Veena Malik represents freedom of expression?

Last night we got to see Pakistan’s best and worst on TV. There was ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali on the grand finale of the music show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and then there was Veena Malik, the has-been wannabe – yes, she seems to be a veteran of wannabe-ing – who even in her moment out of Bigg Boss kissed the mirror she was gifted. There was a second’s poignant flash when she spoke about being tanha (lonely), but that is a personal aspect that one may or may not identify with. It isn’t even narcissism.

She IS black and white
 It is rather sad that only because some mullahs are baying for her blood due to her clothes and ‘open’ behaviour she has become a symbol for freedom of speech and an opportunity to take on the moral brigade. “This is not too dissimilar to the public floggings of the Taliban variety,” said one commentator. Really? Those women do not have a choice regarding what they wear and what they say. In Pakistan Veena would be doing precisely what she is doing now – and she has admitted so herself – and no one would notice.

I am afraid if some Pakistanis think this is the modern version of their country that they wish to hawk to India, whose film industry incidentally is being dissed for “commodification”, then they’d please prop her up in the salons of Karachi and Lahore. She has just declared that she will return despite the threats. So give her a hero’s welcome. I mean, do we want to hear stuff like she “has dared to participate in the famous and brainless Indian reality TV show”? She was considered powder-puff before she came on this show; all the newspapers had relegated her to the gossip genre on which she was feeding. Her appetite for this had been detailed in their media, and that was before the mullahs reared their beards.

In India she would be on par with any item girl performing in some small town on New Year’s Eve. Her attempts at being anglicised and modern were laughable, especially her language skills. She would try out PTV Urdu when it suited her and then shout out in English with a Multan-Manhattan accent. And just what was it about calling that other has-been ‘Ash-mit’. Since I started watching the show a few weeks after its debut, I had initially thought it was some inside joke, but when the host Salman Khan corrected her a few times, I knew this is how she pronounced it. Why is it so difficult for a Pakistani to say Ashmit? Does she refer to, say, an Ashfaque as ‘Ash-fack’? Does she say ‘ash-aar’ for ashaar (couplets)? Her local roots came through glaringly when she’d call Shweta ‘Shivaeta’.

If Pakistanis think that what we have is a “Bollywood circus”, then the likes of Veena Malik may only manage to be molls of the clowns. Anyone remember Meera?

It is understandable that she wants to grab eyeballs, and who does not on that show and in showbiz? But, I wish Pakistanis would realise that making such people into a cause to uphold demeans the women who wear what she does and are bold and brazen and go out and work. And, no, I am not making noises about the Hudood Ordinance here. Please, that is a separate and important issue. Clubbing it all with this drama-daasi (slave) - she has miles to go to become a drama queen - only reveals that otherwise sensible people too are getting so affected by this ‘failed state’ business that they’d latch on to anything that looks unIslamic. Guess what? She thinks she is answerable only to Allah!

And like that bikini contest winner, she too might talk about nationalism and taking a message of Indo-Pak peace. Thanks, but no thanks. We have our own mirrors and our own filthy ponds and our own pebble pelters. Where ripples are concerned, and much else, we are pretty self-sufficient.


  1. There are exceptional cases when ALL Pakistan’s (mullah, common man, secular, …) should be thankful to Indian people. Thanks Veena for creating history.

  2. Farhan:

    You are welcome...and did Veenaji get that hero's welcome? How will she create history? or did you mean become history before one can say poof?

  3. My apology. Let me rephrase. There are exceptional cases when ALL Pakistan’s (mullah, common man, secular, …) should be thankful to Indian people for voting her out of the show :).
    Every Pakistani that I interact with, regardless of school of thought, took Veena’s stay (because of her actiions) in BIG BOSS as national tragedy :). They all should be now thankful to Indian people.
    Thanks Veena for creating history.

  4. Ok, Farhan. I am surprised she stayed on that long.


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