By Hajrah Mumtaz
A local reality TV show on air these days purports to be looking for the most himmatwala Pakistani – the one who displays the qualities of bravery, derring-do, power, strength and endurance that the Urdu term denotes.
It sounds like a good idea, given that this country could do with some heroes and role models. But what is this channel’s – and that of the citizens who choose to appear on the show – idea of himmat? In the episode I watched it was eating cockroaches. A misguided young man decided that this was the one thing he could do to show that there were himmatwalay people in Hyderabad. The show’s host, having first humiliated, belittled and mocked the contestant, presented a tray of insects and pointed out the insects to be eaten – which the discomfited himmatwala proceeded to do. Continue reading