Pakistani dramas in India, yay!

For years now, the two neighbours have been curious about life on either side of the border, this can bridge that gap.

Arisha Meraj July 04, 2014
Indian soap operas and dramas have been airing on Pakistani television for a long time now. Pakistani women especially, have been largely influenced by these drama serials and this can be seen in the way Hindi words have seeped into our language and Indian clothing has become part of our fashion.

Women not only want to buy Tulsi’s sari now, but to also, at times, address an unfortunate happening or a mishap as abshugan (Hindi for bad luck). The effects on our culture can be easily spotted.

However, a few days back, I came across news that was thoroughly refreshing to hear; Pakistani dramas are being aired on an Indian channel called Zee Zindagi. Curious as to what people had to say about our dramas, I was pleasantly surprised to note that people were very appreciative of our shows, story-lines and actors. The overwhelming response indicated that the audience was looking forward to watching how Pakistani dramas portrayed real-life situations with characters that have depth and substance.

A few responses on Twitter made me realise how much our dramas are being liked in India:

Some even went on to compare Indian dramas with their Pakistani counterparts, discussing how the former should learn from the latter.

This is something to be truly proud of. The Indian drama industry is renowned globally and their television artists are revered wherever they go. And if, after having such a huge soap opera industry, they have shown such kind of appreciation towards Pakistani dramas, it is a huge compliment to us and our media. Not only does this show that our dramas are meritorious but also evidences the amount of talent Pakistani possesses.

The first Pakistani drama to be aired on the channel was Bashar Momin. The storyline following the life of a gangster in Karachi is a fresh concept for Indian audiences. Although there are a plethora of Bollywood movies around the same theme, curiosity to know how Pakistan gangster storylines are different from Indian storylines would be interesting. Besides this, it provides Indian audiences a much-needed break from the typical mother and daughter-in-law feuds that have ruled their screens for over a decade now.

Zindagi Gulzar HaiAasmano Pe LikhaAunn Zara and Kash Mein Teri Beti Na Hoti are a few others that are being aired on the Indian channel currently. The main reason most of these dramas are so well-received in India is because the storyline they follow is usually focused upon social issues.

Pakistanis welcomed this as step in the right direction for both the nations and believe it will do well in portraying Pakistani culture globally:

Pakistan’s image, for many countries, is largely coloured with terrorism, violence, deaths and destruction. Steps such as these, in which our true culture is portrayed in an amicable light, is something Pakistan needed to mend its broken image. This also encourages cordial ties between Pakistan and its neighbours; not only will this give both the countries a neutral platform to connect on, it will disperse many misleading notions of resentment that exist between the two neighbours.

For years now, Pakistanis and Indians have been curious about life on either side of the border, this is a step in the right direction to bridge that gap felt by citizens of India and Pakistan. All in all, I applaud this step taken by the channel; it may be small, but it is a very significant one, towards cordial, bilateral relations.
Arisha Meraj A 17-year-old student who is a sports buff and a book worm. Taciturn by nature. Karachite.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


shamas ahmed | 1 year ago | Reply

all the dramas are full of information and are all nice

Anirban | 7 years ago | Reply I'm Indian and don't watch television except for wildlife channels like National Geographic but I've heard a lot of praise from my friends and colleagues about Pakistani TV dramas like Zindagi Gulzaar Hai. I've met lots of Pakistanis abroad and what I like about them is that they are universally down-to-earth, humorous and classy and speak in chaste Urdu. Being fluent in Urdu myself, I enjoy hearing the way those words (alfaaz) sound. Unfortunately, Indians equate Urdu to be a language of Muslims which is a grossly incorrect fact. Some of the most talented Urdu writers of pre-partition India e.g. Munshi Premchand did happen to be Hindus. It's really sad that India and Pakistan have so many mutual problems politically. It's among very few countries that Indians have so much in common with (apart from Bangladesh, Nepal etc.). Time has come to bury those differences, have a bilateral ceasefire at the borders, eliminate visa requirements for citizens of either country and get along nicely.
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