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An Allegedly Blaspheming Former Rockstar

Rockstars have a tendency to say things they would rather not. The average depiction of a Rockstar is construed as a rebel from society speaking about unorthodox concepts, which sound like mere gibberish to the average fellow. Pakistan has a fair share of stars from the music industry but very few have really made it big. The one in particular who did has a tale too interesting to ignore.

Who wants millions when one could make billions? Who wants thousands of fans when one could have hundreds of thousands? Who wants the lifestyle of a musician when one could live like a tycoon? Who would want to be judged when one could himself be the judge? The political and material gains amassed by the people who use religion as a money making machine cannot be denied. Undeniably one would expect such people to carefully analyze everything they say relating to faith but sometimes, a Rockstar can only be too careful.

It is claimed that a particular Rockstar turned religious enigma has caused offence to a certain spectrum of the society by talking a little too casually about a dignified religious personality. Some would go to the extent of labeling this minor episode as something to do with heresy. Most of us however are still waiting to see how this escapade unfolds.

Perhaps for the first time, we have seen a sudden shift in the narrative of certain elements, which constitute the religious right wing. Last time I heard, any remarks made against esteemed religious personalities were punishable by death according to the religious right. This is always true when the victim/accused belongs to a minority religion or a weaker sect. It is especially true when the accused belongs to an impoverished background. However, it ceases to be true when the accused is a billionaire with friends among the religious elite.

It seems stupendous when the role is suddenly reversed and the victim is one of the ‘brothers’. A poor Christian woman victimized due to a personal dispute. Forget about it. A Christian couple burnt to death. Who cares? An Ahmadi grandmother and grandchild brutally murdered? So what? There is no forgiveness for them. Perhaps it because they did not support a beard measuring more than one foot. Or maybe it could be because they did not have the right connections or because they did not have enough resources to defend themselves and thus were left to the unforgiving nature and brutality, which is cherished by some of our citizens.

The word ‘irony’ does not do justice to this particular dilemma. This whole charade maybe surprising to the majority but if one analyses this former Rockstar extensively, it would not be long before one finds the traces of hidden misogyny and hints of the lack of common sense. Previously, an issue was raised when this Rockstar advised all believing men never to teach their wives how to drive. When asked about the women who have no male guardian, the Rockstar shrugged off the host by saying that he would not entertain any ‘hypothetical’ situation. Of course, in the world of the Rockstar, each and every woman was taken care off financially by the pious believing men. However, we are not living in that fantasy. We are living in a world where this Rockstar is accused of a crime, which could very well result in a heinous retaliation in the form of extreme violence and intimidation.

If only the Rockstar had taken a moment to rethink his prior follies in that argument. It is hard to understand why a man was so enshrined in his ideological contempt for the other gender that he did not even spare the women he was supposed to respect as a religious duty. Rationality is bitter when it is first tasted but one gets used to it after some time.

It is condemnable how certain groups are taking out their personal vendettas from the Rockstar by trying to make this a political issue or an issue between religious sects or a conflict between different enterprises. It is crystal clear that this Rockstar had no intention of hurting the sentiments of anyone, in fact the people among the crowd were laughing. It is unfortunate that the curse of blasphemy has not even spared a revered religious personality but it is pertinent to note how this issue is being misused.

It is my request to the citizens of this beloved nation to have a big heart and not Indulge in too much bigotry or hatred. No one is immune from a slip of tongue. It can happen with anybody. It should however be noted that this forgiveness should not be limited to a bearded celebrity but also for people who are voiceless and powerless. Is this really the land of the pure? Where blood lust is the order of the day and sanity is a domain left for another day?

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