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Pakistani Dramas and their problematic message

I remember a few years ago a Pakistani drama called 'Mere paas tum ho' started taking headlines to the point where all of social media was filled with memes and posts regarding its content. Every time a new episode would come up the next day all anybody in the country seemed to care about was discussing it at length. I thought I should give it a watch considering so many people had become indulged to this new piece of media.

Once I actually started watching and became acquainted with the storyline I realised just how problematic the drama; and in turn our society's perception of women is. The reason that the drama was so popular was because unlike most plot lines, in this case it was the woman that was committing adultery and was the main antagonist of the story.

The plot itself wasn't anything new or original, it was just that the Pakistani audience loved the idea of hating on a woman with so much passion and conversely sympathising with the male lead. It came to the point where the actress playing the part would also receive hate online. It made me realise that as long as the woman is the villain, somehow the story makes sense to people.

It was no surprise that the writer of the drama was a big misogynist and his way of writing always went on to cast the female population as gold diggers and opportunistic individuals. There was a lot of controversy surrounding the drama because of all of this but it still managed to receive high ratings and make a lot of money!

In the end what surprised me the most was not that the drama was made and the way it was written, but how it was received with so much praise by our country's people.

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I remember seeing hype for this drama and without actually watching it I thought this must be way better than other Pakistani Dramas. This was until I didn't even know Khalil ur Rehman directed it. Once I watched it I was shocked at the content of it and how utterly misogynistic it was.


Faizan Qureshi
Faizan Qureshi
Jul 07, 2022

I grew up watching to Pakistani dramas, highlight of them being Zindagi Gulzaar Hai and Humsafar. Haven't watched Mere Paas Tum Ho, neither do I wish to see it near future, therefore my comment might not hold the same weightage to others. However, it's sad how the troubled image of modern Pakistani women is conjured up by Pakistani dramas to be extremely distorted and single-dimensional. Stories, it is said, are subtle yet are the most influential way of documenting the social evolution of society. The story of a woman sells but the modern media has gone one step ahead by proving that the story of a woman being abused and tortured sells faster. We are psyched into believing that the…


Wonderful read, fatima. I have not seen the drama seriel but i'd like to comment on the issue of violence against women in media. The media surely plays a significant role in either perpetuating, or challenging social norms and behaviours that condone violence against women. However, in Pakistan's case, it is mostly the former. We see women being shown as vulnerable human beings who always need a man for their protection. Most of the themes of Pakistani dramas revolve around how successful the male lead charcters are whereas, women are depicted as gold diggers or home wreckers trying to fight other women over that successful male lead.

In a society where women are already marginalised to a great extent and…


Ahmad Rana
Ahmad Rana
Jul 06, 2022

Definitely an interesting read! but i would like to disagree with you a little. I think the issue isn't really the fact that a woman is shown being infidel and of a bad character. Whether we like it or not, there are some woman who have done things like these and there definitely will be more in the future. Also, the men are shown as oppressors 90% of the time so it doesn't really make sense to make a huge deal at the one instance where an alternate story or perspective is shown. Having said that, I do believe that the quality of content in Pakistan needs to be increased immensely. I have written blog on a similar topic, do…


The massive projection of domestic and women-related violence might appear as an attempt to serve the cause, but a closer look will reveal an entirely different and gross story. The disturbing image of a woman being pushed, slapped and bad-mouthed (mostly by close family) constantly overwhelms the TV screen. No matter how fast you switch channels, it is impossible to escape the harrowing images.

Domestic violence is highly sensitive and must be advocated in subtle and meaningful ways. If mishandled – the way it is in our dramas – it could create an impact far more unsettling than sexually explicit content. Such disturbing content must appear with prior warnings to avoid the uneasy situation in a family living room.


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