Desensitization of Pakistani society
DESENSITIZATION: Increasing Insensitivity in our society Contents INTRODUCTION: 3 FEW EXAMPLES OF INSENSITIVITY IN OUR SOCIETY:6 SURVEY: DESENSITIZATIONIO SOLUTIONS: 18 CONCLUSION: 18 REFERENCES: 18 INTRODUCTION: What is Desensitization? It is the process in which continuous or increased exposure to violence makes an individual numb to its emotional effects. The violence seems normal and more of a daily life incident rather than a shock. It dulls the response to violence, making it an acceptable behavior.
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Major reasons for Desensitization in our Society: Increased Real Lite Violence nas resulted in our socie educing sensitivity to such incidents. Pakistan has been facing violence in terms of street crimes, murders, rapes, target killings, physical torture, bomb blasts, kidnappings and drone attacks. According to statistics, only in Karachi people are killed at the rate of 3. 6 since 2010 due to target killings. Other casualties due to different reasons are a lot more than this when measured. CPLC murder statistics for 2010 indicate there were a total of 1339 terrorist killings, i. . , murders associated with terrorist acts or groups. This number increased in 2011 to 1724 terrorist killings, which is an increase of 29 ercent; 2011 was recorded as Karachi’s second deadliest year in the past 20 years. According to recent study it was found that since the beginning of this year till November 17th, there have been 323 incidents of violence, killing 3088 people (civilians only). Media Violence is another reason that has made us well acquainted with grotesque images and videos of brutal incidents.
One form of violence that Media Violence includes is the violence showed in the form of entertainment that is in dramas, movies, animated series is one category only. It presents violence in serious ways as well as in humorous ways. When talking about dramas or series and movies most of the time violence shown is serious kind of violence, consisting of shooting someone, kidnapping, murder, rape or blasts. However, cartoons and apart from that certain movies or series show violence in humorous ways like in Home alone, three stooges which incorporates the wrong idea of violence being something that’s usual and the norm.
Cartoons specially make our children get used to basic violence and its tools like guns and explosive materials. The other form of violence is the real life violence that is covered by media and aired to general public. When discussing about Pakistani society, breaking news and live coverage of bomb blasts, mob violence, nerve racking accidents is something we all are used to, to a level that has turned us insensitive to such incidents. Few channels have aired grotesque images without censor or any attempt to hide the content that is inappropriate.
However, they do repeatedly state to not to see the news if the viewer is a child or a person with weak stamina to view such things; which is not an effective measure. ???Lawlessness is a key reason in the increasing real life violence in Pakistan and its being aired on Media. In several incidents the basic cause of such violence is the lack of enforcement of law in order to reduce crime like mugging, target killing, bomb blast and execution of punishment orders when the criminals are arrested by police or rangers.
Mob Violence is the best example when lawlessness is discussed. Since our Law enforcement agencies fail to implement law and maintain order in society, our people have started taking law in their hands. Up till now there are numerous cases of mob violence in Pakistan where suspects are beaten and handed over to police or at times beaten to death. The frequency of mob violence incidents have increased in ast few years, mostly in Punjab. The incidents portray scaring ferocity.
Be it long hours of load-shedding, a criminal caught red handed by the crowd, a traffic tragedy or someone suspected to have committed the act of blasphemy, furious mob increasingly take the law into their hands as if they are the sole accusers, Judges and executioners. This shows the failure of our law enforcement agencies that have been unsuccesstul in catching the criminals, prosecuting and executing them. Their tailed attempts have led people, to a great extent, to act as their own protectors, which has resulted in some very regretful incidents.
Growing economic pressures in recent years as well as the state’s failure to provide security and a functioning Justice system to the people have aggravated these crises, spawned vigilante Justice and entrenched mob rule in our daily life,” argues a political scientist wanting to remain anonymous, who works at a public sector university in Lahore. FEW EXAMPLES OF INSENSITIVITY IN OUR SOCIETY: BRUTAL MURDER OF TWO BROTHERS IN SIALKOT: On 15th May 2010, two brothers named Mughees aged 15 and Hafiz Muneeb aged 17 residents of Sialkot were brutally beaten to death.
They were accused of snatching a ell phone and injuring the person while committing the crime. Few people suspected them of being the culprits and thus, were subjected to inhumane torture leading to death. The younger brother Mughees died when struck hardly by a rod however the elder one Muneeb was beaten brutally with rods, stones, sticks until he died. Both of them were beaten even after every drop of life was oozed out of them, soaking in blood. It is stated that the elder one begged to be shot dead for once and all for the crime he hadn’t committed rather being beaten such inhumanely.
