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Pakistani serial raises question on inhumane treatment of domestic help

Anchorperson Fereeha Idrees shared a picture from an ongoing serial on one of Pakistani TV channels that showed a rich lady sitting on a sofa and her domestic help is shown sitting on the floor while talking to her. The picture sparked a debate on Twitter.

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A scene from a Pakistani drama serial showing domestic help sitting on a floor has stoked an interesting debate on social media regarding the respect and honor of house help.

Anchorperson Fereeha Idrees shared the picture from the ongoing serial on one of the Pakistani TV channels that showed a rich lady sitting on a sofa and her domestic help is shown sitting on the floor while talking to her. In her tweet, she raised a thought-provoking question, about giving equal treatment to the maids and household staff.

“A scene from a Pakistani drama shows the “modern female” sitting on the sofa while the “poor head covered” domestic help sitting on the floor. That is how we “typecast”. This is also how we give oxygen to “slavery notions” where your domestic help cannot sit on the sofa with you,”

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Other people also joined the conversation. Some said that this is a usual practice in almost all affluent families and that this discrimination is present everywhere. To which she replied that it does not happen everywhere but influential people in the society should raise their voice against this discrimination and educated people on the rights of domestic help being treated with respect and given the due wages for their services.

People asked her how does she treat her domestic help. To which the journalist said, she does not make her domestic staff sit on the floor. Either they both stand while talking or she makes them sit on a chair if she is also sitting on the chair.

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Anchorperson and senior journalist, Dr. Moeed Pirzada, also joined the conversation and commented that drama serials are a form of art that aims to persuade people to think on various subjects. His comments implied that the art should be able to challenge the status quo and this Pakistani drama serial is certainly successful in doing so.

 

“But Fereeha, A drama, will be true art only if it depicts life the way it exists; Art can inspire or persuade change at times by grotesque portrayals that agitate minds & shake status quo, but art will fail its purpose if it doesn’t shock- this image has already shocked you,” asserted Dr. Moeed Pirzada in his comment.

Criticisms for Pakistani dramas

Pakistani drama serials often receive praises, within Pakistan and from India, for being realistic and accurately portraying the dark truths in society. However, they often come under criticism for some valid reasons too.

Recently, novelist and write Nemra Ahmed called out Pakistani serials for glorifying narcissistic men as ‘heroes’. In her Instagram post, the author said, “A wealthy and handsome playboy keeps pursuing a middle class girl. He kidnaps her, stalks her, abuses her, he shouts at her, physically assaults her but he is still the hero In the end the hero wins over the girl. That is where these dramas end. Love wins. They call it Ishq,” wrote the Namal author.

She added that such men turn out to be Zahir Jaffer in real life and then they don’t let these girls go.