Child molestation ( بچہ بازی ) in Pakistan

Child molestation is a widespread issue which exists in almost every society ranging from slums to posh areas. It is a myth that it only occurs in illiterate and societies of low socio-economic standing. In developing countries like Pakistan child molestation is more common than it is think of, this can be more pronounced in families where the parents (or guardians) are themselves unaware of imminent danger or do not suspect potential offenders from relatives, friends, servants and teachers.  It is important to remember that both male and female kids are at equal risk of chance of child molestation.
 
I can quote several incidents either known to me personally or told to me. First I will just quote from Europe, as a starter, then I will straight come to Pakistan. A friend told me about when she took a trip of school girls in Cologne (Germany), at least four men approached the kids to make proposition. Once an ex-friend Pakistan of mine who was married boasted about having sex with under-age girl that day I decided to say goodbye to our friendship.  I heard of a 7 to 8 years old kid in Pakistan who was used by elders who offered him kites etc to take advantage of him. Once I was walking late night in Pakistan, I guy was carrying a 3 to 4 years old female kid. He was asking that kid to kiss him deeply on lips (bear in mind no one kiss a child on lips in Pakistan).  I don’t want to go into those unnecessary details on these incidents.
Do not take this issue light, it’s a serious matter. Just imagine if this immoral and criminal act happen to our own kids. Imagine how much trauma, psychological and physical suffering can happen to a child. If you want to understand what damage child molestation can do to a child then I would advise you to do a basic Google search. I have no qualification or experience to talk further on this issue.
Parents mostly think of strangers as potential sex offenders but mostly they fail to realise that in most of the cases offenders are acquainted with victims.  “According to Sahil, an organisation working on child abuse and awareness raising campaigns, acquaintances including teachers, van drivers, shop keepers, servants, friends of the family, etc make up the first category of child sex offender, whereas strangers make up the second. Lastly, the third category is relatives of the child.” [1] There are many cases of child molestation by Maulvi sahab (teachers hired to teach Holy Scripture to kids at home or madrasa).
 
“According to the recent statistics given by SAHIL, a non-government organisation, Punjab is on the top of the list for child molestation with 62 percent of such cases, 154 in Lahore and the rest in other cities of Punjab. In total, 68 percent girls and 32 percent boys have been the victims of child molestation. The number increased by 9.4 percent as compared to 2008. Statistics show that around 81 percent of the cases were registered with the police. The study shows that 2,012 children were reportedly abused in 2009 and most of them were abused by acquaintances. ” [2] Imagine that this figure is nothing as compared to unreported incidents where either people keep silent due to social stigma or lack of evidence. Thousands of cases go unreported as children do not tell their elders.
I won’t write on how child molestation can be minimized as there is plenty of literature available on-line or maybe I will write a separate blog post about it. It is important for parents to realize eminent offenders from  relatives, friends, servants, teachers, maulvis. Parents and guardians should develop friendship with their children so that children can have the confidence to talk to their parents.
[1] Mavra Bari, February 27, 2012, “Child sexual abuse: Paedophiles in holy garbs molest kids, betraying parents’ trust”, tribune.com.pk
[2] Hina Akhtar, July 30, 2010, “Paedophilia in Punjab reaching alarming levels”, daily Times
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How not to get judged by others

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt.

In this article I’ll write few tips on how not to get judged by others. Actually you cannot control thinking of others but you can make following changes in yourself to avoid getting judged.

1) Over-thinking
Remember that you are not the most important person in the world. No one should have the time to make judgement about you, It is more likely that only your “friends” will make judgement about you the other times you are stuck into over-thinking about what others think.

2) Think who matters and who don’t
If you still think that people make judgement about you then think of the people who matters and who don’t. You should only think of people who matters and don’t let the people who do not matter, ruin “who you are”.

3) Put things into perspective
If you are too anxious about being judged then put yourself into others shoes and see why do you think others would think of you in certain way. If you find doing something odd which is not acceptable according to certain norms of society then re consider you actions. If you find yourself moral and right then do whatever you want to do. Don’t let others ruin a certain aspects of your personality and actions. Giving up and opting certain things is upto you.

5) Be confident in yourself
If you think your certain speech or actions are right then be confident in yourself. When people will find you confident in yourself they will be ready to give up their judgement. Become confident for who you are.

4) Like certain aspect of you
Sometime we can use certain aspect of our personality to make others like us even with being judgemental. If you are compassionate you can use this skill to working in favour of you. Communication skills can also work in your favour.

6) Control your emotions

If you let other give an authority to change your emotions then you are giving them authority to make you feel you are weak and they can take over your nerves. Nothing more pisses off your critics being looking calm and easy-going.

7) Don’t speak or act submissively
People will ride your nerves when they will find you submissive. Try to be assertive in your words and actions, don’t give others authority to tell you what to do when you don’t want them what to do.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Gospel of Matthew)

Does higher education spoil us?

It is a common misconception among less educated and culturally indoctrinated people among developing and low developed countries that education spoils youth. I will examine this stereo-typical thinking. If you ask me the same to me I will say it does not spoil majority. I deliberately have used word majority instead of “all”. Those who get spoiled it’s mainly their upbringing and they way they are raised and exposed to society.

Let’s move on to topic, the simple reason is that education brings enlightenment. With this enlightened  thinking its hard to fit into stereotypical thinking of society. We become aware of the wrong cultural, religious, socio-religious practices. We start protesting,rebelling against them or in the least capacity we start isolating ourselves because we cannot fit into thinking paradigm of society. The elders in the society see this as a sign of rebelling and they get the impression that youth is being spoiled.

