The Indian Sub-continent is a strange and uniquely perplexing region of the world which brings out mysteries everyday that amuses and demonstrates the mindset of the majority of people living there. Having said this, it does not need to be mentioned not everyone is of the same ilk or tribal mold, but unfortunately in certain parts of that region there are more people like this than one would like.
One such country that stands tall with its national nose in the air and chest pushed out in pride of wearing the cape of stupidity and chauvinism is Pakistan. A country rapidly overtaking Somalia as the most lawless nation on earth. In some respect Pakistan is an oxymoron, ‘Pak’-istan, the ‘Pure’land. When majority of the country is plagued by insecurity, corruption, large-scale indiscriminate violence, national scale, often public fraud cases done by political leaders, murder, gangs, human trafficking, drug cartels and of course religious manipulation by gangster muftis to control, influence and contain the mostly uneducated masses in rural communities across the country, in their hold for power with dire warnings of disasters and spiritual harm should they dare to question their spirituality of the master. Giving these gangster muftis untold power over the cowering masses the mafia establishments in Italy or USA can only dream of. This is where charlatans with little Islamic knowledge have found a profitable niche market to operate in, quickly profiteering from people’s vulnerability and ascending the popularity game like the new kid on the block Haq Badshah Sarkar.
Although the original founding fathers of Pakistan had pure intentions of its birth, growth and eventual maturity into a statehood bound by righteous Islamic values it is instead become the example of what a nation should NOT look or feel like. A nation which is made to feel dejected, insignificant and worthless by two major competing forces of the land is pushing its millennial generation i.e the educated youth, into a completely different dangeroulsy dark trajectory.
On TV screens across the country daily cases of national scandals are headline news, politicians exposed as career self-centered individuals who have been for decades looting the nation’s resources for personal gain are plastered across all media outlets from TV stations to radio news and social media sites. Politicians who publicly addressed themselves as being the servants of the nation were instead fat leeches sucking the blood out of everyone. It is either this or the fact that a group claiming to be the standard-bearer of authentic Islamic revivalism have bombed the hell out of a cafe full of people enjoying an evening meal or children going to school, only then to be followed by more reports of a counter religious group taking retribution by further indiscriminate killings, rape and torture for the attacks carried out by the opposing religious group.
The recent plane crash tradgey in Pakistan demonstrates this ideocy perfectly. One group rejoying on the fact a famous Pakistani celebrity Junaid Jamshed turned preacher died in the crash along with 43 other people. Simply because he was of a different group which they do not argee with, namely the Tableeghi Jamaat a missionary group. This presents a pessimistic image but one that perfectly captures daily life in Pakistan – hardly a country where well-educated, Islamic oriented people have contributed positively to the nation’s GDP, did something to advance research in a scientific field or invented something that will serve humanity for many generations to come. Recently a new craze has hit a sub section of the Pakistani (generally Brelwi) community of Pakistan.
Whether it is Pakistan’s own version of the mannequin challenge, where participants pretend to be, for some bizarre reason, act as though they are mannequins I do not know. But this craze in Pakistan (which has now entered the shores UK only among the brelwi community) is a man, called Haq Badshah Sarkar, attempts to emulate Thomas the Tank engine by saying “Choo, Choo” over a mic in a hall full of people and they will play along to his game.
You might be forgiven for thinking it is just like the mannequin challenge, a game only it is Pakistan’s version but i promise you it is not. In fact it is a serious business which many people from the sub-brelwi community passionately believe in. This charlatan claims to perform what is known as “Dam” spiritual healing over literally any airwaves and cure people of their diseases and illnesses. He then claims if anyone has pictures of people they know who are ill and are not present here (in the gathering) to take out their pictures and do as he says and all illnesses people not present face will be cured from. A new low i thought did not exist.
Watch here: The Pakistani Thomas the tank engine – “Choo Choo train” craze:
Some may pass this off as one lunny man monetizing on people’s gullibility however it is not a one off case, these type of people in countries like Pakistan have a firm grip over masses of people. In the UK, men, women and children line up for hours to have people like this man Haq Badshah Sarkar come over here and cure them of their illnesses and stresses of life through the magical power of Choo Choo.
Although genuine “Dam” seeking relief from pain through spiritual exercises is not disallowed in Islam it has its limits, protocols, rules and regulation on how, when, where and on who and what it can be done. Even then people are advised to seek professional help from doctors and medical professionals so there is no room for abusing it like the “Choo-Choo train” man!
All this may seem funny but it has a dire impact on the psyche of Pakistan’s millennial generation. I have met many who see this type of mass hysteria over a charlatan as proof of the absurd nature and backwardness of religious people and are the reason why many of them refuse to practice their inherited faith. as they do not want to be seens as or become these type of people. Religion has become a foul and bitter word in their mounths which they prefer not to be linked with. On the one hand they have politicians raping the country of its national wealth and on the other hand you have religious “leaders” making a fool out off the masses, two sides of the same coin. It is unsurprising then to know (as i unfortunately was made aware of ) that Pakistan tops the list for most searched GAY porn, not to mention pornography as well.
Why is this happening? The answer is complex but the over ridding reason is rebellion. The millennial generation are rebelling against the general figures of authority in Pakistan. Whether it is from politicians like Asif Ali Zardari
or religious leaders, the internet has become a means of escapism from reality, of the constant nagging, bloodshed, misery they are surrounded by.
Again, this is not a one-off example, nearly in all types of crime from deceptions, terrorism, drugs, human trafficking, etc Pakistan tops the list. I know this from the line of work i do, part of my role is i run background checks on people who want to open businesses n the UK and see if they have any criminal records of money laundering, terrorist financing, human trafficking, drug trafficking, torture, land grabbing etc, and the shocking truth is all major crime rings are done by men largely from Pakistani background. Look into a straight forward name like Muhammad Khan and you get approximately 230+ responses of all the Muhammad Khans who have either tried to import drugs into the UK through trafficking in Pakistan, human trafficking, been involved in terrorism etc.
The internet has become their window into a life they see as being perfect, just what they want in how to live, dream and be free. There is only one culture the internet adheres to and this is clear; the culture of the west to be open and free from any rules and law which limits your desires. It is like taking drugs or drinking, many people who fall into financial, relationship, mental or social difficulties resort to taking drugs and drinking as it makes them forget the realities they face. In the same fashion Pakistani youth turn to the internet whether on the phone or a desktop to escape the realities they face.