To many of us it’s an anomaly that in this age of Internet and Globalization any considerable portion of population would remain voiceless. All around us we see a flood of free social networks and media outlets churning out countless streams of opinions and ideas. Our intellectual publications have gone through the roof. Yet, my dear readers! More than 60 percent* of our population still goes through life and death without leaving any impression on this giant information enterprise that mankind has erected.
* 60 pc is a ball-park figure, an estimate of many related percentages.
And so our conversation begins:
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
In broad terms, it means more than half of our Muslim populace has no say whatsoever in matters ranging from Laws regulating their lives, Governments determining their future and safety to moral and intellectual issues being discussed in our media industry. Millions upon millions of men and women, old and young alike are excluded from all recognizable platforms of public discourse.
Does this valid issue ever distort any of the policies and social conclusions arrived at by us? I will give some examples. Half the time our social media is concerned with latest trends in international sports, English or Bollywood songs and movies. While on the other hand our print and electronic media is awash with political gossip and cheap consumer advertising packaged in glittering wraps of art and substance.
If we for a moment mute the noise and look at this whole chaotic panorama, we will realize the obvious. None of these things actually relate to any of the basic needs of a flesh and bone human being. This jumble of pictures and words may give us a feeling of motion which may be translated by the pundits as progress but it’s simply not. All this while we stand at the same cross roads of absolute materialism and utter destruction feeling puzzled as to how we got here in God’s name.
There are heated debates on poverty and religious extremism and how everything is wrong with our poor lower classes.Throughout these ceaseless thought exercises on social and mainstream media, one often observes this hard to hide disdain and aversion for everything that defines them. Our social media is filled with sarcastic jokes on their simpler tastes and practices, not with an intention of correcting any bad influences but merely to display ‘superiority’ in taste. So that no one could confuse ‘us’ with ‘them’.
So where are these voiceless beings who never ask any question of the Bara saheb who wears clean clothes and drives by in shiny cars?Those children who labor in unmerciful seasons never hearing any kind word, those women who eventually go to sleep hoping that tomorrow they will get to eat and those men who see their kids die of diseases that are now erased from medical texts.Alas if they knew that Bara Saheb is nothing but a ‘mere’parasite living off their sweat and tiny dreams.
This series will be an attempt to shed some light into the life of such forgotten and nameless men, women and children of this nation.