The Burka Avenger: Offended by a fictional superhero’s clothes

Published: August 6, 2013
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How many of you took your superhero of choice’s dressing sense to heart? ILLUSTRATION: IMAAN SHEIKH

Disclaimer: Like the majority of those with ridiculously strong polarising opinions about Burka Avenger, I have yet to see the darned thing and haven’t the slightest clue what channel it’s on or when it airs; frankly, I grew out of the whole cartoon fad ages ago.

Let me begin by asking how many of you really took their cartoons and comic super heroes seriously? If you attempted to jump off your roof in order to prove that you and Superman came from the same planet, please don’t bother to read any further.

Right, okay, let me rephrase that question: how many of you took your superhero of choice’s dressing sense to heart? I, for one, don’t see many men wearing their chaddis (briefs) over their shalwars and dhotis or their tidy whites over spandex pyjamas or their LV briefs (as much as they’d like to show them off) over their dress pants.

Any of you go around wearing masks and capes or trying to have radiation infested spiders/chicken bite you? No? Then maybe you catch my drift!

How many of you ladies ended up wearing assorted amendments to single piece swimsuits to work? Aside from Veena (who is a comic superhero of sorts in her own right), how many of you bother to hang out in flashy, conical push-up bras?

Right, let’s get some things straight.

From a marketing perspective, we’ve seen what a superb initiative was taken by Huffington Post, talking about Burka Avenger and the impact it will have on society. It’s also managed to instigate a public debate corresponding to multiple layers of gender related issues both within and without Pakistan. Rarely has something captured the imaginations of the burgers and the biryanis, the Pakolas and the Coca Colas with such alacrity. Everyone has an uninformed opinion to offer (what you are reading is no different).

To be fair, the bashing is primarily being done by the liberal fascists with insecurities intensified beyond comprehension. Considering ‘Meena’ and ‘Gogi’ aren’t exactly superheroes or household names (Pakistani comics with female leads), this is the first Pakistani venture featuring a female lead; hurrah for women’s empowerment!

But how dare they make her don a burka? A body-clinging one at that – almost a burkini, as if these same people would oppose body hugging spandex inspired burkas all around them? Heck no!

If anything, the Burka Avenger could herald in a new era of steady liberal infusion – full burka to shuttle cock burka to abaya to spandex burka. Surely a trend liberals could rejoice about, right? But no, until and unless Pakistan becomes a nudist colony, we are doomed to failure and must clearly be a backward state with ‘fundo’ tendencies. To such liberals: I salute your rationale, esteemed sirs, ladies and perverts.

Captain Planet was a hit global cartoon (compared to the fledgling Burka Avenger) with a positive message. Perhaps it indirectly affected in producing environmentalists out of a lot of those that watched it. Did it make people wield rings of power? Did it cause multi-ethnic kids to run around FATA in tiny shorts? Last time I checked, that wasn’t the case.

Blowing things out of proportion is a trait we should leave to the professionals – the local and international media. Instead let’s focus on how ‘The Arrivals’ will use Burka Avenger to prove how the Illuminati are subliminally enslaving us and take a chill pill.

Now that’s entertainment.

Talha.zaheer

Muhammad Talha Zaheer

A University of Toronto Graduate in Economics, Political Science and Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations. He tweets @talhaz (twitter.com/talhaz)

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

  • https://twitter.com/dureen_anwer Dee

    Awesome! Couldn’t agree more.Recommend

  • Rational Liberal

    I’m a liberal, but I don’t see what the fuss is about the Burka avenger”s attire, I think it’s a good project to promote gender equality , and it’s a good pr campaign for Pakistan.

    The global media has gone crazy about Burka avenger, Haroon is being interviewed by some of the biggest channels in the world, how many people could have imagined that?When was the last time something as big as BA came out of Pakistan?This is probably the first time the global media has been talking about Pakistan in a good way.

    The motives behind BA aren’t to promote the Burka, it’s trying to empower girls, especially the ones that wear burkas, the Burka is only used to hide the identity of the superhero when she’s fighting crime.

