KARACHI: It was a series of tweets by the two-time Oscar winner, film-maker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, that sent the social media into a frenzy last week and launched a debate on the contours of harassment.
Renowned actress Mahira Khan graced Geo News’ morning show Geo Pakistan today and shared her two cents on the subject which has been dominating the Pakistani social media landscape.
“If you have power to utilise a platform for good then you should,” said Mahira, opening up on the topic.
It is an open for debate whether it was harassment or not, but if someone raised their concern it should be paid heed to, said the Verna actress.
“A doctor who takes your info and then adds you on a social media platform is breaking a code of conduct…it is unprofessional,” said Mahira.
The actress, while speaking on the often harsh reactions on social media, said that if anyone thinks it doesn’t affect you, it does.
“Faceless people talking about things harshly, abusing you and your family does take its toll, no matter how famous you are,” said the actress, while terming such people ‘keyboard terrorists’.
The anchors also posed a question regarding her opinion on the way social media flips over certain issues, especially when it came to the controversy regarding her and Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor.
I learned a lot from the situation, reiterated Mahira, adding that the realisation later dawned upon her of her public standing.
Mahira Khan said that recently someone said something which resonated well with her: those who are a part of the entertainment industry, unfortunately, also end up becoming a source of entertainment for others.
“Please, I am an actor do not assume that of me,” said the actress, adding that she also realised through the medley of support and hate that people are important to her.
The actress appeared in the show to promote her upcoming film ‘Verna’, made in collaboration with ace filmmaker Shoaib Mansoor. Mahira made her debut in Mansoor’s stellar film, Bol.
Mahira reminisced that when she received the email from Shoaib Mansoor after six years since her debut film, she felt she was in the right direction in career.
“Shoaib Mansoor hardly calls or emails,” she said, adding when the director gets in touch it means something big.
Verna’s trailer was recently released, which revolves around how certain circumstances change a couple’s life completely. The trailer is all about power, politics, vengeance and violence.
Last week, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy posted on Twitter about a doctor at a private hospital who treated her sister and later tried to connect with her on social media.
Chinoy took to Twitter to share the story of her sister, Mahjabeen, who had gone to the hospital — one of the country’s finest — for a medical check-up but later received a friendship request on Facebook from the same doctor who tended to her.
She had said: “There are zero boundaries in #pakistan! Last night my sister went to AKU emergency & the doctor who tended to her tried 2 add her on FB 1/2.”
She remarked: “I don’t quite understand how doctor tending 2 emergency patients thinks it’s ok to take a female patient info & add her on FB! 2/2 unethical.”
She further said: “Unfortunately the doctor messed with the wrong women in the wrong family and I will definitely report him! Harassment has 2 stop!”
The incident has led to a polarising debate on social media, with some standing with Sharmeen while others disagreeing that the ‘friendship request’ constitutes harassment.