‘More people searching for Ertugral than Shahrukh Khan’ | What impact is Dirilis: Ertugrul having on India’s youth?
Dirilis: Ertugrul has a massive following in India.
Since Dirilis: Ertugrul started streaming on Netflix in 2017, the Turkish historical drama has become immensely popular in India – especially among Muslims. It first aired in Turkey in December 2014 and ran for 448 episodes over five seasons.
In May this year, a senior official at TRT and the Turkish broadcaster that produces the show, Riyaad Minty, took to Twitter to express his excitement over the dramatic increase in Indian viewers. He said, ” I am glad to see that the number of Indians searching for the show has increased on YouTube.”
— Riyaad Minty (@Riy) May 14, 2020
In India, Dirilis has a massive following. Some viewers appreciate it for its production values, the splendid performances, master story-telling, and gripping action sequences. For others, there is an honest portrayal of Muslim characters, a refreshing departure from the stereotypical representation of Muslim historical figures in the Indian cinema as barbarians and vicious criminals.
Following the serial’s popularity in India, the Hindutva website OpIndia stated that the series is popular among the Indian Muslims for the same reason that Pakistani Muslims are relishing it. The website accused Indian Muslims of “rejecting their Hindu heritage” and looking to the Turks and the Arabs “to satisfy their identity crisis.”
Dirilis’s popularity among the Indian Muslims is due to local reasons – the problems originated from India’s existing socio-political crisis. It seems that people draw inspiration from the characters in the series, illustrating strength, courage, integrity, and sacrifice to fight for their own rights and dignified existence.
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