If you haven’t heard of Pakistani drama Tere Bin, then you must be living under a rock. Since it began airing in December on Geo TV, the drama has become all the rage not only in Pakistan but globally. Its episodes have trended at the number one position on YouTube in India multiple times, showing its international appeal.
Directed by Siraj ul Haq, the drama stars Wahaj Ali and Yumna Zaidi. Meerab (played by Zaidi), who is used to living her life on her own terms, refuses to accept the traditions of Murtasim (played by Ali) and his family as well as unnecessary social barriers. The friction-filled drama is about how they are going to overcome their differences.
At least, this was what the drama was before it became a constant back and forth of misunderstandings between Meerab and Murtasim in the last few episodes.
Fans still loving the chemistry between the leads continued rooting for their reunion. The drama trended again three days ago when episode 46 aired. This time, however, it took over the internet for all the wrong reasons.
As the said episode concluded, Meerab slapped Murtasim and spat on his face during an argument. In response, we saw Murtasim grow furious and push Meerab onto the bed and then close the door. The sequence implied that marital rape or assault would take place in the next episode and this is not sitting well with the audience.
The next episode’s promo also supports this theory as it shows Meerab sitting distraught. This sudden escalation between the characters and the triggering nature of the act have sent fans into a frenzy. People are also up in arms, saying rape should not be used as a plot device and normalised in a society where survivors rarely receive any justice. To have a well-loved and immensely popular character rape his wife and then be forgiven — people are speculating and scared that this may be what is going to happen — is absolutely not okay.
Fans on Twitter have been trending “shame on Tere Bin makers” for days now and can you blame them?
A user compared Malik Zubair, one of antagonists in the show, with Murtasim and how the latter, who’s supposed to be the hero, is somehow shown to be worse.
Fans are outraged at the makers for ‘ruining’ their favourite hero.
People are upset because the show did not even need a twist — no one was expecting it and that’s why it shocked viewers so much.
What makes matters worse is that the writer of the drama, Nooran Makhdoom, has defended the show. “It’s a situation which was the demand of the serial that will lead to the climax,” she told Arab News. “If the audience isn’t getting it, I can’t change it,” she said. “It’s just a drama. They should wait for the entire story to unfold instead of taking issue with every episode,” she said.
“It’s not like this has happened onscreen for the first time,” the writer added. “It’s just that this project has received such wide recognition that people reacted strongly to the recent twist.
“If you speak of my social responsibility, I created a story and I stand by it,” she said. “And this is not an unusual occurrence; it has happened before.”
But the problem is that this issue is more than just mere backlash or casual criticism fans have against a plot point in the drama.
The issue here is much deeper. The bottom line is that shows like Tere Bin, which have a huge following should not trivialise sensitive topics like this for ratings.
‘Shame on Tere Bin makers’ trends on Twitter as fans express outrage over implied marital rape sequence