Sang-e-Mah's first episode may have won hearts but some Pashtuns aren't happy with their representation

Sang-e-Mah's first episode may have won hearts but some Pashtuns aren't happy with their representation

The drama has elicited many positive responses but there are also netizens who believe the show is 'profiling Pashtuns'.
Updated 10 Jan, 2022

Atif Aslam's debut drama Sang-e-Mah has his fans excited and everyone else curious to see how the singer will fare as a TV actor and while most viewers are singing praises for the singer's debut and the drama's cinematography and direction, many Pashtuns on Twitter are not happy with the way they have been represented.

The sequel to Sang-e-Mar Mar premiered in cinemas on Jan 8 and on Hum TV on Jan 9. The show attracted a lot of viewers who then posted their reactions on social media.

Aslam's character Hilmand had viewers "charmed" and the "enchanting world of Sang-e-Mah" reeled them in.

People loved every aspect of it.

Some even compared it to theatre.

Most, though, were Aslam stans.

Some were quick to notice Sania Saeed wearing a traditional shawl from Swabi and educate us on its historical significance.

Of course, ships were formed for leads Aslam, Kubra Khan, Hania Aamir and Zaviyar Noman Ijaz.

The drama also has a Turkish fanbase it seems.

However, there were also some critics who didn't think much of the show. This user said the drama is "cashing in on Aslam's success."

This Twitter user said it was too similar to its predecessor.

Netizens were quite pleased to see the drama start off with a scene at a gurdwara and see Sikh representation.

But there were also many netizens who were not happy with the Pashtun representation in the drama and claimed it was profiling Pashtuns. "Pashtun profiling. Cannabis smoker reciting third grade poetry... looks quite obscene. Cheap actors speaking broken and twisted Urdu. Swear words. Filthy countenance. What a useless plot the drama has. Is this really a family drama or a stage show worthy of being shown at a Punjabi theatre?"

A user said that "Pashtuns are always shown paranormally that leaves an impression of terror on the viewer" and that such misrepresentative dramas should be banned.

There have also been objections to the accents being put on by the actors. One user said they should "either talk in proper Urdu or cast real Pashtun actors."

Another user wanted to know where the idea of ghag came from. "The ghag custom shown in Sang-e-Mah, what area of Pakhtunkhwa is it speaking for? We have no such traditions."

Some even reminded "those who speak and understand Urdu" that the same "prejudiced and hateful treatment that Bengalis were subjected to is now being enforced on Baloch and Pashtun people and will have terrible repercussions. This behaviour is based on hatred."

There were also calls for protest.

While representation is important, it needs to be dealt with carefully in order to do justice to the reality of the people being shown as it can rightfully hurt sentiments. Remember — we need representation, not caricatures and the best way to ensure representation is to tell accurate stories of people and make sure those people have a seat at the table.


