Two different nations? Then why do Indians and Pakistanis treat their women the same way?

Obviously what else remains when a woman is being publicly threatened by men that they will kidnap and rape her – what else remains?

Pakistan and India. I feel very sorry to say that both of these are two immature democracies, both of whom claim to be the best ones on their own behalf but actually they don’t know the true meaning of the word “democracy”.

I still remember Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s address about the Two Nation Theory, when he clearly pointed out the differences between these two nations, especially his words:

“They (Hindus and Muslims) belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions.”

But this statement surprises me today when I see the prominent similarities between these two nations and their people and even their mentalities. Despite the fact that “Yes! We are two different nations and the biggest difference among us that sets us apart is our religion” – then how come our behaviors are analogous in some – if not all – situations?

I myself got dazed when I saw an episode of two incidents that occurred separately one after another, almost in the same week, one in India and the other in Pakistan. However, the nature of both was not very different. One woman criticized and the other shared a selfie on social media. According to critics, Indian TV Presenter, Shruti Seth was at mistake when she criticized the Prime Minister’s #selfiewithdaughter campaign and in reaction she was ridiculed along with her family and even her ancestors. On the other side of the border, Pakistani Singer, Komal Rizvi went against morals when she took a selfie with the humanitarian Abdul Sattar Edhi, while he was admitted in the hospital, and shared it on social media.

I don’t want to judge either of these women because I feel it’s not our job. What I want to do is, I want to ask if anyone out there who commented against these women and insulted them, took a minute to think about the other side of the coin? I saw another aspect of the same story: that both were women and both were offended by the people of both countries for almost the same act; both belong to two different countries, different cultures, but were treated and disrespected almost equally. And this is the respect we both (Pakistanis and Indians) give to our women.

Allow me to say that both these nations see women as inferior, weak and powerless creatures both sexually and mentally; let a women say anything against the society and they will just harass them so badly that she won’t even dare to speak up again. Everyone who does so, will have to face a soul shaking experience like these two women faced.
Yes it is happening. It is happening when a man throws acid on a woman’s face just because she refused to marry him. It is happening when a husband cuts off his wife’s nose for not obeying him or by just saying that she is characterless. It is happening when a girl is raped by a gang of rapists who, at that time forget that their mothers and sisters are also women and what could happen if someone else did such shameful act with either of them! All the doers of this shameful act think that they are setting an award-winning example of their so-called manliness.
All these incidents occurring day by day are freshening up an inevitable tragedy of both these societies and that is objectification: that women are nothing more than physical objects or a sort of property which can be treated in any way men want, can be tortured on any simple thing and no one will question the wrongdoers. I don’t think that most of you reading this will disagree with the fact that in such crimes that are committed against women, the culprits mostly don’t get punished. This, then, worsens the tragic turmoil of women. And it will keep being followed by more such incidents until we don’t change our thinking, our low mentality because that is solely responsible for the plight of women in our region today. I am sure that we all know least a couple of women personally whose lives have been destroyed by the evils of our society.

I tremble with fear when I imagine the future of women in our societies because the intensity of these incidents, these crimes, these assaults against women continue to rise. Obviously what else remains when a woman is being publicly threatened by men that they will kidnap and rape her – what else remains? I mean, I don’t think it can be taken so lightly because doing this is, if not a crime, then deviant, and the people insulting women who did not commit a crime, should be taught some lesson by giving some protection and security to women. Because previously women were used to being harassed when they got out of their houses or in markets, but now, we have improved! Now we do everything easier and better: we do it on social media!

The writer is a Media Graduate and a Broadcast Journalist by profession. She has a keen interest in reading, storytelling, writing and possesses a critical view of the various dilemmas of Pakistani society, especially those concerned with the oppression of women. Follow her on Twitter.

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