The holy month of Ramazan has begun. The month of charity, celebrations, prayer and forgiveness. Even for those who may not be that religious, one cannot deny the blessings and love that this month brings.
However, what irks me is the hypocrisy that seeps in when this time of the year starts. Whenever a festival rolls around in foreign countries, one can see the number or sales that pop up for almost every item. However, in Pakistan, it’s the other way around. Shopkeepers raise prices exponentially. And I’m talking about necessary items like groceries and basic commodities, which leaves the less affluent class unable to afford these items. The month of charity and celebrations becomes a way for people to earn a hefty amount of profit. Items are sold for double the amount that they were being sold for before Ramazan rolled around.
During the month when we are supposed to give up material benefits and devote ourselves to a spiritual awakening, Pakistanis continue to profit off of the poor.
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Another thing this month has become synonymous with in Pakistan is Ramazan shows. All the major television channels get the biggest celebrity names that they can afford and hold all sorts of ridiculous competitions and acts – in a bid to get the highest ratings. And unfortunately, the most ridiculous acts are the ones which gain viral fame.
Who can forget Aamir Liaquat’s ‘Aam Khayega, Aam?’ Or that time he brought on Tahir Shah only to subject him to insults to get giggle from his audience. In the holy month, media channels profit off the common man by offering prizes while subjecting them to humiliating competitions on national television. These shows will bring the biggest entertainers they can, but will not be bring on reputed Islamic scholars to tell the masses about the potential benefits of this month.
Ah, Ramazan in Pakistan is an experience in itself. Now that’s off my chest, let’s hope we see some semblance of humanity this month (fat chance). And even if that doesn’t happen, let’s devote ourselves to be a better human beings this month and help those we can, because at the end of the day that’s what this month signifies.