    I think the Burka Avenger could have a global following, or at least a following in the Muslim world and diasporas , the Burka Avenger could actually create opportunities for Pakistani animators, just like what Pokemon did for Japanese anime.Recommend

  • Qarib

    There used to be a xmen comic character mutant named as Dust
    she used to wear burqa too

    like whats the point of making a comic character wearing a burqa? to make girls out their start wearing burqas and all?

    jis ne influencd hone h wo dosre muslim comjc characters se bhi ho jae gaRecommend

  • http://think-islam.blogspot.com PostMan

    Good one. Unfortunately, both conservatives and liberals are still stuck on clothes. The former wants women to put on burqa and liberals want to have it taken off. The real issue, that of providing good education and then making women a useful member of society – whether they wear burqa or not, is less focused upon. ‘Burqa Avenger’ needs to be applauded and supported.Recommend

  • KAY

    Black abaya is arabic dress, for Pakistan why not a trendy shalwar kameez, why not shalwar kameez, why not shalwar kameez?? Aamir liaqat is now wearing Qandoora (arabic male dress), why we are arabizing? Why not our own cultural dress??Recommend

  • http://think-islam.blogspot.com PostMan

    @KAY: ‘why not shalwar kameez?’
    There is shalwar kameez and even a dupatta. The archetype pakistani girl. Its only when she transforms into a superhero that she adorns the black dress. Being superhero requires transforming into someone less recognizable than the original person – that is the idea and hence its implementation. Being in shalwar kameez would not have done the trick. Recommend

  • Faruq

    KAY, you do realise this is a superhero. A black burka that is similar to a ninja’s outfit seems a better way to conceal her identity than a shalwar kameez. Batman doesn’t run around in a regular pair of trousers and spiderman is completely covered up, but rather than commending this cartoon for it’s message of spreading girls’ education, we criticise it for the completely logical dress sense of the lead character, who doesn’t even wear a burka in her non superhero life. We keep complaining about reactionary mullahs and now seem to have developed frustratingly reactionary liberals as a response. As a fellow liberal, that is kind of sickening. Recommend

  • Muhammad Ishfaq

    @Kay
    No body raised an eyebrow when we were being anglicized, when English became our official language when western dress replaced our traditional wear… so now live with arabization as well..
    seriously, there is no arabizing at all,, I have seen some Saudia or UAE returned people who wear the Arabic gown like thing on Eid and other special occasions but nobody follows them…Recommend

  • Nadeem

    In your face approach, well done!Recommend

  • anonymous

    I would consider myself liberal and am glad to see a female superhero emerge from PK (burka seems appropriate in PK context to hide identity). I have only seen trailer so am not sure about how good (in terms of both quality and message) the series is.

    Criticism of choice of clothing might be considered fascism but i would point out that most of those are feeble PK liberals (who only appear liberal due to PK context, in global context most of them would be considered religious fascist).

    I strongly dislike burka but if someone of his/her free will wants to disappear from society, its their choice. The only thing i have objections to is societal pressure to wear it. Already in PK many people consider it a virtue to wear a burka. Also it would be naive to think that cartoons and media has no impact on people. It can’t change someone’s behavior entirely on its own (wearing underwear on top of dress) but it can especially when culture and society also enforce the message can lead to behavior change.Recommend

  • gujranwala789

    @KAY:

    What is “our” dress for you might not be “our” dress for others, pakistan is a multi ethnic country where people have varying sense of dressing. Now my grand father wears a typical punjabi villager dress called “Tehmad” or “lacha” in gujranwala but I have never put on it eventhough it is my heritage. So why shalwar kameez, even women in the villages of gujranwala used to wear “lacha” or “tehmad” some 50 years ago. So even Shalwar Kameez is also not the original dress of many folks in pakistan not so long ago.Recommend

  • Waqas

    Thanks Talha!

