Are we afraid of our own selves?
Posted by Haris Gulzar on November 16, 2009
I have always believed that media plays a vital role in changing our beliefs and making us accept things that we wouldn’t have accepted on our own. We start making our minds and believing at what is portrayed to us, and we don’t try to find out what the reality actually is. I say this because recently I observed a very strong influence of media on a person from general public (That’s obviously my personal opinion).
I have been travelling a lot on public transport and this incident also has to do with one of my trips on a public bus. It was around 10 in the morning, and the bus was only half full. A child, maybe a maximum of 10 years of age came to me and asked me if he could make a call (He probably saw my mobile in my shirt pocket). I didn’t have credit so I told him it wont be possible to make a call. He asked the person sitting next to me, and he also refused.
The child turned back and started going towards his seat when the person sitting next to me asked him where he was heading to, to which he replied that he was going to his Madrasah. The child was wearing Qurta Shalwar, and was wearing a white cap with no hair on his head. I’m not sure what triggered the next couple of questions from this person sitting next to me, but maybe it was the Madrasah and the appearance of this child that made him a bit cautious. He asked the child what was there in his bag. I hadn’t even noticed the child’s bag before this person asked this question. It was a big bag, larger than a school bag, but it was shaped like a school bag. It was more of a back pack. The way the bag was placed on the seat made it look very heavy (I don’t know if it really was heavy or not). The boy replied he had stuff related to Madrasah in his bag.
This person then turned to me and asked why would a Madrasah require a child of this age to bring in such a heavy bag? I didn’t answer him, but the child probably heard this man, opened his bag and drew out a few of his clothes from the bag and put them back in, and without saying anything, sat on his seat. This person was definitely trying to make sure this child wasn’t carrying anything that he should not be carrying. The interrogative style of this person made me a bit uncomfortable. I don’t know if his behavior was justified or not, but have we become afraid of our own children? Is this really being careful when you ask a child who is maximum 10 years old, questions such as what do you have in your bag? Is this “war on terror” making us afraid of our own selves? That child is from amongst us, but then why is he targeted at and asked questions that I am not asked? Is it because he was going to a Madrasah? Is it because of his appearance?
I discussed this with a friend and his point of view was that the person was very right in critically asking questions from that child, because what we are going through requires us to be careful. But I ask, are we really going through what we are made to believe we are going through? I really don’t know and I leave it to you to decide if the way that person reacted was correct or not?