In “Islam & the Destiny of Man”, a book recommended by @ImranKhanPTI, Gai Eaton has beautifully made a distinction between Hypocrisy & Not washing one’s dirty linen in public. It is important to understand the difference between the two because, influenced by a contemporary (1)
Western preference for ‘letting everything hang out in the open’ & to come clean about one’s past, we have normalised publicly & casually explaining our sins.

Now, it is one thing to admit that you have not been a perfect man/woman & entirely another to start glossing over (2)
your ‘guilty pleasures’ & publicly sharing the tales of your or others’ sins. It amounts to normalising something which one should be repenting upon & about which one should be thankful to the Providence for having concealed it from the prying eyes of others (3)
I have followed @ImranKhanPTI’s life trajectory & the evolution of his thought process over the years. He has been quite consistent in never boasting about his playboy image, his amorous adventures & exploits or the guilty pleasures of his youthful days (4)
By not denying that he did commit certain excess in his life & by admitting that he was never an angel or an ideal man, he has avoided being a hypocrite. But more importantly, he is NOT a self-righteous man because he has never commented on the private lives of his adversaries(5)
although I am sure that he would have hundred of racy tales to tell about them.

Mehar Bukhari, in an interview in June 2012, tried to extricate such details from him - she even confronted him with an episode from his past - but he gracefully answered her question (6)
Much earlier than this, in 1995, he answered a similar question by admitting that he had never claimed to be an angel. Now this was before he entered politics thus one can’t say that it was political expediency that pushed him to answer in this manner (7)
Later, in 1996, answering a sarcastic & stinging question about his transformation from a playboy to a man of faith, he said that one evolves over years & may change his/course (8)
The point is that if God has been graceful with you by concealing your sins (thus effacing such episodes), then it must be incumbent upon you to show gratitude by not revealing it playfully before those who may be impressionable & start following you for all the wrong reasons (9)
Remember that our sins have two aspects. One vis-a-vis our Creator who is forgiving & one relating to our society. By setting a bad example before others through self-exposure & trying to get a reassuring social approval by normalising it, we inflict a wound upon society (10)
& undermine its norms. So, we have to guard ourselves against taking this ‘cult of being open’ too far so as to desensitise people about gravity of certain excesses.

Of course this applies to “sin” (which is primarily between God & Man) NOT to “crime” which is against the (11)
state & society & which must be punished by the State based on its laws. I also know that this will ruffle many a Desi Liberal Feathers since our misplaced notions of humanism & individualism have normalised ‘worship of the self’ to an extent where aspiring to rise above our (12)
(base) selves, our existence at a carnival level, is made to look out as something laughable, irrational, medieval & anti-modern. But we must not forget that there is a difference between loving someone with all their faults & making someone feel content with his/her faults.
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