10 things I hate about Hindi soaps

Published: January 7, 2012

The brands of saris, makeup, and jewellery adorned by the women never changes regardless of the circumstances.

I have always been impressed by how Bollywood has emerged as an internationally renowned entertainment industry. People from all backgrounds, even in Pakistan, keep a close watch on the happenings in Bollywood, despite the silly India-Pakistan strife.

I love India and Indian people, and let me make clear before I begin that I do not intend to attack or offend anyone through this post. I am merely highlighting some aspects of Indian soaps which I find amusing.

So without further ado, let me begin my list of the ten things I hate about Indian soaps:

1. They are endless: To put it simply, climaxes for these soaps do not, I repeat, do not exist. They remind me of the story from my childhood where a king goes hunting with his minister and has to spend the night in the woods due to bad weather. Unable to sleep, the king commands his minister to tell him a story until he falls asleep. The minister than tells him the tale of a king who goes hunting with his minister and has to spend the night in the woods, and then asks his minister to tell him a story until he falls asleep.The story, thus, moves in circles.

The only difference between my childhood story and these soaps is that the former made a bit more sense to me.

I still remember how one of the characters in a Star Plus soap was shown to have lived through four generations. The director still planned to keep her alive had she not died a natural death.

2. No such thing as certain death: Now, as far as I know when you are dead, you are dead. I have heard about the nine lives of a cat, but to my surprise, the number of lives that the characters have in Indian soaps is almost infinite. A character can die and return as many times as the director wills it.

3. Coming to life in a different body: Once a character is killed off, they return to the show with a completely new and ravishing face. Not only the face, but even the height, eye colour, and voice are different. Under some circumstances, the said character returns having suffered memory loss. This character, thus, remembers nothing except the latest fashion trends, of course.

4. Endless affairs: In every soap, there must be at least one extra-marital affair, and every extra-marital affair has to produce an illegitimate child. I would have thought that science has advanced enough to take care of that. This is clearly not the case in Indian soaps. Are the plastic surgeons a lot better than gynaecologists on these shows?

5. Absurdly large families: When I watch a soap, I am always amazed at how so many people can be accommodated in one house. What is even more surprising is how easily room is made for any added member. Do all middle-class Indians live in palaces?

6. Mindless math of money: Rich folks can lose their money if they screw up one deal out of the millions they deal with everyday. They are shunned to a small house if one of their 50 factories catches fire. Yet, the brands of saris, makeup and jewellery that their women adorn remain exactly the same. They don’t have beds to sleep in, but they have jewellery that they can wear even as they do the dusting and sweeping of the house.

7. Universal utility of the set: The living room seen in the first soap becomes a restaurant, and 30 minutes later it turns into an office premises.The same building keeps changing into a club, a bar and even a five-star hotel.

8. Drum rolls: Whether someone dies or a supposed-to-be-dead person returns (only to attend his/her spouse’s wedding of course), your eardrums are sure to be pierced. These same beats follow any argument, slaps, and shocking moments in general.

9. Non-existent door lock: You live in a big, huge mansion and you do not have locks on your bedroom door? In some cases even the bathroom doors don’t have locks. This is just a disaster waiting to happen. Some nosy aunty from the ‘kunba’ (family) can easily peek into your bedrooms when you are getting naughty with your husband’s sister’s husband’s cousin. Like I said, a disaster waiting to happen.

10. The age math. It is beyond me how the son can look older than his mother and younger than his wife. Maybe in the next season, they will all unveil themselves as the Cullens. Now that would be cool, wouldn’t it?

Just kidding.

sana.iqbal

Sana Iqbal

A marketing student who teaches economics, Sana is a freelance writer based in Karachi. She is an aspiring journalist and blogs at sanarites.blogspot.com/ Twitter handle: @sanarites

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Parvez

    Soaps are supposed to be mindless TV watching. If the Indian ones bug you then watch the Pakistani ones and finally you have the option of Fox News as well.Recommend

  • enu

    I’ve never seen any indian soaps, but they certainly seem entertaining!Recommend

  • http://syedaabidabokhari.wordpress.com The Only Normal Person Here.

    The mania of these soaps has worn out long time back. Thanks to our morning shows and Channel HUM. Recommend

  • http://www.sadafhafeez.blogspot.com S

    Quoting from the text…

    ” SILLY Pak-India strife ? ”

    “I LOVE India and Indian people ”

    Now that was an over-kill !Recommend

  • indian

    the indian soaps are all crap-too much of exaggeration . cant believe pakistanis watch it!!?!Recommend

  • Anwar Khan

    Then why you watch and waste space in your blog? Just admit you are an anti-Indian.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    Its HIndi Soaps, not just Indian.

    The only problem with is the assumed notion that Hindi Serials=Indian Serials. That is just not true.

    I know of the Soaps in Karnataka in the Kannada language and they are pretty good. Many of them are so good they actual seem to represent real life.

    So, you branding “Indian” Serials like is just unfair. But, I dont blame you entirely. Only Indians can appreciate the magnitude of diversity in India. Even our brothers and sisters who lived with us about 6 decades back seem to have forgotten..

    Maybe you can change the title to suit what I have just said? Recommend

  • alicia

    What about all the dhushm dhushm and close up of the characters face after every five seconds? Plus whats with all the plastic surgery?
    Anyway I agree with the previous comments soaps are horrible even Pakistani ones only serials are worth watching (sometimes) because they end quicker and are often better scripted.Recommend

  • Manish

    Dear Sana,

    I am not a Hindi soap director or a marketer. Yet I may be able to answer some of your queries.

