Faisalabad outrage

Naked parading yet another disturbing sign

The stripping and parading of two women in Faisalabad reflects many things, none of them complimentary, about Pakistani society. Coming hard on the heels of the Sialkot lynching, it goes to show that mob bestiality is not aroused by religious fanaticism alone, but lies bubbling below the surface, ready to be evoked by even a small incident. The most noticeable thing about the Faisalabad incident is the lack of proportionality. Shoplifting may be a crime, but there is no way that being paraded naked is a due punishment. The two women were condemned unheard. That was another salient feature of the episode. Apparently no one thought to hand over the alleged thieves to the police. It was not just possible for someone to collect a mob, but humiliate the women unhindered, it was perhaps inevitable that the incident was caught on camera, and then uploaded to social media, but it was still reprehensible. The persons busy uploading the videos could not be bothered to inform the police. The local police might not have been very conscientious, dismissive of what was being done to two gypsy women. They were presumably lower in the social hierarchy than the sisters-in-law and minor sister of a cobbler, who were beaten and stripped and paraded through Nawabpur in Multan district, in 1984. Though stripping a woman was made a capital offence, it is a shame that such incidents still recur. It is also noticeable that women are the victims. At least this case involves women who were accused themselves. The Nawabpur women were guilty of nothing but being related to someone who was supposed to have carried on an affair with a woman of a landowning family.

The corruption of the justice system works both ways. It makes people willing to take the law into their own hands, because they fear the criminal will escape. Also, they themselves think they can get away from the consequences of their own bestiality because of this vey corruption. This is one reason why the state must act to ensure that the criminals are caught and duly punished. The decline in the writ of the state was visible with the way the Tehrik-e-Labbaik Pakistan was able to escape the consequences of their actions that is now leading to a more general unraveling of the bonds of society.

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Editorial
The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected]

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