In our mid-month issue, Amit Timilsina writes about the role class plays in the decisions that young people make, and what he himself, as a young person and a youth leader, had to do to gain access to resources and to professional acceptance.
हमें इस तरह से ढाला गया है कि तथाकथित 'विकल्प' जो हमारे संबंधों को परिभाषित करते हैं, वे भी हमारे लिए हुए विकल्प नहीं बल्कि समाज द्वारा सृजित हैं। हालाँकि, जैसा कि हमने देखा है, इन सभी चुनौतियों के बावजूद, महिलाएँ, जब वे खुद को व्यक्तियों के रूप में महत्वपूर्ण मानने लगती हैं, तो वे अपने परिवेश और परिवार के सदस्यों के साथ बातचीत करने की रणनीति तैयार करती हैं।
He sighs and says – aapko apni dil ki baat bataane ka mann kar raha hai (I want to tell you a secret, a matter of my heart). I nod and encourage him to do so. Aap bura toh nahi maanengi? (You won’t feel offended, will you?) Confused and immensely curious, I assure him that I will not take offense. Asal mein, mera mechanic ka kaam tha aur who theek hi tha lekin mere dost ne auto drivering karke ye seekha ki auto drivering karne se sex karna bahut easy ho jaata hai (In reality, I was working as a mechanic and everything was going fine but one of my friends who became an auto driver soon learned that it was very easy to have sex this way).
But TikTok is giving young people – particularly women – in South Asia a new avenue to showcase their talents. While for the majority of women using the app their fame is exclusive to TikTok, an increasing number are able to use it to get paid work. And for many, the platform represents a scarce opportunity for bodily autonomy, and a chance to carve out space as a performer in the face of film and fashion industries that shut them out.
Fouzia Azeem, more popularly known as Qandeel Baloch,was called Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian. Madiha Tahir, a journalist and filmmaker who is interviewed in the documentary,questions this comparison. To quote her: “She (Qandeel) is not Kim Kardashian at all. She is not famous for being rich. An upper-class woman would have her class protection and it’s unlikely that an upper-class woman would be supporting her family from these social media videos.”