LAHORE: Ajoka Theatre in collaboration with Community Appraisal and Motivation Program (CAMP) and Lahore Arts Council staged a play called “Kari” at the Al-Hamra Arts Council on Tuesday.
The play, “Mainoon Kari Kareenday Ni Mae” is part of Ajoka and CAMP’s campaign to create awareness about the brutal custom of “honour killing” in Pakistan.
The play is set in a village where a sardar murders a man over personal enmity and to get away with the murder he accuses him of having illicit relations with a woman of his tribe. It thereby stages men sitting in a panchayat, who deliberate upon and pass judgment on the women of the village who have been accused of violating the tribal code of honour. While the men start looking for the accused woman, another couple in an ‘illicit’ relationship is reported to thesardars by a cobbler. The girl confesses in an attempt to protect her lover. She is pronounced ‘kari’ and is ordered to be killed. The women of her family help her elope with her lover and flee. The play ends with a very stoic act on the part of several women, who go up to the sardars and call themselves ‘kari’. The ending of the play is very poignant in that it not only shows the resolute defiance of these women but also mock these men sitting in judgment over women and preaching the code of ‘honour’. The ending of the play is specifically directed to raise awareness among women about their rights. It highlights the nature of these “honour killings” where more often than not women are mere scapegoats in the crimes of men. It also emphasises the need to raise a voice against these crimes and the possibility of a happier life for those victimized by the ills of vanni, karo-kari, swara andxhag.
This joint campaign by Ajoka and CAMP is therefore an attempt to mobilize public opinion to eradicate this evil custom.
The play is written by Shahid Nadeem and directed by Madeeha Gauhar and will be performed in various other cities as well as in areas where “honour killing” is practiced.
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