BY ALI NAQVI –
What makes you think that you should watch Dirilis Ertugrul? There are hundreds of dramas and movies based on history or historic fiction, why this Turkish epic. One reason could be that the series is concluded relatively recently. Little or no attention was paid to this drama in Pakistan when it started in 2014. What suddenly happened that made Dirilis Ertugrul the hottest topic in the country second only to Coronavirus?
I don’t remember any Prime Minister of Pakistan advising people to watch a particular TV show. Imran Khan is probably the only PM in the country’s history who has little to plan and practically not much to do. It must have been really hard for him to kill time until he came upon Dirilis Ertugrul. It stuck him as a good drama, obviously. One good thing that happened as an outcome of PM’s highlighting the drama’s merit was its translation in Urdu.
It was the Urdu dubbing that made Dirilis Ertugrul understandable for everyone. We often undermine the value of our language without realizing that it is the foreign languages that have stunted the mental growth of our nation be it English, Arabic or Persian. We Pakistanis are basically caught up in the buzz of languages. A child born in Punjab will learn Punjabi as his/her mother tongue. The child will also have to learn Urdu because it’s the national language. Upon entering school the kid will be forced to read and write English. As part of religious education the child must learn to read Arabic as well. Countries with less languages to contend with are likely to excel in the fields of both arts and sciences.
Coming back to Dirilis Ertugrul, no doubt it’s a great drama in terms of production, acting and script. The rising popularity of the series has raised many eyebrows in the showbiz industry of Pakistan. Some actors, directors and producers are not in favor of airing Turkish content on mainstream TV especially the state owned PTV. They argue that airing foreign content Turkish or otherwise will dent the local drama industry. It is feared that the fame of Dirilis Ertugrul will pave the way for more Turkish dramas to occupy prime time space on satellite TV channels. Stars like Yasir Hussain, Anoushey Ashraf and Mansha Pasha believe that Turkish content will damage the drama industry.
Neelum Munir has different ideas, in her recent post on Instagram she said “Even though I respect views of everyone in my fraternity but I feel it’s not the matter of Turkish content or Pakistani content. We should look beyond and understand that its Islamic content, which has so much wisdom and teaches us the history and the values of Muslims.”
A lot of people are favoring the Turkish content especially Dirilis Ertugrul because it highlights the Islamic values of truth, honesty and righteousness. But the problem is that we cannot reconcile the ideas of truth and honesty with the real world. If we do then why Sarmad Khoosat’s Zindagi Tamasha is banned in country?