Arts, Culture & Media

Afghan ministry bans soap operas

(What's in these soap operas that has authorities so upset?) These are Indian soap operas and one of the first things that came after the Taliban fell, but there are things that are against the cultural norms. For instance, boys and girls kissing each other, husband and wife hugging each other and the clerics and mullahs don't like to see that on TV. (Here's a sample of one of the soap operas. This is a bride who marries for love and is persecuted by her mother. A lot of these soaps focus on wealthy Indian families so how do Afghans relate to these characters?) One of the big weaknesses of drama is a woman not being honest with her husband, and the conservative mullahs don't like. The Afghans want to watch because they've got nothing else to watch. (Hamed Karzai is pressuring to get these soaps off the air, but how popular are they?) This is the first drama to come to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban. In big cities, most people enjoy it and like it but there are critics of the drama as well. People say their children are watching the TV and not working. (How many TVs are there in Afghanistan?) Under 40% of people have got a TV.

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