Yesterday, marked the 76th year of Pakistan’s birth. Like every other year, this time also scores of men came out to sing, dance, enjoy and celebrate. However, there was one particular dance performance that seemed to offend almost the entire nation- and was strangely enough almost immediately condemned as a ‘mujra’.
The incident arose at the main ceremony being held at Jinnah Convention Centre to celebrate Independence day- where the public got riled up over a dance performance given by a group of men and women dancers present at the event.
Mujra on a State Level in Islamic Republic of Pakistan? 🤔
Although there nothing new. It’s been going on for the last 75 years in front of the foreign tamaashabeens by traditional baawardi, a few baawazo & & almost all political Tawaifs. pic.twitter.com/sScWoVSldf
— Jahangir Sartaj, MD, MPH, MSc. (@JahangirSartaj) August 14, 2022
The Pakistani public seemed to have taken offense over the participation of women in the festivities- because thousands of such dances take place, even over roads- in all parts of the country- but no offense is ever taken as the ones rejoicing and celebrating are all men!
Within hours, the clip of the dance video went viral on social media inciting a public outcry. The irrational public reactions varied from people calling out the coalition government for “shameful conduct”, people calling the event an “insult to our Independence Day”, and many blatantly condemning the dance performance as being a “mujra”.
Religious scholars, politicians and the average social media user-literally everyone seemed to have something to say about the dance performance- and most of them had nothing but criticism for the government for featuring the performance at the Independence Day ceremony.
Sadly, even at age 76 it seems Pakistan is still miles away from affording its womenfolk with any ‘freedom’ or ‘Independence’. We seem still to be caged by the shackles of patriarchy, gender discrimination and outright injustice- and ‘independence’ still seems like an idea that is yet to be imagined- let alone achieved- for the women of Pakistan!