Note: It is an analytical article about Political and Media Issues that presented in prize winning Short Story The Tallest Women written by Maham Javaid.
Political/Governmental Issues presented in short story The Tallest Woman
Maham Javaid has presented many political issues in this short story. One issue is exploitation of peasant farmers by the military which is one powerful department of government. Peasants were fighting for the land rights and fighting and snatching is there, even crops are set on fire.
Second political issue is corrupt leaders as in the story Zainab was assaulted by young peoples of the town in which one of them is the son of the elected elder and when she and her mother complaint to elected elder, he instead of putting his hand on Zainab’s head, he asked, why a young girl found lonely beside the canal with five young peoples. It is symbolic that people elect leaders who are their representatives but when they were elected they themselves exploit the peoples.
Third issue is less medical facilities for the public. In this story Maham Javaid said, “Inside the narrow hall of the overcrowded public hospital, the swarm of sick people and their attendants parted like the Red Sea”. In the hospital the hall was narrow and public is overcrowded, she use the word swarm of sick people; swarm is used for insects in abundance, means much in number and attendants parted like the red sea means attendants are not with sick peoples but seated away.
Ineffective police is also an issue in Pakistan. A clear picture of police is presented in this short story. When young people assaulted her and her mother needs help from the police, the police man made an excuse that this type of complaints have no effect. On the other hand when she was famous then police man said, “Zainab beti, don’t worry, the police department is not angry about the fake rumors of you joining the peasants. And don’t fear anyone trying to hurt you – from now on, my friends will be keeping one eye on you.” In developed countries police secure the peoples and charge the offenders but in Pakistan police help the offenders.
Media Issues presented in short story The Tallest Woman
Social Media Issues
She also presented the prevailing social media issues in her short story. Social media is powerful media now these days that we witnessed in this short story also but it has some drawbacks or issues that social media news is not reliable because it presented as seen, as understood and as they want to mold it, but not verified. As presented in this short story by a nurse, the video with caption, “Angry DIYONI”: probable peasant activist leader? Here, “probable peasant activist leader” is nurse’s thought about the Zainab and surely not verified. It may not a thought but this phrase is added purposefully, by using this phrase she got many views and likes from the peasants in few hours.
One student posted video on her Twitter account with the caption: “Guinness-world-record holding GIANT Pakistani woman slaps harassy doctor in National Hospital. #MeToo.” Same case of this student but she used two tricks one she used the phrase, “Guinness-world-record holding” about which she was not confirm and the second she used hash tag “#MeToo”. Here, hash MeToo is confused with MeToo movement because “#MeToo” is hash tag of MeToo movement. The second one may be mistakenly used instead of showing presence of her at the place and time of incident but it misguiding for the social media users.
The positive side of social media is its power that in this short story social media news spread in the country like fire in the forest and on the following days many people who have high office or position met with Zainab and offered many benefits.
Like social media the electronic media also is more interested in score making than providing confirmed news. In this short story Maham presented electronic media which is in hurry that electronic media broadcasted the non-confirmed news in the 9pm news bulletin about Zainab that is, “the story about a giantess from a small town, known for its ongoing peasant movement against the military”. This news shows that the information taken from social media and presented with their own point of view because the media team came next day at Zainab’s house.
Electronic media has many other issues as presented in the story, the major issue is nothing personal for them they asked each and every questions and take photographs of the kitchen, living room, charpoy and chair that re-enforced by steal, the wall where marked the height, size of her paints and shoes, they asked the questions like how much Pehlwan (Zainab) can eat? It is true? Are you a leader of peasant movement? You are not considering that you are divulging the country’s army? Are you a member of #MeToo movement? Will you make legal references against the doctor and who will pay the fees? Who is on your back?