    1. They are endless and without climax: Well climax comes only in stories, the soaps are shown as they are real life of characters and they will go on and on till the soap has viewer-ship, earns money and entertain peoples. The climax does not matter because after every climax there must be some story, which is not shown in movies.

    2. No such thing as certain death. Well if the soap is popular and has the viewer ship for earning money and the writer has no good plot to think of, and of course the producer wants the show must go on, the writer has to become god and inject life in the already burnt/buried/destroyed body and bring back in life. Sometimes it happens on public demand.

    3. Coming to life in a different body: This happens only when the actor has a rift with the producer/director of the show or he/she get a big role in movies or another show with central character only. The crew has to replace him/her with another person developing the story with an accident.

    4. Endless affair: Well peoples love to check the affair of others and thats what the soaps shows. Its pure gossip.

    Of course on other points I totally agree with you.

    Regards,

    ManishRecommend

  • Amar

    I hate these soaps but there is an audience that loves them! So I just change the channel. Simple! I am surprised that these soaps are watched in Pakistan as well.Recommend

  • Amna

    Really ET? You changed it to Hindi instead of Indian? Was that really even an issue? Just an FYI, a LOT of the “news” from within Pakistan that make headlines in this paper, are also exceptions, and dont reflect Pakistani society either. If you cared so much you about making fair assessments and not generalizing so much, you wouldn’t Pakistan-bash so much in a Pakistani paper. ET tries way too hard to make a mark among Indian readers.Recommend

  • hundal

    GREAT…GREAT OBSERVATIONS. PLEASE KEEP IT UP. KUDOS.Recommend

  • Baber

    @Manish:

    Thanks for the points you have clearified:

    1. “Climax comes only in stories, the soaps are shown as they are real life”

    2. “The writer has to become god and inject life in the already burnt/buried/destroyed body and bring back in life.”

    3. “Well peoples love to check the affair of others and thats what the soaps shows. Its pure gossip.”

    This concludes:
    The soaps are real life Hindi cultural(not Indian as Anoop said), which brings back the dead any time(when ever the rift between the writer and actor is resolved), and poke on any ones privacy.

    And also thanks for the soaps director and writers for giving the people a message via their so watched soaps.

    “The whole year there was no messages conveyed by us thanks for watching the soap and earining us some money(a million houndred thousand Rupees), Sincerely The Soap Writer.”Recommend

  • Imran Sultan

    Very well written article and totally agreed with the writer. Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    No sane Indian would ever treat you as a national threat because you don’t admire their soap operas. I’m sure many Indians hate their soap operas too.

    So that attempt to appease Indians in the beginning was really unnecessary.Recommend

  • Nazi

    Manish , you just tried to defend soaps, but none of ur point was valid to any extent. Recommend

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17331474390996701009 Manisha M

    Dear Sana,

    It’s been ages since I’ve read a rant about daily soaps. It was fun. Brought back memories. Good choice with the YouTube link from Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki. I remember the days when we used to watch it religiously, some 7 to 8 years ago. Then it ended (abruptly). *insert huge sigh of relief*
    .
    You should have done an entire series on the issue. I’m sure you would have had enough fodder to last you at least 3 to 4 articles.Recommend

  • http://www.raheellakhani.com Raheel Lakhani

    As if we did not know this earlier!Recommend

  • Ehsan Yar

    Wow! Writer must be suffering from some sort of nostalgic episode.. Wake up, Its 2012!Recommend

  • http://www.halaltamweel.com NSK

    quite late.. its not an era of Indian soaps… its Paki drama now .. its time for humsafar :D Recommend

  • http://sanarites.blogspot.com Sana Iqbal

    Thank you all for your comments. I value them all.

    @ Faraz Talat % All the commentators who believe there is unnecessary buttering in the initial lines:
    Well, I do kinda agree with you but that wasn’t part of my original piece. ET inserted those lines. That said, there are no political intentions behind this article so I would request both Pakistani and Indian readers not to make it a Pakistan-India issue.

    @Anoop:
    Well, regional Indian dramas are usually not aired in Pakistan probably because we do not understand the language. Hindi soaps have viewership due to greater familiarity with the language.

    @Amna
    The title is changed by ET probably because some Indian readers believe that the article has generalized Hindi soaps as Indian soaps.

    @NSK & All others who think I should watch Pakistani dramas instead:
    The very original piece was about subcontinental soaps (Sorry, I am a Big Bang person) which included both Pakistani and Indian soaps with a reference to Humsafar as well (Sorry again, but I am not very fond of Humsafar).
    ON ETs request, the article was rewritten the way you reading it and I broke the original piece into two, thus there is now a separate on Pakistani serials. While I dont think ET would be running the other part, I would soon be putting up both the pieces (Unedited versions) on my blog and you are most welcome to visit and comment there on my blog.

    Once again, Thank you for commenting.Recommend

  • lala land

    Pallawi is a bad bad woman !Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    @Sana Iqbal:

    Yes, I understand that. I dont blame you at all. You will know what you have been exposed to.

    And, thanks for changing the title.

    You know, its a pity that Pakistanis cannot understand A.R.Rahman’s composition in Tamil or know Rabindranath Tagore’s writing in Bengali or watch a Kathak dance or know that there are beautiful backwaters in Kerala because they are exposed to the culture they understand,i.e., North Indian/Hindi speaking belt’s. Its really a pity. On our currency note all of recognized 24 languages are printed to make sure and make it clear that India as dozens of languages and all of them are treated equally.

