A lot has been banned in Pakistan. Some may even call it ‘Bannistan’, for how much the state has an affinity for banning things. Yesterday, the social media was abuzz with PTI lawmaker Khurrum Sher Zaman’s demand to take an appropriate action against all the schools teaching dance.
Unfortunately, the history of bans on all things fun in Pakistan is replete with such examples. Amusingly though, we have always found a way to use them. Here is a list of some of these bans that we have succeeded in dodging through the years:
After YouTube refused to remove the trailer of Sam Bacile’s Innocence of Muslims, a film that allegedly insulted Islam, PTA banned the website in September 2012. The ban was recently lifted after almost 4 years.
But we all know how the YTPak’s of the interwebs saved us from YouTube starvation.
Facebook, just like YouTube, was banned in 2010 for a short period of time after it refused to take down a blasphemous page.
And then everyone resorted to downloading Zenmate or HideMyAss and whatnot.
Found some material that a few Muslims found offensive? Let’s take the easy way out and ban Twitter. That’s exactly what happened with Twitter.
But by now people were accustomed to using the IP hiding utilities and the ban was lifted soon.
Ah! Approximately seventy percent of the families whose entire livelihood hinged solely on kite making had to stop sending their children to school owing to the ban on Basant, for they did not possess any other skill.
The rich have found ways around it by having “special designated areas” to fly kites in and have a little fun, but what about the rest of Pakistan?
5. Shezan Juices
A major chunk of lawyers from Lahore Bar banned the usage of Shezan juices merely because they were produced by a company owned by an Ahmadi.
A way around it? Simply walk out of the Lahore Bar and purchase a pack from any vendor your sight settles on.
6. Comparative Religion Studies
Punjab banned comparative religion studies in 2013 after some parents found the whole idea of learning anything other than Islam totally absurd.
A way around it? Go to your nearest public library or talk to any normal person with a college degree from a place that “teaches” and you’ll be able to become a human being who understands everything and then realizes why you believe in what you believe in.
7. Blackberry Services
Content that the government can’t secretly spy on, 2010 and the PTA ban. Same story.
A way around it? Well, you don’t need one anymore since BBM is available everywhere else and Blackberry has stopped making phones. Aaah… the Bold 4…
8. Salman Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses”
This one, by far, has been the most supported one. Following a violent riot against the book, it was banned in 1989.
A way around it? Maybe take a trip outside of Pakistan and put your filthy hands on this blasphemous book. Atsaghfirullah.
Alcohol was banned in 1977 by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Unfortunately, this political strategizing did not go as well as planned.
Like you need a way around it. Just pay off any chillar and drink your way to a cirrhosis diagnosis and a liver transplant.
10. Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code
Because fictitious books about Christian religious history are a conspiracy against Islam, that’s why.
Your nearest book store is your way around this ban. Not like anyone actually took this ban seriously.
11. Not to mention the porn sites
Every porn site is banned. Yes, all of them.
But we know, you will always find a way to Mia Khalifa.
13. Condom Ads
In what world will banning condom ads prevent sexual activity? If anything, making people aware of contraceptives can actually help curtail spread of sexually transmitted diseases like the HIV.
And now PTI lawmakers want dancing banned too. Sigh.
The point is, celebrate and rejoice as long as you do not snatch away innocent lives. An outright ban is never an effective solution. It may be an easy way out, in order to prevent oneself from accepting personal responsibility. How effective have easy ways out ever been?
Cover Image Via: Source: consumernewspk