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20 Apr

Osman Khalid Butt responds to concerns about ‘negative portrayal of ghar damaad’ in Chupke Chupke

Chupke Chupke

Founder of Soul Sisters Pakistan, Kanwal Ahmed recently raised concerns about how a Ramazan drama serial Chupke Chupke and pointed out that it is portraying ghar damaads (sons-in-law who live with their wives’ parents or at their home) in a negative light.

“Trust our dramas to disempower audiences by reinforcing problematic stereotypes,” she said, sharing a screenshot from Chupke Chupke. “Here the ghar damaad is an object of constant ridicule.”

Kanwal, who runs a popular women-only Facebook group, shared that it is quite common that women on her group share how they face issues because their parents are old and cannot live alone. Due to societal pressures, they cannot move back to their parents’ house with their husbands because it is looked down upon in our society. Hence, portraying ghar damaads in such demeaning ways is only reinforcing a stereotype which is a real-life issue.

 

 

“Only yesterday a woman on SSP was asking how she & sisters can manage her old parents as none of them can move in with them,” she explained.

Chupke Chupke stars Ali Safina as Miskeen who is the husband of Gul-e-Rana (Mira Sethi). She is the eldest daughter of the family and is quite dominating. She is living with her old grandmother and is hunting for rishtas for her younger brother and sister. Miskeen is a character who is shown to be not well educated as well as lazy. Though he is always working in the kitchen or pressing clothes, he is quite dumb and relies on her wife’s family. He is mocked by every member of the household for his eccentric behaviour.

 

Chupke Chupke

Fazi and Miskeen in Chupke Chupke

 

In response to her tweets, Osman Khalid Butt — who is playing Gul’s brother Fazi in the drama — said that Kanwal has an interesting take but she is viewing the character from a different perspective.

“This is an interesting take; however it’s important to mention this ‘ghar damad’ refuses to work despite being offered a job in the family business, isn’t with his in-laws because of financial (or any) duress, & while he’s played for broad comedy, has his own arc,” he responded.

Read: Ep 1: Chupke Chupke begins with a complex family story

Kanwal thanked Osman for his response but she maintained that comedies like these will only make matters worse. “How many men would want to be ghar damads after watching this,” she asked rhetorically.

 

 

Osman admitted that it is “not a nuanced take” but it comes with additional facts like the behaviour of his wife and his own laziness.

 

 

While we agree to what Osman said that dramas do take certain comedic liberties specially in lighthearted scripts. However, it is quite evident that our comedy dramas use the same tropes again and again like evil saas, ghar damaads, loud and interfering nands, problems of rishta hunting, an annoying young kid, a carefree and dumb girl who falls in love with his irritating cousin or vice versa, all leading to cousin marriages and a lot more.

Nonetheless, it was refreshing to see the discourse between two sensible people who presented their viewpoints amicably and didn’t resort to shaming like we usually see on Twitter.

 

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