    In the Parliament, MPs can speak in any language recognized by the Government. The funny thing about it is, he will be making a speech which apart from the people of his state no one can understand.

    I want to quote for you from a speech Rahul Dravid made in which he speaks about this aspect of India: “We had two bowlers in the team, one from the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh – he spoke only Hindi, which is usually a link language for players from all over India, ahead even of English. It should have been all right, except the other bowler came from Kerala, in the deep south, and he spoke only the state’s regional language, Malayalam. Now even that should have been okay as they were both bowlers and could bowl simultaneous spells.
    Yet in one game, they happened to come together at the crease. In the dressing room, we were in splits, wondering how they were going to manage the business of a partnership, calling for runs or sharing the strike. Neither man could understand a word of what the other was saying and they were batting together. This could only happen in Indian cricket. Except that these two guys came up with a 100-run partnership. Their common language was cricket and that worked out just fine.”
    Do read the whole speech available on Youtube. It is fantastic that not only is he a great Batsmen, but like Kumble, Srinath, Tendulkar, Saurav and Laxman, he is, what I call, a Brainiac, too!

    http://www.dnaindia.com/sport/reportmust-read-rahul-dravid-s-spellbinding-bradman-oration-speech1625955-3Recommend

  • V

    Sana,

    I am an Indian and I love you too. We are just ordinary citizens of our respective countries and its these politicians and religious fanatics who dont let us express our love for each other.

    Regards,
    VRecommend

  • Painter

    HAMSAFAR ALL THE WAY PUNKSRecommend

  • Mohsin Hyder

    I agree with the author on almost all the points… i wrote an article on the same topic a couple of years ago. Just want to share.

    Based on what little I know about the widely acclaimed Star Plus serials, I have made TEN conclusions. Mind you people. This is not funny.

    The house portrayed in a typical star plus serial is no less than a palace (no matter how poor the family is). Even celebrities could only dream of having one of them. It takes an average viewer 100-200 episodes to even have an idea of how big that thing would be.
    The average length of a typical serial is UNDEFINED. Even the makers decide that figure after the number of episodes goes above a thousand.
    A marriage (If GOD FORBID one takes place) will take a minimum of 40 episodes. My great-great-great-grandma used to watch these two love birds dating. And finally they have tied the knot. (I’m so emotional!!sniff sniff)
    After each dialogue, no matter how flimsy it is, the viewer will have to go through a systematic inquiry of all the faces available in the scene. This might become insufferable for some minors as it is subject to some serious jolts and bumps with a horrific sound track in the back ground (as if the cameraman shot it while he was bungee-jumping).
    An average female character would cry her eyes out even if a joke is cracked.
    Each episode is fraught with highly emotional crap.
    A typical female would remain extravagantly dressed up even at a funeral and specially, when she is about to go to bed.
    The so called hero would not look like a gigantic filmy hero boasting some real muscular brawn but he would be the most inept and feeble being in the whole wide world.
    The villain would be the sliest creature ever born. Maybe this is the reason why it is always a woman (no offence).
    In any given situation, a character will tend to think most of the time, usually in a FAIRLY AUDIBLE volume.

    Despite all these shocking traits of Star Plus serials, people still love to watch them. And the cherry on the cake is, there is absolutely no logical reason for such groundless fan-following. Well I sincerely hope that my dear Pakistanis find some alternate and better source of entertainment for themselves.=)Recommend

  • Mastishhk

    Add to that the following situations:

    1- They live in densely populated metros, yet the women folk find stranded roads and that too during the daytime to get into trouble.
    2- The vamp is almost always listening to everyone’s conversation.
    3- The rich businessmen are almost always home, we don’t know what business they indulge in, but they do get awards like “Businessman of the Year”.
    4- The lead characters are supposedly virtuos and are shown romancing the leading lady from the very beginning of the soap (sometimes right from the childhood), yet the stories of their multiple affairs kep tumbling out even when they become dadas, grand dadas or in some case lakkad dadas.
    5- In some serials the leading lady ends up marrying all the main characters one by one, some even multiple times.Recommend

  • aakash

    Hindi soaps , not Indian as a whole , every region has its own TV favorites.In my part, Northeast India, few people understand Hindi and fewer people watch it . it is the local contents that rule.As far as you are concerned I feel sorry for you, pray your entertainment industry catch up soon..Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    Anoop,
    Having multiple official languages makes an awful mess of things, I imagine. I’m all for celebrating diversity, but in government affairs, it’s not appropriate to maintain a one-for-all code. I’m sure a country like India has a hundred or so languages, out of which picking 24 official ones is still discriminatory towards the rest anyway. It’s just simpler to stick to one.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    Sana,
    Ah! The editing can be quite annoying at times. It goes without saying that criticism of a TV-show, movie or any artwork is not an attack on the integrity of a nation as a whole. Pity how many people don’t see it that way, so the disclaimer makes sense.Recommend

  • BRUISED INDIAN

    @Amna: Grow up!
    @S: My sentiments exactly.
    @The Only Normal Person Here: HUM produces good quality television. It brings back fond memories of elegant Pakistani soaps of yesteryears.
    @Lala Land: Hater! ;p…..
    @Sana Iqbal: Disclaimer wasnt required; know why? Sometimes reading comments of my brethren lamely defending such ‘pathetic stress release mechanisms’ (read Hindi Saas Bahu stuff) makes up good, bone tickling reading. Next time do it without the clarification… its gonna be 10 X funnier coupled with this awesome write up you stirred.
    @Anoop: Phaink mat… lapait lapait ke haath thhak gaye bhai. 24 languages on which denomination? Hindsight, Its a pity you cant understand Saraiki- wonderful couplets. Pity you cant understand Dari or Pashto, or Sindhi. Apne Chowk pe nazar phair lo bhai… and please lighten up! Recommend

  • AK

    Your title is about 10-things you hate. Second paragraph on you instead attach a disclaimer about the 10-things that “amuse” you. There’s a long walk to be taken between ‘hate’ and ‘amusement’ usually. But not so much here. The context where hate and amusement are almost synonymous is that of poor writing and just as much, a pointless topic.

