Shakespeare’s Hamlet through the kaleidoscope of Pakistani politics

U.S.A., ID LLCE2016-299;     A certain notion of what Hamlet is about is sufficiently embedded within Pakistani culture for the media to employ reference to the play when describing, for instance, the indecisiveness of the government. Similar comparisons between Hamlet and Pakistani political circumstances are drawn by the media to show that the former is central to thinking about problems in Pakistan. One such problem is the political interest of Pakistan and India over Kashmir which has resulted in several fights between the two countries. Through Vishal Bhardwaj’s Haider, the Bollywood adaptation of Hamlet, this paper explores the role of the play to address the contemporary issues of Pakistani in general and Kashmir in particular. Do such adaptations have potential to draw similar responses from the audience as the 2016 Oscar award winning short film, A Girl in the River by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, which influenced Pakistani Prime Minister so much so that he announced the change/modification in the law pertaining to honour killing in Pakistan? is what this paper explores.