    Finally something that makes sense on these pages. Recommend

  • Parvez

    Nice………….all I can think of is ‘ what a difference a word makes ‘.Recommend

  • Ahmed

    Well the thing is maybe through the Burqa avenger Muslim Pakistani girls, the children, will from the very beginning of their lives see the importance of covering themselves. It’s good.Recommend

  • KAY

    @ gujranwala789: Is burqa avenger representing our grand parents or present day girls?

    @ Muhammad Ishfaq : English is our official language because it is the only universal language of our times. Same is the case with western dressing.

    @ Faruq: Ninja, Batman and Spiderman do not fight for girls education.Recommend

  • http://nazarbaaz.blogspot.com Kashif Ajmal Malik

    I think BA Is more inspired by Cat Woman or Lara Craft in terms of dress and fights movements. Islamic female doesnt do all those karate, kungfu and martial arts stuff. Lets make a little more controversial… How about correlating a girl from KPP who loves to fight for Education and peace for all after her school is closed by Self proclaimed religious fanatics and many are bombarded … ohhh by the way. Oh yes empowerment and equality of women like what? freedom to do whatever… Freedom as they have in west? Recommend

  • KAY

    @ PostMan:
    Why transform ONLY to black abaya which is not an efficient and safe dress? This could be achieved by a sleek pattern of shalwar kameez with a face mask. Only lazy people in real life wear such gowns. It does not match with a super woman fighting to educate modern day girls.Recommend

  • KAY

    @ Muhammad Ishfaq: “I have seen some Saudia or UAE returned people who wear the Arabic gown like thing on Eid and other special occasions but nobody follows them…”

    Bro, there is a difference something wearing in private AND showing in the media as role models. Hope you understand.Recommend

  • http://nazarbaaz.blogspot.com Kashif Ajmal Malik

    BA Is not for kids but more of propaganda for equal rights for women Please declare it as a complete movie not the episodes, would be entertaining though. What was the purpose to take veena malik’ name? Recommend

  • Hafsa

    A smart piece to convince the complexed liberals that they might not be ‘real liberals’ and the conservatives that only liberals are opposing ‘Burka Avenger’…in reality it actually has made some impact on the audience especially children. However, the rejection by the majority (liberals and conservatives alike) has left the children confused.

    A Black Unicorn Production…fond of depicting liberal women in muslim societies as sufferers, especially Mid-East women…now comes up with a colorful depiction of the same old concept of showing Pakistan as a conservative society. This time feeding the message to our children that women are not educated in our culture…as if our ruling elite has educated Pakistani boys…!

    Also, for the first time a superhero is named after the ‘attire’ & not ‘personality traits’. The concept portrays her character as strong but society evil…your comparison is missing the point that Superman was never a ‘laal chaddi wala man’ or Cat Woman was never a ‘bikini woman’…..rather all these superheroes like ‘Spiderman’ reflects his spiderlike qualities and the costume only comes later…same goes for Batman……and not HATEWORD like ‘Avenger’ is attributed to too superheroes since it leaves a negative effect on tender young minds.Being a teacher, i know how impactful such things can be.

    BURKA (correct word is BURQA though – a little HW would have shown) so Burka Avenger who could have been called a ‘Book Woman’ for her love for education, is an attempt to show Pakistani/Muslim society as EVIL by depicting a single character of the teacher as a strong woman. It would have been more appreciated if the movie showed the TRUTH…i.e the incompetence of governments in all these years (which includes both liberal & religious parties) and a struggle by the super-hero for the rights of education (both boys & girls) and not the usual escape-goat TALIBANS..

    i am looking forward to the music though since Pakistan’s top stars like Haroon Rashid, who were rather ignored for long have been mae good use of…and i smell another OSCAR here…! :SRecommend

  • faizan

    Excellent piece.

    “To be fair, the bashing is primarily being done by the liberal fascists with insecurities intensified beyond comprehension.” Exactly. Maybe harshly put, but true.

    We as educated liberals (or non-liberals) criticize “the conservatives/fundamentalists” for being intolerant, insecure and naive. But many of us are actually standing on same side of the fence as “they” are.