    “People from all backgrounds, even in Pakistan, keep a close watch on the happenings in Bollywood, despite the silly India-Pakistan strife.” (Writer)

    No conflict and especially one that is frequently sparked between Pakistan and India is “silly” as you term it. Dr Fasih wrote a brilliant article which was built on genuine points that prompted debate. Her concerns were thought-provoking from both the political and the humanistic point of view. I dislike the way her article has been linked in this blog.

    So great job at unimpressing me. Recommend

  • Nandita.

    I agree with the author. Hindi soaps especially the ones made by ekta kapoor are pathetic. I really think only an unhinged person can make such perverted soaps.

    Had she only limited herself to her crazy saas bahu nonsense it would have been okay. But she went ahead and tried to make a series on The Mahabharat, which is an epic dear to the hindus of india.She ofcourse failed at the attempt and made a fool of herself. The original mahabharat series made by BR CHOPRA was such a success. Ekta kapoor’s dramatic potrayal was crap, it seemed so much like an extension of her stupid saas bahu soaps. Recommend

  • Hira

    Funny blog! good one! =)Recommend

  • http://sanarites.blogspot.com Sana Iqbal

    @Bruised Indian:

    The disclaimer was not there in the original piece. It was added by ET. you can read that on my blog http://sanarites.blogspot.com

    @AK:

    As stated earlier, the contradictory lines in the second paragraph were not part of my original piece.

    @Nandita:
    Mahabharat? What part of the article refers to that? Never in my life have I watched a single show even remotely related to any Hindu religious scripture and I watch television for the sake of pure entertainment. I repeat again, this article was written from a pure observatory point of view and has no intentions of offending anyone’s political, religious or national affiliations and I request the readers to take it in the same spirit. That said, I appreciate positive criticism. Thank You all for commenting

    Cheers.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @ Author — I was talking about ekta kapoor. I wish you had read my comment properly. i was talking about ekta kapoor remaking mahabharat and ruining it. I did not refer to you at all. You misunderstood my statement. :( :(
    I wrote that i agree with you about hindi soaps being over the top and unrealistic.Recommend

  • Raj

    Eleventh thing is that you watch them with so much interest that you have come up with ten shortcomings. Ekta Kapoor will hire you as her consultant. Recommend

  • http://sanarites.blogspot.com Sana Iqbal

    @Nandita:

    Sorry dear. I misunderstood. My bad :-)

    @Raj:

    Nah I never watched them. But yeah the Eleventh thing is how I came up with the ten points to convince my dear Nani out of these soaps but it went all in vain and twelfth thing is how I had to sacrifice a much more entertaining Master Chef U.S.A episode because her favorite soap was on air at the same time. :-(Recommend

  • Raj

    Indian soaps, I heard are horrible. I do not watch Pakistani soaps either. In a typical Pakistani soap, a girl ( heroine ) has eleven cousins to woo her, She falls in love for a PHOREIGN returned cousin with an MBA, the remaining ten local cousins take care of tables and chairs on her engagement to a PHOREIGN returned cousin.

    Sana, your reply makes me believe that your article was a fiction and you came up with ten points to convince your grandmother. The disclosure at the beginning, ” I love India and Indian people, and let me make clear before I begin that I do not intend to attack or offend anyone through this post. I am merely highlighting some aspects of Indian soaps which I find amusing.” was also a fluke. Good luck for your future blogs.Recommend

  • http://sanarites.blogspot.com Sana Iqbal

    @Raj:
    No. this article is not fictional as I came up with the 10 points based on my observations which many people tend to agree with. Moreover I have already made it clear in my previous comments, and that too more than once, that those lines int the beginning paragraphs were added by ET and were not part of my original article. Anyways, thank you for your comments. Cheers.Recommend

  • Fahad

    Allaaaaaaa Post…..This unviels the reality of indian soaps!!!! I realyyyy hate them.Recommend

  • http://tribune.com.pk faisal

    I like to Utho Jagoo PakistanRecommend

  • Raj

    @Sana Iqbal:

    “@Raj: Nah I never watched them. But yeah the Eleventh thing is how I came up with the ten points to convince my dear Nani” Versus “@Raj: No. this article is not fictional as I came up with the 10 points based on my observations”

    I am puzzled…which statement to be believed?Recommend

  • http://sanarites.blogspot.com Sana Iqbal

    @Raj:

    “Nah. I never watched them.” This explains I am not a viewer of these soaps. However, I do get to observe them while the older ladies of my family are glued to the idiot box and I am accompanying them in the living room. So despite of not watching them out of will I do get to observe them. Still if your puzzle is not solved then forget it. That’s not even an issue. Just enjoy the article. :-)Recommend

  • Raj

    @Sana Iqbal:

    “5. Absurdly large families: When I watch a soap, I am always amazed at how so many people can be accommodated in one house. What is even more surprising is how easily room is made for any added member. Do all middle-class Indians live in palaces?”

