Published Date: Apr 24, 2012
BOOKS LIKE ?BLUE DUST? REQUIRED TO BREAK TABOOS IN SOCIETY, SAY SPEAKERS
Speakers said on Monday that books like “Blue Dust” are required to break taboos in society and to lend voice to victims of child sexual abuse, violence against women and religious discrimination.
They were speaking at a panel discussion and launch of Novel ‘Blue Dust Taboos’, organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday. Mome Saleem of SDPI moderated the proceedings.
Ayesha Salman, Editor at SDPI and author of Blue Dust read few excerpts from her novel that highlighted issues related to sexual abuse, repression, class and religious discrimination in context of a fictional story of three women, their trials and tribulations. Ayesha said, Blue Dust is the result of personal journey when she observed many injustices that touched her heart and subsequently culminated into writing of this novel.
Ahmad Salim, writer and senior Advisor, SDPI, spoke on discrimination against religious minorities and said constitution promises equal rights to every citizen but minorities are widely discriminated in Pakistan.
Commenting on the novel, he said, Blue Dust, highlights the sufferings and difficulties of minorities who are struggling in Pakistan to get their rights addressed despite the fact that the non-Muslims have been significantly contributing in education, health and other sectors in Pakistan.
He said, due to extreme fanaticism and discrimination, minorities are facing numerous challenges to identity and cultural roots, as can be observed from the growing trend of adoption of Muslim names for kids by religious minorities.
Dr Fouzia Saeed, Writer, Women’s Rights Activist , and Executive Director Mehrgarh spoke on issue of violence against women highlighted in the book. She urge on women to be bold and confident and change the traditional stereotype which requires girls to be timid and innocent for which they pay a very heavy price through out their lives.
She added that, there exists a culture of dysfunctional system involving established practice of hiding truth, blaming victims, protecting culprits, often in the name of pride and dignity etc. She said Novel Blue Dust is full of emotions, perspectives and experiences and books like these are very important even for our children who will read and understand that if such situations they face in life, they should have the exposure and ability to cope with them.
Maria Rasheed, Program Director, ROZAN talked on child abuse and said there is no law against child sexual abuse. She said taboos attached to sexuality restraint us talk to our children’s regarding sex, and this makes them vulnerable to abuse. She advised parents to talk to their kids, teach them vocabulary and boost confidence to report any incident.
Blue Dust is an emotional and cultural journey that maps the relationships, dreams, hopes and fears of three generations of a family in Pakistan and the Middle East.
The central character is a loving girl who struggles largely with insecurities in her relationships and the world she is born into. Through the story of this family, the author also explored broad issues in Pakistan relevant to class and religious and social distinctions.