Kaliyaan is a popular puppet show in Pakistan. First of its kind, the show was started in 1970s by master puppeteer, Farooq Qaiser, who also played the role Uncle Sargam – lead character of the show.
Characters of this puppet show represent all classes of the society and discuss current affairs, social problems, political issues and social behaviors in a light humorous and satirical style. The show gained popularity during the days of martial law when strict censorship was imposed on media and nobody dared talking about the issues on television or other media. Uncle Sargam used to reveal problems and discuss issues in humorous tone with a hint of satire. Famous characters of this show are Rola, Haigaa and Maasi Museebatay.
Uncle Sargram and his company have worked on several educational and training projects for UNICEF and UNESCO. Farooq Qaiser, the creator of these character has won many accolades including the award of Master Puppeteer of the Region by UNESCO. He has worked internationally on several projects and is compared with Jim Henson, originator of Sesame Street and the Muppet Show. He also acts as vice president of United Nation’s International Marionettes Association.
Uncle Sargam and other characters of Kaliyaan puppet show are one of the few original puppet characters (not borrowed from folk tales etc.) ever created anywhere in the world expect in the USA.
Kaliyaan has been the most popular puppet show in Pakistan for a decade among audience of all ages. Discontinued for some years, the program is now relayed by Dawn News of Pakistan.