Using expletives isn't 'Punjab's culture', Rohale Asghar. Just say you like to curse and move on

Published 16 Jun, 2021 06:02pm

Images Staff

The PML-N MNA tried to pass the blame of his own bad behaviour in the National Assembly onto the people of Punjab.

By now, everyone knows about the violence in the National Assembly and the ensuing disapproval from the entire nation. But for one MNA, using expletives during the session was fine because it's part of his province's "culture". We beg to differ.

Meet Shaikh Rohale Asghar, one of the seven MNAs banned from the assembly due to their role in Tuesday's violence. He's a long-time PML-N stalwart from Lahore and has been in politics for years. He also thinks that using expletives was alright because "it's Punjab's culture".

There are so many things wrong with what those three little words (or four since he said it in Urdu "Punjab ka culture hai") that it's difficult to decide where to begin.

Perhaps we'll start with the fact that he's vilifying an entire people because he can't control his own tongue. Just say you like to curse and move on, why are you dragging the entire province into your mess?

He's also reinforcing a rather foolish stereotype of Punjabis being overly aggressive and their speech peppered with colourful expletives. That may be the case with Mr Asghar but that isn't true for everyone — not by a long shot. He's justifying his own bad behaviour by putting the burden of blame on the entire province of Punjab, which is laughable. If this is the culture of Punjab, why are words like this not used everywhere in the province? Why do Punjabis not greet each other with curses instead of hellos? Maybe because it's not actually their culture and they're being used as scapegoats.

There are people that use expletives and people that don't. That's true for all people in all regions and all countries. To reinforce a damaging stereotype — as most stereotypes are — Asghar isn't doing anyone any favours, least of all the Punjabis he has been elected to represent. And Punjabis didn't agree with him at all. Most comments on social media were reiterations of the same sentiment — "this might be your culture, Rohale Asghar, but it isn't ours".

Asghar also chose to brush off valid criticism of him and his fellow MNAs by passing the buck onto Punjabis. Mr Asghar, you and your fellow parliamentarians are the ones who disgraced themselves in the National Assembly by throwing budget books and hurling expletives, not the people of Punjab. Own up to your own mistakes instead of claiming it's "Punjab's culture" to behave badly.