Pakistanis are not taking their Prime Minister’s regressive and reprehensible remarks lying down.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s attempt to blame women for rape is not just misogynistic but also symptomatic of oriental politicians’ proclivity to blame everything bad on the West.
During a live television interview, he said, “What is the very concept of purdah? It’s just that there is no temptation in society… Every person doesn’t have the will power to check temptation… in any society where vulgarity is prevalent, there are consequences… There was some philosophy behind the purdah; that was to protect our family system and society.”
Typically, he blamed everything from the West to India and Hindi movies for rapes in his own country.
Khan’s dalliance with Islamism is not new; his proximity to and tolerance of rank jihadists is quite well known. “Last year Imran Khan was criticised following a similar national television interview, where he failed to challenge a Muslim cleric’s opinion that women were to blame for the coronavirus pandemic,” BBC reported.
Thankfully, Pakistanis are not taking their Prime Minister’s regressive and reprehensible remarks lying down. A lot many women are incensed by his blame-the-victim attitude. About 400 groups and individuals—most of them women—openly castigated him. They wrote: “We condemn the recent remarks made by the Prime Minister of Pakistan on the causes of sexual violence and rape as being factually incorrect, insensitive and dangerous. Through this statement, and others made prior to this, the Prime Minister has actively fostered and promoted rape culture and rape apologia. In a country where the total reported cases of rape represent only the tip of the iceberg, such statements have the effect of further traumatizing and silencing survivors of sexual violence by placing the blame on them, instead of on those who carry out the crime and the system that enables rapists. Comments of this nature also disregard those prevalent cases of sexual violence that seem to have escaped the Prime Minister’s attention, including but not limited to the rape of minor girls as young as a few months old, sodomisation and sexual abuse of young boys—even in madressahs—and sexual abuse and violence within the confines of the home, perpetrated by family members, including their ‘mehrams.’ He also seems to be unaware of bestiality and necrophilia, cases of which have also been reported in Pakistan.”
Pakistan is certainly beset with all kinds of problems, the most important being systemic fundamentalism. The situation in our country is not that bad, but the fact that we often make this comparison is disturbing; for we should be comparing India with Western nations, not a failed state.
The comparison is made because we too have politicians of all hues who have been blaming the West for everything that has gone wrong—which means practically everything. Today, sanskaris rule the roost. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat, for instance, is not as much bothered about the sagging economy and poor governance as about the prevalence of “ripped jeans,” especially when worn by women. Just as Imran Khan and many others in Pakistan accuse Western influence for every ill afflicting their country, and ignore or downplay their own deficiencies, some in our country regularly blast the same for rape, lynching, domestic violence, the inadequacies of the education system, and so on. The bottom line is same: we are good, innocent to the extent of being pure (especially Pakistan, which is etymologically “the land of the pure”), but we get corrupted by the West. As if we, the Orientals, live in the Garden of Eden and continually get seduced by the satanic West.
It may be mentioned here that Islamists and sanskaris alone don’t live their own fantasyland; Left-liberals have their own Garden of Eden. In their scheme of things, the Fall began circa 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed and liberalisation began in India. While India didn’t exactly become capitalistic, it did discard some of the worst features of socialism. This resulted in a spurt in economic growth and development and a conspicuous decline in poverty; but comrades, fellow travellers and the liberals genuflecting to them see the beginning of economic reforms as the original sin. This, they claim, occasioned humungous scams, corrupted politicians as never before, harmed society and culture, and blighted the media.
And all this happened because the multifarious instruments of imperialism or neo-imperialism such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, and multinational corporations had conspired to impose “conditionalities” on India and force the policy and decision makers to open up the economy. Those diabolical, conspiratorial Westerners!
It is another matter that all Orientals—Islamists, sanskaris, professional revolutionaries, et al—till date continue their not-so-secret rendezvous with the West. Imran Khan’s sons live in the UK, not Saudi Arabia, where the decadent Western influence is minimal. The Pakistani generals who export jihad to the world settle in and send their kids to Western countries. Those claiming to be sanskaris yearn for permanent residency in Canada and green card in the US for their children. Salon socialists get their degrees from Oxford, Harvard, etc., and fulminate against racism in America.
In the case of Imran Khan the hypocrisy is even starker. It reminds me of a couplet by a nineteenth century Urdu poet, Momin. Umr to saarī kaTī ishq-e-butāñ meñ “Momin”/Aḳhirī vaqt meñ kyā ḳhaak musalmāñ hoñge (I spent my life chasing beautiful women “Momin”/How on earth can I become a good Muslim in old age?).
Momin couldn’t. But Imran Khan can—or he thinks he can make people believe so.
Ravi Shanker Kapoor is a freelance journalist.