By Syeda Qudsiya Mashhadi

For the past one week, first the social media and then the electronic media relentlessly shoved the image of a ‘Chai wala’ from Islamabad down our throats till it became nauseatingly annoying! I don’t know when our priorities as human beings changed or when we as a nation turned into what we are today but honestly this is pretty disappointing and depressive.

From men drooling over this year’s Coke Studio’s debutante Momina Mustehsan’s smile and her eyes to young girls tweeting about ‘staring at the chai wala for infinity’, I think this generation is losing it completely. The fact that Momina Mustehsan’s physical appearance was discussed more than her singing talent, speaks volumes about our sensibilities today. Okay, men are hardwired that way. They will respond physically to females, but this should not let us turn into mere animals incapable of rational reasoning and thinking and blowing things out of proportions.

This materialistic, hedonistic approach which we have adopted from the western Hollywood-driven society where human beings are judged according to the physical attributes bestowed on them by God, is antithetical to our religious ideology (if I may mention the word religion without offending the secular sensibilities of the so-called Intelligentsia of our society). A man or a woman has no control on their facial features, their skin colour, their height and physique, etc. People are now being praised, even being worshipped like idols by the public for the appearance they themselves are not responsible! Others are being bullied for the physical deficiencies and handicaps they themselves did not develop! Is this the world we want to leave to our children?

A tea-boy from Islamabad with good facial features sans any personality was praised non-stop on social media this week for just that! For one week the media had no better news to run than to report on this ‘hot topic trending on social media in Pakistan and India’. We definitely need to set our priorities straight. Consider this: all this hullabaloo about a tea-boy in a week when young boys and girls are being killed for just walking on the streets of Indian Occupied Kashmir and being blinded by shotgun pellets for demanding their right to freedom; in a week when a young girl was shot by Israeli Army because she was going to school; in a week when Syria and Yemen are being bombed by world powers and hundreds of children getting orphaned and countless families being displaced as a result. And we here are obsessing about a tea-boy who has had no achievement in life, who has not made any major discovery in science or technology, who is not an expert in IT, who is not a physicist or a philanthropist, but yes he has looks and girls are drooling over him like sensualistic animals! Whatever happened to the famed modesty of eastern maidens?

A news report released this week states that 53 percent students of large private schools in Islamabad alone are addicted to drugs! Frankly I am not surprised because I have someone closely associated with me in private education sector so I know what goes on there. What I am is upset, angry and disgusted. Where are the parents of today? I say, fie on you all! You have abandoned your children to the cultural onslaught of the enemies through their biggest weapon, their media. The youth of today are clueless, I say, utterly clueless about their roots, their religion, their ideology and their culture. Majority of boys and girls in the private schools are in sexual relationships in their teenage. Just the thought of having sex outside of marriage was unthinkable in our ‘Islamic’ society not very long ago!

There was a time when mothers used to tell the daughters how to cover themselves properly, how to keep a safe distance from the opposite gender and how to always be modest and coy. Today we have young girls saying the most vulgar and shameful things on social media for the whole world to see! Boys are the same too but they have always been a bolder sex. The problem arises when young women also start acting sexually frustrated at such an early age. Another horrifying fact is that the female students are using more drugs than their male counter-parts in schools. This should be an alarming news for the parents, that is if they do have any concern or care for their sons and daughters!

Where did we go wrong as a nation? It is high time to find answers and fix this problem. I will say it again; the solution lies in reverting back to our roots, our religious belief system, to the message of our saints and of our sages.

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