A mythical racist culture


“We are now all Pakistanis–not Baluchis, Pathans, Sindhis, Bengalis or Punjabis–and as Pakistanis we must feet behave and act, and we should be proud to be known as Pakistanis and nothing else.”

~~Jinnah

The racial ethnicity and internal discrimination is something that forms the fabric of our current social set up and infrastructure. It is something that has deeply penetrated into our roots, blood, and beliefs. It has just been rooted into our thoughts, daily life conversation, jokes and behavior. We don’t have any anti-Pathan or anti-Sindhi theory to support our racist behavior, but our daily talk does reflect this.

How does one feel when he hears a sensible person speaking of marrying a Pathan woman only because Pathan women are beautiful? Excuse me, we forget about the racist behavior where beauty comes in. The same person may not hate Pathans for eating naswar then as his fellow being do. Why are we surprised to hear about all this everywhere, when this starts at home?

This attitude extends to employment, corporate world and marriages as well. How does one feel when an intern belonging to Hazara is given special preference in the department just because the head of the department is a resident of Hazara? How does one feel when he or she is asked about his caste in a job interview? I guess the candidate’s caste add ups a lot of extra skills, abilities and extra competencies.

In a social gathering, one often finds people asking questions like “Are you a Jatt, or a Janjua?” and “What’s your caste?” I guess Jatts and Janjuas have excellent ‘small talk’ manners and the best communication skills. One would often find “Arains” speaking badly of “Gujjars” and “Minhas” badly criticizing “Cheemas” for their stupid behavior.

Coming to marriages, yes here is a problem as well. The notions affect marriages as well where Syeds would not marry in Non-Syeds, Shaikhs would not marry a “Jatt” or a Khan and vice versa. The racist approach and provincial prejudice isn’t only within the Punjabis, Sindhis, Baluchis, Pathans and Muhajirs, but it lies at an internal level as well, where one finds Punjabis even looking down upon other Punjabis just because of their ‘caste’.

What comes next when our elders teach their kids like?

“Son, don’t eat like a hungry Bengali.”

“I was expecting a naughty behavior from you since you are a resident of Hazara.”

Some others say:

“Don’t send us a Lahori family since Lahoris are too sharp.”

“Pathans demand a lot of money at the time of marriage.”

“He gave you guys a treat. It is strange since he is a Shaikh.”

“Your kids speak Urdu like Muhajirs.”

“Your daughter has curly hair and dark. She looks like a Negro”.

Thanks to some stupid and useless funny racist statements that have boosted negative behavior in people. These were some of the examples of very simple daily life conversation statements or words that we never even think about much. The racism or ethnicity is everywhere. The list of vast jokes, anecdotes and useless myths never come to an end. Many people base their lives and form solid opinions just on the basis of these uselessly transferred myths.

The child may think that Bengalis are bad and people from Hazara are ill-omened. This racism continues even at the time of natural and human disasters. How does one feel when he finds someone saying that Pathans deserved all this drowning in Nowshehra? After the Faisal Shehzad issue, some people were seen stating like, “Faisal well done, we have always hated Pathans, you have made us proud and increased our hatred.”

In our obsession of looking down upon others, some of us maintain a most obnoxious behavior towards people who are native people of our country. We even love calling local Christians as Chooras, not matter how well educated and well behaved they are. Our personal biases make us more confused and aggressive.

It’s not necessary that only Lahoris would be the fastest people in the world or Pathans would be demanding a lot of money at the time of marriage. There are countless examples of non-Pathans who ask for a lot of money and non-Lahoris who are very fast and quick. Children are always naughty, no matter if they are from Hazara or not. There could be examples on non-Shaikhs who are reluctant to spend money on others. The if-then-else conditions may apply well to languages but not to ordinary humans.

The simple soft jokes are good to enjoy only if they don’t make someone a racist. Talking about myths, we don’t need any more to make ourselves a racist. Enough are there. Enough have been there to make us discriminatory. Just like charity, tolerance and acceptance begin at home too. We would never teach the same child about Rabindarnath Tagore of Bengal or any of his accomplishments, but we feel great to tell him not to eat like a “Hungry Bengali”, and would feel proud of telling him some great eating manners. Doesn’t discrimination start at home too?

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