Social media is a very powerful tool in these recent times. Any and everything that goes viral has the internet divided with opinions and views. Only recently the target was the statement Prime Minister Imran Khan made in his press conference saying “Replicating the western culture is Pakistan’s biggest problem.” He further warned of the consequences of adopting westernized culture. While some may agree with PM Khan blaming the western culture for the problems digging roots in our country is nonsense.
Although the internet may have divided views, we took a look at the positive aspect of Imran Khan’s statements.
Culture is the foundation of a cultivated society and develops over the long run with its norms and values but it is not a stagnant concept. Cultures evolve and change due to many reasons over time. Pakistan is very diverse, with many ethnic groups that have distinct cultural values and norms. However, before the partition the British that colonized the sub-continent not only influenced our political and economic system but also the minds and culture to such an extent that the future generations absorbed it. Western culture and its symbols are still valued over native customs, leading to a kind of colonization of the mind.
Globalization has also made adopting other cultures fairly easier. From one perspective, globalization is assisting Pakistan with associating more with the Western nations and setting up relations that will be useful for Pakistan’s economy. The flip side, however, shows a more menacing picture. The increasing trend of westernization has taken our local culture hostage in numerous aspects.
Family bonds are one of the aspects that suffered the most. Adopting western culture has eliminated the essence of family systems altogether. The youth of today believe in independence and individuality. As a result, we have seen a rise in psychological disorders, divorces, suicides, and crime.
Western culture has not only brought with it personality complex but also classism. Education, dresses, social settings have all become a status symbol. Rise in English medium schools have also created a mafia in themselves knowing the complex of westernization our country has gotten into.
The influence of English is so great that some youth feel ashamed speaking Urdu. In fact, we have started using English as a tool to distinguish between the high and low classes. Those who speak English proficiently are considered among the elite class, despite the fact that Urdu is the national language of Pakistan and English has served as the official language for years.
Taking a good look around in our society we can agree with what Prime Minister Imran Khan wanted to convey through his press conference. Adopting someone else’s culture does not make you superior rather you end up being a slave to it. Colonization left us years ago but Pakistanis are still in the shackles of western culture not knowing its lasting negative impacts which travel down to future generations.