a person, but his mindset can”. If we take this saying in a broader way, it tells us that we are heading towards an era of moral and ethical adversity. I am afraid we would not be able to achieve our Islamic principles back again if we lose them at once.
Our nation is not progressing it’s regressing in terms of morals and civic sense. Cases of harassments are being reported in large numbers on daily basis. Bullying females on their work places is becoming common. Recently, an issue came into my knowledge which was breathtaking for me to hear. Tourists who visit northern areas especially Hunza, are involved in pestering local females in different parts of the region. It is even woeful to know that we have not been successful in tackling this issue and the government is unable to come out of this ethical quagmire despite of too many endeavors. It all starts from an atrocious stare and ends up with a case much familiar with what happened with six years old Zeenab in Kasur, Punjab last year. We will have to make an environment where our females could feel safe and confident. We will have to revive our Islamic culture in which females were regarded with great respect. We will have to come out of this foul mindset before any moral clash.
I am optimistic that we would take this disgraceful issue seriously and would do something to sort it out. If someone asks from me about the solution, I would say that we will have to start from ourselves, from our home. After that we should think of doing something in our neighborhood. Most simple and clever solution of the problem is that we should internalize the principles of Islam and we should act likely. If we are involved in any shameful act like harassing any girl than we should first think of what would happen if someone does the same with our own sister or any other relative. Moreover, I would suggest to the government to make strict laws regarding these incidents. We must heed on such situations carefully and do not let them happen because these deeds are not in our cocoon but they only give some excruciating experiences.