Jeremy McLellan, an American Standup Comedian, is in love with Pakistan and its people. This is evident from his Facebook page where he is constantly updating about his tour. But a recent post by the Biryani-loving comedian gave us a reality check of the two basic problems that we have failed to overcome in our 70 years of independence.
In a detailed post, Jeremy highlighted the fact why we are still struggling with effects of colonialism. After 70 years of independence, we still treat ‘Gora’ as superior than any other person visiting Pakistan. Our obsession with fair color and ‘Goras’ is what is problematic and unfortunately, there is little effort done in changing that. Starting off with some praise for Faisal Mosque and National Monument, he shared his experience as:
“The colonial mentality is still really strong here. I’m traveling with my good friend Sultan (who is Pakistani American) and whenever we interact with Pakistanis who don’t know either one of us, they treat me 100x better than they treat him. Sultan, by the way, is a doctor, a professor, and a rising star in the Muslim community in America. Anyone who spends any time with him comes away impressed. If they were fans of mine, I would understand the disparity in treatment. But they aren’t. I’m talking about people who don’t know who we are. And yet just because I’m a gora, I get all the attention. People offer to hold my bags, they open doors for me, they ask me questions, they try to impress me, etc, while ignoring Sultan. It’s sad.”
Another neglected and rather more problematic thing he pointed out was aristocracy. The Biryani-Loving comedian rightfully defended the right of the common people against the ‘important’ ones. He talked both about the people who misuse their power.
“Speaking of aristocracy, my show tonight at TMUC went well, but much of it was interrupted by a very small minority of entitled rich “important” people trying to get into a sold out show without a ticket, coming in very late, talking during the show, walking in front, videotaping the show after repeatedly being told not to, cutting lower class people in line to take selfies, and becoming very angry (and sometimes yelling) when told not to. We actually had to stop the selfies because one of them started yelling, so lots of my fans couldn’t get a picture with me. I don’t care how much money you make or who your parents are, you don’t treat people like that. It was unfair to my true fans who bought tickets and followed the rules. I hope you’re ashamed of yourselves. God doesn’t think any higher of you just because the world thinks you’re special.
By comparison, our dental team, who are all very successful doctors and students, many of whom are Pakistani, spent their day treating 600 children today in Kallar Kahar. 600 poor children received free dental treatment today from successful doctors who didn’t think they were too “important” to do that. That’s how it should be.”
The VIP culture and the use of status and power by the elites have always been a problem seen by many. Unfortunately, we take it as a norm and don’t often feel strong enough to resist and change it.
With the 70th independence around the corner, it is high time that we move beyond the colonial mentality and feudal policies that are embedded in our culture.
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