OPINION: So Yasir Hussain kissed Iqra Aziz on the cheek–get over it…

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Before I begin my piece, let me state for the record–I’m really not a fan of Yasir Hussain. I think he’s an unimpressive comedian and to make matters worse, his jokes are crass. If your jokes are crude and they lack the potency to even induce laughter, you really have no business being a comedian. There, I said it.

However, surprisingly enough, I’m writing this piece to defend the comedian and his fiancée (a much decent actor compared to him) Iqra Aziz. The couple are yet again in the eye of another social media storm–ignited the second Yasir went down on his knee, proposed to Iqra at the LSA 2019 and after getting the nod, hugged and kissed her.

Kissed her on the cheek, that is. However, even that in Pakistan was treated like a scene from an adult movie. All hell broke loose on social media, especially Twitter. People told Yasir and Iqra to keep the PDA to themselves and not get too comfy in public. Others slammed Yasir for not controlling his feelings for Iqra and subjecting her to embarrassment at the awards.

However, I think the two should be given a break now.

Now, don’t get me wrong–I do stand by our values and would rather have Public Displays of Affection (PDA) be confined to private quarters. However, it doesn’t bother me to the point that I have to go on social media and rant and rave about it for hours on end. Why are we Pakistanis so afraid of a few pecks on the cheek, that too, delivered with consent?

Indians have popularized this phrase a lot–“In India, you can piss in public but not kiss in public” and I think that is the same for Pakistan. The phrase doesn’t call on people to start kissing each other in public but it mockingly points out how in this part of the world, expressing love physically is considered a taboo while urinating in public is not.

Guys (and I’m talking to the Pakistani social media users here now) we have got to learn our priorities. There are tons of other issues to go Jack Nicholson on. One celebrity giving another a peck on the cheek should not rile you up. You’re obviously allowed to laugh at it, make a few jokes or memes (hell, everyone loves memes) but don’t start attacking people on social media for it. Allow human beings to be human beings for a change–flawed and imperfect. Refrain from being the moral police, for once, and focus on other issues as well.

That is the problem with the way digital spaces are used worldwide in general and Pakistan in particular. We are calling each other out too much and measuring each other to the standards we don’t fulfill ourselves.

You’re obviously allowed to express your opinion or sentiments on whether what Yasir did was right or wrong but don’t go overboard with it. Don’t get personal and don’t start abusing people. Cyber bullying is real and when it doesn’t culminate in someone ending his/her life (God forbid) it has disastrous effects on mental health. Have a heart.

Zarrar Khuhro said it best with this thread:-

There are a thousand other ways we can spend our time productively on social media. Mufti Menk’s Twitter account is a beautiful example. Bashing people incessantly and abusing them for these acts is not the way to go. Present your arguments in an acceptable manner and express them decently. No one has the right to be abused.

Again, we need to find better, more productive ways to use social media in Pakistan. Believe me, you can be doing a lot more than slut-shaming Mehwish Hayat on her Instagram comments section for wearing jeans and a sleeveless top. I mean, is that the best we can do now?

All the best to Yasir and Iqra. Hopefully, marriage with Iqra will sober him down a notch and we hear less of his insensitive, crude jokes taking aim at someone’s acne or making light of child abuse.

p.s. The author is not working for a Jewish or American lobby, furthering their ‘liberal agenda’. He just wishes Pakistanis would rather use social media for productive uses and not call each other out all the time. Peace and blessings to all.