Should Shakib Khan’s personal life really matter so much?
Starting with the news of him secretly fathering a son with fellow actress Bubly to a potential romance with co-star Puja Cherry to the recent controversy surrounding his relationship status with Bubly, Shakib Khan has been the center of Bangladeshi media's relentless scrutiny for a while now.
Naturally, many have come to the star's defense, demanding he and those involved be spared the basic dignity of privacy and the chance to resolve their issues on their own. A very valid claim, and it has all my support. However, it is also true that this is much easier said than done. After all, the media is simply capitalising on the demand for sensational gossip in the market of news, and the consumers are us, the ordinary people.
If anything, the constant targeting of Shakib Khan should be a source of self-reflection for our society. There are questions we must answer truthfully: why does it matter if Shakib Khan had a second child in secret, if the child's mother was alright with it? Why does it matter if he had a second marriage in secret, if his wife is fine with it? Does it really matter if he's headed down the aisle for a third time, if everything happens legally?
Of course, there are nuances to the story. It was Bubly herself who asked the press for attention after posting a picture of her baby bump and promising "to disclose more information" later. And with Shakib Khan denying any ongoing relationship with her, Bubly has also indicated there will be a press conference soon. A similar sequence of events had unfolded with Shakib Khan's now ex-wife actress Apu Biswas when she suddenly revealed she shares a son with the actor in 2017.
Despite their voluntary publicity, there should be a level of respect maintained in the content produced about them and in the public's reaction to the content. Most of the social media posts surrounding the drama are absolutely littered with comments of two types: ones dragging Shakib Khan's character through the mud because he had the audacity of marrying a second time and maintaining privacy, and ones celebrating the possible divorce because many are baselessly theorising that Bubly ruined Shakib Khan and Apu Biswas's happy home.
Even if we choose to ignore the fact that the issues being discussed so publicly are actually very personal and affecting very real people, we have to be conscious of our words for others' sake.
In our society, remarriages are unnecessarily frowned upon. It's only life that some marriages dissolve and it is completely okay if people wish to move on from lost loves. And if there is lingering bad blood between two exes, they should be given the space to work out their problems or leave it be on their own. Antagonising people for remarrying or accusing others of wrecking a home for choosing to be with someone who was previously married only perpetuates the unfounded stigma surrounding remarriages and sexuality.
Lastly, I am in no way insinuating Shakib Khan is faultless in the present situation. He very well may have exploited his partners; there are even rumours of him having an older son with actress Ratri at the beginning of his career. But the point is, all these stories are false unless proven. And until they are proven, the media should redirect its energy towards giving everyone involved a respectful, safe space to share their sides of the story, and the public should refrain from villainising these people for the sake of clicks. Bullying is never the answer.
Fabiha is secretly a Lannister noblewoman and Slytherin alum. Pledge your allegiance and soul to her at [email protected]