Streamlining Desperation

Streamlining Desperation
The PTA has banned Tinder and other dating apps due to the perceived ‘negative effects of the immoral/indecent content’ on these platforms.

One begins to wonder whether the state of Pakistan is actively trying to build a dysfunctional society where consensual relationships between opposite genders are tightly controlled in the acceptable societal framework of marriage but dysfunctional and aggressive behaviour, like child rapes, are overlooked with minimal action from the state.

Recently, a young boy was shot after he resisted a rape attempt by other men. Such instances are increasingly common in the land of the pure where displays of morality and religiosity are considered to be of utmost importance but our collective desperation manifests itself in these frequent barbaric actions.

According to multiple reports, Pakistanis are amongst the most frequent consumers of porn in the world. Searches related to beastiality, rape and other extreme forms of adult content is frequently consumed in the land of the pure, regardless of the ban on porn sites by the PTA.

Even the most basic Internet user has now learnt how to access proxies to view the content they like. While the state of Pakistan seeks to regulate and actively control its citizens’ sexuality even in the digital realm, it fails to understand the limitations of its control in a world that is empowering technology users in fundamental ways.

While banning Tinder and other dating applications might make it more difficult for consenting adults to find suitable matches, it will certainly not eliminate the human desire to seek partners.

Such bans will, however, increase the collective desperation and frustration of the population which has minimal avenues to express themselves in realms which only make us human.

It is still difficult to assess the exact motivations of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority in implementing these bans. Does the state of Pakistan seek to develop a society in which unmarried couples are not able to meet or interact digitally?

Already, unmarried couples face harassment by police if ever stopped on a police checkpost. They are demanded to produce proof that they are married and are extorted if they are unable to do so. With such bans, the state appears to enable such behaviour telling us what is acceptable to it and what isn’t.

And while the miniscule elite, those who are not dependent on dating apps to find and meet suitable mates will continue to lead their lives with as much freedom as their privilege allows them, the masses will feel more desperate and ultimately express their frustrations in crimes much worse than the two consenting adults meeting.

The state of Pakistan must realise that there is a limit to restricting people’s freedoms and controlling their lives.

The current prime minister of Pakistan is considered a hero by many of his supporters. One of the main reasons for Imran Khan’s appeal is his success with the opposite gender which includes multiple affairs and relationships which did not lead to marriage.

Some might call it debauchery but others might be more benevolent and consider this as actions in the personal realm.

But the question is: if the personal actions of leaders can be discounted, why can’t the same consideration be offered to regular citizens of Pakistan?

Do celebrities or powerful people have more rights than regular folk?

It is unreasonable for the state to idolise a world renowned playboy and then expect the masses to behave in a puritanical fashion.

If Pakistan is going to take a great leap to development and progress, we must rid ourselves of this myopic baggage.