Yumna Zaidi has been at the forefront of Pakistani serials for quite some time, and while she’s not one to formally introduce (she’s raked in a number of dramas that have time and time again showcased her brilliant acting), there always comes one particular role in an actor’s life that catapults them into overnight stardom – and for Yumna, it’s her currently aired drama ‘Inkaar’ that are quickly picked up impressive viewership. After this drama, it suffices to say she’s emulating Imran Ashraf’s footsteps in dipping her toes outside of her comfort zone.
Hum Tv Drama "Inkaar"👍🏻 brilliant lesson & awareness for girls about playboys of the society. Yes they care & respect you a lot, never argue with you because they are doing investment to get what they want from you. Men need to learn "NO Means NO" even in a strong relationship.
— Ali Qasim (@aliqasim) April 10, 2019
‘Inkaar’, starring Yumna, Sami Khan and Imran Ashraf is a fantastic take on the issue of societal consent, and what it means in a misogynistic setting like Pakistan.
“No means no” has become the drama’s tagline, with Yumna’s character Hajra defying norms by putting her foot down with men who simply cannot fathom the concept.
It was this particular scene, where Hajra confronts her estranged lover Imran (Rehan) after he keeps stepping out of line with her – at one point he even goes to meet her father without her consent (because he is a poisonous toxic male specimen). Hajra speaks her mind and sets up boundaries for him, telling him to basically buggar off.
— مریم (@Mariyaam01) April 8, 2019
What is incredibly uncomfortable to watch is how Rehan is shown not to understand “no.”
Despite Hajra making it very clear that he has no place in her life anymore, Rehan tries to hush her up with an aggressive response and a web of threats and verbal abuse. Hajra is unwavering in her stance, and her dogged determination to shut Rehan up is brilliant – considering most dramas have women swept under the rug; they remain at most, voiceless.
Hajra warns him that this is their last interaction, to which Rehan says he can’t live without her – and that’s her problem…why exactly?
Hajra isn’t going to get scared by Rehan’s belligerence. She even tells him to slap her, after he continually uses his psychopathic tendencies to try and shut her up – something that is terrifyingly becoming the norm in Pakistan. We’re always hearing news about men and their narcissistic traits, either shaving their spouses’ heads off or resorting to marital rape – and it all boils down to the notion of consent.
Consent should not be as ambiguous as it is in our society – it should be black and white.
Sexual assault varies; there have been countless times I’ve been catcalled, whistled at and touched in public – and if I stay silent, then men think it’s me complying to their behavior. That’s not the case though, I might not verbally object to such disgusting and intolerable acts because I’m either at loss of time to actually react, or I’m frankly too shocked to speak back. While the legal definition of consent does vary, but consent is honestly the same everywhere if you have a brain. Harassment CAN vary, but consent does not.
The actress has been praised by fans of the drama for her acting and for essaying such a strong female protagonist, and have commended this particular scene for divulging consent so articulately.
Yumna Zaidi is the best actor of her generation. Period. I AM SO CLOSE TO STANNING 💓🙌 #Inkaar
— Binu🌸 (@aestheticallyFM) April 9, 2019
Hajra is such a head-strong, no bs, no ott kinda character! A balanced character who's not chirpy positive kind nor pessimistic negative kind…a chrctr who thinks and feels.
Bravo👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 Love her❤❤❤ #Inkaar
— lish (@folishba) April 9, 2019
— NeHa KhAn ♡ (@naina_khn) April 9, 2019
— Binu🌸 (@aestheticallyFM) April 9, 2019
— Bushra 🇮🇳 (@bushrareal202) April 11, 2019
INKaAR is good so far. Watch if u have’nt
— Seema Faraz سیما فراز (@SeemaFaraz) April 7, 2019
I'm gettin' obsessed with #Inkaar
— Beck. (@Bloom_winnx) April 9, 2019
Watch ‘Inkaar’ guys! It’s brilliant!