The Need for Social reforms | Pakistan Today

The Need for Social reforms

  • The only way to handle the abuse in society

By: Aamna Khan

A furious debate concerning women’s security in Pakistan has been evoked right after the recent motorway gangrape. Public began to protest all over Pakistan, and social media became the hub of discussions and anger-filled arguments. Society questioned the state of law and the role of law enforcing agencies. It’s an alarming situation that approximately every day there are cases of rapes of women, children and transgenders and gangrapes. There are arguments that in a country which claims itself to be an Islamic republic, why are such cases increasing. What are the factors responsible?

After the motorway incident, people began to demand strict punishments for rapist and hashtag #HangtheRapist had trended for several days. Prime Minister Imran Khan in response to these demands advised his government to formulate strict laws and favoured chemical castration and public hanging of rapists. In a recent interview, Khan said “They should be given exemplary punishments. In my opinion, they should be hanged at the chowk,” further he said, “The way murders are graded as first degree, second degree and third degree, rape should also be graded this way, and the first-grade rapists should be castrated and made incapable completely.” After his statement, a new discussion began on social media about the pros and cons of such penalties considering the existence of numerous loopholes in the judicial system that may lead to exploitation of such punishments.

There is a dire need for social reforms in Pakistani society. Without such reforms, even severe penalties wouldn’t be able to do much. Executing strict punishments is the short term strategy while complete eradication of such evils requires a grassroot-level and long-term strategy of social reforming. These reforms can only be achieved through serious concerted efforts mutually carried out by all segments of society at all levels.

A robust judicial system is a prerequisite to give speedy justice as it is said “Justice delayed is justice denied”, but unfortunately it is one of the dilemmas of the Pakistani judicial system where it took years to get justice and cases remain pending.  Strict punishments are inevitable to control the crime rate at the moment. Public hangings will caution rapists and all those having such tendencies and out of fear, the crime rate will also decrease.

In addition to the strict punishments, social reforms are too, vital to deal with such issues in future. Social reforms can be defined as “any attempt that seeks to correct any injustices in society. People who are involved in social reforms do so with the aim of improving the quality of life. Social Reform is a kind of social movement that aims to make gradual change, or change in certain aspects of society, rather than rapid or fundamental changes.” Now the question is how and who will bring these reforms in the society?

First and foremost is acceptance. We need to accept the shady sides of our society. Closing eyes to the problems will not eradicate them. We need to accept that such heinous crimes do exist in our society and mollifying ourselves behind controversies isn’t going to help much. There can hardly be any woman in Pakistan who has never faced any sort of harassment, violence or molestation in her lifetime.

Secondly, start with one’s own self at one’s own home. It is said ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’. Parents must teach their children about good, bad touch and how to protect themselves in any such situations. In our society, parents often feel shy to talk about such issues with their kids and it is considered taboo. This attitude needs to change, parents should befriend their kids and make sure their kids feel comfortable talking about anything with them. In most cases, kids are uncomfortable in sharing and get scared of the consequences, leading to continuous suffering and abuse.

Thirdly, educational institutions can play a significant role in bringing change in society. After home, schools and teachers are the main sources of learning for kids hence, teachers should play their part in creating awareness. Besides, the set curriculum, schools, colleges and universities must teach their students morals and ethics. There should be training sessions for self-defense. Moreover, to create awareness about the level of sensitivity about such issues there should be regular workshops for educating police officials and other concerned authorities who are directly associated with such situations as recently, the insensitive remarks of CCPO Lahore aggravated much anger among the masses. These workshops will help to tackle any such issue in future.

Fourth, religious scholars need to play their part as well. Being an officially Islamic state, religion is an eminent part of our society We feel proud of living in the Islamic Republic but in Islam, there is no margin for such crimes. In Islamic jurisdiction, the punishment of rape is stoning to death. Islam is the prime torchbearer of human rights, so if we call ours a ‘Muslim society’ why are such heinous crimes happening so often One of the fundamental problems in Pakistan is the complicating intermingling of culture and religion. We often follow some cultural values religiously without realising they have nothing to do with our religion. The true interpretation of religious texts and values is indispensable. Further, Clerics being influential and respectable part of our society come forward to guide people and preach them the true Islamic values. In Friday sermons, in spite of speaking about politics, they should highlight social evils and provide solution of social problems in the light of Islamic teachings. They need to speak against rape exactly as they do against blasphemy.

The media should also play its role in creating awareness among the masses. In the current century, media has emerged as an extraordinary tool for shaping opinions and perspectives. Media can reach to even those who don’t have access to educational institutions. Media itself is an institution that can play major role in building a society on moral and ethical grounds. Electronic media should broadcast such dramas, movies and advertisements as address subjects like child abuse, rapes, and any other form of abuse. Through media, the audience can be informed about their rights, responsibilities and legal procedures.

There is a dire need for social reforms in Pakistani society. Without such reforms, even severe penalties wouldn’t be able to do much. Executing strict punishments is the short term strategy while complete eradication of such evils requires a grassroot-level and long-term strategy of social reforming. These reforms can only be achieved through serious concerted efforts mutually carried out by all segments of society at all levels.



One Comment;

  1. Pingback: The Need for Social reforms | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

*

*

Top