TV Show About Qandeel Baloch’s Life And Honour Killing Is A Hit, Sparks Debates In Pakistan
- IWB Post
- January 12, 2018
Remember Qandeel Baloch, a social media star in Pakistan, who was murdered in the name of honour by her own brother? Her story has been brought back to life in the soap opera, Baaghi, where Saba Qamar plays her on screen and if the 1.6 million views on YouTube on its pilot episode are anything to go by, it is a certain hit!
“That girl was a lioness. She should not have died yet,” said Shazia Khan, a writer on the series which portrays the story of Baloch from being a young, exploited girl to an Internet sensation for her provocative selfies which eventually led to her murder by her own brother. It airs every Thursday on private TV channel Urdu 1.
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While her death triggered heated debates and outrage in the masses over so-called “honour” killings, many blamed Baloch’s actions for her untimely death. The show has given a chance to people to know the person she was and the life she lived before passing any judgment.
The popularity of such shows gives them the potential to be a powerful vehicle for progress, said lawyer Benazir Jatoi, who works for women’s rights and has always said that the laws protecting women are not enough to bring about a change.
But many have criticized the portrayal, commenting on the fact that a woman is always portrayed as weak and weepy on the screen.
“The actual Qandeel didn’t consider herself a beychari (helpless) at all, even a cursory reading of her interviews shows she worked hard and was proud of what she had achieved,” Sadaf Haider, a blogger at the country’s major Dawn.com news portal wrote.
“Simpering, dewy-faced heroines … suffer in obstinate silence or misguided stoicism,” wrote Pakistani journalist Fifi Haroon. “Tears are plentiful. Producers now claim that if you don’t show women crying, the drama won’t garner ratings.”
H/T: Hindustan Times