People who have spoken to Mahira Khan know that she is a fiercely independent and a feisty lady who speaks from her heart.
My friends who have interviewed her tell me that she is a dream to talk to.
“She doesn’t shy away from speaking about anything. She is a strong independent woman. Whether it is feminism or the oppression of women in Pakistan, Mahira Khan is not somebody who will hold back anything from you. She will tell you what is there in her heart. Mahira doesn’t pretend to be a good girl,” says a friend of mine who has recently interviewed Mahira Khan.
It happens many-a-time that the PR of Mahira Khan comes running back with a request of editing an answer because she fears a backlash.
“It is not uncommon for the PR person of Mahira to get back asking us to censor her answers because she fears that Mahira has spoken more than what she should have,” my journalist friend adds.
All the hard work that her PRs have put in all these years went for a toss today when she was spotted in a white backless summer dress which hung much above her knees, taking a smoke break with Ranbir Kapoor on the streets of New York. Snapped by a passing taxi driver in New York, the pictures went viral on Whatsapp the night before.
Here are some of the pictures. Take a look. Do you find anything outrageous? NO?
Well, you must be an Indian then.
The Indian media was quick on its feet and soon the pictures got out on its pages and went viral. One of the entertainment sites also spotted a love bite in the middle of her back.
Everything seemed fine except for the fact that Mahira Khan was looking sick in those pictures, probably because she didn’t have any make-up on her face.
As the Indian nation woke up to the pictures and started talking about it on social media, the neighbouring country was having a total and absolute melt down.
The reaction was instantaneous — at first there was outrage.
Just outrage because early in the morning most Pakistanis couldn’t decide what should be the point of outrage — (1) Her backless short white dress that (2) revealed quite a bit of skin on her back, legs and (3) probably a love bite in the middle of her back, (4) the cigarette that was dangling in her hand or the fact that (5) she might be dating Ranbir Kapoor, a Hindu-Indian film star.
So, in the morning it was just about gaalis on social media from the Pakistani side. Some Pakistani people just started outraging on social media with a barrage of tweets and Facebook posts saying, ‘how could she do this?’ The ‘this’ part remained largely silent as I told you because there were too many ‘objectionable’ things in the pictures.
However, by afternoon, the gaalis became more vicious with some people even threatening that she needed to be killed to save Pakistan’s honour.
Thank God, both Facebook and Twitter reacted to those tweets and most of them were taken off the platform as they got reported in large numbers.
By afternoon, thankfully, her supporters invaded in full numbers from both sides of the border which also included prominent Pakistani celebrities like Ali Zafar who said that she is an independent woman and she should be able to lead her life the way she wants to.
This is what Ali Zafar posted on Twitter. A sweet handwritten note. Thank God for people like him!
As I write this blog, the outrage on social media rages on from the Pakistani side and the abuses seem non-stop and unrelenting.
Unlike other reporters, it is useless to curate the choicest abusive tweets for Mahira Khan from that section of Pakistanis. There are too many out there, probably in millions.
It’s like an unending stream of hate lava from a volcano erupting in anger.
Imagine if Katrina Kaif was spotted with a Pakistani actor in the same manner.
The gossip websites would have filled the atmosphere with the pictures (remember the famous holiday pictures with Ranbir Kapoor in a red bikini bottom and white brassiere?), the PR would have gone on an overdrive and everybody would have found one more salacious Bollywood gossip.
Nothing more than that largely. A small section may have outraged but they would have been too less to be even paid heed to.
But Mahira Khan is from Pakistan, so it is a different story. There hate and outrage seems to be the order of the day.
She is being slut-shamed, body shamed and even being issued death threats by a large number of Pakistani zealots — which is unthinkable in India.
So, since most of you Pakistanis have started hating her. Let’s discuss this…
Dear Pakistani bhai, stop shaming her and threatening her, you don’t deserve Mahira Khan. You don’t deserve a strong independent woman leading her life on her own. You don’t deserve a single mother, earning a decent living and living life on her own terms.
You perhaps need a subservient woman, covered from head-to-toe and one who is performing her religious duties religiously and listening to her husband listlessly.
Do something my Pakistani bhaiyyon, let her take Indian citizenship and see for yourself how we treat her like a princess. See how she can lead a life of a celebrity in India without being intimated and getting death threats like this.
You killed Qandeel Baloch, you lynched Mashal Khan… all in the name of religion. The list is endless and the shame is nowhere to be seen.
Let Mahira Khan come to India, work in Bollywood and stay in Mumbai.
She will be able to breathe feely here, which seems like an impossibility in a patriarchal and regressive country like your’s.
Mahira, we love you, kindly take an Indian citizenship and see for yourself what freedom is like.