Abrar ul Haq’s latest ‘Baby Shark’-inspired song is just a bad boomer joke

Music video for 'Begum Shak Karti Hai' features Saba Qamar in the role of a suspicious wife


Entertainment Desk October 28, 2021

What do misogyny and Baby Shark have in common? Abrar ul Haq likes to use both to help him restart his music career. Whether it’s a failed attempt at satire, a final-ditch effort to revitalise a dying career, or a genuine effort to make music, there’s one thing for sure, Abrar ul Haq needs to rethink his strategy. The singer-turned politician became an example of what not to do when trying to become relevant again, with his newest release leaving the singer’s intentions and musical prowess questionable at best.

Begum Shak Karti Hai, Abrar’s latest offering, follows the tune of the superhit children’s song Baby Shark. The music video of the song, which quickly went viral following its release due mainly to its absurdity, features Saba Qamar as a suspicious wife going to extreme lengths to catch her husband in the act, who is ultimately revealed to be sneaking around only to plan a surprise party for her. From scanning her husband’s clothes with a magnifying glass to straight-up electrocuting him after assuming he’s been unfaithful, the song plays up the often regurgitated tropes of the unnecessarily controlling and suspicious wife, as well as the unconditionally loving and innocent husband, both of which are often used as fodder for unfunny boomer jokes.

The song starts off with the message, “Dedicated to all those who are too much married.” When sharing the song on Twitter, the singer referred to such men as “run mureed,” a negative way of referring to men who let women take charge. As expected, the song was widely-bashed on social media on its plagiarised tune, harmful themes, as well as Abrar’s hypocrisy in using Baby Shark as his tune of choice.

Social media users criticised Abrar’s peddling of harmful stereotypes, with one user tweeting, “Absolute loathe the term 'run mureed'. There is no such thing. Wives are disproportionately devoted to their husbands for life. If husbands reciprocate the same it won't deprive them of manliness.”

Several people pointed out the hypocrisy of Abrar’s decision to use Baby Shark, a song that he has criticised openly in the past, as well as the absurdity of using a children’s tune to further misogynistic stereotypes. A tweet on the matter read, “Never thought Baby Shark would be used as a double-edged sword for the cause of misogyny: easily usable to villainise mothers and also good enough to steal to make a song about a harmful and overly done gender stereotype.”

Pointing out the outdated nature of the ‘comedy’, a user wrote on Twitter, “Song version of a bad ‘wife joke’ - reinforces the most regressive, sexist ideas and is also embarrassingly unfunny.”

Another tweeted out, Abrar ul Haq ko sharam choo kay nahin guzri [Abrar ul Haq has no shame]. First made fun of mothers singing Baby Shark to their infants, now made a rip off Baby Shark to make a song about most cliche Desi wife jokes.”

A former fan of the singer requested Abrar to be more careful about the messages he is sending out, with concepts such as that of the run mureed encouraging toxic masculinity. They tweeted, “As a child who grew up listening to you, may I respectfully say that making such songs (even for fun) only reinforces the societal ridicule that a man who takes proper care of his wife (which she deserves) is a 'run mureed'. This, apart from the fact the tune is extreme cringe.”

Several users, who grew up listening to songs from the singer’s better days, expressed their disappointment in the singer’s musical trajectory. Another former fan humorously tweeted out, “Die a hero or live long to see yourself become a villain.”

On how Pemra’s priorities tie into all this, a user asked why consensual acts of romance are not allowed on television, while content that propagates regressive stereotypes plays freely. They wrote, TV pe hugging etc wegaira sab bnd kardo par ye toxic masculinity ka display on rakho [Shut down anything with hugging on television, but allow this display of toxic masculinity to air without consequences].” Previously, in an official document, Pemra has asserted that no “hug/caress scenes” should be aired since, according to the directive, they go against the teachings of Islam and do not depict a “true picture of Pakistani society.”

Earlier this year, during a speech at a PTI convention, Abrar asserted his distaste for the children’s song. The singer said, “When we were kids, our mothers chose to recite the Kalima while holding us to their embrace, today's mothers, however, play Baby Shark and hand their cellphones over to their kids…"

The Preeto singer was widely criticised for his remarks, with former model Nadia Hussain tweeting out, “How did you go from listening to the Kalima in your mother’s lap to belting out Nach Punjaban and Billo de Ghar.” Whether Abrar’s latest offering is an attempt to reclaim the narrative or hop on the trend in hopes of a hit, the only thing the singer’s outdated comedy succeeds at is making his audience cringe.

 

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