Our Take

Imran 2.0

Imran 2.0
Imran, the irresistible Khan has found his match… announced the voiceover in the Cinthol advertisement. On cue, the cricketer ran up in slow motion, his curls moving in tandem with the bowling action and for women across the sub-continent, this was the moment that they found a new love – that of cricket, of course. And Pathan men, in the absence of the tall, dark, handsome stereotype that they desperately searched for. It helped in no small measure that the Khan from across the border was Oxford-educated, had the right accent, looked like a dream and had views that were liberal, in stark contrast with the all-rounder on this side of the border who could be seen lugging around a Rapidex English speaking course. Imran could more often than not be seen in the company of beautiful women, religion and nationalities be damned, rather than his own team mates. And when he did play for Kerry Packer, it was with a T-shirt emblazoned with “Big boys play at night” and a very intended pun.
But it is with unabated horror that we’ve watched his descent into something that his Oxford professors would certainly refuse to identify with. From breaking bread with people who have leanings that can best be described as extremist to mouthing nonsense like “feminism degrades motherhood”, Immi, as he was known in his anglicised avatar as opposed to the desi Kaptaan or feudal laadla, certainly belies his upbringing and schooling at Aitchison College. Does he realise that his refusal to do away with the second Amendment in the Constitution, which classifies Ahmadiyas as non-Muslims, would bracket Saleem Jaffer, the fast bowler that he encouraged and included in the Pakistani team, as one and open to persecution? Many will explain it away as compromises that need to be made in politics, particularly in Pakistan, but the heart of the matter is, that the Imran 2.0 is certainly not the man that women from the 90s loved, adored and admired. He would have to do a lot more than a cosmetic makeover. Would he be able to use his electoral strength to unshackle himself from compulsions and impositions to emerge an all-encompassing Citizen Khan? Or will he melt away as the suds of Cinthol?


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