A new drama series on Hum TV titled ‘Sang-e-Mah’ has come under fire from some viewers who say that the show perpetuates negative stereotypes against the Pashutun community, portraying them as gun-toting ‘religious fanatics.’
The series follows the story of a community grappling with the tradition of a man marrying an un-consenting woman, known as ‘Ghag’. The lead is played by singer Atif Aslam in his first television acting debut.
Some viewers were concerned that in the first episode, the antagonist, who commits a ‘heinous crime’, is a Pashtun wearing a ‘Mazoor Pashtun hat.’ Similarly, the woman who dresses in a ‘Sawabiwal Chadar’ is portrayed as ‘quarrelsome’ and prone to picking up a gun.
Commenting on the various costumes, one viewer wrote, “This cap is a symbol of non-violence … do not insult it by adding matching bullets of a gun to it. Shame on the deliberate spread of violent narrative against those fighting terrorism through peace!”
Other viewers claimed that the series, which airs on state television, may have a political slant, noting the similarity of the character’s cap as the one worn by Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) activist Manzoor Pashteen.
“Is it important to portray Pashtuns as religious fanatics, against women rights, and eat naswaar all day?” asked one viewer.
The series airs on Hum TV Sundays at 8pm