When I stationed myself in front of the television at 6:02 pm today, I had a few questions in mind. The biggest question, in fact, the biggest worry, I had was that the Burka-haters so common on the social media ever since the release of the Burka Avenger trailer would be proven correct.
I can proudly say, my fears were unfounded.
The animation was not only entertaining, but educational. While showing off her Ninja-tastic outfit, the Burka Avenger (Jiya – in everyday life) brought up a few important points to light. The issue of educating women and treating them as equals was brought up and dealt with very carefully. The protagonist was snubbed using carefully worded satire.
The burka in the show is nothing like the piece of clothing worn by women in general. It, by no means, looks like a symbol of oppression. Moreover, the fact that Jiya does not sport a Burka in her everyday life just emphasizes on how wearing the burka is a much more of a choice than a means of oppression.
Moreover, Jiya doesn’t just fight evil. She is a schoolteacher at an institution that provides education to both girls and boys.
While the liberals’ ego might be hurt by watching their national superhero clad in a burka, I’d say it gives the whole thing a more local feel. Dressing her up in anything otherwise would have made the show difficult to relate to.
All in all, it is a good concept; one which may play an important role in moulding the mindset of our younger generation. It has raised an important issue in its very first episode, and I look forward to the upcoming ones.
Lastly, Kudos to Haroon Rashid for this brilliant innovation – and for giving Pakistanis a superhero of their own.