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Before Banning Sahir Lodhi, Look At Your Own Mehndi!

Catering to our hobby of being offended by the slightest hint of “ghairat” issues, we the Pakistanis have hit a new peak with our latest cause of offense. It is quite an accurate reflection of how people can choose to ignore the age-old saying of “when you point a finger at someone, there are three pointing back at you”.

A private channel recently launched a dance program for kids, with Sahir Lodhi as the host of the show. To my surprise, the program has received severe backlash from the Pakistani ‘ghairat brigade’ who is arguing that this show is portraying children inappropriately and how such acts go against the so-called culture of this country.

Firstly, it is unsettling that the ‘ghairatmand’ Pakistanis fail to acknowledge that they along with their children, had made it a daily activity to watch Indian dance shows, like Boogie Woogie and Nach Baliye, which featured all kinds of “inappropriate” dancing. However, that didn’t stop them from eating popcorn while they rated other kids over their “lachak” (flexibility).

The second and the biggest hypocrisy that is facing the offended Pakistanis in the face is how we hold our own dance shows in the name of mehndis and dholkisWe have no issues when our children and adults are encouraged to dance in front of hundreds of people whose intentions are not transparent.

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The hypocrisy extends to such an extent that children who can dance naturally are often praised by family members for being good dancers and making the family proud by dancing in the center of the stage. The poor souls who cannot dance as well are either moved to a corner or constantly ridiculed over their lack of “thumka” and coordination.  Moreover, the bride and the groom are encouraged to embark on their new journey with their first dance together as a married couple and the parents, uncles, and aunts are all encouraged to dance and are considered worthy of applause if they’re able to impress the crowd at their age.

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How can we as a nation demand a dance show ban, that merely displays our love of dancing? Our dislike for the host due to his previous issues with the media does not justify the current backlash against his show. If the show is intolerable, maybe it is time for some self-reflection where we look at our own ‘cultural practices’ before pointing fingers at others.  What children see at home routinely has a greater impact on them and should perhaps be a bigger concern for the parents than a TV show that is only portraying what is otherwise acceptable on many social occasions.

 

This post was contributed by Eman Lakhany

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