“I don’t kick a man when he’s down. I kick a man when he’s not looking.”
Yes, schadenfreude is a base emotion. Yes, we should all be above it. Yes, when it comes to politicians that one is opposed to, we should realise that they are human beings, with beating hearts, families, emotions, the works. One should not find any consolation whatsoever in their misfortune.
Unfortunate are the souls who, consumed by their white-hot rage, make fun of the illness of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz. Uncouth are the boorish louts who made fun of something as serious as the fall Imran Khan had before the 2013 from an election rally stage, not waiting to find out that the injuries weren’t serious.
Having said all that, perhaps there are certain instances when one could be allowed this guilty pleasure. Like the fall that incoming finance minister Asad Umer had. From a horse. At a public gathering.
One’s guilt pangs at finding this hilarious would have been far sharper had it not been for the fact that others also found it amusing.
“Asad Umer falls from his high horse, literally,” read the Express Tribune’s headline online, which they then quickly edited into something more sensitive.
I want to be friends with whoever wrote that headline, to be counseled by whoever changed it.
(An aside: a fall from a horse has, in the past, literally caused one hell of a political change in the Indian sub-continent in the past. Qutbuddin Aibak, founder of the Mamluk Dynasty and the first Sultan of the Delhi Sultanate, died of injuries during an accidental fall from a horse in 1210.)