Following Jami’s disclosure of the actual name of his perpetrator on twitter, it should have been making headlines, unfortunately, it has been the opposite. There is a lurking silence over all media houses and the media group in question, Dawn News, has refused to give any statement so far.
A few supporters from the media industry came out in his support, such as model Eman Suleman. Another supporter is Jahanzab Hussain, who was the founder and editor of Prism Dawn but recently left it. At the same time there has been a backlash as well. Many questioned the mere veracity of his posts and amongst them was a writer on instagram, Salmaan Rashid
This opens up the debate of blaming and shaming the victim when he or she decides to come out. The problematic position in this dialectic is that where he is giving the accused his or her space, he is absolutely not giving the accusers any space for their allegations to be investigated. In one way, it does breed entitlement of the elites in our society.
Are they above the law? Anyone who comes forth with an allegation of rape or harassment against a privileged person, especially a male with privilege, will not even be questioned? Anyone who dares to write about them will be silenced with a defamation notice?
Furthermore, the tweet above is completely dismissing the trauma centric approach in dealing with rape survivors. Any person who has undergone a traumatic incident such as rape; tends to freeze in that given moment. However, another aspect that is ignored is the ‘power’ dialectic. He is using the stereotypical narrative of the mere concept of ‘rape’; in which ‘rape’ is constituted by the physical power of one party.
The whole narrative ignores the ‘power’ politics that transcends physicality; in any context if a person in power coerces another to have sex with them that is ‘rape.’
Nida Kirmani, an academic-quite concisely explains this point through a tweet. She further expands on the fact that if a victim is not being supported, the least other people can do is not go on social media and just silence them. That too, with out any proof- if the accuser does not have proof then the accused doesn’t have any proof, either. In other words, there is a crucial need for DAWN to carry out an impartial investigation, instead of evading the blame. They have refrained from even coming out with a statement and there is no indication that the allegations are being investigated. Which, again makes it extremely murky.
Propergaanda reached out to Dawn, Lahore and questioned them about the ongoing queries. They said that Dawn does not report any “personal allegations.”
At this hour, it is not about disassociating between the personal and the political. There is a fundamental connection between the two and it is an equation that needs much reevaluation. Isn’t all news personal? Most news is picked up from social media. Another question is that Dawn was directly addressed so why are they still silent?