Don’t let the banners and signs with red hearts in it displayed on prominent roads of Lahore deceive you. Your first thought, like mine was, would be the Valentine’s Day but a closer look will make you cringe and all your feelings of love would be crushed to the point that you may not get sexually aroused for rest of the day.
That’s right! The text right in the middle of the red heart reads ‘Haya Walk’ which literally translates to ‘Walk of Shame’. Other loose translations could be ‘chastity walk’, ‘walk of lowering your gaze’ etc along with the message that ‘it’s part of faith’. I know right, who would wanna carry on with plans with their baes after reading that?
Organised by notoriously violent student wing of the Jamaat Islami, Islami Jamiat-e-Talba, the Haya Walk calls for a walk at the Punjab University campus’ Islamic Center to IER area.
This year again, the crusaders against love including elements in state institutions – like PEMRA this year and Islamabad High Court last year – have managed to suppress one of people’s most purest of emotions i.e. love. Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has barred the electronic media outlets from airing any programming that ‘promotes western’ event Valentine’s Day.
This seems like a page out of those ancient novels that revolved around women’s virginity and where women were told to ‘protect their flowers’ until marriage. Only this one is worse as not only the physical contact is out of question, it also forbids two consenting adults to even talk about love.
Let’s face it. We all know what’s gonna happen tomorrow. How these crusaders will crackdown against anything red and heart like they see tomorrow – well, because it’s love it’s totally not okay and it would be a different thing if it was hate or violence.
But, as a young Pakistani myself, I know how our minds wreak of hypocrisy and speaking for most of Pakistani adult men, I can tell you this is what’s gonna go down tomorrow:
These young men and women would gather at venues tomorrow to participate in anti-Valentine’s Day events making every effort of diffusing the sexual tension between each other but trying really hard to curse and repel the disgusting ‘western’ thoughts of acting on their feelings will participate in the event and do their thing.
Then, a bunch of male speakers or student union leaders will mansplain the whole thing in their address to the women and tell how important it is for women to ‘guard their honour’ and not to be tempted by the unholy thoughts instilled in our purest generation by the filthy love-making and sexually hyperactive western world.
Then in the evening, many of those who participated in this ‘walk of shame’ will be seen desperately looking for dating spots where they cannot be found. Some might get lucky, most won’t. Those who won’t get laid will go home. Watch some porn – hey, don’t blame me, you are part of one of the top porn watching nations – and masturbate before they fall asleep.
And the next day, it will be a whole new day, a whole new chance to do that all over again.
OR, I could be completely wrong and this could all be just in my head.
The writer is the Digital/Web Editor, Daily Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and tweets @FarhanJanjua