Is Dunk supporting the Me Too Movement or discrediting it? Is it even fair to show the other side? Ever since the drama has gone on air, fiery debates supporting, or rejecting the content have come forth. Each side is vehemently convinced on their stand – so where should we really stand?
As Dunk continues to reveal its story, episode by episode, it raises many pertinent questions yet has been the subject of controversy too.
Dunk’s initial focus was sexual harassment; its impact on the accused, Professor Humayun, his family and the alleged victim Amal. In the latest episode, it touches on the topic of suicide and mental health of the accused and accuser.
Since the drama is supposedly based on a true life narrative that occurred just a while ago (correct us if we’re wrong please), we have two parallel life stories for you, after which there are questions which require critical judgement.
Real life stories
Story 1: Haleema Rafiq
In the mean time, Chairman MCC, Maulvi Sultan Alam filed a Rs. 2M defamation suit against the women. The pressure was too much for Haleema who eventually, drank a local cleaning agent at home & committed suicide.
The family is said to have not followed up on the suicide case as it is a criminal offense in Pakistan and entails too much legal paperwork etc..
Story 2: MAO lecturer
Subsequently, the lecturer requested the college administration to clear his name in writing as he felt he had been publicly defamed. However, after following this route for 3 months, he gave up.
He left a suicide note stating he was under too much stress & left the final verdict to Allah. His last wish was that police should not investigate into his death any further or bother anyone over it.
(source: Pakistan Today)
Fact Check: It is said that Dunk is based on this real life story.
Sexual harassment and suicide in Pakistan
In our society sexual harassment and suicide are taboo topics.
So what is Dunk really accomplishing here? Is it really discrediting the Me Too movement?
In Dunk, the audience is torn between the multi-layered characters, mimicking our real-life experiences where we are never really sure of the real culprit in a harassment case. Should we side with Amal or Professor Humayun?
It has taken a long time for harassment victims to speak up. Is showing a handful of alleged victims lying about misconduct fair to the countless who are really suffering? Does it stir up the question: hum pe kon yaqeen kare ga?
Me Too Or Not, Here’s one thing Dunk IS doing
Dunk is showing us that it is critical that all those involved in sexual harassment cases (accused & accuser), need 2 things:
1.Public Anonymity to protect those involved from public defamation at least till the inquiry is ongoing. It is evident from current and past events that such a case is very sensitive and the public will take sides regardless of what the other side says or does, that a case may be decided in the court of law but in the people’s court, the matter is susceptible to smear campaigns, public humiliation for the accused, accuser and their families.
This results in serious mental trauma, as in the case of Ghana (Prof Humayun’s daughter), his wife and himself.
2. Stronger Inquiry committees. Perhaps we need a forensics expert, a legal advisor etc to be part of the inquiry team. This might help us delve deeper into the case, discourage possible false allegations and arrive at a higher percentage of conclusive verdicts
Is Dunk Dividing Us?
It shouldn’t. We all want to save lives.
We are all (or should be), on the same side! Dunk is starting conversations alright. It doesn’t matter whether they represent a handful, or a multitude. A story must be told, that is the duty of creative enterprise, every life is worth saving, and every case worth solving, before it’s too late!
Shazia likes to pen her thoughts when she feels passionately about a life experience, a person or an event. She is mother to 3 lively boys and along with her husband, attempts to settle in her new country by taking German lessons so she is able to soak in the culture, language and spirit of the region.
“Wake up in the morning, take a deep breath and exhale! Keep on living with a passion that inspires others! “