How tolerant is Pakistan?
A famous Indian actor stirred a great debate in the country and on Social Media when he claimed that his wife has started to worry about their existence in India and that overall India has started to become a less tolerant country. While the hardliners were quick to make this seemingly harmless comment into a full blown feud, the actor found great support from Pakistan.
When Amir Khan quoted his wife in a TV interview, he could not even have imagined what a storm his comment will raise. It was after all a true reflection of an honest feeling, a thought that any person in the world can have in their mind at a given time. Such things would normally go unnoticed in ordinary life but when a famous actor speaks, people tend to become more sensitive. Shiv Sena, the Indian hard line Hindu party took great offence in the comment and told Amir to go live in Pakistan – a country that is believe to be the nexus of all evil from Shiv Sena’s point of view.
When such a storm on social media erupts, it is only imperative that an equal and opposite reaction from Pakistan would also emerge. And although the battle is still on-going and jibes are being traded, it is safe to say that there will be no winner in this battle of comments and insults. However, the question in itself that is necessary to ask is that whether Pakistan is a tolerant society or not?
The answer is multi layered and difficult – in no ways you could reply to such a question in a holistic manner. The fact that minorities have been often targeted in Pakistan and everyone who claims to support secular ideas is termed as an agent of India or Israel states otherwise. However my own experiences in Pakistan and a long and continual eye on the Pakistan system suggests that Pakistan, despite what the world wants it to look like has shown an increased tendency towards enlightenment and modernism than it is given credit for.
The youth of the country, the elite and many of the opinion makers share the belief that the country has to continue towards the liberal journey. While in neighboring India, Bharatia Janta Party, the ruling party right now is a Hindu dominated party on religious lines; its Muslim version in Pakistan has never been able to gain any popularity and become a leading ruling party.
At the end of the day, it can be said that Pakistan continues to work towards more secular thought processes and while it may never truly become a secular country, it continues to remain a liberal country – at least for now.
Author: Zak Hades – Serbia
source photo: itimes