The dead bodies were hanged above a water tank and were dragged as well. This incident shows not only the intolerance and horrible ferocity of the crowd but also extreme insensitivity of those who watched and filmed the act. There were about 10 to 15 people who were involved in their murder but more than 40 people as well as police officials to witness the act. The question arises why the crowd showed no reaction of stopping the violent fatal beating? Why they all viewed the act as if they were hypnotized or as robots completely empty of the humanly feelings and emotions?
This mob violence shows that our society is an insensitive one; It has indeed been desensitized. The reason I account the incident for is lack of law which has simply eradicated the sense of humanity in us; which has led to us taking the law in hands since the police have failed to play their role. We have taken the responsibility to identify the criminals without any solid proof of their identity and punish them ourselves. Since, we have no proper system to do so, we end up committing acts that cannot be washed away, and they exist as brutal stains of the blood of innocent ones-the misidentified and killed.
Such acts of mob violence and people beating the culprits have repeatedly taken place. However, the beaten ones were the true criminals yet such incidents slowly and gradually transfer the power from law enforcement agencies to local public which is a strong alarm for our police and Judiciary as it can lead to results creating a norm less society. In a re-enactment of the Sialkot lynching, two alleged robbers fall prey to mob Justice in Multan on March 26. One of them reportedly shot himself to avoid a painful death at the hands of the crowd. The other was pelted with stones until he died.
The unfortunate aspect of these incidents is that police official’s side with the mob, turning a blind eye to the rutal, instant punishments meted out to real or imagined criminals. Hence, again proven that we – botn the locals and the police nave ourselves created this act ot executing people be it a culprit or an innocent. Another aspect of this is that our media kept showing the videos and the pictures of all these people being murdered, which shows that our media is also an insensitive entity who regardless of what affect their material has, airs the content.
Not thinking of the family members of the victims who have to relive the torturous and agonizing moments of their loved ones eing beaten, burned and killed. THE LACK OF RESPONSE OF PEOPLEIN INCIDENTS LIKE LDA FIRE ACCIDENT AND STATE LIFE BUILDING FIRE INCIDENT: The state life building fire incident took place on November 28th 2012, where one Job seeker named Owais Baig who had gone for Job interview died. In order to save himself from fire, he tried to escape out of the window, clinging to it for about ten to fifteen minutes; however, he was not able to hold it for a long time, thus, fell from 8 story building, causing himself fatal injuries.
The reason I believe this portrayed lack of sensitivity and response by the people is hat he hang from the window for about ten minutes minimum but during that time no one made any attempts to help him in any way. The video clearly shows that he fell in the area which is almost the first floor, a balcony type area, which was easily accessible and reachable if people would have rushed there to at least catch him or used any material to ensure his fall was not extremely injurious, Unfortunately, people were busy filming the scenario or Just observing the tragic scene.
The news channels once again acted inhumanely- airing the video again and again. On May 9 013, fire broke out in LDA building leading to 5 people Jumping from the building as they made failed attempts to save themselves from the blazing fire or one of them who waited for more than four hours for him being rescued. Hence, embracing death. The news channels continuously aired the whole incident for hours. Repeating the video where people Jumped from the building.
For them it was mere a coverage of the inferno at LDA but for those whose loved ones preferred death through falling from the height of 135 feet to the ground rather than being burned by fire, it was the worst thing. Our media without considering their feelings not only covered the whole accident live but also played the clips for the whole week. THE CASE OF SARFARAZ SHAH SHOT DEAD BY SINDH RANGERS: Sarfaraz shah was shot dead by rangers in Benazir Bhutto Park. He was suspected to have committed theft. He repeatedly negated the claim leading to rangers firing him twice near the thigh.
An anonymous person recorded the whole thing in which on record Sarfaraz begged to be taken to the hospital yet he was not and hence bled to death. The point being that ranger’s officials who have been appointed to protect us are the ones firing at us. Sarfaraz was unarmed and he was only a suspect of snatching a cell phone without any strong evidence; he was shot Just because he used his right to defend against the blame. Our law enforcement agencies displayed lack of responsibility rather than acting as a sensible entity, acting wholly upon our laws.
Furthermore, after being shot, he was not taken to the hospital; he was left to die in pain. Even though tor a second we do assume that ne did commit a crime and he was a threat to our rangers who were equipped with m-14 rifles, firstly 5 to 6 officials couldn’t control him, secondly, even after being shot, reducing the potential anger he was depicting, anyone would have showing the least amount of humanity, taken him to the hospital. However, others around him probably seeing the insensitivity of the ranger’s didn’t intervene. The person who recorded the whole incident vanished due to potential threat to his life.
Another scenario, the incident of Sikander in Islamabad where the police and other officials refused to fire at him since he had kids and wife along with him, shows that our police and rangers completely lack the sense of how to react when, how to handle different situations. THE ATTITUDE OF SHAHROKH JATOI AFTER BEING CONVICTED FOR MURDERING SHAHZAIB: Even though our society raised its voice against the murder of Shazaib yet the attitude of Shahrukh Jatoi through the trials till his convictions have raised many questions regarding our law, our upper class members.
