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PM Khan, Bollywood and Hollywood are not causing divorce in Pakistan

PM Khan, Bollywood and Hollywood are not causing divorce in Pakistan

Mehreen Zahra-Malik

During a talk with YouTubers and bloggers at his Bani Gala residence in Islamabad, PM Khan claimed that Bollywood and Hollywood movies were the cause of the rising divorce rate in the nation.

In the video that has been making rounds on social media, the former cricketer is heard saying “The audience in Pakistan which consumes content from Hollywood and Bollywood does not realise how much of a threat it is to our civilisation,”

He further added, “This vulgarity and permissive culture is directly impacting our family system.”

Why is this problematic?

Although there is no doubt that media has a huge influence on our mindsets and the shape of society, it is a stretch to claim that these movies are threatening civilisation as a whole. Today, the Western civilisation is the most progressive, powerful and successful civilisation in the world socially, economically and politically. Therefore, it is worth questioning whether we should be so scared of taking influence from the most dominant and succeeding society in the world.

Distracting from real issues

Pakistan is no stranger to immense and continual social problems. The list of issues that plague our society is long, with each one more dangerous than the other. For this reason, it should be the priority of the government to attempt to solve these issues not just with short-term solutions that can offer effective benefits and results to families immediately, but also with long-term ones that can help in the prevention of these problems from either forming or persisting. In order to do that, however, an intensive campaign of research and advocacy is needed to identify the grass-root reasons for these deep societal problems.

By placing the blame for our societal issues on external factors, particularly those that have no relevance to Pakistan, we are stripping ourselves of the opportunity to improve our conditions for the greater benefit of those who are constantly suffering. In any facet of life, be it personal, professional or on a national or international scale, improvement can only come from within after honest and critical insight and acceptance of where we’ve gone wrong. In the case of Pakistan, it is ludicrous for the Prime Minister or any other political official to say with good conscious that if Hollywood and Bollywood movies were banned, this would cause any direct benefit to our society.

Inadvertently promoting censorship

What the Prime Minister may not realise by his narrow-minded comments are that he is subtly promoting censorship and banning in lieu of education and awareness. Historically, restrictions and censorships have never benefitted a nation or society. Rather, increased knowledge, awareness and education are paramount to the progression of democracy and society.

Moreover, these comments reflect a deep sense of insecurity and fear with attached to the maintenance of national interest. Pakistani society should not be so fragile that popular culture can lead to it’s deterioration and it is time we stop treating it as though it is.

What are the real reasons?

The real reasons behind the increase in divorce rates in Pakistan are dark and must be immediately addressed. One main reason is domestic abuse, a problem that has been plaguing Pakistan for years and is oftentimes justified by fundamentalists in the country. Domestic abuse, which is harrowing in and of itself, has the tendency to spiral into death and in the case of families from lower socio-economic backgrounds, it oftentimes does.

Additionally, infidelity is another reason that divorce rates in the nation are on a rise. Extra-marital relationships have become more commonplace among couples, particularly with men, and the justification for multiple wives under the guise of religion can result in intense resentment, distrust and unhappiness in a relationship.

Another not so negative reason for the rise of divorce rates in Pakistan is the increased empowerment of women. Due to the rise of social movements from the West spilling into Pakistan, women are becoming more and more aware of their rights and what they can and cannot tolerate. Although the net result being divorce may paint this in negative light, the reality is that increased awareness and education among women is giving them the confidence to leave abusive and loveless marriages. In addition to this, more women in the workforce means that women have more money and resources to pursue divorce which can at times become a necessity, particularly in the case of abuse.

For these reasons, PM Khan should re-evalute his words and be mindful of the message he is spreading among impressionable, Pakistani youth. If we are ever to progress as a nation, we need to took an honest and hard look at the roots of our issues and address them in an effective manner.

Keep up to date with more news at ProperGaanda: Why some people choose not to attend their high school reunions


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