Increasing number of drama serials being sold on CD, sales surge in city

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* Some blame closure of Nishter Hall, others say dramas on CDs promoting vulgarity

By Muhammad Shahid 

PESHAWAR: The sale of drama series recorded on CDs is on the rise in the provincial metropolis, with numerous artists pinning their hopes on private production centres for their income.

Some artists cite the closure of Nishter Hall as the reason for the boom in the sale of dramas on CDs, while others are critical of television channels’ role in the matter.

“Previously, we were restricted only to the television channels and we had to wait for a long time to get a chance, but now we are too busy with dramas on CD,” Gauhar Ali, an artist working for Pashto dramas, told Daily Times.

He said, however, that artists could not solely depend on income from dramas on CD, adding, “In addition to working for dramas, I also have my own business.”

A young actor, Khan Gul, said the ban on dramas in Nishtar Hall had diverted producers’ attention to the production of CD dramas that became popular among the people. “A CD drama costs very low and one can watch these dramas in their homes with their family members,” he said, adding that there was nothing vulgar and obscene in these dramas.

Ashfaq of Mehran Production told Daily Times that their company had produced numerous dramas and music albums on CD, which he said were being appreciated by people. He said some producers were trampling the Pushtoon culture, but that “Mehran produces quality telefilms and dramas in accordance with Pushtoon culture.”

Ashfaq said a drama for CDs cost around Rs 150,000. “We recently produced a telefilm ‘Laas Da Baree Kaar Dey’ at a cost of Rs 400,000,” he said, but added that the play did not earn enough money.

Shah Zeb of Shabana Production said that people also liked comedy dialogues dubbed in Pushto on Indian and English films.

Kamran Shinwari, a drama critic, said that the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) government had banned music and dramas in Nishtar Hall and that the CD drama producers provided people with an alternative opportunity to show their talent.

He said most people belonging to the rural areas watched dramas on CDs, as they lacked cable networks and other means of communication.

He added, however, that some dramas were not in tandem with Pushtoon culture, adding, “In some dramas, actors use abusive language, with girls and boys dancing together, which is against the Pushtoon culture and traditions.”

He said there were no government enforced copyrights to prevent dubbing clips of English and Indian films, adding, “This is why CD production has gained momentum.”

PTV producer Kashmir Khan Afridi said that most CD dramas were based on various social issues and that they allowed artists to make ends meet and to utilise their talent.

“However, drama producers should avoid obscenity and should keep in mind Pushtoon culture during production,” said Afridi.

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