    Maybe tolerance and ability to listen to “others” do not come through academic books only. In my opinion it comes after decades of refinement in educated thought and dialogue. We still have to get there. And hopefully, there wont be such confusing “Us” versus “them” divide when we get there.Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    @KAY:
    WHT English is our official language becoz of wht?????

    Please come to Europe and see how these people are progressing without English as their OFFICIAL LANGUAGE…!!!

    To be honest we should promote our language but I think this train as already passed…In any case your point i illlogical…Have a nice day…Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    Dear Author,

    excellent article..These days people just want reasons to bash any religion….nice writting….!!!!Recommend

  • observer

    @All Burka Warriors.

    Spiderman, Superman, Batman, Captain Planet, Cat Woman, Ninjas- None of them have Mutaween forcing you to be seen in Spiderman, Superman, Batman, Captain Planet, Cat Woman, Ninja attire when you go out in public.

    Now can you say the same about the Burka?

    I rest my case.Recommend

  • Oasis

    Loved ur article! Though I wonder if the cartoon would’ve received the same reaction if it wasn’t called ‘Burka’ Avenger.. Maybe ‘NinjaWoman’ or something, so it would’ve just looked like an all-black ninja outfit with a mask with no mention of burka at all, hence no fuss!! Most are just offended with the term ‘burka’!!Recommend

  • Critical

    @observer:
    Honestly dude,If I had the money like Bruce Wayne,then I would have definitely been Batman…….

    Also,if u talk about attire,just check out how many boys and girls wear superhero themed dresses in USA…..

    Being a fan of Sheldon Cooper,I myself have a Flash and Green Lantern t shirt which wear with a thermal underneath it,channelising my inner geekRecommend

  • Sad but true…..

    @observer:

    Your case is illogical..The girl in the anime is not wearing Burqa by force…Alot of women are not wearing Burqa by force, yes there are examples of people who are forced but you find examples of force being used throught the world….
    In simple words no one is forcing the Burqa avenger to wear a burqa…your logic makes no sense…
    you can now have a seat..order order..!!!Recommend

  • Sad but true…..

    @Hafsa:

    Ok so you acutally took the fun away from the cartoons..nice job…

    Its the first cartoon..why do Pakistanis direclty jump on being Perfect right form the start….Like I never read details of Cartoons which I use to look when i was small and their effects ..Like ok there should be rating etc but please dont exagerate…

    BATMAN was never a bat..excuse me so you cannot just campare any thing……its just sad how ppl just take the fun and motivation away from every thing…Recommend

  • Sad but true…..

    Dear Author,

    excellent article…To the BURKA AVENGER…!!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • Sad but true…..

    @observer:

    Never saw Mutaween in Pakistan..case lost…ORDER ORDER…!!!!!Recommend

  • http://topstars.com.pk areesha g
  • PEMRA Avenger

    I like the beginning of your blog. Exactly my thoughts! hats off to you sir. Its just a cartoon. take it as a cartoon character. the central idea of this cartoon series is that a girl is fighting for education. This itself is something to be praised. The liberal extremists (if I may call them liberal in the first place) have somehow found out a reason to bash the religion just bcoz they’re allergic to Burqa. They fail to accept that there are thousands or probably millions of women in Pakistan and in the Muslim world who choose to wear Burqa not bcoz they’re forced to wear it but bcoz its their choice and they’re comfortable with it.Recommend

  • http://nazarbaaz.blogspot.com Kashif Ajmal Malik

    awww one day BA will address some abc assembly for women’ education and peace for all. How fantastic.. Im not saying mixing a real life character with comic will help some more NGOs haha difficult to understand easy reality. Does she also want to become a politician?Recommend

  • KAY

    @ Shah (Berlin): “Please come to Europe and see how these people are progressing without English as their OFFICIAL LANGUAGE…!!!”

