In times past, lynching mobs used to gather around the house of an alleged deviant, demanding the deviant’s head on a stick. And irrespective of how the deviant protested innocence, the mob, fuelled by a few brash individuals (who were driven by self-proclaimed judge-and-executioner sense of right-and-wrong,) usually settled the matter in a brutish and gruesome manner.
Has anything changed since those dark foreboding days? Apparently not. The only difference is that in modern times, the ‘brash individuals’ hide behind the medium of sensationalism, prejudice and the printed page. A medium that uses the holy truisms of ‘if there is smoke there must be fire’ and ‘the people have the right to know.’
Gone are the days of due processes where a person, irrespective of position, rank or status, had some form of recourse to a trial before peers of the community. Today, once the media has passed judgment, it is over, guilty as charged; in the eyes of the predisposed masses at least.
And once rationalisation takes place in the minds of the populous, the problem escalates beyond the reasonable.
Let’s not fool ourselves into believing that the then and now are as far removed as the sun is from the moon. Human nature is human nature. And irrespective how much that nature wants to soar with the eagles, it will do as it has always done.
Point in question: according to the media, Manto (who is not popular in the eyes of the masses) is seemingly guilty as charged, the people have judged accordingly and the deputy Minister of Health disappears under the radar; conveniently so.
Yes for accountability. Yes for due processes. No for emotional rationalisations.