There is quite a storm around the “ Through a foreign lens: The Other Pakistan , photo journal story published by a Newspaper. First of all I find it not only in bad taste but also at a bad time.
Another Foreign depiction of Pakistan ‘s image that is again misrepresented and if not more its worse than the Talibanized Pakistan . Women being the subject of the story makes one wonder that either the world believe , women in Pakistan are kept in cages or killed for honour only. Rendering Malala s struggle aside; the most immediate need seems to redeem this perception somehow. Multidimensional sides to the story of Pakistan is not a new discovery, in fact every country has many sides and many faces; that is why ideologies like Marxism repulsion to the class structure evolved and here are always some more equals than the others as in words of George Orwell. This other side of Pakistan only proves the point that we do have classes like any other capitalist country. It also predictably points out that the pyramid of Class structure in Pakistan is skewed with a tiny filthy rich upper class, deploring middle class and increasingly vulnerable lower class. What this other Pakistan depicts for the viewers can be different for different person, mostly it has missed its intended shot at improving the Pakistani Identity. This is not us , is what the majority of Pakistan will agree. We are neither Talibans nor Filthy rich Philipino maid affording class; we are bread earners, job seekers, ideologically conservative emotional bunch of people. These photos entail people who could make choices, for the better part, it depicts the ability and freedom to make a choice because they have the resources to do so. For me a women working in the Football factory of Sialkot, making Brazuca is as free as one interior decorating a café ; The Brazuca lady however emerges as a winner for making the most useful contribution…that is THE other side of Pakistan.
Males are conspicuously missing from this depiction of the other Pakistan. Other Pakistan do have men who support women, it also has women who compete for professional degrees and who fly the planes and run the civil administration as well. The picture showing a Child of an educationist using the IPad is totally ridiculous, what sort of an educationist and mother she is who doesn’t know that physical activities must prevail over the sit in activities at home. If this is an admission Campaign, am not enrolling my child to this whatever nursery.
Wearing any attire be it a hijab or a westerner dress doesn’t define me as a conservative or a liberal, my thoughts and attitude do. The other Pakistan is all westernly clad..and I don’t get the point of this . I know how much the private school systems earn and how meagerly they pay to their teachers and how these female teachers are forced to dress up liberally , most of them coming to the school on public transport while wrapped in head to toe covering Abaya, only emerging into the other Pakistan’s attire once at school. It is quite awe inspiring to capture the glory of a Lawn empire and the apparent encouragement of its owner for women to work in the factory. But oh, wait , yet still has anyone got the chance to visit the insides of such a factory..!. The heat prevalent in the factory and the conditions in which the labour sit on the hot floor in June and churn out those other Pakistan s designs will make you cringe. An owner of a fitness club doing smoking publicly is quite funny in itself as well, I wonder which pregnant women go to her for training and advise as second hand smoke is as injurious to health. My grand mother smoked Hooka and my aunts and mother wore all sorts of fashions in the 70s but I only admire them for their ability to seek education and stand tall in their quest to give a better life to their children. Their life style choices are irrelevant.
Ironically, whenever coups or revolutions come, as was in the case of Iranian Revolution, this other privileged class is the first victim of the aptly directed anger of the masses. Such type of depictions of the other Pakistan is not really helping the cause of Pakistan. It is pertinent to go beyond the apparent, to the depths of any picture to know the whole truth , not the partial and twisted truth.