Pakistani web-series Dhoop Ki Deewar recently released its trailer on YouTube. The series tells the tale of romance between an Indian boy and a Pakistani girl whose fathers were rival soldiers and martyred in Kashmir. Many Pakistanis are unhappy with the plot and some have even called for it to be banned, even though writer Umera Ahmed confirmed that the script was given the green light by the ISPR.
The show will air on Indian streaming platform Zee 5 on June 25 and stars off screen couple Sajal Aly and Ahad Raza Mir. Zee 5 is the same platform that gave us Churails.
The outcry prompted a response from the writer, novelist Umera Ahmed. “I am thankful to all of you for supporting my principled stance, that it is the basic right of a writer to initiate debate on any important matter in their work,” she wrote in a statement shared on Facebook.
She clarified that the story is her own creation, one that she started writing as a novel in 2018 and owns the IP rights to. She also revealed that she was hired by Pakistani firm Group M to make the story into a drama. The show was then produced in association with Haseeb Hasan’s production house Hamdan Films. “All the production of the show was handled by Group M,” she said.
“If this project is good, the entirety of the credit goes to me and Group M. Even if it is bad, the responsibility falls entirely on us.”
In a later post, she addressed all the criticism she received individually.
"When I started working on Dhoop Ki Deewar in 2019, I sent the story to the Inter-Services Public Relations,” she told us. “I asked the team for its evaluation so that I would edit out anything objectionable in the story.”
One of the things being criticised in the show — which hasn't even been aired yet — is that it is "selling the blood of Kashmiris" by showing rival soldiers' children falling in love. Critics say the idea of these two fictional people falling in love undermines the Kashmir struggle. They also don't appreciate Pakistani creators selling their work to Indian platforms.
BanDhoopKiDeewar quickly became a trend on Twitter.
People seemed to believe that the show — which we must repeat has not aired yet — challenges the two-nation theory.
Others felt that promoting good relations with our neighbouring country was not acceptable and that the only viable relationship was "revenge for hatred".
Others cried "shame" at the supposed "anti state and Kashmir narrative" in the show.
Some people called out the actors for becoming part of "5th generation warfare for money".
Others believe the show is supportive of Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir.
However, supporters of the show are also active online.
One thing we have learned, however, from Pakistani outrage at films or TV shows that have not even been aired is that the public sees what it wants to. The writer of Dhoop Ki Dewar and supporters are urging people to wait and watch it before making their judgements and we would urge the same. Wait to see the show before cancelling it for being pro-India.
Pakistani Twitter slams web-series Dhoop Ki Deewar for being 'unpatriotic' before it has even been aired