    Dear Shah. all nationalities communicate in english weather they are europeans, chinese, japanese arabs, pakistanis, indians etc etc when they are out of their countries and not the vice versa. (thats why english is the only universal language).Recommend

  • Gingo

    Dear all.
    More than the liberals it’s the conservatives who are fuming and out for blood over Burqa Avenger’s choice of attire, claiming it to be a satirical attack on Islamic Purdah and calling the channel on which it airs to be on the payroll of Jews.Recommend

  • gujranwala789

    @Shah (Berlin):

    The reason they are progressing using their own native languages in europe is because their native language are quite developed and have a long history of literature in scientific fields such as physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology etc. for centuries in countries like germany, france, austria, holland etc. Not only their native languages have centuries old rich tradition of scientific and arts literature but all these countries in europe have also produced top class scientist who have actually laid down the foundations for all the branches of science. This something which is entirely missing in the case of countries like pakistan or other middle eastern muslim countries, our languages are just not developed for “modern” scientific thought. Tell me what is the contribution of urdu and native speakers of urdu to the scientific literature in the past 500 years, it is zero. Recommend

  • Gingo
  • lolo

    It doesnt matter how she dresses, she decides when to put on her costume and when to put if off… Thats what matters for me. She is a free and empowered woman… And for once, the superhero of a cartoon is a woman, wow, its a big change if you consider that in the West, most of the superheros are men (Batman, superman, ironman….) and mostly women are seen as passive and only as a price to get. Two thumps up for this feminist cartoon ! Recommend

  • BlackJack

    I honestly don’t see what the issue is. If the protagonist was going around in a Burka all the time, it would have been rather regressive, but using a burka as a costume to hide one’s identity is actually a good idea. Plus if she has had kabaddi training from her dad, she must have had a fairly liberal and interesting childhood/ upbringing.
    On an aside, can someone pls define liberal fascist for me. Is liberal an adjective or a noun in this case, and how are the two words related. I am pretty sure that most people in Pakistan don’t know what fascism actually means, which is why the bandy the word about at the drop of a hat.Recommend

  • professor

    for the record… its not tidy whites… its tighty whitiesRecommend

  • NotSoCommon

    The problem that the liberals have with the attire, in this case a burka is the symbol that this little piece of clothing has acquired over the last few decades…..of Female Suppression. You may argue that there are many women who decide to wear the clothing on their own wishes, but the fact of the matter is that where ever the muslim fanatics have come in to power, either in authority or otherwise, one of their first dictate against the female population is to enforce burkas along with several other derogatory rules. The so called liberals fear that having a cartoon character represented in a burka will glamorize the clothing and may lead to it being accepted the world over.

    Continuing with the above argument, your comparison of the burka costume with that of the rest of the super heroes is not really valid, as no where is the world is a person forced to wear (and that too for religious reasons) their “undies” over their trousers or ” assorted amendments to single piece swimsuits to work”. Unfortunately the same cannot be said about the burka

    Recommend

  • TWAIN

    @ Shah (Berlin): A universal language (english) is the one with which different nationalities can communicate with each other. Hope you find a logic here.Recommend

  • Fatima

    @KAY:
    ok we speak English because it’s a universal language of communication. How on Earth is that explanation true for western clothing too? Even if we adopt western clothing when abroad so as to blend in, what’s the excuse for wearing western clothing in Pakistan? I wear jeans in Pakistan because I want to for a variety of reasons. Similarly women wear burqa’s in Pakistan for a variety of reasons and not all do it under pressure.

    so a superhero (or a person for that matter) cannot wear a burqa and fight for women’s education and rights? I had no idea that there was a proper ‘uniform’ for fighting for the rights of women. It is fascinating how some ‘liberals’ cannot see the irony that some of their arguments are exactly like those of the ultra conservatives they hate. For the ultra conservative jeans for women are ‘bad’ because they are not our ‘local dress’. Same as your argument against the burqa. For ultra conservatives a woman who wears western clothing is automatically immoral and is promoting immorality (regardless of why she’s wearing such clothes and in what context). Same as some liberals argument against the burqa. The burqa is a singular sign of oppression and cannot possible be anything else and if a superhero wears it she is promoting oppression of girls and cannot possible fight for the rights of women. Recommend

