Are you with us? An open letter to Mr. Rehman Malik. Please spread this if you agree.
Dear Mr. Rehman Malik and other authorities concerned,
While we appreciate the fact that the ban on Youtube may have valid reasons behind it, we request you to kindly review our petition and reconsider this decision. By no means, are we questioning your judgment, we’re only putting forth how adversely it has affected the artist community, and educational sectors.
In light of the state of affairs all over the world art, knowledge and entertainment are an escape not only for people like us but for the general audience as well. It is an escape from the mundane world into unknown pastures of adventure. We, who represent the Indus Valley Civilization (Harappan Civilization), one of the oldest and most advanced urban civilizations of its time, have appreciation of beauty encrypted in our DNA. We are who we are; we are not plastic. History is a witness to the fact that we belong to a region that has provided the world with abundant treasures. We are the true torchbearers of this long-standing tradition of art.
As a nation with such a rich background, how can we possibly think of putting up such obstructions in the field of knowledge and art? Youtube is a medium of both. It is a library of today and an archive for tomorrow; an archive from which we will be missing.
For years, we have seen the suppression of artistic freedom, and finally we have a platform that makes it possible for anyone and everyone to share their work, and have it seen or heard- an opportunity that no other civilization has ever had. It brings to people a set of various perspectives and possibilities, encouraging them to learn independently and think as individuals. How can we possibly keep ourselves isolated?
This letter found its beginnings in our frustration with not being able to be connected to the world. We’re trying to release our work, which carries months and months of effort of many others as well, but without the support of a platform like Youtube, we feel severely handicapped.
Although many people have complained bitterly about the shutting down of cell phones, we can appreciate that it has been effective in saving lives. We appreciate the practical steps that you are taking to make this a safer place for us. Another factor in making our country a better place to live in, is the image that is projected of Pakistan to the rest of the world. The fact is that we are a country full of talent, tolerance, art and culture. One of the main channels through which this image of Pakistan is showcased to the world is Youtube. The banning of Youtube is going against our image as a moderate and forward looking country, run by an enlightened and a democratic government.
We have faith in every Pakistani and therefore, we have faith in our government. Above all we have faith in the understanding of a person of your stature. We hereby request you to please reconsider your stance, and reopen this important channel that connects us to the global community.
Zoë & Zohaib
(Members of the music community)