Kulsoom Baloch Jan 10, 2022 03:49pm
Pakistani people always wait for criticising before starting they end it.
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Kulsoom Baloch Jan 10, 2022 03:56pm
Before start they end everything by criticising.
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Chrís Dăn Jan 10, 2022 04:00pm
I recall in late 60s,West Pakistan was producing many plays rediculing accent and appearances of Bengalis. Punjab media was very active in it. Its not a positive trend. 8t is malignant.
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Malik Ji Jan 10, 2022 04:20pm
Hum TV is owned by Pushtoons. So ask them about it. Also I don't understand ethnocentric people who believe that they are perfect and there is nothing wrong with them and every drama should portay them as perfect. Just take it as a Drama based on a fictional story. It is not some documentary.
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Hamed Jan 10, 2022 04:33pm
Films are usually subjective view of the film maker. Trying to make fun by presenting "negative" things is absolutely wrong
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john Jan 10, 2022 05:14pm
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Eb Raar Jan 10, 2022 06:46pm
I am Pashtoon and I fully endorse all the characters shown in Sang-e-Maah.. Reality is that truth hurts.. and the truth is that "Ghag is integral part of Pashtoonwali.."
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waqar Jan 10, 2022 08:04pm
As a Punjabi viewer, i see the bias in the script. Pashtun's again are shown as a bunch of angry mindless people seeking violence and revenge. The play is written with an 80's era mindset and today when we are more aware of each other's values and customs the whole thing reeks of ignorance. Pashtun;s are a complex society, no different than any other . They are courageous, dedicated, often headstrong, and very funny. The writer should have shown a different aspect of their lives. Not impressed. Two thumbs down.
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Rami Jan 10, 2022 08:19pm
Jirga system needs to stop, it is based on revenge and racism! Rule of all should apply every where in Pakistan as same! Acting and story shows great effort ! Atiff has a future as actor as well !
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Patriot Jan 10, 2022 10:26pm
There is no ulterior motive by the producers of this drama. Chill out and enjoy it. We are so quick to criticize anything...
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Hilla-le-pakistan Jan 11, 2022 12:14am
Ordinary performance so far.
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Anwar Amjad Jan 11, 2022 12:19am
The drama is written by Mustafa Afridi - a Pashtoon. It is just excellent.
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Irfan Huq Jan 11, 2022 04:15am
@Chrís Dăn Late sixties TV was just born
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Ibrahim Jan 11, 2022 05:18am
As a Pashtun, I see nothing wrong with this play, and it is an important part of Pashtun culture. How can you expect the drama to be in Pashto when 80% of the population can't understand it? It's clear they're going with Urdu. The accent is quite acceptable. This is how most Pashtuns speak Urdu.If any pashtunhas a problem with this show they should look in the mirror.
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Raja Jan 11, 2022 07:05am
Pashtuns should be proud they own entire Pakistan , the government, the entertainment, the economy, the history , the army etc
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Sayyar Khan Jan 11, 2022 08:22am
@Malik Ji Yep. I truly agree like all Punjabi eat Daal.
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Sayyar Khan Jan 11, 2022 08:23am
Urdu should not even be a national language only 12 to 10 % of population language is forced on others.
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Asad Jan 11, 2022 09:24am
Pashtuns have no where to go here because the writer belongs to their community, so they have to blame themselves for all of this.
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Parsa Jan 11, 2022 10:12am
Ghag is known as nara in southwestern Afghanistan, but it is ascribed to girls/women that run away to the house of a boy/man of their choice. Pashtun men in Afghanistan don’t practice this nara/ghag.
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Anonymouseee Jan 11, 2022 11:05am
We Pashtuns don’t need any support or help to portray our images to the outsides. We make history ourselves. Never us there been a culture/tradition more robust and charismatic as the strong pathans. Also, ghag has never existed in the parts of the tribal areas where I’m from. People just love to fabricate stories.
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Sane Mind1st Jan 11, 2022 11:06am
It's in the mindest of the Pakistanis to always show Pashtun, Baluchs, Hindus, Christian and other minorities in poor light, as villians as bad people. Inflated ego it seems.
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Secular Pathan Jan 11, 2022 11:25am
Stop vilifying and making fun of Pashtuns
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Sane Mind1st Jan 11, 2022 11:37am
The drama is nothing but loud mouth, bombastic dialogues, playing egos and dolls justifying there meagre roles. Quit it.
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Art Jan 11, 2022 12:17pm
Pasthun are not happy how they’re portrayed in sinf-e-ahan either. Stop this scapegoating!
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Fatima Jan 11, 2022 05:55pm
I wish we would have more of proper representation of minorities and different ethnic groups. Pretty much all of our stories about minority groups (like transgenders) and ethnic groups are so heavily stereotyped! When Hollywood misrepresented us, we get defensive. But we are doing the exact same with our people!
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Zeba Jan 11, 2022 09:54pm
@Kulsoom Baloch very true
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Eb Raar Jan 11, 2022 10:30pm
@Sayyar Khan ok then what about punjabi as a national language, as majority is authority??
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shah Jan 12, 2022 04:04am
@Eb Raar which area i have heard about it only last week
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Fazilnawaz Jan 12, 2022 01:47pm
Pashtoon Ki Tarekh dek kr aap oski soch Aur culture p Drama banao Chand logo ki waja se paso k lye itna mat gero ,Mustfa Afiridi and All team ,Of Sangi mAh.
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Abdullah A Mabood Jan 12, 2022 04:44pm
You cannot do justice if the script is from toba tek singh and you hire actors from chitral.. please stop this stereotyping of your overacting simply
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Sumayya Jan 14, 2022 02:23pm
Best drama
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Sumayya Jan 14, 2022 03:48pm
Best drama
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