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Niggo - A Heera Mandi girl in Lollywood and victim of honour killing

02:25 PM | 7 Jun, 2017
Niggo - A Heera Mandi girl in Lollywood and victim of honour killing
Heera Mandi is a well-known red-light zone and is located deep in the heart of the vibrant city that goes all the way back to the time of the Mughal Empire. Currently neglected, the area holds a cultural and historical significance.

During the Mughal era rule in the 15th and 16th centuries, Heera Mandi was a centre for mujra, traditional singing and dancing performed for the elites. The wealthy Nawabs sent their sons to the salons of tawaifs, high-class courtesans to study etiquette. However, after the British arrival in the subcontinent, dance and sex became intertwined.


After the partition, young and attractive girls from Heera Mandi became the first choice of Pakistani filmmakers. Girls from the notorious red light area joined the Lollywood industry and gained much fame and wealth.

One such girl was the famous dancer and actress Niggo.

Niggo was an attractive young woman who impressed all those she came across with her dancing skills. She was the first and foremost choice for the mujra girl (equivalent to the ‘item’ girls in present-day films) of Punjabi filmmakers of her time.

Niggo fell in love with producer Khawaja Mazhar during the shooting of film Qasu (1972) and they got married soon after. The marriage was not welcomed in Niggo’s family because according to the old tradition of Lahore’s Shahi Mohalla, no girl can marry or travel without her family being compensated financially.

Niggo's Shahi Mohalla reputation followed her even after she joined the film industry and became a curse for her.

Niggo's family made several attempts to bring her back but she remained resilient and rebelled against the traditions of Heera Mandi. Finally, Niggo’s mother pretended to be ill and emotionally blackmailed Niggo to come and see her one last time. Upon her visit, the family brainwashed Niggo and she succumbed to family pressure and refused to return to her husband’s home.

Confused and outraged, Khawaja Mazhar asked his production controller, called Mamma, to pave the way for Niggo’s return. Even music director Manzoor Ashraf could not convince her to return.

Eventually came the fateful day when a furious Khawaja Mazhar reached the red light area and opened fire with a Sten Gun and killed his wife Niggo in cold blood on the spot.

It was the first incident of its sort in the film industry and the news of her murder spread like wildfire. Niggo’s mother vowed revenge, and Khawaja Mazhar was sentenced to life imprisonment by a court of law.

On the one hand, Niggo became the victim of her family's greed and regressive traditions of Heera Mandi, on the other hand, she became the victim of honour killing of the husband she had rebelled for. Lollywood lost its dancing queen and just had a black smudge on its reputation to show for it!

Hamza Rao is a member of the staff at Daily Pakistan. He can be reached at raohamzafree@gmail.com. He tweets at @HamzaRaoxxx

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PKR rate against US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Riyal - Check 16 April forex rates

Pakistani currency gains momentum against all currencies on April 16, 2024 Tuesday. US dollar was being quoted at 277.9 for buying and 280.85 for selling.

Euro was quoted at 295 for buying and 298 for selling while British Pound stands at 345 for buying, and 349 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.4 and Saudi Riyal's new rates was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 15 April 2024

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.9 280.85
Euro EUR 295 298
UK Pound Sterling GBP 345 349
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.45 76.2
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 182.7 184.5
Bahrain Dinar BHD 739.38 747.38
Canadian Dollar CAD 204 206.2
China Yuan CNY 38.45 38.85
Danish Krone DKK 40.45 40.85
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.57 35.92
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86 1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 903.91 912.91
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.92 59.52
New Zealand Dollar NZD 167.63 169.63
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.38 25.68
Omani Riyal OMR 722.1 730.1
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.35 77.05
Singapore Dollar SGD 206 208
Swedish Korona SEK 25.72 26.02
Swiss Franc CHF 307.11 309.61
Thai Bhat THB 7.61 7.76

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