At times, it almost feels that fiction is mirroring reality. While it is well-known that Inkaar is loosely based on Khadija Siddiqi and the incidents leading up to and following her stabbing, the latest episode of Inkaar seems to be mirroring a current issue. At times, an alleged victim finds herself/himself at a dead end where not only is there little hope for justice, but support is absent as well. In such a situation, what can a victim do? This is the idea highlighted in the latest episode of Inkaar.
As episode 20 opens, in light of the verdict, Kashif (Sami Khan) makes the decision to tell Hajra’s (Yumna Zaidi) story on social media through a video message. Kashif’s support is what pushes Hajra to take this step further and to seek justice, not only for herself, but for all the women who have had to deal with aggressive, forceful men that have harmed them. When Hajra arrives home, she is greeted by reporters.
Hajra’s reaction to the reporters and her brother’s pulling of a gun is absolutely over the top. However, the way the media handles the situation afterwards is something all Pakistani citizens can laugh at and imagine occurring in real life. The media interviews and discussions with Hajra’s mauhallay waalay (neighbors) are painstakingly realistic. Whether it’s the sympathetic uncle declaring that getting justice is impossible for the poor or the neighbor, to get his 5 seconds of fame, states that he has heard the name Rehan Chaudhry, viewers have seen such characters on their news channels before, giving the scenario an air of reality. And while the dids chanting “we want justice” is rather unrealistic as such topics are not discussed with children, for the sake of creative license, it does make its impact.
Wajahat Chaudhry (Imran Peerzada) comes to meet Hafiz Ilyas (Rehan Sheikh) at their home. Hafiz Ilyas and Wajahat Chaudhry draw a ceasefire, agreeing to stay out of each other’s way and allow the case to die a silent death. However, they are not aware that at that very moment, Hajra is on national television, being interviewed about her case with Rehan Chaudhry. With this breach in the deal, Wajahat Chaudhry informs Hafiz Ilyas that now he will deal with Hajra and put a stop to her. Hearing Hajra speak about her faith in her father, Hafiz Ilyas and Hajra’s mother calm down, appearing to feel pride in their daughter.
As Aisha prepares to go home, Rehan’s stepmother continues to hold her influence over Rehan, babying him and spoiling him by giving in to his demands. After Hajra’s news interview, Rehan seems to be out for revenge – as if he hasn’t done enough-, prepared to give a rebuttal publicly.
Episode 20 of “Inkaar” could not have had more ironic timing, clashing perfectly with the Mohsin Abbas Haider scandal. The makers of the show must be cheering the coincidence of it all. With social media up in arms over the Ukhano scandal, the Mohsin Abbas story broke at a time when netizens were already riled up. Hajra’s plight and her decision to take to social media to tell her story is one that, in this moment, feels highly realistic and viewers are able to relate to the story in a sense that it’s seemingly a part of the present reality. 20 episodes down and only a handful to go, it feels as though Inkaar started only yesterday – and as a drama viewer, this feeling is telling, as it speaks volumes for the class and quality of the show, never letting viewers down for even an episode. It remains to be seen how this show wraps up, but the ride is a brilliant one.
Watch full episode here: