“Cry Havoc! And Let Slip the Dogs of War”. This immortal phrase of Julius Caesar has maintained its shine for over centuries and why not, for the phrase concisely withholds a volcano of human emotions. Joy, fury, vexation, belligerence and what not. Julius Caesar in this phrase incisively poured his heart out for what he had and what he was just about to achieve.
A while ago this phrase came to life in a country with little affection for either Caesar or Shakespeare as model turned singer Ayyan Ali was arrested at Benazir Bhutto International Airport Islamabad and many in this land of fortunes “Cried Havoc and did Slip Their Dogs of War”. In an infantry with little arsenal ‘tongue’ is a substitute for swords, horses, elephants and yes ‘dogs’, so all of us jubilantly let lose our tongues on that bloody immoral, unpatriotic yet ‘hot’ offender.
The moral baton of our society – the super sanctimonious media, which was then not busy lecturing us about the foreign policy dimensions vis-a-vis middle east, downloaded all the flashy Bollywood item songs like Kiun Paisa Paisa Karti Hai and Baby Doll Mein Sone Di and made exhilarating packages about the model to grab as much eye balls as possible. Tough Ayyan’s walk in a baseball cap and hoodie with Baby Doll Mein Sone Di in the background was enough to stick millions to the television sets yet a 5-minute item in the news hour was not enough to slake the lust of the masses. So then arrived the Sherlock Holmes styled “investigative journalism” which divulged it all. From ‘fresh’ juice the prison authorities had bestowed upon this Cleopatra to ounces she had gained in prison all was exceptionally sniffed and dug out by either our print or electronic media reporters but they were just not good enough to roll the heads and so came in the anchors or actually the anchor persons the most sparkling rubies of our media. No matter whether the talk show’s theme was terrorism, education reforms or national security, in about three to four minutes some thick mustache bobby would grin and say Sir Zara Ayyyyaaaannnn ki baat kar lein and good bye to the subject at hand. Beginning by the ‘disclosure’ that money belonged to Asif Ali Zardari, Lyari Gang War or some ex-minister, the fantabulous commentary went on to educate us how Ayyan Ali wooed wealthy goons to pay for her lips and nose job. In between Zardari and the Nose Job, some Maulana would tell us about how immorality is destined to meet destruction, some socio-economic growth advisor would conclude that unemployment is due to Ayyan and MMS fame Meera would tell us how she knew it all along that Models are involved in money laundering (by the way what became of poor Atiq-ur-Rehman’s kothi).
In the course of this captivating coverage and expert commentary ‘Chaska’ was at its maximum. With dailies printing headlines as Hussan Ki Devi Ki Naaz Bardarian and Ayyan’s Walk of Shame, the expert commentators on the television babbled Ayyan Phir Sirf …. Ki Tu Ladli Nahin Na, Ayyan Ki Chaal Ke Peche …. Ki Chaal Hai , Ayyan Ka Husn Phir Aur Kis Din Kaam Aye Ga and when on her latest hearing the model girl wore a burqa at the district courts a prophetic TV channel ran Allah Meri Tauba in the background and told us as of how two days in jail have brought this unethical creature to Sirat-e-Mustaqeem.
The logic of media pundits always seemed anomalous to me; for example why would Zardari the head of the ruling party in Sindh where him, his chief minister, ministers, advisors all use the VVIP lounge at Karachi Airport, where him and his chief minister get driven right up to the aircraft at the runway where his briefcases and hand bags are never subjected to inspection and where his grip remains firm at the system would give his beloved money to Ayyan Ali to be smuggled out of the country via Islamabad. But then of course where did the Surrey Mansion come from had Ayyan not laundered the money? What? The Surrey Mansion was bought in 1996 when Ayyan was about 6 or 7. Ummmmm, well Nazia Hassan must have laundered it then and so Zardari gave her Polonium 210 thus she died of cancer. Take That! Same troubles me with gang war criminals. Instead of using Hundi or Hawala, the established mechanisms of money laundering, why did they hand over their hard earned riches to Ayyan Ali but hell do we care whether there exists any case or not for what we seek out of Ayyan is Chaska and for that supply chain is working just fine.
I do not have time enough for either this hypocritical society, sexist good for nothing ‘analysts’ or third grade media for commenting upon them is nothing but waste of good time. Let them enjoy trending #SaveShafqat and #HangShafqat as we put all available skills into to play to demean, ridicule and dismantle Ayyan Ali, let us make as much cheesy misogynistic remarks as we can on this hot girl, let us hurl as possible abuses as we can in print and on-air, let us assure if she does walk free of those charges the despicable soul doesn’t have a life left.
In this struggle to cleanse the society of evil I do wonder where is my victims breed. In a country where no matter what fraud a lawyer commits his kith and kin are there to rally around him, no matter which buffalo injection a doctor injects into a child killing him, his tribe is there to protest for him, no matter how corrupt a clerk may be his flock flies with him in crisis, in this country there was not but a single feeble sigh for Ayyan Ali. The Fashion Industry as they now call themselves remained mum for the larger part. When asked by media to share their sentiments, pundits and fashionistas like Mohsin Sayeed, Sadia Khan and Tooba Sidiqqui make tongue in cheek remarks like “The whole Industry should not be blamed due to one person’s action” and “There are good and bad people everywhere”. None in this Industry stood up for a Labor of theirs. No one expects the sissy boys or social butterflies to have the guts of lawyers or doctors but puny voice of sane solidarity was not too much to ask for “We don’t think she is of the sort” “the trial must conclude the facts” or something. Neither a fan nor a pervert I still feel pity for poor Ayyan Ali for in the quest to join the Fashion Industry she joined but the Caesar’s Senate where every comrade holds a dragger beneath the robe ready to stab. With Maulanas, Ghairat-Brigade and nationalists already against this westernized unscrupulous Industry and with that amount of cohesion amongst the comrades, one wonders if the Fashion Industry is destined to meet the fate met by the Caesar’s Senate.