It was evident that his calm composure throughout was there because he knew that his stature in society would ease him getting away from the murder he committed. His attitude showed those belonging to the same status as his that for them committing a heinous act is mere sport and law is nothing for them. He simply showed no sign of regret. When such embers of society exist and spread, society would definitely have the risk to turn into such insensitive members. THE MURDER OF HAMZA AHMED: Hamza Ahmed was shot dead by his school mate’s guard in defence, Karachi.
I will not argue about what was the conflict, Shoaib is guilty or not but about how the guard without thinking who he was firing at, on whose order was he firing at and should he fire or not, shot Hamza 6 times. Hamza and Shoaib were both teenagers. Even if the guard was ordered to shoot if someone laid hands on Shoaib, being a human he should have assessed the situation rather than acting like a robot. Even if Hamza was being too aggressive, he was Just a kid, a slap or two would have been enough to settle him down rather than shooting him 6 times.
Isn’t that the height of insensitivity? Aren’t we turning into robots? Having a gun, protecting one, doesn’t mean killing others. SURVEY: DESENSITIZATION I adapted a survey questionnaire once conducted on Canadian society, in our society. The respondents were of age 15 to 28, whereas consisted of 54% female and 46% ma e. Their level ot education consisted ot: O college 0 Baccalaureate 25% High school 0 Technical Institute 1% 0 Master’s Degree 10% others They were asked the following questions and their responses were: How many hours of TV do you watch per day (on average)? 1 don’t watch T. V15% 0 Between O and 1 30% 0 Between 1 and 242% 0 2 and over 13% How many times per week on average do you watch the news on TV? 1-2 37% 0 1 dont watch the news on TV 24% 0 5 and over 23% 3-417% How many times per week on average do you read the newspaper? the Newspaper 39% 0 1-239% 3-410% 0 5 and over 13% I don’t read According to people about 38% rated the violence shown in newspapers 3 on the scale of 5. 15% rated 5. And about 61% rated the violence shown on TV news 5 on the cale of 5 and 30% rated 4.
Another part of the survey asked the respondents about what they would do or expect an individual when facing a violent situation and their emotional reactions to them on a scale of 5: Faced with a Violent situation: Walking in public you see someone not far from you trip and fall to the ground. The typical individual’s reaction would be to: 0 Look to make sure the person is okay 0 Stop to ask the person if he/she needs help getting back up 32% 0 Look away and keep walking, unbothered 17% 0 Laugh discretely 4% Situation 1 [What are your emotional reactions to the previous situations on a scale of 14% 0 3 32% 2.
Walking in public you see an adult man not far from you being verbally assaulted to the point of humiliation in a discriminatory or racial manner. The public’s reaction would be to: 0 Look and observe 66% 0 Stop to intervene 25% 0 Look away and keep walking, unbothered 7% 0 Laugh discretely at the man being humiliated 1% Situation 210% 518% 2 [What are your emotional reactions to the previous situations on a scale ot Walking in public you see a woman in front of you get robbed by a man.
The typical individual will react by: Stopping to ask if the woman is okay 37% 0 Looking away and keep walking, unbothered 30% Looking at the woman’s expression and/or the robber getting away 24% Running after the robber 10% 0 Laughing discretely 0% Situation 3 [What are your emotional reactions to the previous situations on a scale of 110% 0 334% 0 437% 514% You [4. Walking around the city you notice smoke and fire coming out from a building.
How would you and a typical person react? ] Look away and keep walking, unbothered 3% 0 Look from afar to see if there is anybody in the building 21% Call the fire department, the police or the ambulance 63% 0 Try and save the people inside 0 Stand to watch for some action 0% Typical individual [4. Walking around the city you notice smoke and fire coming out from a building. How would you and a typical person react? 0 Look away and keep walking, unbothered 10% 0 Look from afar to see if there is anybody in the building 17% 0 Call the fire department, the police or the ambulance 32% 0 Try and save the people inside 4% 0 Stand to watch for some action 37% Situation 4 [What are your emotional reactions to the previous situations on a scale of 111% 3 27% 5. Walking around you notice someone committing an act of vandalism, say the person is smashing a window tor tun. Do you? Look down on the person 23% Ignore his presence 1 Comment on what he/she is doing loud enough for him/her to hear 31% 0 Look at the person until he/she is done whatever he/she is doing Call the police 11% 0 Stop the person, verbally or physically 23% Situation 5 [What are your emotional reactions to the previous situations on a scale of 117% 211% EXPLANATION OF SURVEY OUTCOMES: When asked “How many hours of TV do you watch per day (on average)? ” majority said 1-2 hours daily. When asked “How many times per week on average do you watch the news on TV? majority said 1-2 times however 24% stated that they don’t watch news whereas 23% stated that they watch news 5 or more times. Thus, showing that minimum 1-2 times and maximum 5 or more times news is watched. When asked “How many times per week on average do you read the newspaper? ” 39% said they read newspaper 1-2 times and 13% more than 5 times. According to people about 38% rated the violence shown in newspapers 3 on the scale of 5. 15% rated 5. And about 61% rated the violence shown on TV news 5 on the scale of 5 and 30% rated 4.
