Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of ProperGaanda.
Once again, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-insaaf leader, Imran Khan, is facing national criticism. His personal life was recently considered ‘news’ and discussed nation-wide. The fiasco led to Imran Khan admitting to proposing marriage to Bushra Maneka, a faith healer, on Sunday. However, at the same time Khan denied rumours that he had wed Maneka in secret.
The question at this point is not whether Khan proposed marriage to Maneka or not. The question is why as a nation we are so involved in the personal lives of public figures.
A while back, the nation seemed crippled when a picture of Mahira Khan smoking a cigarette in New York surfaced the web. And now, we cannot digest the fact that Khan seems to want to get married for the third time. The very fact that we are so unhinged by what’s happening in another individuals life is cause enough for worry.
Twitter, a pseudo-liberal haven of concerns and rants, has been used to discuss this so-called ‘issue’ to smithereens. Attached below are a few tweets that are unkind, to say the least:
Many people on Twitter have even resorted to attacking Maneka’s personal character (a picture of Maneka has not been included to respect her privacy):
Many argue that such a decision at a time when the country is going through more changes than ought to be considered beneficial, lacks tact and political insight. To them one could also say – the state of our nation is due to the same ‘tactful’ manoeuvres employed by our politicians for decades. If the PTI and Khan are at fault, it is because they lack a Public Relations representative who has been unable to spin this around in Khan’s favour.
Regrettably, Pakistan still suffers from polio. And patriarchy. A man is being called out for wanting to marry a woman in a country where women are openly objectified and their standing is reduced on a daily basis. In light of this event, for the sake of generating a headline, reporters have violated an individual’s privacy which borders on harassment. The frenzied media has created hype about an incident that does not belong in the news in the first place. Coupled with irresponsible reporting and conjecture, effectively provided more fuel to the fire.
A young Imran Khan at the 1992 Championship:
First there was Jemaimah, whom we loved because she was a foreigner. Then there was Reham Khan who we love to hate and considered a British spy (or a RAW agent). And now we have aimed our guns at Bushra Maneka, a mother and a divorcee. And in the midst of this all is a man, who was a brilliant cricketer and brought much fame to our country, and is yet to be tested out as a leader.
Question a politician on his policies, not his personal life. Because that is exactly what it is, personal.
This debacle touches on many issues, but the foremost remains to be what it reveals about us as a race. Corruption, dirty politics, bribery, scandals and mistrust have long plagued our government and our offices. But now, at a time when the cumulative voice of the people can be heard louder than any one person or party, we are at a precipice at which we must decide what truly defines us as a nation.
Before we throw shade at others, be it a politician, a small guzarish to all readers:
Kisi aur pe keechar uchalnay se pehle, apnay giray baan mein bhi jhank ke dekhlo.