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Ms. Marvel, a ‘Yahoodi Saazish’?

Marvel Studios, an American film production company began the Phase 4 of its Marvel Cinematic Universe in January 2021. They rolled out new television series’ that are based on characters that appear in Marvel Comics publications and recently we can see a pattern of Marvel trying to be more inclusive of different cultures, genders, and sexual orientations.

Marvel’s latest Tv Series Ms. Marvel revolves around the story of a 16-year-old Muslim Pakistani American girl, Kamala Khan, who is a huge fan of the Marvel Superheroes. She eventually learns that she also has supernatural powers and tries to experiment with them whilst trying to navigate through the challenging life of a teenage.

Now, if you are on twitter, you will be aware of the debate going around regarding Ms. Marvel being a hit or a miss. I, personally, think it is a culturally inclusive masterpiece that is promoting a very positive and different image of Pakistanis and Muslims. A nice shift from the typical representation of Pakistani characters in Hollywood and Bollywood: Men with long beards, oily hair that use Surma in their eyes and are involved in arms smuggling and are always up to something illegal. The show does a good job on the portrayal of the dynamics of a desi family and features music from various Pakistani artists. The cast also includes Pakistani actors/actresses. I think representation on a such a big scale definitely matters.

However, on the other side, some people have expressed their concern regarding the historical accuracy of the show. The show touches up on the sensitive topic of the 1947 Partition and one of the bloodiest and largest migrations of people. In the episode 4 of the series, Kamala visits her grandparents in Karachi, Pakistan. In a scene where her grandmother is telling Kamala about the partition, she says “My passport is Pakistani, my roots are in India. And in between all of this, there is a border. There is a border marked with blood and pain. People are claiming their identity based on an idea some old Englishmen had when they were fleeing the country.” Many twitter users felt that this scene faltered in the manner in which the partition of India and Pakistan was discussed because it takes the two nation theory out of the equation and ignores the effort of the Pakistani and Hindu leaders that went in gaining independence from the British and then form their own separate states. Moreover, in the scenes where the characters speak in Urdu, the subtitles read *Speaking in Hindi* instead of Urdu and people are upset with it. Some users have gone forward and termed the series as a ‘Yahoodi Saazish’ (Us Pakistanis love that term a little too much haha) and an attempt to misrepresent the history and identity of Pakistanis and disregard the effort that went into the creation of Pakistan.

Have you guys seen the series? What do you guys think of it? Would love to hear your views on it.

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