Why Pakistan 451?

Fahrenheit 451 is a novel set in a world where books are banned and critical thought is suppressed; the central character, Guy Montag, is employed as a “fireman” (which, in this case, means “book burner”). 451 degrees Fahrenheit (about 233°C) is stated as “the temperature at which book-paper catches fire, and burns …”

The book explores the the impact on soceity of censorship and supression of thoughts and ideas. What’s interesting about censorship in 451 is that it seems to have originated with the people, not the government’s desire to control. People were unhappy and discontented, so the government acted to remove the sources of their unhappiness and to enhance their lives with activities which would prevent them from thinking and, thus, being unhappy.

This resonates strongly with with the situation in Pakistan today. People don’t want to see their religious beliefs offended, and the government has taken it upon itself to see that the people don’t see that which might offend them.

One of the more ironical things is that the citizens of Pakistan don’t trust their govt. for anything at all, yet they let them control what they can watch, see and hear.

How strong is one’s faith when one must live a blinkered life to maintain it? What sort of people will a walled society produce? We already have numerous walled societies in the country, ranging from women shut up in their homes to seminary students who grow up in madrassahs learning a very disjointed view of the world.


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