Ever heard of the show Big Boss? Veena Malik, a famous Pakistani model took part in this reality show. That’s when the Pakistani media, full of ‘angels’ keen on enforcing morality in a country where people are judged by the length of their shalwars when they go to the mosque, went into a frenzy about Veena’s ‘unholy’ actions. A Maulana rebuked her on live television, talk show hosts questioned her for ‘selling the dignity of the Nation’, and parodies were made making fun of her perceived ‘love affair’ with Ashmit Patel.
On Express Tv on the Program Frontline Veena Malik broke into tears and launched a tirade against Mufti Abdul Qawi who criticized her for her convictions. The conservatives claimed it was all a drama and she had shamed the country. The liberals claimed she had stood for what she believed in and had practiced her freedom.
However even though Veena Malik was a brave woman few would have expected her to go even further. Photos of Veena Malik posing nude for the magazine FHM India hit the internet in December 2011.
While secretly in the country, at least some young men ogled her admiringly and some young women jealously, the media went into frenzy again. While everyone was busy criticizing her, A Twitter commentator Umair Javed said, “Pakistanis should make copies of the picture and bury it in their backyards to let their grandkids know some amongst us lived freely”.
Veena Malik too had learned from her past experiences and refused to take part in any talk shows where Mullahs could question her again. Veena Malik was probably the first Pakistani woman to pose nude for a magazine.
Veena Malik took all the attention because the entertainment sector in India is thriving but the one in Pakistan is not as powerful. When recently Mathira, another controversial figure in the Pakistani entertainment industry famous for her short clothes and morning exercises, posed topless for the magazine Fashion Diet Fortnightly, a Pakistani magazine. It came as another shock though it is still something not too well-known. Mathira is a famous feature of Vibe Tv and she used to host the show Love Indicator.
Both Veena Malik and Mathira have taken part in photo shoots that may never be acceptable to the conservative Pakistani public but they also prove a point. Trying to enforce something or force someone to do something never really works. It is surprising that even when the Taliban are bombing the country so ferociously, artists still do not fear doing what they want.
Publicity in India compared to Pakistan
Pakistani women are often condemned when they go to India and take part in photo shoots or in Bollywood movies but they are rarely condemned when they take part in bold Lollywood movies in their own country. Not that it is good for people to act like old grandmothers and poke their noses into everyone’s affairs. It’s just that there is a difference in the treatment of Veena Malik and Mathira.
Mathira’s topless shoot did not receive half the scrutiny Veena Malik’s received and it highlights the old problem. The influence Indian media has in Pakistani homes. Today, still Star Plus is one of the most watched channels in all of Pakistan.
What’s The point?
The point is no one knew about Mathira’s naked photo shoot because people rarely care about Pakistani media but they knew about Veena Malik’s photo shoot because they want to know about everything that goes on in India. For example Veena’s appearance in Big Boss gave her a great deal of attention but does anyone know about her work in the Pakistani entertainment industry?
The point of contention it seems is that Veena Malik went to India and why? This is the reason the media highlighted Veena Malik’s case so much rather than Mathira’s who posed for a domestic magazine. The question is are the artists to blame for going to India or are our own people to blame for giving the Indian entertainment industry so much attention? After all what makes the Indian entertainment industry famous? Pakistanis watching Indian channels and Bollywood movies does. Pakistanis have no one to blame for Pakistani artists going to India other than themselves.
Then another question? If Pakistanis are so glued to Indian cinema and Indian entertainment themselves how can they point fingers at the artists and models whose job it is to gain publicity and seek out the best paying contracts? Perhaps Pakistanis should correct themselves before picking on their artists.