With the recent news of Pakistan banning the romantic chat rooms in the country, we are disappointed and think it is a human rights violation.
I was quite disappointed today when I read the news of Pakistan having banned romantic chat room services on mobile phones. In a country where the use of Facebook was barred for two weeks over blasphemy, access to Youtube has been blocked for a year over a low-budget American film which was deemed against Islam and hundreds of online links have been restricted, one is left to wonder if this unwanted moral policing is yet another step towards enforcing censorship, which has been growing sporadically. Going by how the youngsters, media (read Dawn, the country’s oldest newspaper) and independent think-tanks have voiced their opinions against the ban, calling it a violation of human rights, and on the other hand, the parents supporting it, calling it a necessity, the country seems to be divided. While we sit here, in our somewhat democratic country, think relatively and thank god for small mercies and freedom that we have been blessed with, we ask a few people what they think about the ban and how important it is for the government to not try to become an uncalled for moral watchdog.
“This is not the first time that I am reading such a news about Pakistan infringing on its people’s privacy. I can’t even imagine how people must be living in such a dictatorial setup where the government is interested in knowing what I do with my mobile phone. It is franky nobody’s business. I won’t even allow my parents to say anything to me about whom I am chatting with. It is completely my call and nobody has the right to intrude my personal space.” – Radhi Choudury, software engineer.
“It is extremely disappointing, to say the least, that Pakistan is following China’s way in curbing individual expression and civil liberties. When it comes to restricting on a social domain, it is important to realise that the social media is an indespensible part of the social fabric, especially in a democratic setup, which brings us together culturally and communally as a nation. Such kind of moral policing in this milleluem is completely unjustified. The government should also think that it draws a big representation from the youth and should reconsider its steps on the same. It should make every effort to move towards an era of inclusivity and participation whithin the youth of the subcontinent.” – Anirban Dasgupta, social media professional and influencer.
“They’ve read your emails. They’ve listened to your phone calls. They’ve curbed you from speaking out. Now they won’t let you have a love life. Can you feel the chains tightening? Can you hear them? They are coming for you.What is the ultimate agenda of moral policing? More often than not, these are ploys to exercise control over the lives of hundreds of thousands of youngsters. Look deep enough, and you’ll discover that in the end, there’s just one thing being suppressed – free thought. And without free thought, there is no free society.” – Ayush Mishra, media professional.