KARACHI: Churails, Asim Abbasi’s recent web series was removed from ZEE5 for the Pakistani audience. The series is a woman-centric story-telling of female vigilantes, fed up with a system that stands on the grounds of patriarchy. While the removal sent shockwaves among fans, it was unfortunately also rejoiced by many who thought that the show was ‘promoting vulgarity’. The cast, including Nimra Bucha, Yasra Rizvi, Sarwat Gilani, Mehar Bano, and Kashif Hussain, has voiced out the wrongful removal through its social media handles. Nevertheless, they are not alone, as a number of celebrities have come forward to show their support.
Faisal Kapadia pointed out the irony in the situation.
Loud and woke, activist Ammar Ali Jan can always be counted on to call out the wrongs fearlessly. The activist wrote, “Since the motorway incident, we blamed women for leaving homes late at night, criticized Bollywood, co-education & even biscuit ads for rape culture, & banned #Churails. But we failed to catch the culprits or remove the CCPO. Panic around ‘vulgarity’ reflects our nauseating hypocrisy.”
Osman Khalid Butt reminded everyone about how our priorities are so messed up, and that rapists are still roaming freely.
“For goodness sake, let people watch alternative narratives, different ideas, and good art. Stop suffocating Pakistan.” wrote activist Gulalai Ismail.
Comedian Muhammad Moiz, also known as Miss P. Chattni, spoke on bans as being immoral, and how they stem from jealousy. “I personally believe that most bans aren’t just moral – there are actual people in the media industry who pull strings (possibly riling up some powerful people) to get new content banned because our industry is cut-throat and jealous AF.”
Filmmaker Iram Parveen Bilal considers the ban a major reverse gear for Pakistan.
Writer Natasha Kundi called Churails a mirror that shows the reflection of the society we live in. She questions how banning the show, and turning a blind eye to things that really happen, going to help us.
Laal Kabootar star, Mansha Pasha wrote, “Unfortunately we are moving towards a Zia-esque time of moral policing. Meanwhile, the state silences journalists, runs after biscuit ads, and begins its bans on OTT content. What started off as a causal critique by bloggers of what content should or shouldn’t be on tv has now turned into full-blown censorship. No more complaining and comparing our local productions to foreign. The industry cannot flourish with constant attempts to control, silence, and subvert.”
Sanam Saeed voiced out her stance with the following tweet.
“Banning dancing ads, outspoken films, and web series will not end rape if that’s the agenda. Why are we riddled with such hypocrisy? Buss bandh darvaazon kay peechay ho sub. God forbid hamari bholi awaam influence na ho jai if we take creative liberty, to be honest and open.” wrote the Cake actress.
Zhalay Sarhadi wrote, “We can show women being harassed and maligned but if they want to initiate dialogue and take power into their own hands, it scares us??” pointing out what possibly prompted the series to be removed in Pakistan.
Shamoon Ismail is another celebrity who called Churails a re-enactment of what happens in the society and urged people to do something to stop abuse against women instead of putting on a blindfold of volunteered ignorance to their issues.