    Vis-a Vis ” I do get to observe them while the older ladies of my family are glued to the idiot box and I am accompanying them in the living room”

    How many older ladies watching the idiot box in your living room?Recommend

  • http://sanarites.blogspot.com Sana Iqbal

    @Raj:
    TWO. The number, despite being a plural is much smaller to get an easy accommodation in my average sized living room. :-P Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    @Faraz Talat:

    “I’m sure a country like India has a hundred or so languages, out of which picking 24 official ones is still discriminatory towards the rest anyway. It’s just simpler to stick to one.”

    Its amazing how India is working isn’t it, with all this diversity! But, the thing is people respect differences in India and thats the key.

    Only in Delhi and in states where Hindi is the majority language official work happens in Hindi and English. In the rest of India, depending on the state, the official work happens either in the local language alone, or both in English and the Local language.

    People do not go into hissy fits just because their language is not used in the Center, because they know to adjust. Anyhow, their language and culture is safe in their own state. Why create a fuss when your local culture is not under threat?

    You can contrast this approach with that of Pakistan before 1971. India followed a path where being different was respected by the Constitution and your individuality was duly recognized. Pakistan tried to shove an alien language down the throats of Bengalis. The funny thing was, the language the West Pakistanis tried to impose on Bengalis were alien to themselves! That was not the language of the majority in West Pakistan, but whose center was in Central India!Recommend

  • Raj

    @Sana Iqbal: Thanks for responding to my comments. You are simply great, did not get irritated with some of my lousy comments. I really enjoyed your blog and will look forward to many more blogs from you. A big God bless to you. Regards, Raj, Calgary, CANADA.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @Anoop:
    While i agree with your statements about india and i understand your love for our country , i don’t understand why you are always hell bent on proving what a failure pakistan has been. From the comments and blogs faraz talat has written , i can say, he has never tried insulting india or indians. So, give him a break. We don’t need to spread more animosity anoop, we have enough politicians doing that ….. by proving pakistan inferior and by highlighting their mistakes all of the time, are you really going to gain anything ? Recommend

  • http://sanarites.blogspot.com Sana Iqbal

    Thank You and God Bless You :-) Recommend

  • http://sanarites.blogspot.com Sana Iqbal

    @Raj:
    Thank You and God Bless You :-) Recommend

  • http://www.madrashouse.com.au/home.html Indian Restaurant Perth

    The food from Northern India: Mainly breads with dishes which has a thick sauce and dairy products such as cream, paneer, ghee, and youghurt. These dishes are warmly flavoured rather than heat from chillies.Recommend

  • http://alliswell.express-forum.net Tinni

    I would rather call it Hindi soaps like Anoop did. India is a big country with various very strong regional programmes which are equally popular in their own regions so it might not hold true to term it as Indian soaps. Regarding Hindi soaps, Sana, bang on, it is time they change…Recommend

  • TMohsin

    Agree with each and every sentence..I have always hated those soaps..especially when they show the face of each and every member of the family with a sudden “dhoosh dhoosh” background music and the face keeps zooming in and out :) it always gave me a headache.Recommend

  • http://sanarites.blogspot.com Sana Iqbal

    @Tinni:

    In my earlier response to Anoop’s comment I have clarified that the reason why Hindi content (TV/Film/Music) is referred to as Indian content is because Hindi is the only Indian language that pakistani’s are familiar with due to similarity with Urdu and Pakistanis have little exposure and understanding of regional Indian content. This is similar in the way that people in India would generalize Urdu content as Pakistani content because of lack of exposure and understanding of Indians towards other regional languages of Pakistan. Besides Urdu/Hindi, I think Punjabi remains the only regional language that is common on both sides of border or may be certain dialects of Sindhi originating from Rajasthan but again even those languages are understood by people from certain geographical regions and thus lack mass understanding.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    @Sana Iqbal:

    “India would generalize Urdu content as Pakistani content because of lack of exposure”

    Another funny thing is, Sana, that Urdu itself has various versions in India. The Urdu that my Muslim friends speak is very very different than what people from UP,Bihar speak.

    Also, Urdu is an Indian language that Jinnah tried to unnaturally push into Pakistan.Recommend

  • adnan

    good humorRecommend

  • http://sanarites.blogspot.com Sana Iqbal

    @Anoop:

    Though I did not want to get into political stuff here but there wasn’t anything unnatural about Urdu being made Pakistan’s natoinal language. Urdu was a subcontinental language just like Hindi. Urdu evolved in the post mughal era out of persian, which was brought into subcontinent by the Mughals and other invaders hailing from Persia and Afghanistan. Hindi, on the other hand evolved out of Sanskrit. In the post mughal era, Muslims adopted Urdu, probably due to religous affiliation and a lot of muslim religious literature was also in Persian and Urdu. Likewise, Hindus and other Indians adopted Hindi possibly due to similar reasons. Post-partition, a langauge had to be chosen from within the subcontinent as Pakistan was broken out off the Indian subcontinent and Urdu was the inevitable choice, as it was most widely understood and was also the language attributed with the Pakistan Movement.
    Today Urdu is a language understood by Indians (regardless of being muslims or hindus) in regions such as Lucknow, Hederabad, Aligarh etc., where muslim literature and culture was prominent and flourished in the pre partition era. Likewise, in other regions of India where muslim culture was less prominent or where there was lesser muslim presence, even muslims are not very handy with urdu in those regions. :-) Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    @Sana Iqbal:

    Urdu is a hybrid of Persian and Hindi, correct. But, it has more in common with Hindi than, I think Persian. I see proof of that everyday around me. I speak to my Muslim friends ,who know Kannada as well, in their language just for fun.

