As Will Smith, yes , the Prince of Belair, said to Stephen Colbert during an interview several years ago, “racism isn’t getting worse. It’s getting filmed.”
I know George Floyd`s death at the hands of the police on the streets of Minneapolis seems a long way from Pakistan and it`s political elite but for the far sighted, a reckoning is coming.
The injustices in USA are not new but the majority always had enough margin of doubt to be able to sleep comfortably at night. After each shooting , we were told various official versions from bad apples , victim`s fault, in the heat of the moment etc.
In recent times it has been increasingly difficult to make excuses when you have the filmed evidence of the slaying of Ahmaud Arbery , the repulsive indifference of police officers to George Floyd`s pleadings not to mention casual racism by bird watching Karens in Central Park.
The worldwide awakening has only been possible because the old system cannot make those excuses of bad apples anymore, although Trump is still trying. Most people are coming out in sympathy with protest against these systemic outrages.
The main factor has been, as Will Smith said, the hard evidence is now commonly available via cheap mobile cameras. It`s no longer necessary to rely on official versions , the truth is out for all to see.
Pakistan, I hope you can see what is coming, I am not talking about just racism but the video evidence to highlight thr widespread corruption, religious bigotry, lack of education, lack of women`s rights . feudalism.
It wont be just sunday episodes of ARY`s Sar E Aam , but everyday people with their videos of all our daily struggles.
Videos of Officials asking for bribes to do the duty that they are getting paid to do. There will be videos of malpractices from hospitals, well, actually malpractice in every office in the state machinery.
More of those horrible videos of our local manufacturers using sub quality ingredients in our foods. I am always amazed how low some people will stoop to make a pittance from potentially poisoning their brethren. Some used to Democracy is the best revenge but i think a video is even sweeter.
The Digital revolution has brought many advances , online portals for government services cuts out many corrupt practises,The PM`s complaint cell is a good move, Freedom of Information legislation is a necessary step but the bureaucracy is too entrenched to give away it`s privileges so easily. There will be incremental improvements but an expanding middle class wont accept the status quo of the last 70 years.
The people of Pakistan will have their George Floyd Moment in days to come and the system will no longer be able to just sweep away the grievances. Videos will bring the change that is long overdue.
“Some may say I`m a dreamer but I`m not the only one”