According to a hadith of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), “Best among you is one who is best to his wife”. Sadly, Pakistani dramas are portraying just the opposite. I remember the good old days when negative emotions were expressed angry stares and loud tones. However, with the passage of time, Pakistani dramas now openly show physical violence against women. Slaps and marital rape have become common features. I do not know why have we become such a sadistic society. Domestic violence is shown because domestic violence sells and the leading ladies are shown bearing all types of violence with patience. Slapping has become a norm in dramas and people have become desensitized watching it. Writers and directors are therefore taking violence a notch up by showing marital rape and more brutal forms of domestic violence.
Domestic Violence in Qayamat
In the drama serial Qiyamat, Rashid (Ahsan Khan) a spoilt rich man physically tortures his pregnant wife so much that she develops complications and dies during child birth. Rashid then marries his sister in law Ifrah (Neelum Munir) who opts to stay with him in the end despite vowing not to forgive him.
Violence at its Peak: Qisa Meherbano Ka
The Ahsan Khan and Mawra Hocane starrer, Qisa Meherbano Ka now being aired on Hum TV has scene after scene of physical violence and marital rape. As per Mehearbano (Mawra Hocane) nikah gives him the right to do as he pleases. Mawra in her response to enraged comments from audiences tried to justify these words as said out of sarcasm but that is not how this dialogue will be viewed. Every episode unleashes new trauma as Meharbano’s husband also tries to set her on fire. Perhaps this drama should come with a trigger warning as it has become increasingly difficult to watch such scenes. The writer and directors are claiming that they are highlighting a social issue and are aiming for a “practical resolution to the issue”. One wonders what that practical resolution would be and how it will help women already facing marital rape and abuse in their lives. For now, the only message this drama is conveying is that it is okay to abuse and harass your wife.
Mental Abuse another form of Domestic Violence
Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay the Mahira Khan and Usman Mukhtar starrer should come also come with trigger warning. The much awaited show turned out to be a big disappointment as it shows so much toxicity and mental torture making the drama unpleasant to watch.
The Laapata Slap
There are very few dramas where women take a stand against abuse as shown in Laapata where Falak (Sarah Khan) slaps her husband (Gohar Rasheed) back. She also escapes the house refusing to be his punching bag but this rarely happens.
Domestic Violence: The Way to get TRP
Aye Musht-e-Khak is one drama that should be banned and its entire crew suspended for presenting such shallow content. Everything about the drama is absolutely disgusting and the drama is being criticized for the physical abuse shown towards female characters. Feroze Khan is becoming an abuse specialist; he screams at his mother, he grabs his ex-girlfriend by her throat and even grabs his wife by her arm. The director had the audacity to claim that people are not trying to understand the plot which is a struggle between good and evil. The director also claimed that even in Europe women are beaten and even murdered by their husbands. Well, Mr. Director, evil does not have to be portrayed through violence and the European entertainment industry does not present the ugly side of their society to the world.
Image of Pakistani Society
Pakistani dramas are not only glorifying domestic abuse; they are also promoting it. Messages most dramas communicate is that men being men can abuse women physically or mentally. We live in a society where most women face domestic abuse in one form or the other, dramas like Qisa Mehrbano ka, Qiyamat, Aye Musht-e-Khak and Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay instruct women to bear all abuses and insults in silence making matters worse.
Recently PEMRA has banned hugging and caressing scenes in the dramas on the pretext that these are not permitted by Pakistani culture. As per PEMRA intimate scenes are “utter disregard to Islamic teachings and Pakistani culture” and do not represent true picture of Pakistani society. Is domestic violence and marital rape the true picture of Pakistani society? Is slapping your wife, shoving and pushing her or throwing her out of the house not against Islamic teachings? Slapping is a brutal and barbaric act and has been forbidden in our religion. Sorry to say, Pakistani dramas are not only encouraging domestic abuse but are building a negative image of Pakistani society and sending a wrong image of Islam.