Members of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf and Aurat March activists are having it out on Twitter over who chanted the ‘Azaadi’ slogan first, after former minister Fawad Chaudhry tweeted about the PML-N’s London meet-up on Thursday using it.
Reacting to the tweet, journalist Ailia Zehra said that the PTI leader used an Aurat March slogan. “PTI leaders using Aurat March slogans is not the plot twist I was expecting.”
PTI supporters, in their fight for freedom from the new PML-N government, have been chanting the slogan at rallies since former PM Imran Khan was ousted from power.
However, a call for ‘Azaadi’ from men that already enjoy ample freedom irked women rights activists, who have been bashed and hated for using the same slogan.
Ever since the first Aurat March was conducted in 2018 on the International Women’s Day, one gets to see numerous samples of news and columns about the march. Social media users call women names and challenge the validity of the movement, which reflects the deep-seated misogyny and patriarchy in Pakistan.
This year, former Minister of Religious Affairs Dr Noorul Haq Qadri had suggested a ban on Aurat March and said that a “hijab march” take place instead. During this same time, representatives of the government had continued to make misogynistic remarks about the movement, specifically targeting women anchors and journalists that had resulted in 170 female journalists signing a petition on action against the harassment.
Something similar happened with Zehra’s post about the minister’s use of the slogan. It attracted many users and PTI supporters who stated that Aurat March didn’t make up the slogan, and left degrading remarks about Aurat March and its supporters.
“This slogan has been in use way from 1900s,” said one user.
According to some, the call for ‘Azaadi’ belongs to the Muslims living in Indian occupied Kashmir. They have been chanting the slogan since decades.