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THE thought itself may smack of fun: Musarrat Shaheen taking on Maulana Fazlur Rehman in a Dera Ismail Khan constituency is material for just as much lighthearted commentary as there was when the former actor and the maulana squared off in an election in 1997. Both, together with cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, lost. Now, again, some not so flattering nicknames which the JUI-F chief has been given in his political career have returned to fuel the imagination. Some of his unhappiest critics are bound to use the occasion to take their revenge, exploiting Ms Shaheen, to “embarrass” Maulana Fazlur Rehman. But after the whistles have been blown and the boos can no longer be endured, there are more sober aspects to the contest which should also be discussed. That these kinds of jokes involving politicians are still possible in public forums such as the media has to be a compliment to politics in this country. Outside the domain of politics, the prominent personalities of our times can either be revered or hated; they cannot be spoken of in a light vein, less caricatured as politicians have frequently been.

Beyond her more evident ability to entertain, also deserving of some notice is the alternative statement in Musarrat Shaheen’s candidacy. It is possible to view her as asserting her right as a woman, as a woman actor, to be an active member of a system, fighting in an area which is dominated by men beholden to strict traditions, and where the threat of militants dis-rupting the polls is considerable. She could do a better job if she is able to prove that hers is a serious attempt at participation, and not just as a performer required by the script to embarrass someone.

Comments (6) Closed

malik Mar 30, 2013 06:16pm
You go miss Shaheen. My vote is for you.
dr zia Mar 30, 2013 08:05pm
Please correct grammer. She is an "actress" not an "actor".
Ahmed Mar 30, 2013 09:22pm
Actor is the term nowadays used commonly in english speaking countries to describe both male and female actors. The use of the same word to describe a person's profession regardless of gender is consistent with the view (in civilized countries at least) that women should be treated with the same respect as men even if they chose to work outside the four walls of their home.
miramshah Mar 31, 2013 12:33am
The days of replacing evil with evil are behind us, hopefully.
NASAH (USA) Mar 31, 2013 02:14am
The writer is completely correct in describing Mussarat as a woman actor -- according to current no gender bias English usage.
aviratam Mar 31, 2013 05:19am
Dr. Saheb, you're a little behind the times!