Mehwish Hayat Applauded For Her Speech in Oslo, Norway

Mehwish Hayat Applauded For Her Speech in Oslo, Norway

Mehwish Hayat, the Pride of Performance winning actress, was recently in Oslo, Norway to receive the honor from the Norwegian Prime Minister. She took this platform to raise her voice against the negative image of Pakistan in international films.

Mehwish Hayat, the critically acclaimed actress, is one of the biggest showbiz celebrities in Pakistan. The self-made Mehwish Hayat took long to reach where she is standing today. She has not only given some of the biggest commercial hits to the Pakistani cinema but is also considered to be one of the pioneers of the revival of Pakistani Cinema. Mehwish Hayat’s contribution to the Pakistani Cinema and Television Industry were acknowledged by the government of Pakistan through the prestigious ‘Pride of Performance’ which is the highest civilian award of Pakistan.

Mehwish Hayat using her voice against the issues that matter

Mehwish Hayat, since getting the Pride of Performance award, is taken in a different light. She has used this platform to raise her voice on various issues like the deteriorating condition of hockey (the national sport of Pakistan), cleaning Karachi and Kashmir issue. Her efforts were fruitful and the higher authorities took notice of the condition of the players.

Mehwish Hayat was recently in Oslo, Norway to receive the honour from the Prime Minister of Norway. She was excited to be in Norway as it the home of the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize.

Mehwish Hayat raises voice against the clichéd image of Pakistan as portrayed by Bollywood and Hollywood

Mehwish Hayat took this platform to raise her voice against the negative image of Pakistan portrayed by Bollywood and Hollywood in their films.

According to her Instagram post,

‘I was honoured to address distinguished guests including The Right Honourable Prime Minister of Norway, Madam Erna Solberg at a Peace event in Oslo where I was recognised with an award for Pride of Performance. I was able use the prestigious forum to talk about the the role of cinema in promoting peace. Unfortunately the way we are being represented is creating divides... Bollywood could have used cinema to promote mutual understanding instead of vilifying us as they do. They need to decide which is more important - nationalistic fervour or a peaceful future.’

‘We as artists have to see beyond nationalism and take a stand.’

In her speech, Mehwish Hayat acknowledged the influence and strength of Bollywood films in affecting the masses. She said that while this power could be used to promote peace and prosperity, it only resulted in giving rise to the Islamophobia. Mehwish Hayat also believed that art and artists need to rise above nationalism and maintain their clear stance. 

‘We should start making films about Pakistan and not for Pakistan.’

Mehwish Hayat admitted the weakness of the Pakistani film industry in not understanding the world audience. She said that Pakistani films need to get less insular. The films should promote the softer image of Pakistan and should not be made only for the Pakistani audience.

‘Hollywood has to acknowledge the damage they have inflicted on our country with the way they have been portraying Pakistan.’

Mehwish Hayat commented that even Hollywood is responsible for the negative image of Pakistan and Islam. There is always a clichéd representation of Pakistanis and Muslims in Hollywood films. They are most projected as terrorists. She said that she could not relate to the image of Pakistan projected by films like ‘Homeland.’ Pakistan has lost the greatest number of its citizens to terrorism but it is not shown in the media. She said that she could get away with everything and just do her films but her country’s image mattered to her.

Mehwish Hayat understands her social responsibility that comes even stronger since becoming the highest presidential award winner. According to Mehwish Hayat, she could choose to stay silent and just focus on making films but she had to stand up and raise her voice. Mehwish Hayat’s speech was particularly applauded in the time when the public was criticizing Priyanka Chopra for words with a Pakistani girl at Beauty Con.


By Saadia Ahmed
Saadia Ahmed is a Bollywood and cheesecake fanatic with no obvious interest in space travel. She tweets @khwamkhwah day in and out