With time many of these youngsters compromise to fit into society. Other go on with enlightenment and keep suffering, as most of them grow up they start losing hope and become a part of Stereotypical thinking. The remaining either keep revolting or silently watch. The rebel of generation generate leaders, watcher become followers. Rest keeps resisting the change. Any way this is a separate topic in itself. Let me come to the point, let me quote a simple example, many of youngster thinks that taking dowry is wrong. Do you know how many of theses youngster do no take dowry  while marrying, you can well understand  my point. Majority of them become the part of system.

So in conclusion I would say education does not spoil youth, it’s the enlightenment of knowledge which make youth the way they talk and behave in society. But yes elder you should worry not because many of them will join you soon or later and will become part of machinery and will lead the life, the way you lead. They will become stereotypic for next generation. But to add little to your worries, many of them will carry the legacy of change of society and will fight against your stereo-odds.

Personal values can solve many ethical dilemmas

I believe that establishing personal values and prioritizing them can solve many dilemmas for us. Every day we are faced with certain dilemmas, with or without consciousness we make such decisions based upon our personal values and mostly we do not give second thought.  I will try to explain my point thorough a small incident then I will conclude my thought.

Recently I became vegetarian, while on dinner I asked my friend about vegetarian options. He deliberately told me a non-veg dish as vegetarian. I put it in my plate, as soon as I started eating I realized it was meat. It was against my vow to be a vegetarian, for a second I was faced a dilemma to eat it or not. The second thought came to my mind that now if I don’t eat dish this food was wasted and will go to  waste. I could have thrown this food and could have taken other vegetarian dish but I thought of those millions people who do not get any food to eat. If I have wasted food I would have felt more guilty then eating it.

Fighting against global hunger is my personal value, which is above anything. Although protesting against animal cruelty was my value but I already had prioritized fighting against global hunger as my primary value. Although I did not felt happy for eating non vegetarian but I did not felt guilty of wasting food.

Now I’ll examine the lie of my friend on ethical grounds. As I was a new vegetarian and previously I had been a hardcore meat eater. My friend thought that I should eat meat some meat to provide some protein to my body. He did it out of compassion otherwise he had nothing to do with me or my dietary requirement. He had prioritized compassion than speaking truth. Although I did not felt happy with his this act but neither did I felt angry because I could understand his kind motive. If I was in his shoes I would have prioritize to speak truth but I again say its our personal choice and I should not make judgement on him.

All I want to say is that sometime we should sit down and write down or remind ourself personal values and prioritize them. For example once I decided that helping others will be my prime value. Speaking truth is also my basic value but it happened many times that I had to lie to help others. I did not mean that I had been telling on major issue but mostly on smaller issues and I decided it on situational basis. Based on my personal experience I would suggest that sitting down and writing few personal values is a very help activity and solves many problems.

Little appreciation can mean a lot

I was in this pub, a young man was singing. The people in pub were talking loudly and no one was paying attention to this young artist who was supporting a renowned band of Nottingham. While buying a drink from the bar, a song hit my hear ear and the lyrics sounded very intelligent.
I am a sort of person who appreciate the new artists, less famous artists and street buskers. After his performance, I went up to him and appreciated his talent and asked about YouTube channel. This young artist became very happy and with a sad voice he said “I thought no body was listening”. I had to lie a bit and I told him that I was listening, although I wasn’t paying much attention due to noise in the pub. He grabbed a CD of his songs and handed over to me for free.
After coming I listened to some of his song again in a quite environment. I really liked some of his song and could see his talent. I concluded that he was playing in a wrong environment and maybe in a wrong group of people or maybe he wasn’t able to capture the attention of audience.
Although I had to lie a bit but little words of appreciation does not costed me anything rather I felt happy that I was able to contribute to someone’s motivation. Appreciation can make a big difference. If we start incorporating words of appreciation and compassion in our daily routine then we can make some real change to someone. Just imagine how many young people get dishearten from our cold behaviours and words. Everyone can worship rising sun but we forget to celebrate new moon.

Create your own Mongolian Religion

The phenomenon of picking up of religious teaching and to blend with your own taste has been going on since centuries. This is exactly like going to a buffet and picking up ingredients to create a Mongolian dish of your own taste. Initially this was done by clergy, they used and abused Church to do whatever they want to do. Emergence of religious cults was also a by-product of this thinking.

Now in 21st century we have become smart enough to do this job by ourselves, we don’t need clergy and mullahs to do this job for us. Educated people are leaving clergy and Mullahs devastated but it’s not easy to break free from the web of these spiders. After all no one us bother to go back to scripture by ourselves. All what we do is to listen progressive scholars on contemporary issues and we start picking and choosing from teachings we like and build up a whole Mongolian dish for ourselves. But in the end if this does not work out the whole religion become distasteful. One advantage of Mongolian religion is that people believe whatever they want to believe and still they can be Muslims or Christians or whatever. This point can be understood from following video.

Clergy feel like loosing control over educated people and are worried by this phenomenon. This is a good phenomenon to one extent, people can think, reason and can make their own judgement about religious rituals and scripture. But on the other hand this phenomenon can be equally dangerous. Everyone take on the task of being a scholar or spokes person of God and create an amalgam of religious teachings.

Why not to do so after all religions are open to interpretation and this has been going on centuries. But beware to choose the ingredients you might end up throwing your own master piece into food waste bin. I haven’t concluded anything, I leave it to my blog readers to decide for themselves if creating Mongolian religion is workable and good thing or a mistake.