    “Muslims adopted Urdu, probably due to religous affiliation and a lot of muslim religious literature was also in Persian and Urdu. ”

    If that was the case why were the Bengalis so upset? Were Religious literature in pre-Partition geography of Pakistan in Urdu literature only? I dont understand.. Why Urdu the language and the script associated with it?

    If someone comes tomorrow and tells me I have to learn Hindi and the Devanagari script I would protest. They might give a reason saying it would make administrative process much easier, but would it really? What about the losses associated with accepting a-not-so-familiar language?

    If a language had to be adopted nationally it had to be Bengali as more than half its population was already speaking it. But, Jinnah thought otherwise.

    This is hard to explain for people who believe Jinnah is a Secular guy. Urdu was as alien to Pakistanis as Swahili is for me, at that time. Instead of accepting diversity and promoting unity, like Nehru did, Jinnah tried to impose a foreign culture, which ultimately led to the second partition. Nehru understood India, Jinnah never did. Bangladesh was born the day Jinnah started promoting Urdu, it became official only in 1971.

    Ironically, if you think about it, the guy who created Pakistan is also the guy who broke it! Recommend

  • http://sanarites.blogspot.com Sana Iqbal

    @Anoop:

    Incorrect: Urdu evolved out of Persian, Turkish and Arabic scripts and is written using the same script to date. Over a period of time, Hindi adopted certain words were from Urdu language and that was mainly done in Film and Music industry, probably to cover the urdu speaking markets across the border. Likewise, Even the contemporary urdu language is much different and a toned down version of the classic urdu, to make room for incorporation of words from other languages including hindi.Even classic Hindi, that stemmed from Sanskrit is much much different and pure as compared to contemporary one. If you compare older versions of hindi and urdu, I am sure you will find very little similarity. For example words like Sulook/ BarataO (treatment), Farz (duty), Haq (Right), Khwaab (dream), Zulm (Oppression) etc are all Urdu words and not Hindi, however you will find them widely used in Hindi content, especially in Bollywood film and music. The actually Hindi words are BartaaV/ Vyevhaar (treatment), Kartavya (duty), Adhikaar (Right), Sapna (dream), Atyaachaar (Oppression). These are just some example. In the contemporary langauges, some words like Sapna are used interchangeably both in Hindi and Urdu.
    Just compare the script and dialogue of any mainstream Bollywood movie with a TV serial and you will get the difference. TV serials use much puristic form of Hindi.

    Now coming to political issue of Jinnah and Bangladesh, first thing first that Jinnah died in 1948, while the second partition happened at the end of 1971. True, that initially Bengalis wanted to have Bengali as a national language but the only reason why Jinnah couldn’t do that was because people in West Pakistan, including many government officials did not understand Bengali but there were people in Bangladesh who knew Urdu. To this date, there are many punjabis, sindhis, balochis and Puakhtoons who cannot read, write and/or understand urdu. This doesn’t mean that either of the regional languages should be made national language.
    The issue of making Bengali the national language was politically exploited in post Jinnah era, because the new governments ignored other important rights of Bengalis such as giving them adequate representation in government and economic development in Bangladesh. Since people were already upset with the socio economic problems they were facing and they felt a political disconnect with west pakistanis, the issue of Bengali as a national language just added to the list of many other important issues. Are you trying to say that Bangladesh would not have broken off if Bengali would have been made national language but Bengalis votes and political views were not respected and Bengalis were ignored socially and economically. That would be a very wrong approach.Recommend

  • Jat

    @Sana Iqbal: Strange you don’t look like Sana Iqbal at all !Recommend

  • http://sanarites.blogspot.com Sana Iqbal

    @Jat:

    Why? How is Sana Iqbal supposed to ‘look’ like?Recommend

  • Jat

    @Sana Iqbal: That’s a good question. :)Recommend

  • http://sanarites.blogspot.com Sana Iqbal

    @Jat:
    Thank you :)Recommend

  • Jat

    @Sana Iqbal: You are welcome !Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    @Sana Iqbal:

    Hindi and Urdu influenced each other, it was a two-way street. Hindi is more influenced by Sanskrit than any other language. It is written in Devanagiri script.

    The point I was making was, you are introducing an alien language in a part of geography hundreds of miles away from where the language was born- Central India.

    “True, that initially Bengalis wanted to have Bengali as a national language but the only reason why Jinnah couldn’t do that was because people in West Pakistan, including many government officials did not understand Bengali but there were people in Bangladesh who knew Urdu. “

    You actually further validating my point. Conversely, just like there were people who spoke Urdu in East Pakistan, there were people who spoke Bengali in the West, since both the numbers have to be very tiny.

    A Google search reveled what I have said:

    Year Population of Pakistan Percentage Urdu Speakers
    1951 33,740,167 7.05% 2,378,681
    1961 42,880,378 7.56% 3,246,044
    1972 65,309,340 7.60% 4,963,509

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhajir_people

    In 1972, only 7 or so percent of people spoke Urdu. How many people spoke Bengali? More than 50%, since population of East Pakistan was greater than of the West. Surely, administration would have been more easy if Bengali was adopted as the national language. But, no, Bengali language has strong roots to the Hindu Culture. Rabindranath Tagore, the guy who wrote India’s national anthem, is considered a hero in Bangladesh and is their national poet. Surely, such a language could not be Pakistan’s national language!

