Baaghi: Honour misplaced…
Ghairat, a concept still prevalent in Pakistan means honour; and it is this concept that has been misconstrued to the point that it has been to the detriment of people’s lives.
Having studied women’s rights and the patriarchal system in Pakistan, I was well aware of the types of injustices happening to women. Murders and domestic violence mostly committed in the name of honour; and the reasoning behind some of these killings- ‘our daughter refused a marriage proposal’ or ‘our daughter brought shame on the family for liking a boy’ or ‘my wife was disrespectful to my parents’.
Shocking? Ofcourse these statements will be shocking to hear especially living in the 21st century. I would like to make clear that in this short blog of mine, I do not wish to generalise about the people and defame a country I hold so dear to my heart. My reference is to the minority who hold conservative views and breach the code of ethics and morals. More importantly, Islam does not preach violence or harm to women, after all it was the last messenger of Allah- Prophet Muhammad PBUH that brought the message of being just and kind to all, especially women.
In 2015, I heard the news that Pakistan’s iconic social media star- Qandeel Baloch had been murdered by her brother in the name honour. I was shocked to hear the news because to me it was ‘another honour killing’ and typically my thoughts were ‘when will all of this end?’ However I did not know much about this iconic star to put into context how and why something like this had occurred. The young woman’s videos were going viral all over social media and inevitably those who disagreed with her behaviour chastised her.
My opportunity to learn more about this famous social media star came as a result of a Pakistani drama written by Shazia Khan called Baaghi- which means to rebel. She didn’t meet society’s ideals and Patriarchal system so she was considered a rebel. A real characterisation of the super star’s life was eloquently played by Pakistani actress Saba Qamar. The captivating acting by all the characters left the audience with shivers. Interestingly, Some of the events which took place in the iconic star’s life were events we didn’t hear about in the media. There are two sides to a coin but paradoxically, people and the media only choose to show one side.
The drama was very emotional to watch because it was based on true events. My thoughts throughout this drama were why is this concept of honour still rife that it has misplaced people from right and wrong? When will we drop the ‘log kya kahenge?’ Mentality (What will society think?).
Qandeel’s incident is one example out of many honour killings. How many have already taken place and how many more innocent women will be killed in the name of honour before society starts to differentiate between right and wrong?
‘Kaun ghairat? Kis ki ghairat?’
By Shaista Ali