For Pakistani social media, the year 2018 ended on hilarious memes spurred by a grave social issue that deserves serious public attention. It all began with celebrities like Aiman and Muneeb, posting their mehndi painted hands that carried the message of Jahez Khori Band Karo (Stop taking dowry). But, the apparent hypocrisy of couple for being conscious to one cause and ignoring another related but equally important gave way to trolls.
Like, this social media user called upon the couple for spreading their lavish wedding ceremony to 30 plus events and then teaching others to stop dowry system.
Anti Dowry Movement and Social Media Memes
Dowry is not something that one can easily sweep under the rugs by coming up with something like social media memes with the purpose of creating some entertaining and relatable stuff. A reaction to Aiman and Muneeb endorsing the cause indeed made sense, as they were the wrong influencer for the right cause.
Famous Pakistani YouTuber ZaidAli aptly pointed to this contradiction by coming up with a picture where Mehendi on his hand said “Fazul Rasm o Riwaj Band karo” (Stop these useless customs).
Zaid Ali’s message was indeed aimed at tackling another social disease that has victimized many families merely in the name of customs. What followed later was an endless wave of memes that simply invalidated the issue that was meant to be highlighted.
There Is No Doubt in Their Being Funny
Like, this was a shout out to the rising prices of some unaffordable but most sought out commodities in winter.
There were more hilarious trolls…
But not everyone was in a mood to take these joked seriously, as they were proving a distraction from the main problem.
These dowry-related social media stuff is serious than memes that defined Pakistani social media scene in 2017.
A Counter Attack from Men
It was impossible for men to not come up with a counter-attack on the matter of Dowry. It is a fact that male members are also scrutinized on the basis of factors like their status, and bank balance etc. And, few social media users came up with a counter attack by creating Mehendi painted slogan of ‘stop asking for boys’ status’.
It Just Gave Rise to A Debate
It was inevitable for the social media movement against Dowry to not spur a debate. After people raised voice on issues like being conscious about the groom’s status, there came a wave of counter arguments on which issue was more important.
As this Twitter user pointed put, counter arguing at this stage was useless and a cause of pushing back the main issue.
Women Are Murdered for Dowry but Men Are Not Killed for Status Symbol
People also talked about the harsh reality that facts have proven the issue of dowry to be more grave. Like, there are plenty of examples where girls were mentally tortured, burnt or thrown acid on their faces only because they didn’t bring with them enough goods as dowry.
There is no doubt that society has got different kind of challenges to obstruct the path of every gender. But, women are more at the receiving end for being perceived as a weak member.
Winter season is also the wedding season in Pakistan and India. And it is also significant for the transition of one year into another. Now when the year 2018 is ending and 2019 is just approaching, the social media debate on the matter of Dowry shouldn’t remain merely a food for thought but it must extend itself to some practical spheres.