Tuesday, September 25, 2012

One video and a mountain of dead - Sad story of Pakistan protests

Rationality is not something which we can expect from a mob. Mob has its own dynamics, here the behaviour is not the collective sum of all members; it’s more than that - a violent fury to run over something. More than collective expression of happiness, mob may be more effective in expressing collective anger. Anger, because of some unpleasant incidents at home, uncaring attitude of society, feeling lost in the sea of human beings, unable to achieve a change etc. All these may generate an imaginary enemy whom they can destroy in the dreams if not in reality.

In such situations society needs an enemy to fight, if it’s not there then someone needs to create it. In different times, name of this enemy may change but not the attitude towards it.

Protests going on in Pakistan

In Pakistan also, in the form of protest against the film (if I can call it so) 'Innocence of Muslims’, we are seeing this collective mob fury. From an outside world it is totally irrational. How can you explain the incidents of attacking and killing their own people, in the name of a film, which was created by a person sitting thousands of miles away? How can you explain the incidents of attacking their own security personnel’s, because somebody somewhere created a video which is against their faith? How can you explain the destruction of public property, built and maintained by tax payers money in the name of an action for which only an individual or a group of individuals are responsible? How can you explain the phenomenon where, in the name of a video people are destroying their own cities?

On top of that Pakistani government did rather an interesting thing by declaring a day for protest. Didn't they think for a moment that, against whom the people will protest? Where they will protest? In the absence of a physical enemy available for the moment, it is oblivious that they will spend their anger on roads, streets etc... Indeed they did.

It may not be in the interest of the mob to realise the facts, but as an individual people should realise it. Whatever you say, I think the best way to fight against such type of videos is to ignore it, not to give much higher and unwanted popularity. If someone didn’t discover and popularise it, there may not be any such riots. Now the video became hit, more due to the protests than anything to do with the creativity. The temptation of instant fame and gratification will only motivate more people to follow the course.


After counting the dead, it will be better for Pakistanis as well as other people who are protesting, to sit back for five minutes and think what they really achieved? Aren't they played in to the hands of some people, and proved themselves as stereotype to fit in to their descriptions? Pakistanis can prove themselves by achieving progress in education, economic and scientific fronts not by destroying their own society. ‘Mohammad Abdus Salam’ already showed the path, now it’s up to the people to select it or reject it.



  1. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/24/opinion/keller-the-satanic-video.html?_r=2&ref=opinion&pagewanted=all


    A couple of perspectives by Salman Rushdie and Richard Dawkins.

    It has also been noticed that the criticism of violent protests has been qualified with "But the film was pathetic". This argument is a distortion of the debate on free speech. The merits or otherwise, of the film should be the discretion of the individual. People should be free to either like or detest the film. Protests are welcome. Violent protests are not.

  2. the maker of this stupid "so called" movie must be laughing..after all if there was not so much protest world wide, no one would have really cared for it...but all these protests gave it unprecedented publicity which it certainly did not deserve..

    coming to pakistan, the pakistani society (may be this applies to the whole sub-continent) has been dangerously radicalized over past 30 or 40 years...still majority of the people would never have advocated such violent protest which killed their own countrymen.but the fear factor is so high that they even dont want to speak on these issues,forget about protesting against these fundamentalist elements.Another factor is large scale unemployment in pakistan(or the whole subcontinent).The young generation are uncertain about their future. They are frustrated and they just need one opportunity like this to release their frustration.The youth is not being used in the correct way.If used properly they can become asset to the nation.But unfortunately they are being used by these fundamentalists for destructive purpose and the government does nothing but only watches.The most important thing is proper education,employment for youth.As the saying goes 'an idle mind is a devil's workshop'.

    This is really a dangerous trend.It should really stop.Otherwise anyone can make a video,a painting or just post a joke and that may lead to a world war. Where is our tolerance and aboveall humanity?

    there is an excellent article in dawn.I recommend to go through it. It aptly has a headline " Show of strength which exposed weakness more"