Qandeel Balooch was the princess of Pakistani social media. She epitomised Cosmopolitan’s term – fun, fearless, female. Qandeel was a sensation and an inspiration to all freedom loving people. While not a role model she is to be exalted for her valour and her joie de vivre.She was a famous Punjabi entertainer and media personality.
Qandeel was not her real name. She was born in a village near Multan. Her family had little money but 9 children. She wed at 17 and had a child. She was obliged to marry a man of her parents’ choosing. Her parents must have thought they were doing the right thing. Arranged marriages are the norm. Her loveless marriage soon broke up.
Qandeel dreamed big. She moved to the city and started to post videos on social media. Her screen allure and bubbly person soon caught the public eye. She was stylish and musical. She was a talented dancer and a decent singer. She kept in shape and wore some very provocative outfits.
Qandeel was soon dubbed the Kim Kardashian of Pakistan. Miss Balooch was soon well known for her daring outfits. She posed for some very saucy pics. She entered Pakistan Idol. She also featured in a pop video doing a very raunchy dance.
Despite having millions of followers she remained anonymous. She was able to go around in a chador and keep her real name secret. Even I had heard of this courageous starlet who challenged the conceit and hypocrisy of pharisees. She spread glee and posed some very worthwhile questions. Why shouldn’t women be allowed to have fun in public?
In a Western country her antics would be considered just a tiny bit cheeky. She was a young woman who lived to dress glamorously, dance and sing. If she wants to gyrate and to celebrate her sexuality – good for her. In Pakistan her behaviour was risque in the extreme. Qandeel was the gadfly of some of the po faced people in her country.
Qandeel Balooch met a well known cleric from Multan. She had needled him on a chat show previously. This time she posed for a video with him and even wore his hat. She was puncturing the pride of the clergy. Some of the religious establishment can be very full of themselves. They forget the humility and public service that their calling is supposed to embody.
If there was anything wrong about her encounter with the imam surely the blame is more on the imam. He is supposed to be a paragon on virtue. He makes a very good living from claiming to be pure. It is for him to set an example of morality. Qandeel never pretended to be anything other than a good time girl. The man went around saying – look at me I am a good person. Mr Holier than than should be judged and not her. She committed no sin. Wearing a man’s hat with his permission is no crime!
In her video Qandeel unwisely revealed she was from Multan. A local newspaper soon discovered her true identity. Her real name was then printed. It was only a matter of time before she was tracked down. She began to receive death threats. She became petrified and unable to sleep. She held a press conference. She pleaded the government to provide her with security. Unfortunately she did not feel abroad. She could have claimed asylum somewhere like Sweden.
Qandeel’s sort behaviour can have grave consequences in Pakistan. By ”grave” I mean you can end up in the grave. Some men are affronted by her sexy dancing. The are vicious bigots who believe that the female body is disgusting and must be hidden. They savagely oppress women. Miss Balooch had the absolute right to do as she did. However, it was not advisable. She was not responsible for her death – she just made it more likely. If I am warned not to walk down a certain street at night and I walked down it and get mugged then it is not my fault I was mugged. I have simply made it more likely by being incautious. The muggers are at fault for committing the crime against me.
Her brother felt disgraced by her conduct. He felt she had ruined the family’s name. Ironically he was the one who strangled her. Allegedly he had three accomplices.
This luckless woman lived the life she wanted. She was valiant in struggling for her rights. She wanted to have a good time. God gave her her body. If she wishes to show it off then that is up to her. She never harmed anyone.
She is not to blame for her murder. I lament her death. The world is poorer without her.