September 25, 2010

The British Press’s Screws are Loose

Guilty until proven innocent. And guilty even then, 
according to the biased British press. (Photo:
Most of us do not read up on the news appearing in the foreign newspapers. However, today due to my bad luck I was subjected to the news reports appearing on The Sun’s (English newspaper) website. One has to only sift through the content of the report to know that the English dailies are out there minting their profits on the back of issuing derogatory, appalling and sickening slurs on everything Pakistani.

Now this is not a post about absolving the Pakistani cricket trio of blame, if they’ve done wrong. However, as it so happens, despite weeks having passed, no formal charge sheet has yet been brought against them. I’ve always thought the British were a just nation, and having only been exposed to the Pakistani standard of journalism, where even the names of those people who are directly responsible for major misdemeanors are hidden from the public, it was with a bit of a shock that I read how the British press has maligned everyone from Ijaz Butt and Asif Zardari, to common Pakistanis by labeling us as ‘terrorists’, and calling Pakistan a ‘terrorist tinder-box’. I take very strong exception to this piece of abhorrent journalism where on the basis of mere allegations a whole nation has been reviled.

The British fourth estate has been particularly vehement in bashing the Pakistani cricket team, and understandably so. But what is unfathomable is the utterly slow reflexes (or lack of balls) of the Pakistani cricket administration. When Jonathan Trott had an altercation with Wahab Riaz, the PCB should have sued him right there and then. Instead, Shahid Afridi handed over the advantage to the British on a silver platter by saying “we showed a big heart.” The British do not need a big heart, they need a severe bashing to bring them down to their senses.

Consider the language that has been used in the British press. “Shameless Pakistan sink to a new low”, “Good bye and Good riddance” etc. The interesting thing about the first article was that it admitted that Jonathan Trott had called Wahab Riaz a “match-fixer”, and yet oddly enough the article called the Pakistanis farcical and shameless. It just goes onto show the lack of depth and maturity in British journalism.

But having said that, there isn’t a very clear distinction about what is ethical or unethical in our part of the world either. Everywhere we are made to hang our heads in shame, sometimes because of our cricketers and sometimes because of our shameless leaders. No wonder the world doesn’t take us seriously; no wonder we don’t take ourselves seriously. The resulting chaos is that we are steadily sliding back into primitive times where legal redress and recourse is unheard of, and people seek retribution by wanting to hear the sickening crunch of bones breaking in their rival’s body. It’s a national tragedy, what is happening to us; but then, we don’t even have a choice of breaking free from our shackles of enslavement because no sane man has entered politics yet, and those who try to find it impossible to break through the dynastic monopolies prevalent in Pakistani politics.

With the corrupt corrupting everything that they touch absolutely, it is no wonder that the level of governance has plummeted to abysmal levels, affecting every tiny detail in our lives. The one thing that really hurt the most is the sorry state of affairs of our cricket management that has ruined the image perception and credibility of the Pakistanis absolutely. It is no wonder that the world treats us like toothless cats, and continues to humiliate us with on every possible front.

Recuperating from all of the calamities that have struck us in rapid succession will take a long time; and on the way, we will find out that some scars never heal properly.