Pakistani Twitter users are shaking their heads at the misogyny of Abrar ul Haq's 'Begum Shak Karti Hai'

Pakistani Twitter users are shaking their heads at the misogyny of Abrar ul Haq's 'Begum Shak Karti Hai'

This musical equivalent of a "wife joke" has earned the ire of the internet for very good reason.
28 Oct, 2021

If getting bashed for mocking mothers wasn't enough, singer turned politician Abrar ul Haq has tried to take a jab at wives in his latest song and people are not impressed.

The song, 'Begum Shak Karti Hai', features the 'Baby Shark' rhythm, which is interesting considering he went after mothers who let their children listen to the song. "When we were young, we got to listen to the Kalma being recited by our mothers," he had said at a PTI convention in August. "Today's kids are handed cellphones so that mothers can play them 'Baby Shark'," he had said.

Haq released 'Begum Shak Karti Hai' on October 25 but most of the criticism began on October 27.

His newest song seems to be a terribly misguided attempt at hitting back at his critics. It features the story of a man and his wife, with the woman being shown as "obsessive" for wanting to know what her husband is up to when he acts shadily. The husband in question is planning a surprise for his wife and we see the wife, played by Saba Qamar, going to extreme lengths (such as using a drone and hiring a team of bodyguards) to catch him in the act of cheating.

Apart from the terrible storyline, the lyrics and tune aren't that catchy either. He replaced the 'baby shark du-du-du-du-du-du' with the not very clever 'begum shak kar du-du-du-du-du-du begum shak karti hai which translates to the wife is suspicious. We would also be suspicious if our spouse was acting shady like the man in the music video but that's besides the point.

In the tweet sharing the song, Haq said it was dedicated to all men who were "too much married" or "run mureed". Colloquially, a run mureed is a man who is beneath is wife's thumb because he loves her too much.

There are obviously many people who didn't find this song funny and have taken to social media to call it deeply misogynistic and regressive.

Many criticised the term "run mureed" used by Haq in the song lyrics. The concept itself is rather gross — apparently loving your wife too much is a bad thing?

Others didn't even want to acknowledge that this was the same singer who gave us so many hit songs in the past.

Some people were amazed at his audacity — covering 'Baby Shark' after bashing it?

Also... copyright and plagiarism?

Some users called it sexist and insulting.

Others were sick of the whole thing.

There were some real questions being asked.

People were also looking for people to blame.

There was a question for Saba Qamar and Haq.

In fact, there were a lot of questions for Qamar.

One user brought up the very serious reality of the roles being reversed.

In a country like Pakistan where gender-based violence is rampant, is there any question of what would happen if the roles were reversed? There are hundreds of thousands of examples of women being killed at the slightest hint of infidelity.

Most women in Pakistan wouldn't have the ability to accuse them of cheating and to make light of this situation is pretty appalling. In a society where women are killed for trying to break up with or refuse men, it is shocking that Haq thought this was a good idea. Even if put aside the violence aspect, why is he making fun of men who love their wives? In case he didn't realise, every woman would prefer a loving husband over one who is cruel and violent.