Veena Malik’s stint on the popular reality TV show, Big Boss, may have been condemned for its extreme notoriety but it will always be remembered as a courageous testament to the absurdity of our clerics.
Over the last few weeks, we have heard painfully consistent diatribes on how Veena Malik is a potential threat to cherished Islamic values simply because she goes larking about in skimpy outfits with male contestants – that also on ‘Indian’ television. From the intimate moments shared with counterpart, Ashmit Patel to the occasional display of coquetry, Veena’s behaviour has been viciously scrutinized. She has come to personify a “woman of loose character”.
But vulgarity is too strong an allegation against Veena, particularly if it is hurled at her from the more broad-minded sections of society who have followed suit from the clergy. After all, of the many prerequisites involved in keeping an open mind, accepting a miscellany of facts and narratives is the most important. And if this is understood successfully, the ‘liberals’ would realize that Veena Malik is a representative of no one but her own conscience. What she does and what she doesn’t do is no one’s business other than her own. So why create such a furore over something has to be dealt with in an individual capacity?
The clerics are bound to make hypocritical assertions about her behaviour simply because it is at variance to Islamic precepts of decency. But on a more logical note, why is it that some Islamic ecclesiasts are condoning the Taliban and then pouring scorn on Veena’s ‘moral weaknesses’ when the latter has neither committed a federal crime nor adversely affected the workings of the State? Doesn’t the Taliban onslaught threaten our global image more strongly than the antics of a woman who hails from a society suspended between external westernization and frustration?
Whatever the verdict may be, it is important to place issues in the right context. We cannot disguise the key issues that plague our society under the garb of morality. As new insight unfolds, our society will experience drastic changes that will consequently affect the socio-political climate. With the presence of bastions like Salman Taseer and Sherry Rehman who have even-handedly tried to preserve the image of moderate Islam, change now appears inevitable. All we have to do – collectively, and not tiny pockets – is to embrace it with the assurance that our Islamic values are too entrenched too be easily compromise.