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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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This is what it takes to captivate people across generations, race and cultures. If I was asked to identify I would say I am mixed equally with black Indian and Scottish ( courtesy of ancestry.com) and a naturalized American pre baked in island breezes. I love and Identify with everyone because I can’t fit in a box I can go anywhere and fall comfortably wherever your brain wishes me to-well at least as it pertains to MY perception in the moment….which might be totally skewed. Also, down side, the struggle of identifying as one of the coolest humans just because the rest of the world needs those attributes to find me relatable…. perceptions and perspectives are so unduly influenced b…

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My friends and I watched every episode together like it was an event. I loved the show, tbh, seeing Pakistan/Islam/Pakistani women on screen without their story being entirely about hijabs/oppression was awesome. I do agree that the criticism levied against the show regarding historical inaccuracies is valid but its still a winner for me. Groundbreaking series.

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I'd like to share a personal experience here. I went on an exchange program to Texas and whenever i'd share something about my country, my highschool friends would ask me absurd questions like "Oh, is it true that you guys use camels as a means of transportation?" or " Do you guys have gas stations in your country?" "Do you guys have access to the internet?" or even questions like "What do you think of 9/11? Do you guys think Osama Bin Laden was a good guy?"


These were questions directed at me not with ill intent but with serious curiousity. They had all these questions based on the information from movies they watched. The young generation of the western…

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Thank you for your comment, Fatima. I am glad you mentioned how Pakistanis are sometimes mistaken for being Indians. Shows like Ms. Marvel does a great job in highlighting the differences between two cultures that are very much alike but also hold a distinct identity of their own.

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I haven't seen the series myself yet, but I have witnessed all the public discussions that you mention in your blog. I think that while such problematic aspects have been in the series, such as misrepresentations and shortcomings, broadly speaking, the series is a step in the right direction. And I think that serves the purpose it was meant to serve. I believe that even if the representation itself is imperfect, if the projected intent is in the right direction, then a piece of art can do wonders. For example, once this is the set standard, we can expect further such projects to try and improve the level of representation that is done in Ms. Marvel. And more than anything,…


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Wonderful insights, Zain. I agree that some representation is better than none. And that now that big names in the entertainment industries like Marvel have taken a step, we can hope for others to follow suit.


Moreover, conflicts some times take place because of misperceptions, and since cinema is a very effective medium to educate the masses, it can maybe serve the purpose of decreasing conflict by bridging the cultural gaps that exist.

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