Public figures on the internet seldom evade the merciless trolls that roam the murky streets of social media. Pakistani celebrities are not an exception to this toxic, yet extremely common, the behavior exhibited on social media. It is not an unusual sight to see Pakistani celebrities become the target of verbal attacks from their fellow countrymen whenever they post something that is deemed ‘socially unacceptable’ by these angry keyboard warriors.
In the past, the stars would ignore these jibes and reside upon a throne of indifference, responding only to their fans or other celebrities. But now, it seems like they’ve had enough. More and more examples of stars speaking up and putting the trolls and hate mongers to their place are cropping up. And we have to say, we love it!
Move over Ghairat Brigade
One of the most commonly found groups of trolls in a celebrity’s comments section is the infamous Ghairat Brigade. This warrior race can be seen camping in the comments section of female stars reminding them of the religion they are supposedly abandoning. Questions like ‘Are you Muslim?’ and ‘Is this the Islamic Republic of Pakistan?’ are the most frequently asked questions in the comment section. All it takes for them to be engulfed in the flames of self-righteous anger is an odd pair of jeans or sleeveless shirts donned by an actress.
Unfortunately for them, our stars are ready to bite back. For instance, Minal Khan’s comment section was on fire, when she bit back at commenters calling the twin sisters, Minal and Aiman Khan, ‘besharram’. Minal promptly replied that the commenter was welcome to unfollow them. When a commenter said that she should die of embarrassment, Minal retorted that the commenter should be the one to take their disgusting mindset and practice what they are preaching to her.
The shaming doesn’t end at grown women. Legendary cricketer Wasim Akram’s little daughter also came under fire when he posted a picture with his little girl in a school uniform skirt. A commenter came forward to remind him to dress her according to ‘Islamic values’ and an enraged Wasim reminded him to mind his own business. Anoushey Ashraf was all praises for Wasim Akram as he gave the troll a piece of his mind.
Ever since the dawn of Pakistan’s Ertugrul era, Pakistanis have been obsessed with everything concerning the drama. They have responded to the drama with a lot of love and in some areas, a lot of trolling. Yasir Hussain, who is well-known for always using his social media platform to express his views of any subject or trending news, has been the unfortunate target of most of the animosity ever since he remarked that Turkish actors should not receive screen time on Pakistan’s national TV channel.
Since then, no matter what he posts, Yasir’s comments section is flooded with jabs at his stance on the Turkish craze. The actor sometimes replies with good-natured jokes while for more serious incidents, such as abusive comments, he has even threatened to report the commenters to the cyber-crime department.
Recently, Yasir was credited with gathering prominent names of the fraternity to protest against the Motorway Incident. Even under Iqra Hussain’s post, where she expressed the pride she felt for her husband who had organized everything, some commenters still brought up the Turkish actors and Iqra did not hold back her wrath!
Speaking of Ertugrul, Pakistan’s darling Esra Bilgic a.k.a Halime Sultan has been receiving comments from concerned Pakistanis who are unable to distinguish the actress from the pious Islamic character she plays in the show. It seems Esra has also had enough because she too snapped at a commenter to unfollow her, thank you very much.
The rampant increase in violence against women and rape cases has shaken the entire country. Our celebs have protested and spoken up with the rest of their countrymen against these issues. While they were busy raising their voices, some commenters shifted the blame entirely on them for promoting a culture that enables rape. Umm… what?
Mahira Khan and Faysal Qureshi were as perplexed as us and they did not leave the accusations unanswered. Mahira sarcastically replied that yes, they were the root cause of everything, and the actual rapists have nothing to be guilty of. Faysal took a more direct approach and asked the commenters if the rapists and molesters that commit the heinous crimes in madrassahs were watching their dramas as well.
More often than not, social media trolls have absolutely no reason to leave negative comments on a celebrity’s profile. Celebrities usually choose to ignore such comments but recently, Yumna snapped back at a nameless, faceless troll who expressed their discontent on the pictures that she posts on her Instagram. Yumna reminded the commenter that they, unlike her, didn’t even make the effort to upload a profile photo before commenting on the quality of her pictures. Oops.
While most of the retorts are angry, disappointed, or plain savage, and seem to be coming from a place of snapped patience, we have started noticing a different trend as well. There have been some celebrities who appear to be replying to the troll comments in a way that seems entirely sponsored. Hania Amir, Shahroz Sabzwari, and Ayesha Omar were seen replying to trolls and suggesting them to have something sweet with the strategically placed hashtag #ChillKaro. Talk about monetizing clap backs!
People tend to forget one fundamental truth about our celebrities that they are, after all, human. So, it is not completely unnatural for them to snap back at all the hate they receive once in a while. Ideally, of course, their detachment from such venomous content would be more fruitful in maintaining a picture of indifference and aloofness. Yet, watching them put the shamers in their place every once in a while is a refreshing sight. What do you guys think?