Blog: Actress Veena Malik, Pakistan’s Rakhi Sawant
Born on 26 February 1978, Veena Malik is a Pakistani actress and model, and she performed as a comedian in various televisions shows. She also hosted a show called Prime Gupshup which was a great success and in which she demonstrated her charismatic skills. She won the Lux Style Awards (2007) for being the « most stylish celebrity on the carpet ». She is nicknamed the « Pakistan Rakhi Sawant », Rakhi Sawant being her Indian counterpart, also a television actress, model and television talk show host who, in turn, is doing her very best to imitate the Jewish-American television personality and actress, Joan Alexandra Molinsky Sanger Rosenberg, commonly known as Joan Rivers.
The controversy surrounding Veena Malik concerns the allegations that she behaved indecently and that she had allegedly previously (2001) posed nude or semi-nude elsewhere. For someone who is born of Muslims parents and regarded as a Muslim, such behaviour and practices are regarded as going against Islamic teachings, especially that the media keep associating her with Islam, which prompted reactions from Islamic authorities. If Veena Malik were born of Christian parents and regarded as a Christian, one can easily argue that such behaviour goes against the teachings of Christianity and, if any association is made with Christianity, the clergy are quite entitled to react. When, as reported in the article « Veena Malik goes nude in adult movie? », le Matinal 22 December, the Samay & Hindustan Times stated that the ‘Pakistani clergy’ referred to Veena Malik as a « threat » to Islam, it should be pointed out that there is no clergy in Islam, since clergy is a Christian term within the Christian Church.
The article taken from the Samay & Hindustan Times also stated that « According to the unconfirmed sources, Veena Malik has stripped off for a Dutch adult film just before her entry into the Bigg Boss 4. A Dutch tabloid quoted the co-star, saying that the Big Boss Participant Veena Malik looks very much similar to the Pakistani model, who shared the role with him for a racy scene ». But it is clear that those are mere speculations. Even the Dutch co-star did not know who the woman was, except that she looked ‘similar’ to the Pakistani actress. Moreover, as far as nude and semi-nude photo shoots were concerned, Veena Malik always denied she was part of them, and all speculations were short-lived, bearing in mind that the fabrication of nude photos relating to actresses is well known, such as those of Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif.
However, the speculations surrounding Veena’s alleged nudity were re-exploited by a voracious media when, while wearing a towel around her in the Big Brother-style Indian reality show Big Boss 4, Veena’s towel is said to have fallen off revealing her nudity even though she quickly picked up the towel again and wrapped herself. If this is the case, Veena only has herself to blame. Europeans call this « wardrobe malfunction » in order to justify the exposure of any form of nudity as a result of indecent clothing and/or carelessness. For example, Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction which exposed one of her breasts in the televised song she sang with Justin Timberlake in the Super Bowl halftime show in 2004 is well known.
When Indian actress Shilpa Shetty joined the British Channel 4 Big Brother House in 2007 flashing her belly button and cleavage, and insulted as « the Indian » with racist overtones by two other inmates, there was no such controversy. Her religion was not questioned although she claimed to be a representative of her country when she was clearly not so. Like Veena Malik, she joined the reality show in her own name via her agent. It was not her country who sent her. But this did not prevent Hindu organisations in India and elsewhere from expressing their disapproval for the manner in which she was dressed to entertain Europeans and for the racist remarks made against her. Having said that, the towel she wrapped around her on Big Brother could have
easily slipped too!
In the film industry, many actors and actresses, especially those whose careers are on a downward slope, do tend to adopt new ideas from elsewhere, even go to extremes, to gain popularity. Indian actress Malika Sherawat’s turn to nudity or semi-nudity is well- known in an attempt to gain such popularity, especially as Indian cinema is turning to the European West for ‘inspirational’ secular values when, in his Christmas message 2010, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams is urging people to revive their Christian values for a safer and moral society. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, even launched the "Not Ashamed" campaign, urging Christians to display their faith in public and at work, which is a snub to secularism. While Indian Rakhi Sawant is doing her best to copy her Jewish-American counterpart Joan Rivers, even to look like her, especially through visible signs of the apparent use of botox, it appears that the Pakistani Veena Malik is also copying her Indian counterpart and the decadent secular values of the West, hence her nickname « Pakistan’s Rakhi Sawant ».
Irrespective of the disapproval of certain Islamic authorities or organisations in Pakistan and elsewhere, Veena Malik is not reported to have said that she was a Muslim behaving according to Islamic values, nor did she state that she formed part in the Indian Big Boss 4 reality show as a representative of her country. On the other hand, Shilpa Shetty did say, wrongly, they she was representing her country when joining the inmates of the Big Brother House in 2007, a House where women have been seen plucking their pubic hair and where inmates often swear and fart. Whatever the case may be, both Shilpa Shetty and Veena Malik are regarded as ambassadors of their respective countries and any inappropriate behaviour is bound to reflect negatively on them and their countries respectively.