    “To this date, there are many punjabis, sindhis, balochis and Puakhtoons who cannot read, write and/or understand urdu. “

    Thats what I am saying. Urdu is an alien language, brought into Pakistan for the wrong reasons. It is actually an Indian language, Pakistanis have chosen to adopt. Shoo.. Hope this issue is settled.

    “This doesn’t mean that either of the regional languages should be made national language.”

    More than 50% of the population spoke Bengali, the next close contender was Punjabi, not Urdu, since Urdu was spoken only by the migrant population. The funny thing is JInnah himself didn’t know Urdu well.. So, you are very wrong.

    “Are you trying to say that Bangladesh would not have broken off if Bengali would have been made national language but Bengalis votes and political views were not respected and Bengalis were ignored socially and economically.”

    I should ideally elaborate, why I think Jinnah laid the foundation for Bangladesh, but such a huge comment would not be accepted. But, let me remind you that adoption of Urdu became a major bone of irritation and anger among Bengalis. This was certainly a contributing factor.

    In short, Bangladesh was predicted to be born well before the creation of Pakistan, by none other than Maulana Azad in April 1946. Even then Jinnah went ahead with the creation of Pakistan. Azad, Nehru and Gandhi were right in most aspect. They had only predicted the years it will take for Pakistan’s first failure. They wrongly said 2 years, but took 19 years longer. To their credit, they got the rest correct.

    “The other important point that has escaped Mr Jinnah’s attention is Bengal. He does not know that Bengal disdains outside leadership and rejects it sooner or later. During World War II, Mr Fazlul Haq revolted against Jinnah and was thrown out of the Muslim League. Mr H. S. Suhrawardy does not hold Jinnah in high esteem. Why only Muslim League, look at the history of Congress. The revolt of Subhas Chandra Bose is known to all. Gandhiji was not happy with the presidentship of Bose and turned the tide against him by going on a fast unto death at Rajkot. Subhas Bose rose against Gandhiji and disassociated himself from the Congress. The environment of Bengal is such that it disfavours leadership from outside and rises in revolt when it senses danger to its rights and interests. ”

    http://twocircles.net/2009dec01/april1946interviewmaulanaabulkalamazadmanwhoknewfuture.html

    Bengalis on the Pakistani side opted for Independence, but multi-cultural, multi-ethnic India, where there were far many languages than Pakistan even dream of, stayed.

    Why? That would be going off topic then we already are, so I will skip it.

    Nehru understood India, much better than Jinnah ever could have. That is why to this day all languages have equal importance in India, whereas an alien language is the state language in Pakistan.

    The idea of Nehru for his Country was, is and will remain much stronger than the idea of Jinnah for his Country. Recommend

  • Giri

    @Sana,
    You referred to Moghals as invaders in one of your above comments. I wonder how many of your country men/women agree to that for the simple reason that all your missiles are named after these invaders :-)Recommend

  • http://sanarites.blogspot.com Sana Iqbal

    @Giri
    Yes, I said and stand by my statement that Mughals, including many other dynastic rulers that hailed from Turkey, Central Asia and Afghanistan and Persia were all invaders such as Ghauris, Abdalis etc. I also second your point that many pakistani military inventory is named after them. May be the contention behind doing that was associating the ammunition with the ‘bravery of the invaders.’ However, I am of the opinion, and there are people in pakistan who agree to that, that Pakistan’s history books in school curriculum have been distorted to unnecessarily glorify those invaders as heros. One reason behind that can be the dictatorial regime that Pakistan have been for a long period of time. Glorification of these invaders served their dictatorial purposes.

    @Anoop

    Yes, I have already mentioned in my comment that both Hindi and Urdu influenced each other in verbal form. In written form however Hindi uses Devnagri script while Urdu uses persian script.
    I agree on the statistics you provided. That said, Urdu was chosen as a national language because of its contribution towards Pakistan Movement. There were many reasons that contributed towards Partition of Bengal which were geographical, political, economical and socio cultural in nature. However, I won’t blame Jinnah for that as his health was deteriorating rapidly after partition and he had many affairs to manage in the short time of 1 year he had. The major mess was created by people who came after Jinnah. May be the partition of Bengal could have been prevented if Sheikh Mujeeb’s six points and his demands for greater provincial autonomy were respected by Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan and Bhutto, instead he was Sheikh Mujeeb, who had a major Bengali support was arrested. These acts were the major reason of triggering a revolt. Of course, when resentments occur, then every single issue fuels the fire and same applies to the issue of making Bengali the national language. It added to the list of resentments that Bengalis had. A better idea would have been allowing Bengal a provincial autonomy and declaring Bengali as an official language within Bengal. Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    @Sana Iqbal:

    You speak as if it was an accident, a freak of nature, but it was not. It was crystal clear. I have quoted Azad above, an Indian Muslim, a Congress President for 6 years when Jinnah was accusing the Congress of being anti-Muslim, ironically.

    I can quote you Nehru and Gandhi as well, great men, who peeped into the future.

