Bakra of the Day: Kickin’ n’ Screamin’

Posted on December 29, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Society
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Adil Najam

Many readers would already have seen this on Karachi Metroblog. Voyeuristically, I guess, it is interesting. However, I wanted to make a rather different point.

Personally, I do not find this funny. I find it sad and slightly sickening.

The video shows a bunch of men from a neighborhood mohalla ogling at and sometimes provoking a frightened cow. In the process, the poor animal lashes out and kicks violently at various people who try to ‘control’ it. The tamashbeen seem to find this funny and, purposely or inadvertently, their reaction further instigates the frightened animal.

It is easy to focus on the antics of the cow, but I would urge you to pay more careful attention to the people in the video and especially to the comments of the person who is making the video and his companion.

Angry cow flying kick

That is the sad part. But not for some of the foul language that creeps in. What is sad is the joyous glee and excitement people seem to be expressing not only at the misery of the cow but also of those who are being kicked and hurled by the cow. It is not just that they are oblivious to the welfare of the poor animal; it is also that they seem genuinely excited (even happy) that someone got violently kicked by the frightened beast.About a month ago we did a related post on how people fail to react to the misery of others (in that case someone supposedly slapping a woman as a prelude to stealing from her). In this case its not just that they don’t rush out to help someone in obvious pain, it is that they seem to find that pain funny (this relates to a different discussion we had on why people ‘enjoy’ self-destructive behavior by others).

In this season of bakras (I know this is not a bakra, but since it is being treated as one, I am sticking with the headline), it makes me think of the inhumane treatment we met out to the animals that are supposedly going to help us become better humans. Unlike Arab society 1400 years ago, where livestock was a prime unit of currency and commercial exchange (and, hence, of sacrifice) and where most people would have been well aware how to deal with and treat these prized possessions, most people (at least in urban Pakistan) have no experience or idea about how to treat any animal and one often seen purposeful and inadvertent cruelty inflicted on these animals, which are treated as a source of novelty rather than as living creatures worthy of our respect.

Elsewhere on ATP, we have been talking today about dignity and the demonstration of dignity. Maybe it is that incident that has left me in a pensive mood. As I watch this video, it seems to me that the only one who comes out of this video with its dignity intact is the cow. I, for one, am rooting for the cow.

23 responses to “Bakra of the Day: Kickin’ n’ Screamin’”

  1. samdani says:

    Gives whole new meaning to ‘aqal barri kay bhains’. In this case its the GAI that has more aqal than the GUY.

  2. Daktar says:

    There is clearly a lack of compassion. Have you ever seen what happens after a traffic accident or dispute. Everyone gather together to see teh tamasha, very few step up to help or call help. I do not think it has to be like this, it is just that expectations have developed this way. The good part is that as we saw in the earthquake, when a real calamity happens and people can see that they can do something good and make a difference they DO come out to do good. The question is how do we get that compassion and good come out in our everyday behavior?

  3. Partisan says:

    I will have to agree with Adil bhai’s comment, that there is nothing funny about the video, infact it is rather sad how the frightened animal is being treated by the hands of several tamashbeen.

    But can I just say how much joy the video brought me when I saw the defenseless animal coming out with a flying kick, the guy truly deserved it! And I sincerely hope the kick knocked some sense into him.

  4. Ahsan says:

    Agreed that Slaughtering (ZabaH) the way Muslim do is Islamic. Once it is accepted Islamic there is no need to prove that it is not ONLY Islamic and some other religion alrerady started does not make the Islamic ritual more Islamic or less Islamic. So talking of Jews of Prophet Abraham is unnecessary. The way the people in the video are behaving around the animal has nothing to do with the religion. But it can not be denied that all those onlookers enjoying and dancing around the animal are Muslims.

    “First of all slaughtering is not an Islamic practise only. Jews also slaughter animals and avoid haram meat. Muslims follow sunnah of Abraham[SAW] not Muhammad[SAW] who is founder of Christianty,Judaism and Islam . Second as everyone else and then I said that those kids are doin something which is something “entertainingâ€

  5. Osman says:

    This is related to an absence of social responsibility. We do not beleiev that government will do anything for us and we do not  think that we have any responsibilities towards societies. We often complain of the West being individualistic but if you look around our own behavior is much more selfish. There is little or no volunteerism, we don’t build schools or dispensaries, we expect everything from government and our job is only to complain. Or, as you see here, to laugh at those who are even more unfortunate than us.

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