Sehar

A thirteen episode serial on women who have fought against the odds to make a difference to their communities.

Language: Urdu/Hindustani
Duration: 30 mins each
Genre: Documentary (non-fiction)
Platform: Doordarshan

Concept/Synopsis

Sania Mirza ranked 34th in the WTA rankings is an unlikely symbol of an Indian Muslim woman. With her powerful backhands and short skirts on the court, Sania is seen as an unusual representative of the 65 million Muslim in India. But Sania Mirza is part of the growing community of young Muslim women who are breaking stereotypes of the Muslim woman as veiled and shackled to traditions.

This stereotype is partly a product of the media which has only focused on issues of the Muslim personal law when talking about Muslims-issues like triple Talaq and polygamy. Issues related to Muslim women receive media attention only when they involve a legal and religious controversy . Even the sympathy for Muslim women appears to be a response to the traditional stereotypes of Muslim woman as victim.

Sehar is a television series that tells stories of strong and visionary Muslim women confronting archaic traditions with a passion for change. Featuring Shabana Azmi, Alisha Abdullah, Rashida Bee, Fatima Bano, Dauda Sharif and other prominent faces of the country. The series looks at muslim women who have taken brave steps forward and challenge the traditional stereotypes of muslim women. Sehar offers a dramatic contrast to the stereotypes created as much by the media as by the traditional spokes people of the Muslim community.

Through an examination of the stories of these women the series explores the slow but sure empowerment of Muslim women. It also explores the reaction of their families as well as the larger Muslim community to the unusual choices made by these women. While focusing on the crucial steps being taken by pioneering women who are establishing gender equality, the series also celebrates their success as well as looks into the tensions in their lives because of these efforts.

Director: Shahla Raza, Fazal Kidwai
Cameraperson: Pooja Sharma