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The Super Avenger From The Subcontinent

The Super Avenger From The Subcontinent

September 01, 2013

Can she save our teens from the rapists too?

On one hand then, the 18-year-old man the youngest of the offenders in the gang-rape and murder of the young woman in a moving bus in Delhi last year, has been sentenced to just three years in a secure reform home, by virtue of the fact that he is a juvenile.

On the other, the announcement that Ben Affleck is to play Batman in Batman vs. Superman, leads to more than 51,000 disgruntled movie fans signed a petition saying he does not have the "acting skill" or intimidation factor to play Batman (I agree!)

Between the sublime and the ridiculous then, I came across the Burka Avenger, the first animated series to be produced in Pakistan. Created by local pop star Haroon and starring a burka-clad super-heroine who takes on her enemies using a martial art called Takht Kabaddi, which uses books and pens as weapons, it is intended to provide a positive role model for girls in the face of the Taliban's opposition to female education

Unlike those super heroes of the feminine variety, who seem to rely largely on spandex and cleavage (Poison Ivy anyone?) she actually uses her wits and literally clonks villains on the head with books and pens.

Books and pens are her weapons because she's a teacher who wants to emphasise the importance of studying in South Asia. As Haroon says in The Guardian, "the girls of today are the mothers of tomorrow. If the mothers are not educated, then future generations will also remain illiterate."

It's also funny. In one episode, a villain's plan to destroy London and Paris with a giant robot comes to nought, as he cannot get a European visa. Haha!

My point here being, I wish there was a real life Burkha Avenger—a vigilante from Bombay or Delhi, who masks her face with her dupatta and prowls the streets at night, to bring rapists, and other such assorted to justice, to prevent what happened to that young photojournalist in the centre of the city, from happening to anyone else again.

Maybe it’s time women formed their own army and took to patrolling the streets of Indian cities, to keep their teens safe?

When I was a teen, I was convinced that Superman existed and would one day carry me away for a joyride through the skies. Now I hope for a real life super heroine to arise from the subcontinent, and get justice for all the times that each of us was felt up or eve-teased or worse back home.

Do you think that would be possible?


  • Rajpriya
    02.09.13 11:29 PM

    India may need thousands of Super Burka Avengers to safeguard the Indian women at the rate rapes are being committed in India. Not single day’s newspapers are free of rape news being reported.

    Only God can save India’s women.
  • tys
    02.09.13 09:22 PM

    thought this article will not be complete without this....pretty cool graphics

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