I saw the YouTube video of Neo News, Pakistan in which Khalil ur Rehman Qamar shamelessly abused Marvi Sirmed merely because she interrupted him and said ‘Mera jism meri marzi’. This infuriated him and he started uttering filthy expletives like ‘Tere jism par koi thookta nahi hai’ and ‘Tere jism mein hai kya’. Thereafter when she told him to shut up, he started uttering more abuses.
Uttering abuses is nothing unprecedented, but what greatly distressed me was the huge support this misbehaved reactionary boor Khalil ur Rehman Qamar has received in Pakistan, obviously because most people ( including many women ) in Pakistan are still feudal minded and are opposed to women’s emancipation and granting equality to women, which the recent Aurat March has demanded.
I myself believe that the slogan ‘Mera Jism Meri Marzi’ was wrong as it is susceptible to be misunderstood and could be equated to the glass of water theory which even Lenin had condemned. But Marvi Sirmed had clarified in the show what was meant by the slogan. She said ‘Aapki marzi ab hamaare jism par nahi chalegi’. In other words, men have no right to commit violence on women, and husbands cannot compel wives to have a large number of children.
It is true that Marvi interrupted Khalil ur Rehman when the latter was speaking, but interruptions are not uncommon in debates, which though irksome and annoying, is certainly no justification for losing one’s temper and indulging in abuse. Marvi never abused him. All she said was “Mera jism meri marzi’ and later “Shut up”, which, though a bit abrasive, is certainly not abuse. But these were his responses :
(1) He called her a bitch ( kuttay ki bachchi )
(2) He said no one will spit on your body ( Tumhaare jism par koi thookega nahi )
(3) He said ‘Tere jism mein hai kya’ ( what is there in your body? )
(4) He called her ‘Ullu ki patthii’, ‘behaya’, and in another show called her an elephant ( haathi )
(5) He said “Teri aisi ki taisi”
(6) In another show he said of Marvi “She does not fall within the definition of woman”
(7) In response to her words “ Shut up “he said “ You bloody shut up”.
Is this the language a gentleman should use ? Everyone commits mistakes, but a gentleman is one who realises his mistake and apologises. But Khalil ur Rehman Qamar has refused to apologise, and he has been applauded by a huge number ( probably the majority ) of people in Pakistan ( though no doubt some have condemned him too ).
I have only two comments to make in this connection about this episode :
1. There is something wrong in Khalil ur Rehman Qamar’s upbringing, since he can obviously not distinguish between proper and improper language
2. The majority of Pakistanis are still feudal minded, and are opposed to women’s emancipation and granting genuine equality to women