Written By: Shahid Wafa
On March 16, we, as a society, hit a new low. When residents of one city of the country were digging graves for their loved ones, dwellers of others’, totally oblivious of their grief, were indulged in jubilation. At one side, there was the unfortunate incident of bomb blast in a bus in Peshawar that claimed lives of 17 people at least , while on the other hand majority was engaged in celebrating Pakistan Cricket Team’s victory in a pool match of ICC world T20 cricket tournament. On a sad note, nation gave priority to celebrate the cricket win over mourning or lending a helping hand to the suffering ones. Metropolitan cities have adopted this trend of keeping trivial matters on preference rather dealing with humanitarian issues. Installing wide screens at central places such as malls or renowned educational institutions has gained pace. Blast was heard in the morning, when the bus reached near Sunehri Masjid. Everyone was aware of the sad incident but still, people who are always very vocal of indifference and callousness of government and politicians, gathered around those screens in almost all big cities to enjoy the cricket.
Media also reach such places and broadcast the enthusiasm of cricket lovers. Unfortunately, Peshawar’s latest tragedy was not considered serious enough by the media too and it did not bother to downplay these celebrations. People enjoyed the match, cherished the victory while media aired every bit of it. Social media is a platform where everyone is usually found sharing their thoughts and the scenario was similar on the partially fortunate day. Popular twitter trends came out to be in sheer relevance with the match such as #PakvsBan, #BanvsPak, #Afridi, #Hafeez, #Shahzad and #Amir. The topic of #PeshawarBlast did start trending on twitter but it lost its momentum when Pakistan’s match with Bangladesh kicked off.
These facts are enough to explain that we have lost the sense of morality which has erased the distinction between worthy and least worthy things. We have been calling ourselves as a resilient nation who knows how to smile in the face of adversity. But our collective behavior after Peshawar bus attack cannot be taken as resilience. What we did that day was an ugly example of social apathy that will haunt us for long time. And if we do not overcome this attitude, it will not only deepen the provincial divides but will weaken national resolve against terrorism as well.