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Avenger to the Rescue

Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai Email Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai
September 2013
Avenger to the Rescue

In the first episode of Burka Avenger, which debuted last month on Pakistan TV, an evil magician named Baba Bandook and a corrupt politician named Vadero Pajero attempt to close a girls’ school in the fictional town of Halwapur. Their views on women mirror those of the Taliban and their ilk.

“What business do women have with education?” Bandook says. “They should stay at home, washing, scrubbing and cleaning, toiling in the kitchen.”

Enter the Burka Avenger. She uses her karate moves and an arsenal of books and pens to beat the bad guys and keep the school running.

The Urdu language animated show was created “to make people laugh, to entertain, and to send out positive social messages to the youth,” according to the show’s website. The social messages include the importance of girls’ education and treating everyone equally.

While the burka itself may be viewed as a symbol of oppression, Pakistan pop star Haroon Rashid, who created the show, doesn’t see it that way, partly because Jiya, the young woman who turns into the Burka Avenger, doesn’t wear a burka during her normal activities.

Along with the social messages for the youth, there’s also a message for meddlesome men: You never know what’s under a burka. It could be a woman with a black belt who might send you flying into the air.

Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.

[Comments? Contributions? We would love to hear from you about Chai Time. If you have contributions, please email us at melvin@melvindurai.com. We welcome jokes, quotes, online clips and more.]

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