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Dipanwita believes that what makes Pakistani singer Atif Aslam a legend is not just his hard work and dedication towards his art but how he treats women, both at work and in his personal life.
Atif Aslam has been a household name globally since the past 17 years. I was just a 10-year-old child when I heard him for the very first time. No wonder, his mesmerising voice immediately captured my attention.
Growing up, I learnt more about him as a person through his interviews, reality shows, videos of live performances and so on. Despite being one of the most well known celebrities of all time, he is humble, stays away from controversies, has a sense of humour devoid of sexism and ensures the safety of the audience at his concerts.
What makes him a legend is not just his hard work and dedication towards his art but also the fact that feminists root for him for all the right reasons.
As Aslam turns 39 this March 12th, here’s presenting five reasons why his feminist fans are proud of him.
Just like the man himself, Atif Aslam’s songs are all non problematic. At a time when regressive songs with sexist lyrics garner millions of views, Aslam chooses to stick to meaningful songs with no misogyny or objectification of women. Besides, his songs speak of ‘love and understanding’ not ‘lust and abuse’. He never incorporates any kind of vulgarity or explicit content to “sell” his music videos.
Atif Aslam has zero tolerance to assault. In Dec 2021, some men started harassing women and families at one of his concerts. Despite warning them again and again, they continued to disturb the audience. In order to avoid the situation from worsening, the musician left the stage and his fans couldn’t appreciate his move enough. Click here for more details.
Similarly, in 2017, the music icon’s videos went viral where he was seen scorning at a man for harassing a girl at his concert. He asked him to “behave like a human” and instructed the security guards to rescue the girl. You can watch the video below:
The rape and murder case of a young girl in Pakistan in 2018 left us shocked. The singer too was disheartened by the incident. He took to Instagram to call out the abuser and requested parents to protect their children from “evil eyes”.
Referring to daughters as a “blessing” and “happiness”, the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz recipient mentioned in a 2019 interview with BBC Urdu that he would love to be a father to a girl child. He added that for a long time, his mother had been the only female member in their house. That gave him all the more reason to share a special bond with a daughter. It might appear to be a simple gesture, but we can’t disagree that in a patriarchal society, the mere desire to have a daughter indicates the narrowing down of gender bias.
The way a man treats his partner tells a lot about his personality. Aslam never fails to express his love and respect for his wife Sara Bharwana publicly and that raises his stature in the eyes of his feminist fans. He appreciates her presence in his life every time he gets a chance and never forgets to tell her how much she means to him.
On Jan 7, 2022, the first episode of Aslam’s debut drama serial Sang-e-Mah saw a premiere in theatres across Pakistan. When asked if he was nervous for it, he confidently said that he wasn’t because he knew how the script was and how much efforts he has put in. He then continued saying that his wife had dressed him up for the premiere and he isn’t nervous when she is with him. This is one of the many instances when the megastar openly confessed the value she holds for him.
Above all, the Pehli Dafa crooner finds the sweetest birthday and anniversary wishes for his wife though she doesn’t use any social media platform. His simple gestures prove that loving someone doesn’t mean crossing oceans. All you need to do is stand by them throughout their ups and downs. Here are a few of Aslam’s Instagram posts for Bharwana.
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A post shared by Atif Aslam (@atifaslam)
A post shared by Atif Aslam (@atifaslam)
Though the singer got several offers to work in films in the beginning of his career, he waited for a substantial story to be a part of. He agreed to pursue acting only after he found the right script with a strong message.
Atif Aslam made his acting debut in 2011 with Shoaib Mansoor’s Bol. The movie highlighted how women are subjected to social barriers in a patriarchal society and how they can liberate themselves from it. Aslam played the role of Mustafa, a man who believed in women enjoying equal rights and freedom as men. Though a minor character, Mustafa had an everlasting impact on the audience because of his progressive outlook.
Sang-e-Mah marks his return to acting after 11 years. The drama raises a voice against the social evil ghag which literally translates to ‘announcement’. In this custom, a man announces his intention to forcefully marry the woman of his choice by firing gun shots in front of her house. Though rare now, some of the rural areas in Pakistan still witness this practice. Atif Aslam has wowed us with his performance as Hilmand and we can’t wait to see more of him.
Undoubtedly, Atif Aslam is one of South Asia’s biggest superstars and possesses a voice that leaves a mark on you. But apart from that, he is a gem of a person and believes in uniting different nationalities through his music. Moreover, he is someone who respects everyone irrespective of their gender and wants the world to be a fair place for all its residents. Here’s wishing the legend a very happy birthday and hoping that he’ll keep making all his feminist fans proud by being himself.
Top image is a screenshot from the single, Ajnabi
I hold an MA degree in English Literature and I have a flair for writing. I mostly try to focus on issues faced by women on a regular basis and hope that one day the read more...
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