xtremely unpleasant, bogus, and taboo are the first thoughts that come to mind when one hears the story of ‘Churails’. This web series divulge into the racist, sexist, homophobic, and traditional conditioning aspects existent in our society. The picture drawn by the storyline of the drama can state to be the spitting image of our society in some areas.
Alienated from Usual Dramas
Asim Abbasi, the director, expresses the injustice and dehumanization that women experiences under the notions of ‘becoming the best version of themselves’ and ‘women must adjust even in times of adversity’. This show was found to be completely different than the regular Pakistani dramas in many ways. Some viewers were infuriated for not seeing the same old saas-bahu stories which have taught a lot to our society in terms of adopting cunning strategies and that women are either a victim or a trickster. This show presents a group formed by four women to stand against the atrocities caused by disloyal men by exposing them in front of their wives. These four missionaries take the responsibility of refuting the long-held adage ‘men will be men’ and make them pay for their actions.
How It Connects To Real Life Instances?
There are various attempts to establish it as a deviant show. The very simple thing was normalizing the use of abusive language used by the women. Then, there were many scenes that depicted real events. One of these was when Aurat March was attacked by religious fanatics in March 2020. A similar situation was displayed in the drama in which men gathered outside the ‘halal designs’ shop to attack it. But the Churails showed act of valor by defending it from these mischievous men. Furthermore, the show covers scenes of domestic violence and imposition of male authority which seem to be attached to our graceful society for a very long time.
Rebutting the Axioms
The word ‘Churails’ is widely considered demeaning as it is attached to qualities of cunningness, selfishness, aggression, resilience, and sexual liberation. The four protagonists embrace this name. Another rejection of the wide-spread belief is seen in their clothing. Burkhas are considered to be enforced upon women by men. Especially Europeans have highlighted how people here force women to wear burkhas to display their piousness. These women have shown how the rights of women can be protected by adopting any type of clothes. This establishes how people’s mentality should be disassociated from women’s clothing. People should not be taking an extensive interest in the clothing adopted by women around them as every individual has a right to wear his/her clothes of choice. Their choices can be dictated by social situations and their wants.
Exploitation Breaths in All Walks of Life
The drama ‘Churails’ shows that the exploitation and suppression of women exist in the lower as well as upper class. The issues ranged from enforced marriages to pursuing your career in these classes. The issues of racism, exploitation, and other social issues were integrated into the show. The exploitation in the upper class was sugar-coated with the ideology of a caretaker for women as Sarah (Sarwat Gillani) had to give up her career to look after kids. In lower class, a forceful method was applied whereby Zubaidah wasn’t allowed to box and her marriage was arranged with a complete stranger.
Freedom from Patriarchy
‘Churails’ signifies the idea of chains being broken through the collective action of women that is installed by the patriarchal structure. A very interesting area shown is that the patriarchal structure interjects its values and ideals onto some of the female characters. These female characters are shown to buttress the actions of their husbands and conceal the disappearance of teenage girls in this network. Another aspect highlighted was the commodification of young aspiring models in the fashion industry. They were exploited and used for the personal gratification of individuals with wealth and connections.
Sara’s husband mentions “I love you but inexplicably I love something in you more than yourself and therefore I mutilate you”. This is the ideology of Jacques Lacan that seem to justify the hardships created by him to bring her closer to perfection. He also connects it with the toxic cream that was meant to make the girls fair. The pain felt in the process of becoming fairer was a byproduct of attaining perfection. Only, a racist mindset seems to bring this idea.
Upbringing Maintains a Firm Grip
Conditioning seems to be the root cause of these abnormal attitudes. These problematic men were sent to hostel where they developed the fascination for killing squirrels. They were taught to honor the dead bodies by keeping them in boxes. These feelings of domination and achievement were carried forward into their adult lives. They practised these attributes on the young girls wanting to be models. They were conditioned to act like this in a position of domination and power.
One interesting idea was that the four women belonging to completely different social circles with different circumstances came together to work towards a common goal. The first protagonist is Batool (Nimra Bucha) who murdered her husband to protect her daughter. This can stated to be the right thing to do as her husband was seen to be making advances towards her daughter driven by the sexual urge. The second protagonist was Jugnu (Yasra Rizvi) who belonged to the elite class and is seen to be consuming liquor and cigarettes throughout the drama series. She’s a wedding-planner by profession. The third protagonist is Sara (Sarwat Gilani Mirza). She forgoes her dream of becoming a lawyer to raise her children. She is the wife of a loving and caring politician who later reveals true colors of a dishonest husband. Zubaidah (Mehar Bano) is one of the finest characters who uses her physical and mental strength to stand against the patriarchal structure causing injustice. She practices boxing without telling her parents. When her parents find this out, they force her to give up her dream of becoming a boxer. Zubaidah is the one who tells the clan of churails to help even those women who can’t afford their fees and live below the poverty line. This highlights the similar feelings of women in all socioeconomic circles. Despite facing different circumstances, their individualistic personalities forged a common goal that is to break free from the patriarchal chains. This requires women to answer back to every insult and all physical abuses.
Needless to say, this drama is viewed by the masses to instil hatred in people for men and propagate the idea of men showing violence towards women. It can be argued to adopt western principles of liberalism that corrupt our societal values. The show defies it by including a few good men who unite with the Churails in their journey towards safeguarding women rights and standing against the evils in the society. This journey seems to be dictated by all institutions as they believe in eradicating evils from society and practising the freedom by doing good to others.
This women-centric series has gained popularity in the past few days in Pakistan with people asking for links to watch. The amazing direction, storyline, music, and cinematography have enacted a realistic sense that many individuals find it relatable. Whether famous or infamous, this drama stands alone to highlight the social issues with an extensive level of intensity observed in the language and the violence shown in it. A closure is provided towards the end but it would be very enthralling to see how this struggle is further expanded to a mass scale in the second season of ‘Churails’.