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End of story? Dastaan may be pulled from Indian airwaves

Updated May 12, 2015

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Fawad Khan as Hasan in Dastaan.
Fawad Khan as Hasan in Dastaan.

Indian viewers might love Fawad Khan for his looks and acting, but his 1947 Partition themed drama Dastaan has still raised quite the furore.

Upset viewers have reported the drama series to I&B ministry and broadcast redressal authority Broadcast Content Complaints Council (BCCC), which was resulted in the issue of a notice to the channel Zee Zindagi, reported Times of India.

Although Dastaan has been edited for Indian viewing and renamed Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Haseen Sitam, it appears that viewers still felt that it was portraying Pakistan’s version of the Partition.

Sanam Baloch and Fawad Khan in 'Dastaan'.
Sanam Baloch and Fawad Khan in 'Dastaan'.

Based on Razia Butt’s novel ‘Bano’, Dastaan is based on the separation of a young couple due to the 1947 Partition. Starring Fawad Khan as Hasan and Sanam Baloch as Bano, the drama series shows Bano’s abduction and forced marriage to a Sikh and has instances that have shown Hindus as the perpetrators of the carnage.

Still, there have been viewers in India who were not offended with the serial. Speaking about Dastaan, one Zindagi channel official has said that it was a ‘beautiful, timeless’ love story.

He further added that the response to the drama series has also been positive: “The soap could be set against the backdrop of any country that underwent the harsh reality of Partition. The show was telecast as Dastaan in Pakistan and we have made necessary changes to telecast it for the Indian audience. We have followed all broadcast guidelines.”

While the channel’s executives are to be summoned for a hearing on May 22, a Zee official said that they haven’t received any notice so far. The I&B ministry has not taken any action but notified the concerned authorities. Zindagi channel might be asked to modify the drama further or be advised against its re-telecast in India.