Caution: Please note just in case some over-zealous Imran supporter wishes to take me on: I`M F-A-T!
“With great power comes great responsibility”
And then he walks off looking all cool and nonchalant, as if doing the right thing comes naturally. Okay maybe it does, maybe our hearts ARE in the right place and most times we DO know instinctively what the right thing is. But what we do with that knowledge is a different story all together, read any Aunt Agni columns lately?
But I digress (as per usual:P). This article isn`t about Aunt Agnis, their role in society and the type of people that write to them. Let`s not get judgmental here:P This article is about YOU!
Oh yes you slouching in your chair, sit up young man and take note!
Or woman, we really aren`t racist or particular ( yes women are another race, we refuse to be associated with men. Okay maybe we are a little racist:p)
Anyhoo do you know why it`s about you? Cz even though you may not have gotten into the university of your choice yet or been hired by the firm of your dreams, you ARE in a position of power. How? Cz all of us who are at some position in society (read: can speak English and have a facebook profile) CAN and DO unwittingly command respect. Whether you like it or not you should know that you belong to a class that is “looked up to” (whatever your grades may be in school). Your maid, your driver, your tailor, barber, the General Store wala, or anyone else you interact with all look up to you so you need to conduct yourself likewise! So before you go all Martin-Luther on me realize that you need to be very careful about the things that you glamorize and the good or bad that you might thereby inspire. We are all ambassadors; choose the brand you endorse wisely. Indeed you will be questioned about it:
Man does not utter any word except that with him is an observer prepared [to record]- Surah Qaf :18
Think about that before you share a “oh-so-cool” video/song on Facebook next time. Think about the underlying subliminal messages that you are okay-ing with that tiny like/share.Think about it before you break a little girl`s heart when she shyly tries out her pink floral Hijab for the first time. Think about it before you mock a class fellow for praying “too regularly”, or laugh at a friend trying to get married without causing her parents to go into debt ( ever wonder why Americans cry about the recession when they don’t have to throw a Desi wedding?). Think about it when you make a Pathan/Sardar jee/Memon/Meera-Veena/anything-that-breathes joke (and then you complain your mommy won`t let you marry “her” just because she`s not Abbasi). What is the harm you say? When rich people spend lavishly they make extravagant weddings a status symbol for the common man and so on and so forth…
Money talks and in more ways than we can comprehend. They were right when they crooned:
Ya meri gari dekhi
Yam mera bangla dekha
Ya mera sara Bank Balance dekha
Tmhe Pyaar mjse nai haiiiii
(Sigh if they had only done that without music). Ever wonder where our “gora complex” came from? Google Aryans and British Raj to know the long-term effects on your psyche of rulers that lived long before the internet was invented. Pricks to know their ideals might have out-lived ours.
When beautiful people dress scantily, they glamorize nudity for the masses (or glamorize anorexia for that matter). When charismatic orators talk about “freedom of speech and tolerance” the line between religious extremism and liberal extremism can no longer be clearly drawn. When writers write and poets rhyme, much is lost in translation. That is the power of glamorization. I can honestly picture some dark voodoo stuff now:
A glamour was originally said to be a spell cast by a witch to make somebody see things in a different way -Virginia Postrel (Told you so:P)
That my friend is the power of marketing!
“Many a false idea has been sold on the strength of how beautifully it was presented, and many a sublime truth has fallen flat because of how poorly it was expressed.”-Unknown
This power is unique to those who have been blessed with either wealth, health, good looks or any other talent. So those of you with power (ya X-Men:P) remember that bad deeds like good ones have ripple effects.
There is a story in Ibn Kathir which says:
…Shaytan then went to Hawwaa` in a hurry and said to her, “O Hawwaa`! Qabil killed Habil.” She asked him, “Woe to you! What does ‘kill’ mean?” He said, “He will no longer eat, drink or move.” She said, “And that is death?” He said, “Yes, it is.” So she started to weep.
Any soul that is unjustly killed, then the first son of Adam will carry a burden of its shedding, for he was the first to practice the crime of murder.” [Ahmad]
**talk about major ripple effect**
Whoever recommends and helps a good cause becomes a partner therein: And whoever recommends and helps an evil cause, shares in its burden: And Allah hath power over all things. ( Surah An-Nisa verse 85)
“Whoever guided people to misguidance will bear the burden of sin for that, and the burden of those who do it after him, without that detracting from their burden in the slightest.´ (Muslim)
See what I mean when I say Spidey is right?
And so i beg to differ with Imran Khan when he says “Tabdeeli agai hai” (change has come) . Yes that sounds great, feels great and I pray to God that our future has some greatness sprinkled in it. BUT over-flowing hormones aside, the change is far from coming; change will come the day we change ourselves. The day we stop using humor to brush aside the wrongs we commit and start taking responsibility for our actions. The day we stop stereotyping, copying assignments, cheating on tests, bribing the police wala to let us off easy. Also the change will come when we get off our behinds and cast our votes. Cz that’s what responsible citizens do.
And no the argument that people with “special powers” aren`t registered voters won`t work. No Tariq it really won`t.