Thus, showing that TV news shows extreme violence; placing newspaper on the second in terms of displaying violence. Few of the 5 situations mentioned were linked with some of the past events if analyzed. In our society, street crimes such as mugging, theft, burning things, verbally assaulting someone has increased drastically. Situation 2 in which a man is being verbally assaulted to extreme in a discriminatory or racial manner about 66% said that they would look and observe rather than stopping the one assaulting. This shows that our society members, most of them, would prefer listening to the humiliation rather than sorting the matter.
It’s no surprise when today we see our society as least pluralistic. Situation 3 talked about an incident where someone is being robbed, about 37% said they would stop o ask if the person is okay after the theft is committed. 30% stated they would walk away, unbothered. This shows that we are unwilling to help our fellow citizens even if we can. I have personally known 2 to 3 victims out of which 2 died. In all incidents the victim took control of the robber/thief but since people didn’t help them out, the thief managed to snoot the victim leading to death ot two and one being extremely injured.
Situation 4 tried assessing people’s reaction whenever there is a fire. The state life building and LDA fire incidents are examples of lack of response by our society members leading to deaths. When asked what the respondent himself would do if he sees fire, 63% said they would call ambulance and fire department. Only 13% said that they would help physically in such an urgent situation where every moment counts. However, when asked what a second person would do? , majority said that they will watch for some action rather than helping those stuck in inferno. Hence, accepting that the society has become in-sensitive.
People indeed showed the typical behavior as anticipated in this survey of “observing and waiting for some action” in the fire incidents at LDA and State Life fire. In Pakistan, acts of vandalism are very ommon, especially in strikes and in random scenarios as well. The last situation explored that. 31% stated they would comment on what the person is doing however, in real life, in our society, we don’t see that. 23% stated they would look at the person until he is done with what he is doing and the same percent said they would stop him verbally or physically or Just look down upon him.
I believe what all we do is look at the person terrified and walk away as soon we can and then comment about his action at home. The purpose of the survey was also to see how media violence affects our response to real life violence. I do believe that they do affect us. Since, what and how media covers the violence-real life violence is not only making us habituated to it but also instilling a sense of saving ourselves first no matter how badly the other person needs our help, as in even if we see someone being robbed we prefer running away rather than helping that person.
Whenever we see a person or a group of people suffering we take it as this is something that takes place now and then and hence, cannot be helped or anything can’t be done. I think its learned helplessness. The idea that we are helpless, no matter what. Even if there is a way out, since, we have been seeing violence and its worst outcomes, we have fed it into our minds that we by ourselves cannot do anything. There is extreme negativity and helplessness prevailing in our society which is making us insensitive as well as increasing the risk of growing chaos and anomie.
When we see law enforcing agencies breaking the laws, or committing acts (like the murder of 5 Chechens by FC officials in Quetta and other incidents mentioned in this report) or not doing their duties properly, our society members become more helpless… a group of people who se it in their favor by committing crimes whereas the rest becoming victims of them helplessly, since, they know that there is no way out apparently. As a result, violence exceeds and the response to it decreases.
SOLUTIONS: I believe media should act sensibly when it comes to reporting incidents. As the most potential medium they should act responsibly considering all the effects they have on the members of the society. A Journalist wrote an article confessing that crime reporters or even the general ones are asked to exaggerate details and it no a then to write in a very explicit manner for example quoting casualties not simply as dead bodies” but “parts/bits and pieces of dead bodies”; Point being creating a very grotesque image.
Secondly, those who are responsible for reducing violence of all sorts- the law enforcement agencies should beyond all make sure they play their part to their best and not misuse the authority given to them. Using their common sense, analyzing the situation and acting accordingly is must. We cannot allow the robotic behavior to progress be it the police, military or rangers. We as a society, most importantly the youth and the intellectuals should take the lead in reducing such insensitivity. When we are the ones to point out the issue, then we should take the responsibility to eradicate it as well.
CONCLUSION: Pakistan needs to be freed from issues like intolerance, desensitization and lack of patriotism- these are the basic issues that have given birth to many more issues that is burning our country. If only for once and all we could see the big picture and work to eradicate the problems sincerely, Pakistan could be a heaven. REFERENCES: http://www. starwelfare. org/post/264/Pakistan:ln-a-maJority-of-incidents-of-mob- violence. html ???https://www. osac. goWpages/ContentReportDetails. aspx? cid=13761