Sorry Valentines day, I am a Pakistani…

Let’s review a typical ghairat mand approach towards Valentine’s day, as usual, extremist groups and hate mongers will be approached by mainstream media channels to shed light on the ongoing debate that whether Valentines should be celebrated or not? PEMRA which acts as a media watchdog recently issued a warning to all media channels regarding coverage of valentines day and how the aforementioned event is unIslamic and all the prohibition jargon.

Apparently, the regulatory body seems to be a perfect fit for a nation of more than 208 million which has previously banned journalists, social activists, and intellectuals across the country from television time and again. The same authority fails to act when religious extremists march through streets of the capital well equipped with their magic wands. These groups use derogatory language and abuse almost every institution responsible for our well being yet PEMRA radar won’t touch them, unfortunately.Every year mid-February for an average Pakistani may be considered as a national security threat as in the case of other celebrations deemed un Islamic.

We don’t know whether it started as a pagan festival in an attempt to spread Christianity or some legendary saint who saved the day through love. Roman legends tend to narrate different stories regarding Valentines and events leading up to the romantic day. I am quite sure people who tend to term it un Islamic have had the opportunity to review Roman legends and based on the extensive research they went ahead with it. As of today if not the leading country to execute bans we surely are contenders of a world record in banning activities.

As far as I am aware of worldly practices, through medieval times we did hear about the Knight`s love for his woman and the concept of courtly love which didn’t last long as time progressed. Sadly instead of going ahead, we try to ponder back to what happened thousands of years ago where we might need a state lead doctrine to express love or a court ruling may be.

Ban or no ban isn’t the way to go about it instead it should be myth vs reality where reality might take precedence, unfortunately, Pakistani myopia tends to ignore the reality under their ghairat umbrella. The same umbrella which never comes out for sexual abuse victims, transgenders and women subjected to domestic violence.

I fail to understand how chocolates and flowers are western and since when have we started categorizing whats eastern or western moreover do we have a criterion? The answer is NO and a big NO to those who have literally achieved nothing rather than criticism and poor criticism sadly our people love controversies, myths, in fact, anything which helps them escape the realms of reality.

Let’s have a symbolic day expressing love to those who mean something to us.We don’t get many occasions to celebrate and the ones we do are embroiled with controversies every now and then.

Happy Valentines Day!

Shehryar Imran Ejaz

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