Amidst the infuriatingly absurd stereotypes of rape victims found in our society, the popular drama serial Ruswai has won hearts over as it comes to an end with its portrayal of Sameera as a brave and independent woman who refuses to be constantly demeaned and treated unjustly and instead, decides to raise her voice and speak up against the immensely suffocating injustice.
Now, in our society, when a woman’s about to take a ‘huge step’ such as file a divorce, our censorious society tries its best to make certain her life turns into a living hell; constant taunts, demeaning remarks and so much more, and all through this, she wishes for her family members to support her, which in most cases, fails to happen.
What’s different about Ruswai and its storyline, however, is ever since Sameera’s brother, Hamza (played by Osama Tahir) found out about her rape, he has been the most supportive of his sister’s decisions throughout the show.
As he learns about how awfully Salman had been treating Sameera; constantly ridiculing and taunting her, making her feel worthless, isolating her and finding numerous other ways to make her life extremely miserable – one of which was getting married to another woman behind her back and sending her divorce papers when she expected them the least, and the fact that his own wife, Warda, supported her brother’s unfair treatment by attending his wedding, Hamza makes an honourable decision to choose his sister over everyone and everything else.
Since his mother started to dislike Warda greatly after her alliance with her brother in such difficult times, Hamza felt absolutely torn between his family and wife. The undying love for his family and sister, as a result, suggested him to be a good son and brother first then a good husband after his father’s death. We have witnessed how he was willing to do whatever it took to do right by Sameera throughout – even if that meant getting separated from his wife; the girl he has always loved for taking her brother’s side while he treated Sameera unjustly, sacrificing his happiness, going against his own parents as they discouraged Sameera from standing up for herself and sticking by her through thick and thin regardless of how that affected him and his other relationships – with his wife, in-laws, parents, etc.
Hamza’s character has been undoubtedly impactful and one that needs to be shown and encouraged more in our society. Rarely do we see any brothers of rape victims talking to their sisters with respect let alone supporting them as they go about their lives with their heads held high therefore to finally see one risk his everything to ensure her comfort and safety is not only incredibly refreshing but something that desperately needs to be part of one’s education. As a result, not only has Hamza managed to move everyone with his dialogues but he has also truly set an example for all the brothers out there talking about ‘honour.ʼ
The impact his character has had on us as an audience, though, surely wouldn’t have been possible if the role had been performed by anyone other than Osama Tahir. Since the expressions had to be extremely genuine and definitely not scripted in order to win the audience’s hearts, Tahir proved to be the perfect fit for Hamza’s role with his laudable acting skills and honest expressions – making us fall head over heels in love with Hamza’s character!