Mehwish Hayat, the former ‘Billi’ of Na Maloom Afraad, is now the Gangster Guriya in Baaji. Directed by Saqib Malik, Baaji is the comeback movie of film star Meera. The trailer of Gangster Guriya, the item song, has sparked a controversy as soon as it was released for public viewing.
The core of the controversy is that bold lyrics, provocative dance and revealing costumes of this item number do not represent the culture of Pakistan.
The function of the showbiz industry is obviously to ‘show’ thats why it is called showbiz. If the showbiz people cannot put up a ‘show’, there is no point calling it showbiz industry.
Film, television or music do not necessarily have to stay true to the cultural roots they operate in. The primary purpose of a movie is to entertain rather than to teach or preach. Hollywood does not represent the culture of United States in most of its movies. Indian culture is not what we see in Bollywood.
The interesting thing about culture is that it is not something that people are forced to do or not supposed to do. Culture is what people actually do in a relaxed social environment. You cannot create culture in the bubble of fear, oppression and repression.
Mehwish Hayat does what she does best. She struck back at her critics in a tweet saying “To do these dance numbers has been my choice. As an actress and performer it is my job. As a woman I find my work empowering. Dance to me is aesthetically the purest form of art.”
Creative director and lyricist for Gangster Gurriya, Osman Khalid Butt also defended Mehwish in a tweet. He condemned the language used by a ‘social media influencer’. In another tweet he said “Please. It’s not too much to ask that you be civil in your criticism. No one is taking away your freedom of speech or your right to call out something you feel strongly against.”
Gangster Gurriya is composed by music director Taha Malik while Indian singer Sunidhi Chohan is the playback.
Packed with all the right ingredients, it remains to be seen how Baaji performs on the big screen. If it does, the credit will also go to Gangster Guriya for creating all the hype.