Burqa Avenger's second episode has aired on August 4, 2013, which is produced, created & directed by a pop singer Aaron /Haroon Rasheed.
Well, it a big thing for us. After all we have got our very own first super hero. Just after couple of episodes, it has got people taking about it .......... but peeps are not talking about the cartoon series, how good or bad it is. No one is giving shahbashee for making first ever made-in-Pakistan animated series. No one is taking about its production, direction, acting, story, content and all that jazz, which is quite excellent. No one is taking about the message behind it, “Justice, Peace and Education for All”
What people are talking about is the BURQA, because first ever Pakistani super hero (heroine) is a teacher in some village called halwapur at day, but in night she's kicking ass of bad guys with Takht Kabaddi -- a form of karate that uses books and pens as weapons, for justice peace, and education, in full burqa. She is also a parkour master, though her burqa has become a bone of contention.
Poor cartoon has gone somewhere in the back ground, meanwhile a new controversy has stirred up. Real issue, which is providing good education to everyone, empowering women, and making them a useful member of society is no more an issue.
Its facbook page is full with two cents of people from all walk of life, who are either with her, or who are totally against her, finding her costume not appropriate for a super hero.
Those who are totally against it, saying it is not a super hero cartoon, but merely a promotion of oppression, violence and sexism. And she is not burqani, but a full length niqabi, who can’t defend women rights and education by wearing a costume which segregates women in society. Women who wears burka think they have some kind of religious superiority, and privilege. Only they are pious, rest are just to look down upon. Already female are oppressed in this country, now we have Burqa Avenger to make them more oppressed.
She is quite aggressive, and hits with pen and books. What type of message is this ? They say that girls are not allowed to get education in Pakistan is just a propaganda to portray a wrong image of Pakistan, and Pakistani woman across the globe. Some "foreign hands" are behind this whole production. It has mixed up Islam and Pakistan.
Their point is that Burka is an Arabic traditional dress so it should have stayed like that rather than a costume for an animated movie. If she is a Pakistani super hero, costume should be something more like shalwar kameez, which is our national dress. They are afraid, if this catch on, burqa will be everywhere. There will be Burka Avenger the Doll, Burka Avenger the game, Burka Avenger the Movie, and Burka Avenger the Franchise.
On the contrary, people who support Burqa, or wear them are actually celebrating this strong female character. They are quite happy because something like this is really happening. Now they have an Islamic type super hero to look up to. To them it is representing true image of not only a Pakistani women, because majority of Pakistanis gals are like her brave and courageous, who know how to stand of for their rights, but also representing Muslim women all around the world.
Women from Turkey to Indonesia will be able to relate with Jia, who is not like some western half naked superheroes(which western super hero is naked?). She is an independent young woman, unlike other super heroes who are all male. Isn't this amazing? Anyway, not only kids are enjoying and getting good message, adults are also fan of Jia a.k.a Burqa Avenger. It will tell the world that burqa ain't a symbol of oppression. They strongly believe Burka avenger is gonna beat all half naked western super heroes.
Well, both parties are are just making a mountain outta molehill over a piece of cloth. I reckon we have already hammered it out that burqa ain't a symbol of oppression. Some might wear it by force, but many do it by their own choice, so never dare to say a single world to any naqabi, hijabi, burqai gals, at least not in Pakistan. Never, never mess up with lady in black.
Don't mess with the lady in black
The lady in black, the lady in black
Don't mess with the lady in black
When she's on the attack!
(Theme song by Haroon and Adil Omer)
She wears shalwar kammez at day, like any Pakistani girl. It is just at night when she is out kicking ass, needs a special costume to conceals her identity. What is so wrong about it? Every super hero needs a costume, what if a she wears burqa. Her focus is more on good deeds, rather than her body. Books are more important, than waiting for prince charming. Her top priorities is saving her village, spreading awareness, rather than wasting time in beautifying her self.
However, it is always mixed up_Islam and Pakistan, whether one like it or not. So one shouldn't be super surprised if Pakistani first super hero is a woman in a burqa costume and fighting for education. This is our reality. No matter how much liberal brigade frown upon this burqa, majority might wears shalwar kammez, but there are real burqa avengers among us. And our one of the biggest problem is illiteracy and obstacles which not let girls to get at least basic, primary level education, so in a nut shell, Burqa Avenger is perfect, in my opinion.
My only issue with this cartoon series is its ATTITUDE. I mean, just after making a first animated cartoon, airing only two episode you are challenging west. Calling western super heroes naked. Giving lessons to the father of cartoon (Disney) what type of heroin should be. It is quite unfair. And this comparison is totally wrong as well. How can you compare a Disney heroin with super hero/heroine?It is like comparing an apple with a pear, innit?
I have nothing much to say.