“Mayi Ri” is a soap serial that airs on ARY Digital and has garnered massive viewership. In the producer’s own words, it promised to “highlight the rotten fabric of society. Child marriage is an issue that is prevalent in our society and “Mayi Ri” depicts it beautifully”. This soap will soon be hitting the 50-episode mark and recently it has sparked a profound and unprecedented debate about the highly sensitive and tabooed issue of forced child marriages. The main reason for this debate is the main plot of the drama. The story revolves around young teenagers who are forced to enter into a Nikkah by their families and now they are expecting their first child. The main issue here is the way all of these things have been presented on-screen. What is even more surprising is that “Mayi Ri” continues to be one of the most viewed dramas and there are plenty of people out there who are actually justifying the plot. Let’s talk about the reasons for the popularity of the drama and the reasons why some people are justifying forced child marriages!
Different Kinds of Viewers
Most of the viewers tuned into “Mayi Ri” initially because they were under the impression that this drama would create awareness about the deeply troubling issue of child marriage. Since this is one of those complex social issues that aren’t addressed in dramas most of the viewers were inquisitive about what “Mayi Ri” had to offer. Those viewers who started watching the drama with this state of mind they were looking forward to witnessing how the writer would show the complex consequences of forced child marriage. These would include the loss of education, health risks, and issues related to mental health.
There are obviously plenty of those viewers as well who watch dramas only for entertainment purposes and they find the entire discussion about dramas being a tool for change absurd, Therefore, many such viewers tune into soap serials and turn out to be the ones who make or break these dramas.
Loyal Fans vs. the Critics
Viewers who started watching the drama with the above-mentioned mindset were disappointed when they realized that “Mayi Ri” failed to highlight the issues related to child marriage, especially with reference to mental health and other consequences related to the children involved. However, there are many others who continue to not only watch the drama but also praise it because of its pace and storyline. Such viewers obviously don’t see child marriage as an issue. Many of them give religious reasons for the mindset.
The loyal fans of the drama also hold the perspective that portraying Fakhir, the male lead character, as a mature and responsible husband was a commendable decision made by the drama makers. This viewpoint stands in stark contrast to the opinions of those who oppose this series for glorifying forced child marriage. Some of these fans are also those viewers who do not analyze the content of dramas and watch them purely as an entertainment medium.
Daily Episodes – a Contributing Factor
Another major reason for the massive viewership of this soap is the combination of daily episodes and shocking plot twists. This effectively creates a sense of addiction for the viewers. Because of the fact that this drama airs every single day of the week, most viewers find themselves completely invested in the world of “Mayi Ri.” They are eager to uncover the next surprising revelation or unravel the consequences of the latest dramatic turn of events. This engagement often extends beyond just passive viewership, with fans discussing the show’s developments with friends and family, participating in online forums, and speculating about future plot twists. This daily broadcasting strategy coupled with controversial or shocking turns in the story has always worked wonders for the producers.
Social Media Discussions
Social media platforms have become virtual arenas where viewers dissect, debate, and speculate on the latest developments in dramas. “Mayi Ri” has been in the limelight ever since the 10th episode when Ainee and Fakhir entered into a Nikkah. While many of the viewers have been criticizing the plot, it has given rise to curiosity and has added to the popularity of the drama. The producers have strategically harnessed the power of controversy. They have used unbelievable plot twists and shock-inducing moments to sustain and amplify these discussions. This deliberate approach has been instrumental in keeping the buzz surrounding the show alive. The producers clearly believe that no publicity is bad publicity.
The Tapestry of Interpretations
It is a fact that a significant portion of the viewers perceive “Mayi Ri” as a realistic portrayal of certain cultural norms, particularly those related to child marriage. These Viewers believe that the narrative of the drama does not deviate from an accurate representation of the circumstances under which child marriages take place. In their perspective, “Mayi Ri” neither sensationalizes nor distorts the practice of child marriage, but rather, it is viewed as a true reflection of social dynamics.
Such viewers argue that the series does not glorify or endorse child marriage but instead, endeavors to shed light on the complexities surrounding it. From their standpoint, “Mayi Ri” serves as a platform for raising awareness and initiating discussions about the subject.
Defending Forced Child Marriage: Why?
A significant portion of individuals who do not perceive child marriage as a problem often cite religion as their primary justification for supporting it. Somehow such viewers forget that Islam lays significant emphasis on the concept of mutual consent in the context of marriage; especially the girl’s consent is of utmost importance. This principle goes to prove that both individuals entering into the marital contract should willingly agree to it, without any form of coercion or pressure. Since such discussions are often termed taboo, most people do not even want to engage in them. That is exactly what the drama makers want. Ainee and Fakhir are not just underage but they were forced into this marriage as well.
Ultimately, the debate surrounding child marriage and religion is complex. It entails respectful dialogue, cultural sensitivity, and efforts to balance religious freedom with the protection of children’s rights. It is also one of those discussions which depends heavily on an individual’s own point of view.
To sum up, “Mayi Ri” attracts a diverse array of viewers, each holding contrasting viewpoints. While some viewers find the show’s portrayal of child marriage realistic and non-problematic, there are also those who find this portrayal flawed and insensitive. The debate surrounding “Mayi Ri’s” impact and message on child marriage continues to be a subject of heated discussion among its viewers. These diverse opinions make the debate surrounding “Mayi Ri’s” subject matter and its impact on society more complex. This debate has definitely helped highlight the importance of critical reflection on the portrayal of sensitive subjects in dramas. The real question is, are our drama makers paying attention?
Those viewers who expected this drama to discourage child marriage and ultimately contribute to the collective efforts aimed at eradicating child marriage from the fabric of society definitely do not have enough to hold on to! But those who tuned into this drama for entertainment purposes and find the circumstances shown in the drama relatable are definitely going to be watching this one till the end. At the end of the day, both sets of viewers contribute to the drama’s ratings which obviously matter more than anything else to the producers and the channel.