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Archive for January 22, 2011


Since tha past 24 hours thanks to the ‘ interview drama’ of Veena Malik with KS and the Mullah, all the enlightened walls on Face Book were spilling with sympathies and praises for the’ last bastion’ of Women’s Lib called THE VEENA MALIK.

If Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi was seriously worried and praying about her life and safe well being ( though he clarified the pun intended in it later ) then Maheen Usmani’s wall did KUDOS to her.

And then there was an argument by an Indian on Maheen’s wall where he remarked:

“Female performing artists in Pakistan face an unenviable hostility & I sympathise with them. Meera has also faced this type of hostility. Sensible people in media must stop this.”

And went on to say:

“What I appreciate is her courage to stand before mullas in a bold manner.This is different Pakistan.Salman Tasseer was not assasinated but crucified in full public view & nobody believes any thing will be done to his murderer.He has done nothing but just criticized a law which politicians do aLL THE TIME anywhere. Your MP Sherry is in hiding.Under these circumstances any body who can speak up is certainly a hero. I know most of you who take part in discussions involving religion are doing under assumed names. She may not merit our time & energy as an artist. But why so much of shor & fatwas? It is because she is a woman who dares to challenge maulvis ,that she deserves our praise.”

And hence, mixing the issue of Blasphemy and Taseer’s murder with Veena Malik’s petty fatwas.

The same person went on to remark that:

” All the politicians & journalists are prostrating before mullas.she is the only one standing firm.I think she deserves nobel prize for bravery.”
Please here note the comment: SHE IS THE ONLY ONE STANDING FIRM.

And then this article in Dawn by Sana Saleem about Veena Malik representing the voice of the oppressed women of Pakistan. The tearful Veena  moved her so much that she

“I must commend Veena for standing her ground with such ‘grace.’”

” In a country where rape is justified, murderers glorified and women threatened by fatwas, Veena speaks for me and many others.”

And came the emotional write up   ‘Veena : the warrior Princess’   by   Saad Zubeiri       screaming  in bold letters:

“Veena Malik is my new hero. Really, she is. And not because she looked absolutely stunning (someone had to mention it!) on Kamran Shahid’s train-wreck of a show the other day.”

“Intellectual debate appears sexy to those deprived of such discourse,”

“You know, mufti sahab, after all said and done, I’d much rather have a “beghairat”actress who wears shorts and hugs kaafir men represent me and my country than pseudo mullahs who not only lie but go around issuing reckless fatwasagainst innocent men and women that get them killed.”

Yes Maheen, you may kudos her for what she did to the Mullah. It was a treat to watch for all of us, but then all the praises that were showered to her on your wall from ‘NOBEL PRIZE worthy, to being ‘INTELLIGENT. ‘COURAGEOUS’ artist, or THE ONLY WOMAN TO STAND UP TO THE MULLAH’ were frankly pretty distasteful.

And Sana Saleem, you may be considering Veena Malik as a CHAMPION OF THE OPPRESSED WOMEN  in Pakistan or in your own words ‘REPRESENTING YOU’,   I am sure Sania Saeed, Marina Khan do not endorse her as their representative. Neither would the really oppressed day to day common woman of Pakistan would want to be reperesented by her.

I wonder where was the ‘grace’  when she screamed at the top of her voice on the TV and if this drama  didn’t  work ,  started to shed briny tears asking for support from people for actions which she called was ‘her own agenda’. You conveniently missed mentioning this in you write up ma’am Sana.

Good lord! So much has our anger and hatred for Mullahs swelled that we have lost the judgement of good and bad. Whoever stands up against  Mullahs is  THE GREAT.

It’s like the enemy of our enemy is our best friend.

Anyone who confronts the mullah is a REVEREND

Have we stooped down to those depths that anyone who shouts two sentences at Mullahs gets to be the REAL CHAMPION while all those years of struggle by Beena Sarwars, Sherry Rehmans , Asma Jehangirs are left in the dark with no cheers to them. Suddenly has Veena Malik popped up on the scene with a ‘CHAMPION OF THE OPPRESSED’  label.

