A revolt within!

On April 1, ’09, the TIPains were made accustomed with yet another truth of society, thanks to Beena Sarwar, an artist, journalist and documentary filmmaker focusing on human rights, gender, media, and peace.

She is currently based in Karachi working on a freelance basis and
runs a postings list as well.

What we saw in the documentaries can be described as the ‘darkest truths of society that is causing great damage to the humility of mankind’.

Hudood ordinance that was constituted during Zia ul Haq’s era was to bring in conformity with the injunctions of Islam the law relating to the Offence of Zina.

Everthing was made clear and final, but today in our society, the law is misused to an extend indefinable through words. Families use it against their daughters who marry off with their own choice, and label the whole incident with the name of adultery. Can we expect justice in a society where such a law is viciously misused?

We saw the case of Mukhtara Mai, who was raped because her brother (15 year old) was accused of sexually harassing of another woman, before even proving that whether her brother was guilty, she was punished already. A truth that brings tears in my eyes and leaves me speechless. But today I feel proud of her that she stood up and fought for her rights, became a model for all the hopeless women around the globe.

Our society is prevailing under the darkness of ignorance and illiteracy.

According to Karl Menninger, The Crime of Punishment, 1969:

“Before we can diminish our sufferings from the ill-controlled aggressive assaults of fellow citizens, we must renounce the philosophy of punishment, the obsolete, vengeful penal attitude. In its place we would seek a comprehensive, constructive social attitude – therapeutic in some instances, restraining in some instances, but preventive in its total social impact. In the last analysis this becomes a question of personal morals and values. No matter how glorified or how piously disguised, vengeance as a human motive must be personally repudiated by each and every one of us. This is the message of old religions and new psychiatries. Unless this message is heard, unless we … can give up our delicious satisfactions in opportunities for vengeful retaliation on scapegoats, we cannot expect to preserve our peace, our public safety, or our mental health.

But the punitive attitude persists. And just so long as the spirit of vengeance has the slightest vestige of respectability, so long as it pervades the public mind and infuses its evil upon the statute books of the law, we will make no headway toward the control of crime. We cannot assess the most appropriate and effective penalties so long as we seek to inflict retaliatory pain”.

We were made accustomed to yet another truth of our society. Classical dancing, which is a much controversial topic for the masses. To some it’s a way of finding and exploring your soul but to some it’s a complete anti-religion notion.

Some say, “Istaghfairulah, they will be dancing in hell on the day of judgment.”
But others say, “What a fine way of discovering who we really are and how beautiful the nature is that surrounds us.”

According to TS (Thomas Stearns) Eliot, Four Quartets:

“I said to my soul
Be still
And wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing
And wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing
There is yet faith
But the faith and the hope and the love
Are all in the waiting
And do not think
For you are not ready for thought
So the darkness shall be the light
And the stillness
The dancing “

A name that comes to the mind when I think of classical dancing is, Sheema Kermani, a classical dancer, teacher, drama artiste and rights activist, she believes we can change society through cultural activities. “Why don’t people like me?”, wonders Sheema Kermani. Then she answers her own question, “I think I’m too blunt, I don’t beat about the bush which unfortunately doesn’t go down too well with people.” Kermani feels that people aren’t comfortable with an unconventional person. “I decided to make a different life for myself and people don’t like someone who takes a deviant road,” she adds. Born into a well-off family, she decided she didn’t want to marry a rich husband who could provide her with material luxuries. “These things don’t make me happy. I’m happy when I’m doing creative work; it gives me the energy to go on,” she elaborates.

We as a nation should be pondering over the thought that why put a ban on folk or classical dancing when we still permit the much vulgar aspect of dancing through lollywood films? Why not involve oneself in the purest form of dancing rather than making it a complete notion of vulgarity and exposure of ones’ body? Even though we know that the intention of a classical dancer is to find nature and persuade others to think about it as well.