Published On: Wed, May 18th, 2016

Maalik’s ban reminds Zia’s policies


Ajoka Theatre

Ajoka Theatre is Celebrating its 32nd anniversary and has organised a drama festival with the title of ‘Reclaiming our History’. This occasion has been held in association with Lahore Arts Council and will persist to run until 19 May.

The plays which are on the spotlights of the festival are Kaun Hai Ye GustakhLo Phir Basant AyiAnhi Mai da Sufna and Kabira Khara Bazar Mein. Madeeha Gohar, who is the Artistic Director of the Ajoka Theatr, stated that “Every year, we celebrate our anniversary. We are hopeful that this year’s event will attract more theatre lovers than ever before.”

She remembered the challenges they confronted when the plan of beginning a theatre troupe struck them for the initial time. She further stated that “Ajoka Theatre is the first-of-its-kind company in Punjab. There were commercial theatres at that time but no parallel theatre. We started it to give hope to people and create a vision for the entertainment industry,”

She declared that it wasn’t the much promising spell when Ajoka Theatre was born. The Zia government was clomping on displaying arts and this very challenge provided Ajoka its strength. She further added that “At that time we did a play called Juloos. It showed glimpses of society during Zia’s time and a huge number of people visited my house to praise the performance,”

Though things didn’t produce for the good and Gohar and her husband Shahid Nadeem were soon sent to jail and then said to flee from the country. She added, “I have given my best in life to Ajoka Theatre. At that time, I never thought Ajoka will be an international theatre group,” she quipped “Ajoka Theatre has provided quality entertainment for 32 years and with the help of my entire team I have been able to entice vast audiences around the globe.”

Asher Azeem challenges ban on “Maalik”/LHC issues notice to federal govt

Gohar stated that government is also not much cooperated to promote theatre “The banning of films such as Maalik should be condemned. Freedom of expression is being taken away and all this is disheartening,” she added, “The government should have stepped in earlier.”

According to her, the ban on the film brings to mind the policies of General Zia himself. “When Maalik got banned, I was reminded of the times we were struggling against Zia. And now it seems in all these years, nothing has changed” she added.

About the Author

Sidra Muntaha

- Sidra Tul Muntaha is a journalist (MA-Mass Communication and M.Phil in Mass Communication) based in Lahore. She is working as an editor at fashion, style and entertainment in the section of the Kooza. She writes fashion and entertainment articles for The Kooza News.

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