Meet superhero Burka Avenger

Apr 17, 2015, 18:09 IST


Make way for the new female superhero—Burka Avenger! She’s smart, funny and will teach a lesson to all the wrong doers. If you’ve been appalled by today’s children’s edutainment that offers mindless drama and is overtly sexist, the Burka Avenger is a game changer. This Pakistani cartoon series is set in the backdrop of a fictional town called Halwapur in northern Pakistan. The protagonist, Jiya, is a school teacher who is loved by her students but when evil prevails, this demure young lady swaps her salwar with an abaya that helps her disguise herself to fight evil with Takht Kabaddi, a secret ancient mystic martial art where books and pens are used as weapons along with advanced acrobatic moves. Like most superheroes, Jiya lives a dual life. Here’s why you should be watching this multi-award winning animated show.


1. Burka Avenger breaks the stereotype created around hijab that is often publicised as a means to subdue and oppress women. But this show uses it as a symbol of women empowerment.

2. Burka Avenger deals with issues like child marriage, girl child education, child labour, superstitions and other such evil and social ills in a fun, witty and smart manner.

3. It gives a respite from the usual male superheroes and mind numbing cartoons that pass off as children’s edutainment today.

4. Burka Avenger was nominated for Emmy in 2013 and has won several awards like the Peabody Award, International Gender Equity Prize and Asian Media Award.

5. The show is created and directed by famous Pakistani rock star and social activist, Aaron Haroon Rashid, who has given foot-tapping background music. Artists like Ali Zafar, Ali Azmat, and JoSH have also contributed to the show by giving catchy music.

6. The show can be enjoyed by not only children but also adults, parent and non-parent.

7. The protagonist of the series has all the characteristics of a superhero but breaks the usual superhero cliché. Unlike Clark Kent and Peter Parker, Jiya’s day avatar is not dull and wimpy. Neither is her superhero avatar sexual like Catwoman, Black Widow or Wonderwoman.

8. Burka Avenger is not just about serious social messages. It provides enough comic relief and has endearing characters like three children and a goat that play Jiya’s sidekick.

9. Our society needs a show that is clean, non-misogynistic and non-prejudicial.

10. The episodes are short (22 minutes) and to the point.

The series is being screened in India on the Zee network and is broadcasted in four languages - Hindi, English, Tamil and Telugu.