For decades, London is known for its rich historical background as it still serves as home for the Royal Family. This city offers world class culinary, theaters and a model of British life style which is presented as a pinnacle of human civilization in third world countries. From mighty Big Ben to luxury black cabs, London is all status, class and elegance.
However, this lightening face of London is being tainted by the spots of acid. The practice has been repeated so regularly that as per The Sun, one victim is added to the list every 20 hours. Please don’t get started that I shouldn’t point fingers to West as we have got a lot of problems in Pakistan. Yes, we do have, in fact a lot more than the British; but the interesting aspect of these acid incidents is the way they are being reported in media.
I am a regular BBC radio listener and Guardian reader, but I didn’t see a single headline tagging Londoners as uncivilized, inhumane, brutal or any of such words. Despite being so frequent, these incidents are reported as disconnected events that can’t be used to generalize society. To say simply, nobody is questioning the education system which is delivering such youngsters to society, no one is raising flag regarding the social fabric of society, to present sharp contrast, there is not a single documentary where a case is dissected in great detail to make a film for Oscar Nomination. Yes, you got me; I am referring to Shermeen Obaid Chinoay and criticizing the dual standards of international media when it comes to third world countries.
Another interesting aspect is deliberately not using the word “terrorism” for acid attacks. For me, acid attack is one of the most efficient techniques to “terrorize” somebody. It is nothing but terror that is pushing acid victims not to cooperate with police as they fear for further attacks on their family members. As Guardian quoted one of the victims saying, “I’m too scared to go back to work. I’m really scared. I don’t know what to do. My wife, she’s scared. My family’s scared.”. Frankly speaking, these entire terrifying statements combine can’t label any of acid attack as “terrorist attack”. Just wait for an incident where a Muslim throws acid on white man of other faith, and you will see how intensely media will report it as “terrorist attack”. These deceitful uses of terms actually shapes up minds of individuals as they connect a definition for these terms based on what they see on media and believe me, Western media has mastered this art of deception.
So, the question is, if I want to make a documentary about how bad the situation is in London, depicting it as an “Acid City”, and portraying the ruthless, heartless and merciless behavior of Londoners towards their fellow beings, will any NGO fund me? Will I get huge sums of foreign investments because I want to show the truth to the world? Will I be invited to conferences and seminars to deliver speeches about how lives of acid victims change forever? Will my efforts for the poor and needy acid victims be rewarded with praise? Will I be introduced in interviews as torch-bearer of humanity? And above all, Will my documentary be considered for an Oscar race?
Obviously, the answer to all above question is a big NO, and this is my problem. This is what I want people of my country to understand; the hypocrisy, dual standards and two-facedness of Western Media when it comes to third world countries. Right from the way these issues are reported to the very end as they are concluded.