Veena: Warrior princess
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.
My newfound respect is not just due to the fact that I have become a fan of her self-confidence and cool, laid-back personality over the last couple of months, but because she is the only person in Pakistan’s ultra-holy green-tinted limelight right now who isn't afraid to say it like it is.
She’s bold, honest and pretty straightforward, which is something I can’t say for many Pakistanis out there. Sad, I know, but true. We’re all busy being pathetic and jealous and confused, while this woman has, as a friend aptly pointed out, displayed something lacking from not only our so-called saviours but the country at large: balls.
What about TV ratings?
You won’t get any brownie points for guessing just how disappointed I am with the way people who instead of owning her success in India’s highest rated television show, are dissing her because of things that are essentially none of their business. But then, who are we to object because this is what makes for good TV, right?
Cornering a strong, resilient woman and bombarding her with extraneous allegations will surely ‘up’ the ratings a notch or two…and it’ll be great for the show if she cries and smudges her makeup, so let’s work on that as well.
Intellectual debate appears sexy to those deprived of such discourse, but let’s not forget that even such discussions have the potential to turn deadly these days, especially in our dangerously volatile society. Have we forgotten how just three weeks ago, Governor Salman Taseer was assassinated in broad daylight by a man who thought he was doing Allah a favour by ridding this holy country of a man who had only a few days earlier been declared wajib-ul-qatl?
Everyone cashed in on the hullabaloo; hundreds of articles and blog posts were written and dozens of talk show hosts toyed with Mr Taseer’s remarks to spark further controversy and awaken the inner jihadi of every potential mullah in the country. The result: a human being—father of seven and a source of income for hundreds of Pakistanis, mind you—was shot twenty-seven times and left in the middle of a road in the country’s capital.
Think before you speak… or else
In retrospect of the horrific incident, I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that the entire fabric of society needs a revamp. Things we mistakenly thought we were mature enough to say and discuss openly must still remain on the hush-hush, lest someone totally lacking the capacity to comprehend an argument or respecting another viewpoint but with access to cable TV and an ear for warped religious interpretations of manic mullahs and overexcited anchors should take offence and decide to embark upon the holy mission of protecting their religion and morality.
Veena in danger
Veena could very well be in danger and should take a vacation from Pakistan for a while. Who knows, somewhere some bigoted saviour of all the goodness Pakistan is basking in these days might be fuming with rage at her bold arguments which ricocheted all the bland allegations being fired against her by the hypocritical mufti and all the people who are undecided whether they want to ogle at her or denounce her un-Islamic ways.
Showing the mufti who’s boss
My respect for Veena has gone up sizably after the Frontline episode, and I will strongly back her until the mufti comes back on television and convinces me otherwise by answering all the questions put forward by Veena.
If anyone should make a public apology, it's the mufti who had the audacity to declare her “beghairat” without watching the show. What does Islam say about that? According to the guy, he hasn't even seen what Veena Malik looks like. Just how endearing is that? Last I checked Islam wasn’t big on lying your way out of sticky situations or bold rhetorics by someone who isn't afraid of answering back.
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 fatwas against innocent men and women that get them killed.
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