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Controversial immunity- a case of hypocrisy

A couple of years ago, an advertising board was set up near where I live, depicting a woman baring her arms, back then, sleeveless dresses were still part of the elitist imaginations and very few embodied it in public or at least to the young teen I was, there were very few people outside our family who ‘displayed themselves’ so openly. My father strode upto the local authorities and requested for it to be removed, stating the logic that if it was not to be done so, very soon our society would grow immune to almost anything that contradicted the cultural or perhaps religious norms we have been taught to follow.

I relate this neither because my father was/is an extremist pseudo-pious go getter nor because I believe it is his or my onus to judge people on how they dress, walk or talk, but only because what he said eventually came true. First it was the arms, then it was the ankles followed by the bare flesh on the stomach and after that, anything and everything that could prove how flashy and alluring you’d look, not because people respect you for what you wear or choose to display, but for the mere intentions of commercial businesses.

And in it strides the ongoing furor over a renowned artist Hamza Ali Abbasi. Now since I have never watched any of his dramas or movies, and have no insight on perhaps any dramas/films in the subcontinent, I can say without any bias that the limitless criticism being thrown at this guy, is a little too much. I came across his statements a little over a year ago when, like typical teenagers my friends were drooling over the hottie in ‘Pyaray Afzal’ and went aggressively ahead to like his official page from my profile. Since I am clueless regarding drama serials, I can not vouch for his acting skills but the social issues he raised in his updates were what I’d say tantalizing.

The recent of which became his verbal opposition of item numbers. Now since I barely watch movies and have never come across any Pakistani or Indian movies, I was unaware of this apparently necessary feature in our everyday films. But once I searched it up, I was horrified to observe what a great amount of people in our society not only watch it and condone it, but go out of their way to encourage it. Now I do not question what you watch behind closed doors but on a social portal that reaches out to a wide array of people, such a great projection of conflict between our films and our culture is startling indeed.

From the research I could muster, I found out this originated in India and was later transferred to a couple of countries worldwide, this unnecessary display of bodily gestures that not only sexualizes the audience in unimaginable ways, but also entrances them to perform the unthinkable crime; rape. According to a recent survey, these item numbers have so negatively effected societies that rape becomes the only solution for many. In countries, such as India, the UK and the USA, where nudity and sexual acts are lauded and widely shown on television and cinema screens, the rape numbers have skyrocketed while countries with restrictions such as the Saudi state or parts of the Middle east, these numbers are relatively lower.

And so I come to the point, like I hinted in the beginning, must we wait for a time that we grow immune to such portrayals or let people of influence namely stars like Hamza Abbasi from the same business shed light and starkly oppose and criticize these ‘addictions’ so we can not only forbid our society from growing increasingly and unnecessarily sexualized but also to walk upon the thin line of cultural and religious basics that we’ve set firm since as long as we can remember.

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