Probably if Sana Saleem is to be believed these stalwarts should pack their bags and join behind Veena Malik as their leader.

Let this be reminded to you,again,  Sana Saleem,  that she said in the program in so many words that she went there in BigBoss with ” my own agenda”. So let her defend  her own agenda. Why do you thrust upon her the agenda of all Oppressed women of Pakistan?  Please don’t  let your scarce emotional intelligence pull things out of proportions. Let her agenda be hers not ‘mine’.  I donot need her crutches to stand up on my liberal values or to pull my sisters out of oppression.

And if any one owns her as ‘me’ then please own all that is associated with her–the pea sized intellect,  the cheap publicity stunts, the scandals and the B/C grade Lollywood movies she represents.

Oh! But I get it now, Sana Saleem,  to be a champion against extremism with ‘grace’, one needs to scream extremely on the Mullah through the TV screen in Inglish. Yeah she is the real graceful  champion.

And Saad Zubeir: fine you find her stunning–as beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.  And yes I agree her screams and the briny tears did stun many a souls and even got the Mullah numb.

Intellect?  Which corner of the screen did the intellect hide–behind Kamran?  Mullah?  Veena? Oh, in the abundant bare flesh that was visible . You’re right sir.

And you say you will choose Veena  over the ghairat brigade. Sir, only beggars are no choosers, so you may be a beggar to choose from just  two lame options. I am not. I have my own several options to choose from which include neither Veena  nor the  Mullah. Good luck being a veena wannabe!

True, it is entirely her business to behave the way she wants on the Big Boss, and whatever brief clothes she wears, and to whoever guy she clings to. And that she will do what her aptitude will tell her to and that no one has any business to stop her from coming back to her homeland or even issue fatwa against her.

As much as Veena is hated in Pakistan, so is the case with Rakhi Sawant in India. So here the pathology doesn’t lie with the people or the TV anchor or the Mullah, but with the ‘lady’ in question.

Being a person who resides on both sides of the border, I am not just concerned about what stir she  has  created in Pakistan but also what image she painted of Pakistan in India, in the name of a Pakistani female artist.

In my personal opinion the much hue and cry all over, about Veena Malik painting a poor image of Islam and Pakistan through her performance in the Big Boss is, to some extent valid too, but for a totally different reason.

Knowing very well the psyche and the mindset of the average Indian urban Soap watching middle class who love such shows, it is certainly not her skimpy clothes or her flirtation or her clinging to the guys on the show, which paints a poor picture of Pakistan or Islam.

On the contrary it is the poor intellect, the Inglish speaking wannabe behaviour and the desperate attempts at showing off that she is cool or hot or whatever — is what makes her or other similiar Pakistanis the laughing stock in Indian households.

Indians in general don’t get to see much of Pakistani channels as easily as their Pakistani counterparts see the Star Plus etc.
Hence the only an average Indian household gets to see is Meera and then Veena Malik representing Pakistani TV artists. There is only a selective elite there who is aware of the likes of Sania Saeeds, Marina Khans etc

I wish some one more appropriate  had represented a Pakistani female artist  in the Big Boss and boosted the ratings of this poorly  imaged  country the way Shilpa Shetty boosted the image of  Indian artists after the British version of it.  She emerged out of it as the ‘Indian Princess’.

And then just moments ago, another person on Maheen’s wall comes up with the real answer and sums up the whole drama beautifully in few words:

“She never stood against extremism, she is only protecting herself. we dont need to make wrong ideals.

And we dont need to stand behind wrong people for the right reasons. I don’t need opportunists like veena to define my liberal values.”

Kudos to you ADIL NAUSHAD for making that observation.

Ilmana Fasih
22 Jan 2011.


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