Can sharamnaak be khatarnaak?

The current raging debate on the usage of the word sharamnaak by Imran Khan (IK) in his public pronouncements is about the actual meaning and inference of the word.
The issue has taken on so much importance because IK was called by the Supreme Court to explain just what he thought he was doing when he was alleging that the behaviour of the monitoring authorities of the general elections (the Election Commission and the judiciary) was, in his opinion, sharamnaak?
Apparently, the august court was not satisfied by the explanation that was submitted by him and has rapped him on the knuckles to go back, stand in a corner and come back when he felt chastened enough to make amends.
Even as many all-important issues, at both the provincial and federal levels, wait to be handled, we spend our time pondering all our intellectual abilities on whether sharamnaak can be considered an abusive word.
All through the lead up to the elections and, in fact, ever since he has been in politics, it is well demonstrated that IK has a limited Urdu language capacity.
You can gauge this by the fact that the bulk of his discourses have revolved around two basic words from as far back as I can remember. Those two words are satiya naas and bhera gharq.
I completely associate these words with IK and can now possibly add sharamnaak to the list, in the post-elections scenario, as the third word found often in his arguments.
In any case, none of them warrant the kind of serious attention that has suddenly come on to the last on the list, as anybody who is well-versed in the nuances of language will bear me out on this.
What the real irony in the situation is that IK has firmly been in the corner of the superior judiciary through its tribulations and has been its most vociferous supporter.
Many other equally vocal supporters of the movement for the restoration of the judiciary, like Aitzaz Ahsan and Asma Jehangir, were seen supporting IK and even wishing to defend him in court.
Why things have changed to this extent should be the focus of the debate not literal translation of some words. But things do change and just like August weather, sticky and humid one minute and cool and rainy the next, one is reminded of the verse by Ahmad Faraz:

“Yunhi mausam ki ada dekh
kai yaad aya hai,
Kis qadr jald badl jaatey hain
insaan jaana.”

Another guy whose memory we thought we had erased from our collective national conscience, but who made a sudden comeback on the day IK was summoned by the court was Aslam Raisani, former Chief Minister of Balochistan.
Much like Hina Dilpazeer, the super talented TV actress with the magical ability of transforming herself beyond recognition into different characters, the Ex-Chief Minister had on an altogether new appearance. It was only when he opened his mouth to utter the pearls of wisdom that were his special forte, that one saw that nothing had changed.
The horrific jailbreak in Dera Ghazi Khan has rattled nerves. The easy way it was executed and the lack of resistance it was met with raises many questions. The Taliban treated it almost like a school picnic. Coasters etc!
They may well have sung happy songs too on the way in and out for the kind of good mood they were in. It certainly does not reflect well on a nation that cannot stop talking about how it is not going to let its sovereignty be violated - come what may!
The need to even use grenades to blow open the gates did not arise - the guards on duty were so ill-equipped to counter the offensive that they opted for the path of least resistance and just melted away.
The scary thought is that all those who have been set free will make fresh attempts at undermining our country and settling scores with renewed vengeance.
The Taliban seem to have clarity and resolve while we are still dithering in the road to take to tackle them.
There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can be achieved for the betterment of Pakistan and its cities until we are able to sleep secure in the knowledge that we can thwart and avert any physical threat.
That should also be the reason to justify the huge armed forces budget and the nuclear arsenal we developed against all better judgment.
Postscript: Finally, somebody had an idea that would counter so many myths. An animated cartoon for children called the Burqa Avenger! It is a better cartoon for children than anything that Walt Disney has done because it does not inculcate the idea that a prince will be waiting down the road for every girl, to sweep her off her feet. Neither does it focus on the physical attributes of being pretty to be happy. The reserved school teacher in the day time dons the burqa when the bad guys are around to conceal her identity. Her burqa is a source of power not oppression and she can also use it to fly. Educating children and saving her village are her main priorities. She fights bad guys that actually exist in the real world - corrupt politicians and vengeful mercenaries, who are limiting access to education. The Burqa Avenger’s theme song is all about how she makes things happens. It goes: “Don’t mess with the lady in black, when she s on the attack!” Perhaps, it is time to hand over Pakistan to women as the men have had a long turn and things have yet to improve.
The writer is a public relations and event management professional based in Islamabad.

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