he media influences our ideas, beliefs and perceptions. Everything we watch on television or in the theater leaves a trace. Audiovisual media are an essential source of information, especially among young people. Cinema and theater have helped many viewers to understand the score, the sense of independence, the feeling of patriotism and the sacrifice for their homeland. The entertainment industry has come up with many patriotic productions, including true stories and strong fictional characters.
Alpha Bravo Charlie is one of the most popular pieces in the history of entertainment television in Pakistan. Produced by Shoaib Mansoor, it aired in 1998 and is still popular. The story follows three friends, Faraz, Kashif and Gulsher – also known as Alpha, Bravo, Charlie – as they graduate from the Pakistan Military Academy and begin their careers as army officers. It takes place against the backdrop of the Siachen campaign and the civil war in Bosnia. All three characters encounter insignificant difficulties at first. Eventually, life hits them in different ways. Gulsher and Faraz fall in love with the same girl, Shehnaz, she chooses Gulsher. Kashif is sent to Siachen where he has near death experiences but captures a spike. He loses his arms and legs in the fight. Gulsher travels to Bosnia and during an operation is captured by Serbian forces. His family is informed that he is missing and he is declared a martyr. Fast forward 20 years, Gulsher escapes the camp but gets killed. Shehnaz travels to Bosnia to look for him. Kashif and Faraz live happily with their families. The tragic events in the separate lives of army officers create depth in the plot and leave viewers with strong feelings.
Dastaan is another patriotic production based on bano, a novel by Razia Butt. It follows the story of riots and chaos during partition and independence. Aired in 2010, the play starred Fawad Khan, Sanam Baloch, Saba Qamar, Ahsan Khan, Saba Hameed and Qavi Khan. Their brilliant performances and a strong storyline made the drama a big hit. Some viewers still remember it as the greatest drama in the history of Pakistani cinema. The action begins with a blossoming romance between Hassan and Bano before the score. As Hassan has gone to Rawalpindi for his studies, the law and order situation is deteriorating around Bano.
Audiovisual media are an essential source of information, especially among young people. Cinema and theater have helped many viewers to understand the score, the sense of independence, the feeling of patriotism and the sacrifice for their homeland.
The play features some of the atrocities committed during the riots in the score. After some heartbreaking events, Bano reaches Pakistan five years later, bearing a son from her Sikh husband. Hassan suffers from depression and ends up being engaged to a girl called Rabia. Bano returns home and discovers Rabia. The drama ends with Bano refusing to marry the love of his life. Instead, she goes on welfare. She kills a man who tries to attack her and ends up in prison. This drama gave many viewers sleepless nights and was a huge hit.
Sipahi Maqbool Hussain is another patriotic production depicting the courage, patriotism and determination of a soldier. It deals with the life of a soldier during the 1965 war and his imprisonment for four decades in India where he suffered torture. Maqbool Hussain disappeared near Azad Kashmir and ended up in a prison cell where he remained for forty years. During his captivity, he was subjected to cruel punishments to make him reveal the secrets of the Pakistani army. Despite the intensity of the torture, he refused to give any information. Due to isolation and punishment, imprisonment and continued abuse, Sipahi Maqbool Hussain became psychologically ill and was eventually deported back to Pakistan in 2005. He scribbled down the number 335139 to reveal his identity as he was unable to speak. All of his family members were dead when he returned. What was left was an empty house and a few graves with his beloved’s names on them.
A play about the lives of army cadets, Sinf-i-Ahan was released in 2021. It features the role of female officers and their contribution to the military. This is the story of five goal-oriented women who embark on a treacherous journey. The narrative includes observations of patriarchal norms in tribal society and episodes of men pulling women down to stop them from doing something great. It also explores the pressures of marriage. Other topics covered are the exploitation of minorities, issues related to poverty and societal attitudes. There are also positive male characters, like Maj Usama and Daniyal, who support the women around them and don’t let their egos get the better of them. Rabia, Mahjabeen, Shaista, Parwish, Arzoo and Nathmy face many obstacles, trials, betrayals and sleepless nights, but achieve their goals. This series also features comedy scenes, beautiful Kakul landscapes, and relationship information. The title track, sung by Zeb Bangash and Asim Azhar, is the icing on the cake. The moving lyrics and their beautiful voices make the show memorable.
The writer has a background in English literature. She can be contacted at [email protected]