Nikkah is considered one of the most sacred bonds in any Muslim society. The terms and conditions for this nikkah to be valid are also quite clear to even those people who are not well educated or aware. There are definitely instances when in reality people make a mockery out of nikkah. Men and women sometimes are forced to enter into a nikkah in reality because of different reasons. This is however a really sensitive topic which most of the Pakistani drama writers have dealt with in order to create controversy. Nowadays, unfortunately, many of the producers want controversies so that they get attention. There are so many different channels churning out innumerable dramas therefore sometimes these controversies are used to get the attention of the viewers. At other times these nikkah’s are forced in an indirect way in order to start a specific track which eventually becomes the center of attention or a ‘love story’.
There are some Pakistani dramas such as Sammi and even Udaari which gave importance to a man and a woman’s consent in marriage. This consent cannot be forced on a girl or even a man and if it is then the validity of the nikkah is questionable. Since most of the Pakistani dramas deal with marital problems and they show women in particular as the victim, there have been plenty of forced nikkahs in Pakistani dramas. Every time we think that we have seen the worse, the producers and writers come up with something even more bizarre and unpleasant. The most distressing element of some of these dramas has been that these forced nikkahs were taken so lightly by the public and the makers. They were shown as normal marriages with some problems and eventually everything works out fine. If these forced nikkahs are actually shown as being invalid and problematic as was the case with Rehaii then it is perfectly fine but if they are used as ‘plot twists’ then there is nothing right about showing such situations.
Here are some of the most popular Pakistani dramas that did not only show such situations but also normalized forced nikkahs.
Gul-e-Rana starred some of the most sought-after actors of the industry and this drama was watched by millions. It was produced by not one but two of the biggest production houses in the country; MD and Six Sigma Productions. These big productions set such a bad precedent with this drama which was followed by so many in the upcoming drama. This drama was also the perfect example of how a problematic storyline can easily be ignored by people so long as they are getting to see their favorite stars in the drama. After Gul-e-Rana’s father dies, she moves into her uncle’s (father’s brother) house. The uncle’s son turns out to be a spoiled brat who wants to teach Gul-e-Rana a lesson after she insults him repeatedly. A few days after their interactions start, the drama took an ugly turn when Adeel forced Rana to enter into a nikkah with him. As if this was not enough, it was also shown that he gave her sleeping pills and raped her! She woke up not knowing what had happened but then realized she wasn’t wearing the clothes she was wearing last night! We still cannot fathom how the makers got away with this treachery.
Beqasoor had so many females who were constantly shown suffering in the drama. As the title of the drama suggests it was all about people who suffer no reason. This drama took one tragic turn after the other and it banked heavily on the bechari aurat to garner sympathy and TRPs. In many dramas, we have witnessed greedy fathers who make their daughters enter into forced nikkahs but Beqasoor’s handling of this development was simply disgusting. This forced nikkah was used as a means for ‘character development’ and showing even more victimization of the women involved. As if this was not bad enough, the mother of the girl gave her poison so that she wouldn’t have to live with this older man she was forced to get married to.
The trend set by Gul-e-Rana became so ‘popular’ among the producers that Big Bang decided to come up with yet another story of kidnapping turned into nikkah! It is not only sad that these men are shown forcing women into these nikkahs but somehow the molvis involved also see nothing wrong with it. Since nikkah entails the presence of a religious head in order to ensure that it is not being forced upon someone, our producers are sending out the wrong message about religion as well by showing such scenarios. Although this development was shown as a ‘sitam’, the scene itself is a clear representation of what is wrong with such scenarios.
Muqaddar is another drama with some of the best actors in the industry which has normalized forced nikkah. When an influential feudal and politician falls in love with a young girl, he first tries to persuade his family to make her his wife and when that doesn’t work, he kidnaps her. Even after the kidnapping this girl Raima is not willing to accept his ‘proposal’ for obvious reasons. Eventually, he threatens that he will kill his family members if she doesn’t go ahead with the nikkah and that is how both of them get married. What made matters worse was how Raima fell in love with the person who did all this to her and is now enjoying her position in her new home. Watching actors such as Faysal Qureshi and Madiha Imam playing the central characters in such a story is alarming.
Malal-e-Yaar was another drama that showed a forced nikkah in a situation that was, unfortunately, a little too familiar as far as Pakistani dramas are concerned. It showed how a powerful feudal pressurizes a girl who was shown as strong-headed and fiery into entering in a nikkah with him even though she is in love with someone else and does everything in her power to get away from this nasty man. When the molvi refuses to do so, he is treated in the same manner and ultimately has to give in! While surely such men must pressurize women in this manner, showing such situations and then showing that such people actually stayed married till the end is ridiculous. Is such a nikkah even valid? Well, Pakistani drama writers definitely think so!!
This is another popular drama on television right now which has some of the most bizarre twists and turns to its credit! In the recent episode of Zebaish, Noshaba is forced to enter into a nikkah with her khala’s husband! The events which led to this were highly unconvincing. This latest ‘twist’ was shocking and in bad taste. The viewers couldn’t even have imagined that the drama will take such a turn. It is truly upsetting watching some of the most experienced actors of the industry going along with such a storyline. This drama has made a mockery of the institution of marriage like no other. Marriages and divorces are an everyday occurrence in the lives of the character sometimes out of necessity and at other times out of their own free will.
Khwaab Nagar Ki Shehzadi
The latest unfortunate trend in Pakistani dramas is that the men are shown as victims of forced nikkah as well. Most often a greedy woman from a low-income household is shown blackmailing the men into entering into a nikkah. Such situations are mind-boggling. Khwaab Nagar Ki Shehzadi sounds like a drama about a naive girl with big dreams but it is actually the story of a maid who has an extramarital affair with the man who she works for and then with the help of his family pressurized him into a nikkah. While the man is also at fault, not only was this nikkah done under extreme pressure and it the ugliest circumstance but this woman also gets the house and a lot of money because the man in question wants to save his ‘izzat’. This was another absurd scenario and something which just should not be shown on television. The entire scenario was forced and this forced nikkah could easily have been avoided but it was shown to sensationalize the story just as it was in all the other dramas on this list.
Waada was the drama that set the precedent of showing scenarios in which men are blackmailed into entering into nikkah. This was another story showing how the maid and the man of the house have an affair and ultimately the maid repeatedly threatens to kill herself in order to make this man marry her! It won’t be wrong to say that Khwaab Nagar Ki Shehzadi is majorly inspired by this drama. There are so many people out there who must be getting all kinds of wrong messages from such dramas and certainly, such scenes undermine the importance of nikkah.
Thora Sa Haq
Thora Sa Haq was another drama showing another angle of this forced nikkah scenario being repeatedly shown in Pakistani dramas. In this drama dying father of the girl begs his brother to take good care of his daughter after he dies and the brother asks his engaged son to enter into a nikkah with the girl there and then! The molvi is arranged at a time when there was a dire need for an ambulance! Instead of arranging that, the young man is forced to enter into a nikkah and the girl whose father is dying has to say qabool hei! This was hands down the most bizarre situation, it was inspired by Hamsafar but there was a big difference. While Asher was given some time to think about the situation and he wasn’t in love or engaged, the scenario here was different altogether.
Pakistani dramas are watched around the globe therefore showing such scenarios repeatedly in dramas sends the wrong message about Pakistani culture and society to all those people. Not only this, the idea that a girl can fall in love with and then live a happy life with someone who forced her into a nikkah is even worse. Most importantly, using such tracks to provide ‘entertainment’ is the most disappointing aspect.
What do you think about such forced nikkahs in Pakistani dramas? Do share your views.