A Death… Celebrated

18 Jul

“Fauzia Azeem, popularly known as Qandeel Baloch killed by her brother in the name of honour killing.” The news did not come as any surprise. A world where girls are banished from society for using mobile phones for their own safety, this girl’s case would have been no different. “Might have run away with a boy or married with her own consent” were the first few thoughts that came to my mind.

But as I read more into it (thanks to FB posts flooding the news in the newsfeed), I started relating to her. To a person who never existed for me. To a person about whom I had never heard before and would have never known about , if she had not met such dramatic end. But I related to her. An Indian girl having a decent nine-to-five job with supporting family and a company of liberal people both inside and outside the family related to a Pakistani girl known for the bold and sassy avatars, having no real family (although on papers having two) and a company of conservative idiots. I related to a girl accused of filthing the society and culture. I related to a girl who was being continuously shamed for what she did in her personal and professional life. I related to a girl who boldly made life choices. I related to a girl who was married at 17, abused by her husband, with a mother of a child. The society made her Qandeel Baloch and then it wanted her to become Fouzia Azeem again. I related to the Kim Kardashain of the East and the Poonam Pandey of Pakistan. I related to a girl on whose death, rejoiced many including women. I related to a girl whose acts were condemned by the same people who would have watched her “uncultural” videos behind closed doors. To criticize an act, after all, you have to witness it.

But, I related to her brother also. I am nowhere justifying the killing. But, he is not the only man in this world to have such a mindset. He is the guy we all have met. He is the guy we might have been friends with. There is nothing inherently wrong with the guy. He is just the mirror of our society. How many times have you been stalked on social media and did not tell your family, just because they will interrogate you first and put the whole blame on you? Many a times, I guess.  This girl did not let anyone rule her, but in our society only a man can rule. The problem is not with the man, its with the society. Many would say that his sister made a choice to bring dishonor to the family and he chose to teach her a lesson. He could have left her, disowned her, but he didn’t. Instead of accusing him blatantly, we have to observe his state of mind. In one of his statements, he said that it was like choosing between suicide and her killing. The societal pressure he was facing should be taken into consideration. He is not a murderer. He is a victim of society’s hypocrisy.

 

You came as Fouzia Azeem, you left as Qandeel Baloch. Your life made a point, and death made many. You are a true celebrity because now even after your death, you are taking over internet by storm and the haters still cannot ignore you.

Rest in peace, wherever you may find it.

 

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