The finality of death is traumatic. The brain freezes as your eyes soak up. The feeling is all the more strange, if you don’t know that individual personally. Why do I feel, what I feel? Who do I share my grief with, if the deceased is not a friend or a family member? For some (like me) words on a MS Word document sometimes provide some form of solace. A sense of outlet, a pain reliever of sorts. So, here is I am sharing my grief on losing the bravest of them all, the humanist, the moral compass of a truly morally decaying society, Ms Asma Jahangir.
“We have lost a human rights giant,” says UN Secretary-General @antonioguterres, at the death of human rights expert Asma Jahangir.
“Asma was brilliant, deeply principled, courageous and kind […] She will not be forgotten.” https://t.co/qZfbqycxrp
— UN News (@UN_News_Centre) February 12, 2018
It’s been a little over 36 hours and I am struggling to understand this feeling, this void. Stopped myself from reading all the wonderful columns, written by people who knew her much better than me. I wanted to comprehend my feelings and write this as a cry of anguish. I never met her in person. But from the court room, from the screen of my television, from newspaper, and from twitter, she provided me with comfort that someone is looking after my rights to live freely, to speak freely, and to just be the person I want to be.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) February 12, 2018
We heard the terrible news of the legendary Qazi Wajid passing away. Taleem e Baliagna was one of the 1st reference points of Pakistani Tv for me. In my head, I was reliving plays, of this outlandishly talented man and suddenly, a friend sent a message of her passing away. In a moment of desperation, I looked for the remote of my television. Ironically, hoping for the news to be fake. But it wasn’t to be.
Human beings are inherently selfish. So now, I am little more afraid of an unflinching state, armed with a nuclear weapon and a mullah brigade with the license to kill anyone, anywhere. I am afraid that no one with a stern voice of a mother trying to ward off predators of her children will appear on TV and guide us. No one will be there to support a blind girl who was raped and charged (hoodod ordinance) under Zia for getting pregnant. The mirror of truth for the largest province from within is no more.
In a world shaped by personal greed & sense of existentialism, Asma Jahangir provided a model to live life beyond that individualistic desire. I am no expert in philosophy but she would make a fantastic example for Absurdism.
Thank you Asma Jahangir for being the voice of the nation for so long. I feel a sense of dejection, a sense of nihilism. But I presume that you’d want us to live a different way. And perhaps it will take for all of us to come together to gather a cent of courage in this age of hyper nationalism worldwide. Courage, which you had in abundance. The world is poorer today.