Following is a list of dramas aired in 2021 that was based on social issues
Dill Na Umeed tou Nahi
Dill Na Umeed tou Nahi revolves around social evils such as human trafficking and prostitution which instead of being addressed are swept under the rug. The drama was criticized for showing “a distorted image of the Pakistani society” and there were demands to ban it. Thankfully PEMRA did not pay heed to such demands as the distorted image was actually the bitter and ugly reality of our society. Produced by Kashaf Foundation, written by Amna Mufti, and aired on TV One, the drama showed various forms of human trafficking. The fast-paced drama had three parallel stories; Allah Rakhi, a child whose parents married her off to a much older man in exchange for a motorcycle and jewelry sets to save their elder daughter’s marriage. Allah Rakhi later became Sumbul (Yumna Zaidi) a much sought-after prostitute who tried to escape the brothel many times. Jamshed (Wahaj Ali) is a young boy who ran away from his village to escape the mistreatment of his mother only to be caught by the leader of a gang of beggars and thieves. Naseem Zehra an aspiring cricketer who ran away from home to escape her oppressive father (Noor ul Hasan) and a forced marriage to pedophile Naeem Sherwani (Kashif Mehmood). All three main characters had one thing in common, hope in the face of adversities they never gave up. The case of Nasim Zehra was an eye-opener for many middle-class parents. In this era of technology, it is easier to deceive naïve youngsters especially when they do not have the support and guidance of elders to investigate the truth behind the lucrative offers. Nasim Zehra joined the Facebook page made in the name of Fazal Mehmood and arranged her ticket for Dubai only to find out it was a farce. It was actually a gang of human traffickers using different tactics to lure girls. Our society does not want to believe that prostitution is very much a part of society and is an organized crime with many bigwigs involved in it. The girls forced into prostitution are brutally tortured either by their handlers or their clients. When one dies of torture, she is easily replaced by another girl. The drama also exposed the sorry state of education in our country. the overwhelming and unprofessional behavior of the teachers discourages students like Jamshed from pursuing education.
Akhir Kab Tak
In a conservative family where a father is a final authority, daughters are considered a burden, and the role of a wife is that of a submissive servant; abuse of children is common. Akhir Kab Tak raised awareness about sexual abuse at the hands of close family members and teachers. Fajr (Srha Asghar) is abused both by her cousin and teacher and is asked to keep mum about it by her mother (Javeria Abbasi) although her elder sister Noor (Unsha Shah) wanted justice. Oppression and abuse adversely affect the mental health of Fajr and she is married off to Saim (Haroon Shahid) and instructed to keep quiet. Fortunately, because of her sympathetic and loving husband, Fajr returns to normalcy only to find her abuser and teacher Zafar (Azfar Rehman) blackmailing her into resuming illicit relations. With no support, Fajr tries to commit suicide. This drama raised the important question of why the victim is blamed for abuse and rape while the perpetrator goes scot-free as in the case of her cousin. It also highlighted the importance of communication between children and parents especially fathers. Predators like Zafar know well that they will never be caught because victims would rather give in to his demands than confide in their families.
There are always two sides to a story and before passing judgment, people must investigate deeply. Unfortunately, in our society, the one who narrates the tale first is considered the victim. ARY Digital’s Dunk highlights how people simply believe what is being portrayed and without listening to the narrative of the other party involved. Professor Humayun Noman Ijaz) is falsely accused of sexual harassment by Amal (Sana Javed) and as a consequence has to face extreme backlash and verbal abuse from the public on all platforms. The professor is dejected when he tries to hug his daughter and she pulls back citing it “bad touch”. Unable to face criticism and false allegations anymore, the professor commits suicide. Although this drama was criticized for belittling actual sexual harassment of women, it showed that men are equally devastated by false accusations and they too become victims of harassment. It is the responsibility of the media to uncover the actual facts and present them to the public instead of jumping to conclusions.