I am in a state of utter disgust of the “issues” dominating Pakistani social media right now. So Saif Ali Khan said that he had lost faith in Pakistan, and every anchor, actor and Facebook jihadi felt the need to answer him back, admonish him and take the anti-India rhetoric to a totally new level. There is not an iota of doubt that what Saif said (and people like him do on both sides of the border) was completely unwarranted and this reflects his mental bigotry as an individual. However, I endeavor to shed light on another aspect of this whole episode: we have given Indian actors like Saif Ali Khan the right to affect us by their statements. The Indian film industry has always had a huge market in Pakistan. Indian films are welcomed, Indian actors are discussed, venerated and loved here. Their life styles, breakups and fashion are a constant topic of discussion in all social circles.

I am all for a peaceful co-existence between Pakistan and India. Being a fan of actors across the borders is not a sin. But why do we tend to go overboard with our feelings? At the end of the day, Saif Ali Khan is just another actor. What he thinks, says, and does, should not affect us. So why did his statement result in all those video blogs, heated discussions and hateful comments? Couldn’t we have just ignored him and put an end to it all? What Saif says is not true – we all know that. We have been fighting terrorism for the last decade, we have sacrificed so much and still stand as a strong nation. We have faith in Pakistan – and that is what matters.

This whole Saif episode was not over when Mawra Hocane felt the need to dive into the debate with her totally uninformed opinion about a movie she has not even seen as yet. The barrage of hate comments and personal attacks that followed this showed the extent of how a woman can be maligned and vilified by our social media activists who do nothing all day but sit in front of their computer screens posting hate speech and ridiculing people in the name of protecting the integrity of Pakistan. 

Why do we get swayed by trivial controversies? Why do we waste our time and energy on things that do not matter? A month ago, the Kasur incident send shock waves through the country, jolting us from our slumber. Now it feels like it never happened. A nightmare that left us momentarily disillusioned but was just a figment of our imagination. We need to take these issues up, discuss them and keep them a buzz in the social media so that justice can be carried out and truth reigns supreme.

Social media transcends all geographical and social barriers and allows people to connect with each other – no less than a powerful weapon. Its importance cannot be underestimated. It has the capability to mold people’s opinions and perspectives. Many issues like the Shahzeb Khan Murder case were taken up by the social media and eventually spread to the electronic and print media. Through every comment, like or post we can contribute to a cause much larger than us. So why do we feel the need to fret over non-issues and entertain statements that do not even merit a second thought? Why not use the platform of social media as a means of actually bringing about a positive change in the country rather than spreading hate and ill-will?