Zee Zindagi served notice for airing Pakistani drama Dastaan
A television network in India, Zee, had recently started a new TV channel Zee Zindagi, to air Pakistani dramas in the country. After the huge success of Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan’s Humsafar, Zee Zindagi started airing Dastaan, a drama based on a love story of Razia Butt’s book Bano and featuring Fawad Khan, Mehraan Raheel and Sanam Baloch in leading roles. Now an Indian court has served a legal notice to Zee Zindagi for airing Dastaan after complaints of promoting Pakistan’s narrative of partition, reported Times of India.
Broadcast Content Complaints Council (BCCC), headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal, has served a notice to Zindagi and summoned its executives for a hearing. A Zee official denied receiving any legal notice from BCCC.
Thought the Information and Broadcast Ministry of India has not taken any action but forwarded the complaints it received to BCCC. The drama serial was aired in India after name changed to ‘Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Haseeb Sitam’ and ended its 23-episode run in April.
According to a survey conducted by Times of India, some viewers have complained that Sikhs and Hindus are portrayed as the perpetrators of atrocities on Muslims, while others weren’t offended by the serial.
The complaints were varied in nature: one claimed that a few episodes highlighted Indian Muslim League and Mohammad Ali Jinnah as heroes fighting the Congress against discrimination of Muslims in the country. The main villain of the story is a Sikh who abducts a Muslim girl, and then repeatedly rapes her, forces her to convert and bear a child out of wedlock.
The soap was a huge success in India, as said by an executive if Zee Zindagi. “The soap could be set against the backdrop of any country that underwent the harsh reality of partition. The show was telecast as Dastan in Pakistan and we have made necessary changes to telecast it for the Indian audience. We have followed all broadcast guidelines,” he said.