    What were the evidences at the time to predict such a gloomy future?
    It was the sheer quality of people who hung around Jinnah. People like Khaliquzzamn and Suhrawardy, evil incarnate, were to be seen around Jinnah. The propagation of a lie that Muslims were under threat in a United India and that Congress was anti-Muslim, even when it had a Muslim president. The natural progression of a Country based on the principles of division between man: Nehru preached unity, Jinnah said Muslims need a different nation at all costs. Gandhi used Religion to unity, Jinnah to divide.

    Creation of Bangladesh and the subsequent deterioration of Pakistan were not accidents, it was expected.

    I again quote Azad from the same Interview he gave way back in 1946, a full 2 years before Pakistan was born.

    “I feel that right from its inception, Pakistan will face some very serious problems:

    The incompetent political leadership will pave the way for military dictatorship as it has happened in many Muslim countries.(Turned out to be true)
    The heavy burden of foreign debt.(Turned out to be true)
    Absence of friendly relationship with neighbours and the possibility of armed conflict.(Turned out to be true)
    Internal unrest and regional conflicts.(Turned out to be true)
    The loot of national wealth by the neo-rich and industrialists of Pakistan.(Turned out to be true)
    The apprehension of class war as a result of exploitation by the neo-rich.
    The dissatisfaction and alienation of the youth from religion and the collapse of the theory of Pakistan.(Turned out to be true)
    The conspiracies of the international powers to control Pakistan.(Turned out to be true)

    In this situation, the stability of Pakistan will be under strain and the Muslim countries will be in no position to provide any worthwhile help. The assistance from other sources will not come without strings and it will force both ideological and territorial compromises. “. All this well before Pakistan was born!

    At that time, it was crystal clear to those who had brains and intellect the kind of nation Pakistan was going to be. Only Jinnah didn’t have such powers.

    “May be the partition of Bengal could have been prevented if Sheikh Mujeeb’s six points and his demands for greater provincial autonomy were respected by Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan and Bhutto, instead he was Sheikh Mujeeb, who had a major Bengali support was arrested.”

    This was just reason. It was on the cards. If not for this, some other reason had come to the fore. East and West Pakistan were very different Countries, separated by thousands of miles of India, with differing World view, expected to be kept together by a theory which promotes divisiveness. Only a Genius could have not seen the eventual breakup of Pakistan. Who goes onto create a nation poised to break, who goes onto create a nation on the theory which essentially says 2 set of people are different? Only Jinnah did and can. He was either too ambitious to ignore voices of reason, or was intellectually not-so-gifted or was plain arrogant. Take your pick. Recommend

  • http://sanarites.blogspot.com Sana Iqbal

    @Anoop:
    Take it easy man. Yes, I am with you there that besides Jinnah and a couple of others, Pakistan lacked a competent political leadership. Partition of Bengal was inevitable because of a lot of factors. Perhaps that is one reason why Allama Iqbal, when he first proposed the idea of a seperate homeland, never included Bengal as a potential part. Addition of Bengal was later proposed by Chaudhari Rehmat Ali on the basis of muslim majority.
    Even if I agree that Congress was pro unity party, a sepearte homeland was the need of time .. Even in present era, Indian costitution is secular and pro unity but still Inida faces a lot of insurgencies. These problems are part of the package for multi ethnic societies. Recommend

  • http://sanarites.blogspot.com Sana Iqbal

    @Anoop:

    BTW I thought we were in a healthy discussion. You can have your political view and I respect that regardless of whether I agree or disagree with it. And, no matter how much I respect Jinnah as a person, and as a founder of Pakistan, I also understand that he was not infallible and could have made political errors. That said, I would have appreciated if you would have used a careful tone when speaking about the founder of a nation.
    Peace.Recommend

  • Jat

    @Sana Iqbal: Nice ! I like your spirit girl !! :)Recommend

  • http://sanarites.blogspot.com Sana Iqbal

    @Jat:
    Thank youRecommend

  • http://www.worldmaza.com Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon

    ye serial drama bohat accha hai i likeRecommend

  • Ramesh

    @Sana Iqbal: Re: “Urdu evolved in the post mughal era out of persian….”

    Please don’t take my comment in a wrong sense, but you don’t seem to have much idea about the roots of Urdu language. In fact, Hindi & Urdu – both earlier known as ‘Hindustani’ – were developed from the Khariboli dialect – though they incorporate Persian, Arabic & Turkic words also. Khariboli itself derived from the Sanskrit. So, please read some standard books about the roots of Urdu. If you don’t find any book then search the following on the internet:

    1) ‘Hindi-Urdu wikipedia’

    2) ‘Khariboli wikipedia’

    3) ‘History of Hindustani wikipedia’

    4) ‘Language: Urdu and the borrowed words’

    BTW, as far as the daily soaps are concerned, they are made in accordance to the level of understanding of the masses. So, they actually reflects the level of intelligence/mentality of the viewers. The soap directors & producers are very smart people & know exactly what to offer to the general viewers – who are of very low intelligence/mentality. And every sane Indian hates these soaps very much.Recommend

  • Mohammad Hadi Changezi

    @ Nandita

    God bless you and you are really a good human being. There is no point in spreading hatred by posting such comments. Both of the nations have lost so much because of such hatred. It was a nice article and we should have stuck to that instead. Although I enjoyed Mohsin Hyder’s version more, No OFFENSE Sana Iqbal.Recommend

  • Prakash

    @Anoop:

    Anoop, outside india, it ought to be called indian. It’s an indian export, inside India, it will be Hindi or Tamil or Urdu.. etc.Recommend

  • A Y

    @Parvez:
    Just accept the facts Parvez bhai and enjoy the comments!!!Recommend