Dear Samina Peerzada,
Let me start by telling you that I have been a great fan of yours since Karb, Nazdikiyian and many, many more super-hits that you have given us over a span of many glorious years in your acting career.
If the cast features ‘Samina Peerzada’, I know I must watch it, as it will be something worth watching. I have always been in awe of how you, over the years, have managed to carry yourself with such grace and elegance. That is when many stars from your era miserably failed to do so and succumbed to the temptation of trying to appear young and trendy. Not only that, but your traditional, family values have always seemed to represent responsibility, especially through the choices of the characters you have played onscreen or onstage.
Maybe this is why I was extremely sad and truly heartbroken to view your latest interview with Hira Mani. When your digital talk show was first launched, I can bet I was one of the first few to watch it and think: ‘This is by Samina Peerzada so it must be a really good show – a cut above the rest!’.
I am not going to talk about any other episode. I will only talk about ONE. The recent interview featuring actress Hira Mani, where she shares her story about how she stole Mani from her friend.
Dear Samina Peerzada, did you not think that this lady sitting in front of you, talking so proudly of how she lied to her friend, cheated on her fiancé, who has the power to influence so many young, impressionable minds watching you and your show… is boasting about something that’s unethical and morally questionable?
That many 18-19 years old will be watching this show – young people who idolize stars and whose life choices can be easily influenced by what you or a guest celebrity on your show might choose to voice on this platform…
If you or someone tells me that you and your entire team didn’t think this through, I am sorry, I find that hard to believe. The only plausible reason for this blatant disregard of the value and quality of content aired on your show is that, unfortunately, the team chose to run this masala content for maximum views, higher ratings, and, yes, … eventually, financial gains.
In a country where the literacy rate is depressingly low, where people especially young girls are easily influenced, where actors hold great star power, the showbiz industry and every person associated with it carries a huge responsibility. You all play a huge role in shaping people’s dreams, aspirations and subconsciously, their values.
Content that is not responsible cannot be allowed, should not be allowed. We will pay a very, very heavy price in the shape of low moral values, increased indecency and absolutely zero sensitivity for the feelings of others.
Dear Samina Peerzada, I want you to think for a minute how that friend must have felt, how that fiancé must have felt…
What is the message that you are conveying to the millions watching your show? That it’s okay to lie, cheat and betray your family, friends and your fiancé in order to get what you want, by hook or by crook? This is not a fictional drama script with pre-written dialogues. These are real lives, with real people and real people watch your show.
She goes on to admit that her father and her entire family placed the utmost trust in her…, and she did not even appear remotely ashamed about breaking their trust. If this deception was not enough, she casually reveals the identity of her friend and her fiancé on YOUR show. As if what they underwent was not enough, and this public announcement in front of the whole nation was necessary.
The stars can tell their story but you must not forget the impact YOU create on the minds of audiences. We cannot control the choices of an individual. But we can choose to edit and publicly air what we find morally and ethically responsible. This choice comes with a decision to promote that which is not vulgar, obscene, socially or morally indecent or sets a poor example for young and impressionable minds. Minds that are heavily influenced by superstars.
I do hope that the relevant promoters at ‘Brooke Bond’ who are the sponsors of this program, also read this letter, and take some responsibility.
You, my dear Samina Peerzada, are an important player in all of this. I am an ardent and respectful fan who doesn’t just love and admire you for your looks or acting, but your entire persona. I do hope you will rethink your responsibility in creating better and quality content in Pakistan, especially for women.
Pakistan is a rising star in the world of showbiz and digital content. All eyes are upon us as we wear the goodwill our dramas have helped spread, like a badge of honour and respect. Our stars share a great responsibility. To promote and show the best face of Pakistan to the world. And more importantly, to show our youth, that success can be achieved with dignity and exemplary values. You, yourself, are an example of that.
Please, please do not take the same route that many have taken. To opt for cheap, masala or sensational content over quality and un-sensationalism. You will end up losing many years of hard work and negating everything you have stood for over the years. Who would want to see Durre-Shehwar, Hisaar, Saahil or Karb if we keep choosing financial rewards and online views over quality?
An Ardent Fan
Rabia stays involved in various social causes. Believing in creating equal opportunities for underprivileged kids, she helps The Citizens’ Foundation, Pakistan, to create awareness of the need for providing quality education to children. At the same time, she is also involved with Singapore-based VWO, 4PM’s Ramadan on Wheels project by supporting it through the FUCHSIA platform. At FUCHSIA, Rabia oversees the Marketing and Public Relations work. She is also part of the Editing Team in conceptualising articles and monthly issues.