January 20, 2021

Section 27: Indecent Content; Was PEMRA Right To Ban Ishqiya, Pyar Kay Sadqay And Jalan?

Charcha against Indecency

The hottest Pakistani dramas news this week has to be PEMRA banning three dramas- Ishqiya (ARY Digital), Pyar Kay Sadqay (HUM TV), and Jalan (ARY Digital). Ishqiya and Pyar Kay Sadqay were enjoying a repeat telecast while Jalan was barely fifteen episodes in. The dramas were being repeated on the public’s demand, which has been the case with certain blockbuster dramas. Everything was going well until PEMRA decided to ban the dramas. The reason? The dramas were showing content that was against the social and religious values of Pakistan. But did the dramas really have such indecent content that led to PEMRA banning them? After reading what they were about, you can decide yourself:

Pyar Kay Sadqay:

Pyar Kay Sadqay was about two under-confident and reserved individuals Abdullah and Mahajabeen. But the story takes a turn when Abdullah’s stepfather, Sarwar, falls in love with Mahajabeen.  Unbeknownst to Sarwar, Abdullah and Mahajabeen get married and as soon as he finds out that the love of his life would be living right under his nose with his son, he did everything in his power to separate the two. And it was quite easy for him as Abdullah had been under his influence ever since he was a child.

Abdullah's best is yet to come in Pyar Ke Sadqay: Bilal Abbas Khan | HUM TV  - Watch Dramas Online


Ishqiya revolved around two sisters Hamna and Rumi. Hamna is in love with Hamza but is afraid to tell her father about him because he wouldn’t react well. Her father falls ill, asks Hamna to get married to the son of his friend Azeem and she does, bringing out the toxic male in Hamza. In order to take revenge from Hamna, Hamza approaches her father to ask Rumi’s hand in marriage. Their father had already seen death from up close. He agrees to get them married because he wants to see both his daughters happily married in case anything ever happened to him. Rumi and Hamza get married and the rest of the drama follows Hamza blackmailing Hamna since they never told anyone about their past.

Ishqiya | The story of Love, Trust & Betrayal - ARY Digital


Then comes Jalan, perhaps one of the most controversial dramas of the year. Jalan is also the story of two sisters, Nisha and Misha. Nisha has a self-centered personality and would do anything to get the thing she set her eyes on. Except for this time, she has set her eyes on her brother-in-law, Misha’s husband Asfandyar. She first creates a misunderstanding between both of them and then manipulates Asfandyar into falling for her. Before the drama could move further, thirteen episodes in and that’s when PEMRA imposed a ban on the drama. Minal Khan, the lead actress playing the antagonist Nisha, revealed in an interview that Nisha is suffering from Siblings Rivalry Disorder (SRD), an actual disorder in which siblings tend to feel competitive and jealous of other siblings.

Jalan – A Story Of Betrayal, Greed, and Jealousy - Trendinginsocial

Art imitates life

The content shown in Pyar Kay Sadqay, while questionable, isn’t far from reality. There have been a lot of instances where such harassment occurs. Some are reported while others are brushed under the carpet, in the name of not ruining the family’s honor. As for Ishqiya, the main lead Hamza was often criticized for being a toxic male but then again, if PEMRA started to ban dramas because of toxic masculinity, hardly any drama would survive PEMRA’s scrutiny.

Jalan would not be the first time where a sister is after her sister’s husband/fiancé. The ‘sister pitted against sister’ is a popular theme among Pakistani dramas and has been for quite a few years now. Hum TV’s dramas Kashf and Tera Ghum Aur Hum, currently on-air, follow the same pattern. But Jalan might have taken things too far when they showed Asfandyar and Nisha in the same room with Asfandyar wearing a blue bathrobe, hinting towards something far worse.  

The Pakistani dramas news of banning these dramas has divided people with some claiming it’s a good decision as channels should use their medium to produce quality content while others saying criticizing the decision saying that not every drama should have a social lesson in it. It is imperative that writers, directors, and producers make content showcasing strong and brilliant characters. Melodrama sells, but at the cost of people not learning anything from it.   

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