The youth asking questions does not make them badtameez
One week on, we see that what should have ideally been a normal academic interaction between a prime minister and university students has instead been dubbed the October 30 ‘saniha’ (tragedy) and seen intense vitriol targeted at the students while being coopted by multiple stakeholders for their own ends in the current war of narratives in Pakistan’s political realm. Amid all this brouhaha, what everyone seems to be ignoring is how the talk was a glimpse of the deeply rooted resentment and frustration that is engendering in society’s youth towards the status quo.
That this happened is not surprising, as the country’s political media circus continues to stoop to lower lows each time and ensnares everything it can to extract maximum political mileage or TRPs out of it. It is, however, unfortunate that even university students have not been spared that dehumanising process.
To recount what happened, caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar visited the Lahore University of Management Sciences and fielded questions from enquiring young minds for almost 1.5 hours. Broadcast on public media for all to see, in contrast to the heavily clamped former army chief’s own visit and interaction with the university’s students last year, the event soon created a storm that propelled it to near mythic proportions as videos of the premier being ‘roasted’ by the questions tossed at him and seemingly left befuddled for answers circulated on social media.