R.I.P, The lack of Empathy and our exclusive rights on God.

Saying R.I.P to a non-Muslim deceased may not threaten your faith, however, insisting on its invalidity not just betrays your deep insecurity, but also indicates another disturbing pattern, Lack Of Empathy.

Every day I feel at a loss, nothing to write on, every day I confront another bleak dilemma of our nation compelling me to hang my head in shame and write. I used to write sporadically but now it’s become a routine, thanks to my people. Coming straight to the point, THE INDIFFERENT ATTITUDE of our people. Yesterday the news of Sushant’s suicide came as a shock to us. He was young, just 34, an ascending star, so obviously, the scars were deep. Divided on politics, people of the subcontinent, rarely show unity nevertheless, in the matter of Art, they have been undivided. To the annoyance of the majority, the sorrow of the one nation is soaked up by the people of the other nation. Believe me, both countries have people who think beyond the jingoistic psyche.

The loss was appalling so people took to social media pouring their hearts out of sympathies for the young soul. You watch a movie, the actor grabs your attention and one day out of the blue you hear about one’s suicide so your response would definitely be shattering, a normal reaction altogether. Why Sushant committed suicide and how mental health matters is another topic to have a separate post on, at the moment we will focus on the response of our people. Soon after the news of suicide, we were to witness a special kind of breed. An indifferent, schadenfreude, type. Though they claim to be Muslims seldom would you see them practising their Muslamaniat, even if they practice it once in a while, it has anyhow to come down on someone else, especially on people other than Muslims. The suicide of Sushant dragged their true selves out of the pretentious holes.

You watch a movie, the actor grabs your attention and one day out of the blue you hear about one’s suicide so your response would definitely be shattering, a normal reaction altogether. Immediately, after the news of suicide, we were to witness a special kind of breed. An indifferent, schadenfreude, type.

Two kinds of responses emerged throughout the day, first, the ones who decried the fact that a Non-Muslim couldn’t be said R-I-P (this chauvinism, the exclusive rights on God’s will is beyond my comprehensions) and the other who tried to convert our attention towards the persecution of people at the hands of the power that be i-e Kashmiris, Baluchis and whatnot. They were quoting verses and other powerful pictures to substantiate their point. What they believe and how this mindset was cultivated is another story but they believed it so they considered it solely judicious to propagate and who knows if they were right? The timing of this apathetic response, however, suggests some other disturbing trait, LACK OF EMPATHY.

Empathy is the ability to put yourself in another person’s shoe or in other words feel the predicament of others. It’s the empathy that makes us humans. We feel about others, we share their sorrows, we console them and even extend our shoulders to them to have a cry on, after all, we are humans. It’s natural, for everyone? Not absolutely. Not every individual is capable of reciprocating a sense of empathy which is the opposite of empathy.

Empathy is the ability to put yourself in another person’s shoe or in other words feel the predicament of others. It’s the empathy that makes us humans but is this natural, for everyone? Not absolutely.

The lack of empathy or indifference leaves us unable to feel for others or to put ourselves in others’ shoes. In lack of empathy, people simply don’t express the sentiments they are expected to convey while in the majority cases they attempt to dilute the gravity of the issue, come what may. In most psychological disorders including psychopaths share the common trait, LACK OF EMPATHY, however, we can’t classify it as a separate disorder especially when even normal people steered by cynical interests and polarized by politics spring the same disposition. Religious, political, cast or civic discrepancies don’t let us show empathy to the people who don’t agree with our beliefs. In this social-media-ridden era, we have seen this indifferent temperament popping out more profoundly and to odd, marshalling a majority behind not just in Pakistan but even in India. Be it crashed plane, the death of Sushma Swraj, or Shahid Afridi having been infected invited the indifferent response across the board.

In Sushant’s suicide, nobody bothered to touch upon the causes that led a young soul to hang himself but everyone was more obsessed with proving how it was less of Muslamaniat to say R.I.P to him. This is indifference, the incapability to feel the pain of others. A person kills himself and we are worried more about the validity of three words? Contrary to the common belief that we hold control over our thoughts, this response usually stems from the unconscious, maybe a defence mechanism to reduce their insecurity. If it’s unconscious, does that merit my hate? Most probably not. They need help and empathy what they themselves are devoid of so instead of judging them, or hating them our energy should be invested in educating them.

In this social-media-ridden era, we have seen an indifferent temperament popping out more profoundly and to odd, marshaling a majority behind not just in Pakistan but even in India. Be it crashed plane, the death of Sushma Swraj, or Shahid Afridi having been infected invited the indifferent response across the board.

Now for the Muslamaniat, first of all, God belongs to everyone, no one has exclusive rights on him, evidently, none of us does know if God is happy with our deeds nor we will ever know so let the simple fact sink in, “ONLY GOD HAS THE AUTHORITY TO JUDGE THE ACTIONS OF HIS CREATION, YOU ARE NOT GOD, SO DON’T TRY TO BE ONE”. Second, the verses you quoted were from the time when the Prophet was imploring God to forgive his uncle ensuing those particular verses but in the recent context, nobody is trying to plead forgiveness for Sushant, Nah? Just saying R.I.P threatened your exclusive rights on God?

Third, do you even know what does the R.I.P mean? The phrase was originally translated from Latin as “requiescat in pace”, is commonly believed as a wish for eternal peace for the soul of the departed. The basis of this phrase is found in the Holy Bible, “Those who walk uprightly enter peace; they find rest as they lie in death.” So according to this definition, you don’t even have any entitlement on this phrase, in the first place. It belonged to Christians, you merely imitated it. Fourth, Hindus don’t even believe in the afterlife so for them these words don’t carry any significance but mere sympathy and solidarity aiming to console the beloved ones. So what’s wrong with that?

Fifth, if you’re raising voice for Baluchis or Kashmiris, that’s really tall of you but it’s not a favour or Ahsan on others, your moral obligation propels you to do that so there is no point of bragging or hogging appreciation for it. You can raise your voice for them without bashing those who are grieving someone, not of your interest. It’s just simple. Don’t have to trivialize the significance of one matter to elevate the importance of the other. Both could be grieved at a time that doesn’t make you any wrong at all.

Last and not least, you need to ask yourself what impression you are leaving out with these impassive remarks, for you and for your religion?

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