Zainab – Take a look in the Mirror!

By Syed Haider Raza Mehdi

Lying beneath the crumpled, broken, lifeless body of a little girl with dreams and hopes, who once merrily skipped ropes, played with her friends, lies the dark ugly face of a degenerate society, unable to distinguish between good and evil, between right and wrong. Between law and criminality. And as complicit in this terrible crime as the perpetrator !

There are untold stories of many other Zainab’s, who have suffered such terrible evil, and society looks the other way.

Zainab in her terrible victimhood shows us the ugly, scarred, horrible face of our society.

Kasur is a microcosm of the larger malaise where the boundaries of human conduct, decency, morality are being continuously pushed and accepted. A society which continues to support a criminal shamefacedly, will also allow its wholescale destruction!

She and her tragic death will soon be forgotten, as we get over the shock and back to what we do best, living a self centered life in which we continue to support the filth that prevails in our society to serve our own interests.

And then when another Zainab happens, we will, yet again, stop for a fleeting second as we did now. And then, happily go back to our stench and vomit. Zainab once again forgotten

Zainab happens when we allow society to deteriorate. When we allow the institutions that should and could have saved her, to become private militias, bowing and scraping to the personal whims and desires of their political and administrative masters.

When institutional breakdown is so widespread that despite the frequency of such incidents in a small geography, nothing happens. Nothing!

Zainab and many others at risk segments in our society, symbolise in many ways what’s wrong with our individual selves and all institutions which make up society. Family, friends, neighbourhoods, schools, colleges, workplaces. Everywhere one sees compromises in how we conduct ourselves. In our ethics, morality, decency and just plain old good manners and behavior.

But most importantly it is the State which is responsible to ensure the safety and security of its people.

But if it’s leaders squander it’s limited resources on grandiose schemes, destroy the professionalism of these institutions who are supposed to protect Zainab from predators, and deprive it’s people of its basic need of security of life and property, then these terrible and tragic outcomes are inevitable.

Zainab’s story and broken body is actually the story and broken body of our society.

Because it us who have allowed the wholescale destruction of our institutions in our society by supporting and foisting criminals to positions of power and authority.

Look not for the predator who snuffed tiny Zainab. Look in the mirror and you will find the criminal!

What have we done to save this society from rotting?

-Haider Mehdi

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