  • Fatima

    @observer:
    so you are saying that because a garment has become a part of political and ideological discourse it’s becomes inherently singular in its meaning and can never stand for anything other than oppression as is the case with the burqa?Recommend

  • bla

    that black cloak looks kinda cool on her but i disagree with the name choice..BURKA, seriously, its not a big deal though, just a weird name Recommend

  • Razi

    @observer and All Burqa Haters

    Apart from perhaps the tribal areas, people in Pakistan do not generally force women to wear a burqa when they go out in public. So your point is completely illogical and based on utter lack of ground realities in Pakistan. This obsession with bashing burqa avengers is rooted in intolerance and forcing one’s world-view upon others. Recommend

  • Khawar Mehdi

    Que, Sera SeraRecommend

  • Rahat

    A very thoughtful article. However, as someone already said, the concern is that the name “Burka” avenger makes her attire somewhat of a more central theme than that of Superman or Wonder Woman.

    There is also the fact that while many children might not be too quick to wear conical bras or spandex pants, they’re preferences in clothing are to some extent based on the more normal clothes worn in cartoons. In other words, spandex pants has never really been an option, but I for one remember that I made some effort as a child to get a jacket similar to the one worn by the red haired planeteer has (I forget his name).

    I can see how the cartoon would make burkas less unacceptable, which, given the subtle and not so subtle pressures on women in some segments to wear them, might be just one more reason to reinforce to confidence of families considering making younger girls wear them.

    However, I agree with most here that the good coming out of the cartoon is much clearer and significant. A woman functioning independently, with independent opinions and enforcing them to bring about change in society. Surely there is some concept of one thing offsetting the other in these cases? (That is not a rhetorical question, I am genuinely not decided on the point of offset)Recommend

  • Jay K

    Perhaps the Burqa Avenger should have just featured in her birthday suit to satisfy the libidinal cravings of liberals for a change. They have rights too. Recommend

  • observer

    @Sad but true…..:

    Your case is illogical..The girl in the anime is not wearing Burqa by force

    @Razi:

    Apart from perhaps the tribal areas, people in Pakistan do not generally force women to wear a burqa when they go out in public. So your point is completely illogical and based on utter lack of ground realities in Pakistan.

    These arguments would have made perfect sense in vacuum of Outer Space and closer home, in those parts of planet Earth where citizens, including the female of the species, are by and large left to their own devices.
    In localities where Constitutional provisions decide who is a ‘Full Citizen’ and who is not. And even amongst ‘Full Citizens’ which ones are ‘Non Profligate’ and ‘Peaceable’ and which ones can be elected for what, the sudden profusion of ‘Pro Choicers’ sends up red flags by the dozens. And those Sir, are the ‘ground realities‘ of Pakistan.
    Let us be under no illusions it is not about Empowerment, It is not about Choice, It is about promotion of Virtue minus the Mutaween.
    Here let me share a secret with you. My child was a fan of Popeye the Sailorman. And of course he swore by the virtues of Spinach, I was complicit in promotion of this belief.
    And tell me honestly, doesn’t Pakistan equate the Burka with virtue? Before replying look around at the TV channels beaming Ramzan specials.
    How do you expect impressionable youngsters to escape this equation, unless of course, in each episode they have a disclaimer saying that the lady is equally empowered without the Burka and can fight evil with equal vigor even in shorts and a Tee Shirt.
    Are the makers of the Comics up to it?
    And is there a proposal to lock the Mutaween away to ensure Free Choice in matters sartorial?Recommend

  • Gratgy

    @Blackjack

    Characteristics of Fascism: Hostile to liberal democracy, socialism, and communism, fascist movements share certain common features, including the veneration of the state, a devotion to a strong leader, and an emphasis on ultranationalism and militarism. Fascism views political violence, war, and imperialism as a means to achieve national rejuvenation and asserts that stronger nations have the right to obtain land and resources by displacing weaker nations

    Now Replace state with caliphate and nation with religion and it all starts to look familiarRecommend

