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Romanticization of suffering: An analysis of "Humsafar"

In today’s day and age, patterns which romanticize suffering and pain have a strong contemporary resonance with TV shows, movies and novels which are filled with tragic stories that are displayed in idealized forms, ultimately leading to a deep-rooted belief that suffering is a necessary condition of the female existence.

The prime-time television show which gained massive popularity, “Humsafar”, portrayed Khirad, the protagonist as an icon of suffering who becomes a moral compass for her husband. Khirad was the epitome of endurance who was also victimized by misfortunes. She reconciled with the same husband who threw her out of his life due to mistrust which lasted for six years. The audience sees Khirad thanking god for restoring “her lost dignity” which spreads the message that if a woman is patient enough in the face of hardships and humiliation, she will be rewarded in due time, giving a false sense of achievement and security. Remaining silent is what drives the serial’s plot forwards with the protagonist, Khirad, emerging as a household name, as a role model, indicating the problematic endemic regression of society.

Gayatri Spivak’s “can the subaltern speak?” utilizes subaltern to refer to a disenfranchised and marginalized subject who reside out of power. For Spivak, leftist intellectuals romanticize the oppressed and thus replicate the same colonialist discourses that they are trying to criticize.

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