Primed For Hatred

If we keep segregating people, never allowing them to appreciate their differences or be amazed at their similarities, how are we going to build a sustainable society?

Primed For Hatred

In our chained, suffocating, and close society, we, especially girls, hardly find any place where we can connect with other fellow beings, listen their ideas and share our experiences. The concept of community parks is considered baseless. Most young people’s lives just revolve around going to academic institutions and the way back home. Nothing else! In such a situation, academic institutions serve as more than a place for learning sciences. They involve marveling at the recent altercation of a fellow with his/her/their parents or licking fingers after eating lunch made by a friend’s mother or discussing about recent articles in their favorite magazines. 

University life in particular holds a significant importance in this regard for here in Pakistan it is in the universities where you get to meet students from far flung areas. Due to these novel and extensive interactions and because of gullibility of young minds, universities are the fundamental crafting places for young minds.

But our universities just reflect our society’s stagnant backward ideas and so indirectly feeds the same orthodoxy in next generations. Universities here are creating even more intolerant, extremist and polarized generation. Why? Because they are no longer the places of sharing thoughts, connecting with different people or absorbing contrasting ideas. 

Our universities are just factories with robots placed at a specific distance, forced to comply with specific rules that restricts every aspect of their conduct. Forget about student unions or organizations we have hardly been left with any culture of reading or discussing philosophy, politics or ideologies. 

Instead, now university administration dictates what to wear, how to sit, where to sit, with whom to sit, what to think, what to speak and how to speak. What gives our university administration authority to define these spheres of students’ life? Should not they provide any justification for that? 

Even putting aside the question of whether they should define and control these fields of daily life, the mere content of it is completely obnoxious and shocking too. Though we can demur about every restriction of theirs, here my concern is regarding the rule defining with whom should we sit for I think it is creating a polarised society.

Here, in our university (and in many other universities) you are not permitted to sit with a member of the opposite sex. And to ensure this ‘discipline’ we have a moral force, wearing black uniforms, holding handheld transceivers, never missing any opportunity to use vulgar language. These caretakers of morality make sure that we fully comprehend the scope of their power. And since the easier target of their power exercises can be girls, they go for it. 

For instance on Friday I was with my fellow females sitting on benches beneath trees. The place where we sat is mesmerising because you get to see several breathtaking birds, hear their songs and enjoy the amorphous perfection of trees. Near those benches, across the road is a mosque and beside it a mart. So, students usually sit there to enjoy nature, to read sitting under the tree, to eat food they have bought form mart or just to capture a breath. I was reading when a guard with his continuous annoying whistles approached and said “Sari kuryan aithhon uth jao, jumma ae, (All of you girls, get up from here, it’s time for Jumma Prayer).” 

Apparently, the mere visibility of girls to men passing for Jummah prayer can be immoral, or it can create problems like harassment. 

So, you are clearly implying that even the nearby mosque cannot alter men’s mentality? Then, what is the purpose of the mosque? You are also insinuating that apparently your use of force has also failed to deter men from their heinous actions, so, why not make girls go away, right? It fully depicts society’ mentality when they ask questions like what the girl was doing there (at the place of mishap). However, when girls objected, the guard changed his justification to “officers’ cars are passing, so girls get up and go away.” What’s the logic here? What is the problem of officers with girls sitting on benches? We don’t know. 

Even when most of the benches get occupied with boys and there are just one or two girls, they again make sure to get them out of there. What type of morality is this? If you have so many security concerns why not install security cameras? Why this discrimination? 

This erroneous behaviour is not just, though is mostly, against girls, the other sex gets the same annoying experiences. You will be immediately approached by guards if seen with fellow of opposite gender. They will ask for ID cards and then without any justification given, you must follow them to the admin office. You will be subject to a tiresome disciplinary action just for sitting with an opposite gender person. 

We have already become a society of extreme; we barely listen to others or feel their pain. So many things are never discussed for they are categorised as stereotypical taboos. Our male counterparts are unfamiliar with our experiences, and we have little knowledge of their worlds. Forget about race, ethnicity, or religion, we have carved so sharp boundaries and differences between the two primary pillars of society. Based on genders, we are aliens to each other. 

It has become apparent that everyone is required for a nation to develop economically and politically, regardless of gender. But if we keep segregating people, never allowing them to appreciate their differences or be amazed at their similarities, how are we going to build a sustainable society? Policing and deterring with force are not solutions. What’s the point of it if we cannot make people love or respect each other?

But no, I am wrong in highlighting these issues for our society is where even little girls get raped. My culture values honour killings. I should be comfortable with forced marriages. Oh yes, our culture is not of love, of identifying and accepting differences, of giving hopes and gifts. We are primed for hate.

The writer is an undergraduate student of International Relations in University of Gujrat.