Written in collaboration with Sama Tanweer
Facebook celebrity Nasir Khanjan’s page was hacked recently. The grief-stricken Mr. Khanjan uploaded his video on his new Facebook page, in order to inform his fans of the mishap. Now, for those of you who do not know who Nasir Khanjan is and what he does, let’s take a look into what Pakistan’s obsession with hating on yet continuing to flock to social media stars like Khanjan, is all about.
Donned in a red jacket and gray-black pants, Awais Lovely dances without a care for the world, to an English song. The video goes on for about two minutes before Mr. lovely decides to give himself some rest.
The comments section of the video is filled with people calling him narcissistic, hijra, khusra, attention seeker and what not. Despite all the abuses and negative remarks, the number of views on his videos keeps increasing.
This was back in 2011 when Awais Lovely, a Sialkot based young man, was at the peak of his Facebook popularity.
He would upload pictures and videos of himself while dancing and talking about himself. People would consume his videos with utmost excitement and would then leave mocking comments with the same vigor. Some even resorted to fake encouragements and applauded his work while meaning the exact opposite. This vicious cycle continued until one day, his Facebook page and YouTube channel were shut down abruptly.
“Some things cannot be explained, only felt…I was hurt, very hurt, to a great extent…I left Facebook, YouTube and stopped using internet. I stopped talking to people, I HATED the internet. People crossed their limits. In Pakistan celebrities don’t get the respect they deserve. In Europe, celebrities do get respect. This is very wrong, we feel discouraged. I do not want anybody’s fake sympathy now. If you don’t like me, do not watch me but do not treat me this way. You don’t only let me down, you let down Pakistan’s image in front of the world,” said Awais Lovely, with tear-loaded eyes during an interview with Sama.
Awais was deeply hurt and his loss of his Facebook and YouTube channels made him lose confidence in himself and others.
It took him a lot of time to get over the shock. The channels that were the source of his fame were now hacked, and the names of his videos changed. His original YouTube channel got deleted and he was left with no proof of his success, no proof that he had millions of likes and followers. Awais Lovely left with the same spontaneity with which he had arrived and attained millions of followers. Such is the world of internet. Mr. Lovely, however, is struggling to gain his identity back, to this day.
Soon after the Awais Lovely mishap, people began to forget about this YouTube star. However, recently, another self-proclaimed entertainer Nasir Khanjan has made an appearance on the social media. His Facebook bio says, “I am Nasir kan jan….Follow Mee And Like me!!!!!“ While lots of people follow him, not a lot seem to do the latter and now, unfortunately, Nasir Khanjan seems to have met the same fate that Awais Lovely did after his account was hacked last night.
Nasir Khanjan, just like Awais Lovely, uploads his videos while dancing and talking about prevalent issues in his signature “Khanjan” manner.
There are several others like Khanjan who have been ridiculed by people for being the way they are. Last year, Gujranwala based Asif uploaded a status on Facebook, announcing the end of his friendship with his friend Mudassir by declaring Salman as his new friend. He became a world phenomenon and a matter of much ridicule back home in Pakistan.
People still throw snide comments at him and others like him every single day, sugar-coated in fake encouragements. Mocking and jeering at people, who decide to do things in their own way, seem to have become our favorite pastime.
This what Pakistan did to Qandeel Baloch, this is exactly what we did to Awais Lovely and now we have let Nasir Khanjan down, too.
When things tend to get out of control, like they did in Qandeel Baloch’s case, we just conveniently change sides and carry on with our lives because apparently they were the ones who opted for this, we were just playing along.