Abrarul Haq's video of a preadolescent girl making roti sparks furor

Singer shared it is the 'right age' for training without specifying whether boys should be trained for the task too.

Entertainment Desk November 28, 2021

Just when the controversy surrounding Abrarul Haq's problematic take on mothers playing Baby Shark for their toddlers died down, the popular singer reignited the fire with another either misleading or problematic view that is demanding to be questioned.

Taking to the micro-blogging site, the Nach Punjaban hit maker shared a video of a preadolescent girl — believed to be his daughter — learning how to make roti. Alongside this he wrote, "Right age for the training," with a smile.

Now, several are calling him out for reinforcing patriarchal notions that make it obligatory for girls to learn and perform domestic tasks without ever enforcing or expecting the same from boys. In the comments section, a user shared a photo to remind the singer that "cooking and cleaning is a basic life skill, not a gender role."

When a user contested saying, "People could have enjoyed this tweet but no, feminism had to come in. My 4-year-old boy makes paratha for his breakfast every day and it's impossible to make him leave the kitchen," a netizen explained, "Good for your 4-year-old but I didn’t see Abrar posting [a video of] him training his son to make rotis. His son probably wasn’t trained for that. Stop trying to make it seem like there isn’t a problem."

But several fans continued to defend the Billo De Ghar crooner. A user argued: "There is absolutely nothing wrong with what Abrar has posted. I also made a similar video of my daughter and shared with the family. [Now] before you jump to conclusions, I love to cook."

While another fan felt that there was nothing wrong with a child wanting to emulate her mother. "Good for her. Making gol rotis is not oppression, unless imposed," they shared.

But the crux of the argument — stemming from the misleading tweet — as explained by a netizen remained that cooking and cleaning are life skills that everyone must acquire, irrespective of gender, to "become independent individuals and not liabilities. At what age should they learn [them] is a debate we can have."

Sociologist Nida Kirmani also took notice of the singer’s view and reminded him that, "For many South Asian feminists, making the perfect gol roti is symbolic of women’s oppression [because] it is the bar against [which] all women eventually get measured, regardless of their other skills and accomplishments. It is a monotonous task very rarely assigned to men."

A user also asked Abrar whether he knew how to make rotis too. "Hope your parents have trained you to make rotis that young as well. If not, they failed to teach you a basic survival skill."

Another reminded him with a jibe, "Now if you can [also] make a gol roti, that would be great. Remember, cooking and cleaning is not haraam for men."

One more simply wrote: "Train the boys too!" and we can't help but agree.

If the tweet did not mean to reinforce any patriarchal values, here's hoping Abrar makes it a point to also share a video of himself or his son cooking or cleaning. If not, then perhaps he can choose better words in the future to encourage parents to teach their children domestic tasks without associating or limiting certain tasks to a gender.

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