  • KAY

    @ Fatima:
    Have you ever thought why Army personal, Police, Fire Fighters, Civil Security etc (men & women) all over the world (including arabs and pakistanis) wear western dress??
    Because it is efficient and practical i guess. What do you say? Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @Gratgy:
    My friend, as you are no doubt aware, my comment was not addressed to you but to the blog writer and his ilk. However, now that you have helpfully provided the meaning of fascism, hopefully they can define liberal fascist for me.Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    @gujranwala789:

    There is no contribution because we are so much inclinded on English. Please keep in mind Hindi is one of the oldest language in the world. Arabic is the language which generated the first number system in the world.
    Please also go and check that currently the most spoken language in the world is NOT ENGLISH…!!!!!!
    My case is simple you want to develop try to stand on your own feet..do it with your resources….When Germany got destroyed in WW2 they touched rock bottom..today they are the largest economy of Europe…..
    So my friend start concentration on your values…Recommend

  • Princess

    Good effort :)Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @Shah (Berlin):
    My friend, you are wrong on almost all accounts.

    Hindi is not one of the oldest languages in the world. Hindi is based on Khariboli dialect of Western UP which developed around 1000 CE. Hindi borrows words from Sanskrit, while Urdu borrows from Persian – same language, different script. Contrast this with Tamil that dates at least back to 300 BC. Quote from George L. Harte/ Hank Heifetz,: It has been described as “the only language of contemporary India which is recognizably continuous with a classical past.”

    Arabic/ Arabs did not generate the first set of numerals in the world. Mesopotamians and later Egyptians created glyphs representing values in between 4000 – 3000 BC – Arabic language did not exist at this time. On the system currently referred to as Arabic numerals (clearly not the oldest), I am sharing an extract from Wikipedia for your easy reference. “The reason the digits are more commonly known as “Arabic numerals” in Europe and the Americas is that they were introduced to Europe in the 10th century by Arabic-speakers of North Africa, who were then using the digits from Libya to Morocco. Europeans did not know about the numerals’ origins in ancient India, so they named them “Arabic numerals”. Arabs, on the other hand, call the system “Hindu numerals”, referring to their origin in India. “ You can confirm this with any well-educated Arab friends.

    Next, the utility of a language is just not in how many people speak it but how widely it is spoken. English is the most widely spoken language of the European Union as well (spoken by 51% of people), and probably the only language with which you can survive over here (I too live in Europe, you know) if you don’t know the native tongue. Spanish has more native speakers, but French and Arabic are spoken in more countries, and are therefore more useful.

    Third, Germany alone does not deserve the entire credit for the Wirtschaftswunder (if you are Germany, you will recognize the term). The revival of Germany after WW2 is also due to foresight of the Americans (selfish interest – to ensure that W. Europe could withstand the onslaught of communism). Here are some quotes: Hoover further noted that, “The whole economy of Europe is interlinked with German economy through the exchange of raw materials and manufactured goods. The productivity of Europe cannot be restored without the restoration of Germany as a contributor to that productivity.” Here is an extract from Wikipedia- The Economic recovery plan addressed each of the obstacles to postwar recovery. The Marshall plan focused on economic recovery of all Western European states, and a result, by 1952, as the funding ended, the economy of every participant state had surpassed pre-war levels; for all Marshall Plan recipients, output in 1951 was at least 35% higher than in 1938 – this includes W. Germany. Another reason for the quick turnaround is that Germany had the best human capital (high productivity) in Europe and a strong technology base that only required capital investment, which came both from the Marshall plan and the prudence and hard work of the well-trained and technologically advanced workforce in the decade after the war – this example is not comparable to Pakistan (or even India).Recommend

  • http://nazarbaaz.blogspot.com Kashif Ajmal Malik

    @Gratgy: Complteley biased. If it was true, they US Would never separate religion from politics. Show your religion to me please. Recommend

  • Hamza

    Thought provoking article Talha.Recommend

  • Zain

    One of the best articles yet !Recommend

  • http://www.Centcom.mil/Ur US Centcom

    I think the focus should be on the positive message within the show….Kids have the right to education.

