Burqay ke neeche kya hai, pardey ke peche kya hai

Posted on May 2, 2007. Filed under: burqavaganza, Culture, Enlightened Moderation My Ass, Jamia Hafsa Ninjas, Talibanization |

burqavaganza.jpgphoto from bbcurdu.com

This news is a bit old, but we have had it under warming lamps and it is still consumable. So lets have at it with some karak chai and a couple of fresh khatais for good measure. The government has recently stopped Ajoka Theaters from conducting any further performances of its satirical musical production Burqavaganza. The creative forces behind the show are the husband and wife dynamic duo of Madeeha Gauhar and Shahid Nadeem. So we know the thing must have been well written, well produced, and a new thorn in the sides of the subversive forces in the country.

The idea behind burqavaganza, it seems was to highlight the issues of talibanization of Pakistani society,the subjugation of women, and the role played in this macabre drama by the authorities and the fundoos. In the play, young men and women are shown going on dates under the cover of burqas.  The play also shows a burqa-clad married couple put to death for public displays of affection. There is a cricket match played in burqas. And a character named Burqa bin Ladin. The following link from BBC shows a video clip montage of Burqavaganza.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/meta/dps/2007/04/bb/070427_burqavaganza_16x9_bb.asx

The production team behind the play has reacted with shock and disbelief at the ban. What soft image? What enlightened moderation? As if giving in to the Lal Masjid mullahs in Islamabad wasn’t bad enough, the government is now playing dead in Lahore. All it took was for a bunch of unelected female MNAs to shriek, blasphemy! blasphemy! on the floors of the assembly, and the bearded and turbaned culture minister proclaimed a ban on the play. The educated citizens have expressed their displeasure and disappointment with the government on this issue. A few letters to editor of daily times express the feeling of this minority.

So, this is where we stand. The fundoos have become the morality police of the country. They decide what is permissible and what is punishable. Wither freedom of speech. They wouldn’t stop till they ban freedom of thought. In their comprehension anything even remotely tied to Islamic cultures is sacred. Today, satirizing the burqa has become blasphemous, tomorrow poking fun at the skull cap is going to earn lashes from the bearded lot.

Ajoka theaters can still take heart from the fact that they have unwittingly unveiled the duplicitous face of the musharraf regime. One of the hallmarks of true leadership is consistency. Consistency in rhetoric and action. That consistency allows others to have confidence in the leaders’ ability to stay on course. You cannot claim to be enlightened and moderate and then include in your cabinet ministers who act contrary to your promises. You cannot say media is free and then ban plays because the reactionary fringe protests too much.

 Shameless self-plugging alert: The daily rooznamah reveals the real issue might be a professional rivalry between Ajoka and the army-mullah tag team. The army and mullah alliance claim exclusive rights to producing burqa and topi dramas in the country.

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2 Responses to “Burqay ke neeche kya hai, pardey ke peche kya hai”

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lol.. everything nowadays is a drama. Government thinks that they and the mullah fundoos are already giving us so much entertainment that we don’t deserve more. Ek toh government darr jati hai baar baar from this laathi raaj people.

when people who call themselves moderate
cannot stop themselves from criticising orthodox people
they should not expect approval either.
A legal action taken by the government of a country cant be worse than people abusing the government or defying it for that matter. Pakistanis or more likely those who call themselves enlightened are only interested in lenient moral values and poking fun at religious norms. Pakistan is a country where most people follow hearts and traditions instead of understanding diverse art and their psychy should not be used against them. Pakistanion ko bas kharabian nazar aati hain apne mulk main. Angrez kuch karte hain to unki puri qaum mental disorder batati hai aur ik hum hain apne hain logon ko phansa rahen hain.


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