‘Udaari’ brought forth a societal issue that had plagued our nation for too long. While the drama shed light on incredibly dark themes stemming all too uncomfortably with reality, it’s primal focus on child molestation swept the nation into utter awe. At one point, PEMRA issued a ban on the drama amidst grounds of ‘immoral content’ being pushed through in an effort to ban the story from passing along like Chinese whispers. We often forget the power of television and in light of what has plunged Pakistan into a drowning darkness, we must not forget this particular medium to project an important message in such dire times.
‘Udaari’ was a bitter truth, as it cast a wary eye over a hushed taboo – the taboo of child abuse
“Justice for Zebbo” swarmed the streets as protests broke loose after word gets out that a ten-year-old girl was raped multiple times by her stepfather – and the worst part of it all was also that he entirely got away with it. The premise of ‘Udaari’ terrifyingly mirrors the painful news of Zainab, a seven-year-old raped and killed in Kasur. The killer roams free, and many fear it is because of political connections that protect him.
The overlying arch remained Imtiaz’s shuddering relationship with 10-year-old step-daughter Zebo, however, it was his persistent nature with other women that suggested his abusive nature
Imtiaz’s motives began unveiling before us after his marriage to Sajida. He was someone both mother and daughter trusted – the signs were not there at the start, and it’s only when we witness Imtiaz staring at Meera while she plays and his interactions with her grow.
Sajjo did not keep her guard up, and it wasn’t her fault – how could she think someone she openly welcomes into her little life would destroy her so
It comes down to the fact that trust is a dwindling bond, and you must wear your armor about you at all times, even with those you are closest to. The drama’s name, ‘Udaari’ literally means to fly, and is symbolic to entirely what Sajida begins to embody as she seeks justice despite years of suffering.
Love is what drives Sajjo, and when it’s real then it’s the most powerful force in the world
Sajjo’s strength is admirable. Her existence is her daughter, and she will stop at nothing to punish Imtiaz. At one point, Sajjo is distraught in jail and throws a fit after Zebbo visits her, screaming she doesn’t want her daughter in such a place.
Imtiaz made you awfully uncomfortable as a viewer, accurately depicting the nature of predators
His conversation with Zebo was a blaring alarm. It wasn’t normal, and the eeriness was evident in his moments alone with the seven-year-old.
The unfortunate truth that brims every corner is injustice seeps deep, with roots very much so sturdily entwined in ground
Other societal pressures – a rich girl shunned from singing by her mother, only until she’s finished her education versus Meera’s mother who insists she begins to sing and dance within the confinements of her rural community to earn sufficient money. Her love interest makes it very clear that he wants nothing to do with her if she becomes a singer.
The drama showcases a painful revelation; if you are poor, a woman and have been wronged – and resilience is your only savior
You cannot give up. Fight until the end. Fight until your bones are nothing more than brittle. Fight for equity. Fight for yourself. Sajjo is put in jail after Imtiaz bribes the police – another thematic element surfaces, which is that of corruption. She’s subjected to torture while Imtiaz roams free, and while the drama ends on an incredibly satisfactory note – happy endings are a rarity in society.
Anger has gripped the nation as the hashtag #JusticeForZainab has swept through social media, and while anger is justified, proclaiming ‘tit for tat’ is only going to spur a mob justice dipped in anarchy
While Sajida attempts to murder Imtiaz, it’s precisely in a fit of rage – and the utmost natural one having been a mother whose daughter is continually raped and abused. However it isn’t the answer, and a set system in place is the only way a society can prosper, and not suffer a dizzying downfall.
We mustn’t forget the sheer power of television.