    Ali KhanRecommend

  • Gratgy

    @BlackJack
    I know it was not adressed to me. I have asked the same question several times on this forum and never got an answer. Liberal Fascist is an oxymoron and cannot exist. Liberal and fascists are opposites of each other. Try using the set theory to analyse liberal fascism you will find that it constitutes a null set.

    However when we talk about Religious Fascism, ahem….Recommend

  • Gratgy

    @BlackJack
    Did you
    Replace state with caliphate and nation with religion

    in my comment above you will find that Fascism perfectly describes the religious right wing rather than the liberalsRecommend

  • abhi

    @BlackJack

    Please come up with some nice thoery about rise of Japan and China without using English, I am interested.Recommend

  • Chulbul Pandey

    I have said it elsewhere on ET before – if Burqa is such a great piece of clothing, why not make Muslim men wear it? Why only women? Its all about controlling the fairer sex on one pretext or the other.
    @Author:
    You are right, people don’t start wearing cloaks and costumes based on the super heroes. However, how many women are seen wearing Burqa on the streets? There in lies the problem. Kids with impressionable mind can be influenced into taking Burqa as an attire of a cool empowered woman while in reality its completely the opposite.

    For all who advocate women wearing Burqa of their free will…. well…. really? Seriously?Recommend

  • Poker

    Next is going to be ” Abaya avenger ” for boys education?Recommend

  • Chaddi Avenger

    We should all support girls education. I am there if you need me.Recommend

  • http://www.buzzpk.com Handsome

    Super hero always hide their identity, like bat man, iron man, etc… i did not found anything wrong wearing Burka to hide her identity, specially this show is produced for kids and i am sure Pakistani media would not like to show a super hero in undies specially a woman super hero.Recommend

  • The Saint.

    Few observations,

    i- Burqa for many in our society is not forced, its a choice…….Respect their choice.

    ii- Had not there been a Burqa, it would have easily become a war between liberals and religious sections of society. Attire of Burqa in BA has saved this unwanted division, and saved the issue of girls education as issue between religious vs liberals…….All are on Board.

    iii- @ Kay, you talk about western society, I am in UK and the people here dont object to your attire neither you do so, and that’s the reason of survival here…….You object/force others, you face the same.

    iv- This is a cartoon for children, a indigenously developed one, with local characters and all, this provide our next generation to look at our context in a optimistic way comparable to west, opening up new directions to own our land and culture and to be proud of it………….Give your children something to be proud of our culture and context.

    v- Above all, its a cartoon, not an dult rated film, or indian soup opera……………leave it for the children to enjoy!

    vi- Difficult to satisfy 20 millions, did any one thought about talking to the writer, director and producer, consult and have confidence in them……………its good to understand the art in the context.

    Cheer up people…….Dont worry, your children are not going to be criminalised or violent after seeing it, they will be more open minded towards different sections of the society…………atleast better than you!Recommend

  • mind control

    @The Saint.:

    Dont worry, your children are not going to be criminalised or violent after seeing it, they will be more open minded towards different sections of the society…………atleast better than you!

    Excuse me. The logic for an impressionable teen or even pre-teen works like this.

    A. The Super Hero wears a Burka. And bashes the Villains.

    B. The Villains do not wear a Burka.

    Therefore,

    C. Burka = Good

    D. No Burka = No Good

    E. Bashing of No Burka by Burka = Very Good

    QED.

    How that promotes ‘open mindedness’ eludes me. Recommend

  • Michelle DG

    I’m a liberal feminist and I LOVE this cartoon! Seriously, if someone has an issue with the burka, they either haven’t watched the show or simply don’t understand it. The Burka Avenger’s burka is not about oppression. She is taking the burka and turning it on its head, using a fundie symbol as something completely different.—a way to fight oppression and hide her true identity.Recommend

  • Ss

    I don’t get why some people think that the Burkha is a problem, I don’t see why batman, didn’t get criticised, why double standards for?Recommend