Last year, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) was on a roll, issuing notices to various dramas and advertisements left and right. From banning Jalan, the reruns of Pyaar Kay Sadqay and Ishqiya to Gala’s biscuit advertisement starring Mehwish Hayat; it seemed like PEMRA had an objection on everything, regardless of the content that was being shown. Although PEMRA revoked its decision soon after banning the dramas, netizens still raised their opinions regarding PERMA’s haphazard decisions. Now, almost three months into 2021 and PEMRA has struck yet again. This time, the social-based TV One drama Dil Na Umeed Toh Nahi gets the ax.
On 23rd February 2021, PEMRA issued a notice to channel TV One, asking it to review the content being shown in the drama serial Dil Na Umeed Toh Nahi. PEMRA has given a five days notice to the channel to review the drama’s content according to PEMRA’s code of conduct and has also been asked to submit a report. As soon as this decision was made public, PEMRA started receiving flak on social media. The audience raised their voices against the decision and said that such stories need to be told as the drama aims to raise awareness regarding child abuse and human trafficking. Some people even hoped that this decision will give Dil Na Umeed Toh Nahi a much-deserving larger audience, considering it is being aired on the channel TV One, which isn’t as popular as other big names like HUM TV, ARY Digital, and Geo Entertainment.
The plot of Dil Na Umeed Toh Nahi
Written by Amna Mufti and directed by Kashif Nisar, Dil Na Umeed Toh Nahi is set in three separate timelines; each dealing with a different kind of taboo. The 2008 one deals with a poor family trying to make ends meet and a young boy falling into the wrong hands; the 2012 one deals with a patriarchal society where the head of the society forbids young girls from going to school and the present timeline revolves around a bunch of women working in a modern brothel. Dil Na Umeed Toh Nahi is a dark and unsettling watch but that is precisely the point behind it. It aims to raise awareness about social stigmas that are often swept under the rug. The drama is made in collaboration with Kashf Foundation, the NGO behind making many social-based dramas like Rehaai, Udaari, and Aakhri Station.
At a time when our TV channels are filled with monotonous and dreadful storylines, Dil Na Umeed Toh Nahi promises to be a breath of fresh air. If PEMRA keeps dampening the success of story-driven dramas like Dil Na Umeed Toh Nahi, it wouldn’t be long before our content creators stop breaking the mold by delving into different genres, which is what our drama industry desperately needs.