TANIA QURESHI

GUEST WRITER

We are a nation which is developing a queasy and a harsh insensitive mindset and the credit goes to our media. What are we showcasing? Terrorism, bomb blasts, rape cases, dacoits, people committing suicides because of inflation, students running away, child marriages, incest, physical abuse, wars against terrors, nuisance of politicians, off track debates on religious issues and making them more complicated, across border talk shows and films? We are a nation who has no reverence for the national and religious days like 14th Augusts or Eids. Our TV Channels prefer airing Indian films, the drama channels are swollen with pride to broadcast Indian dramas, the cartoons our children watch are dubbed in Hindi Language! Where are we heading?
Has any media think tank, or let’s talk about PEMRA, comprehended the impacts of this content? Are we going towards a healthy future? Are we nurturing our national language and values? I need an answer from all the media titans about what is the course of action for inculcating nationalism among the people of Pakistan?
At home, where i spend almost ten hours of the day, after my work, I hardly want to turn on the TV. If I do, out of my boredom, I find people being killed, riots, below par politics, and all I have mentioned in the beginning. My children, and of course our children, are more fluent in Hindi language than Urdu. The cartoons and other content shown on TV Channels (for children) are grooming our generation negatively. We are teaching them that dating at any age is risk-free, western dressing is our culture, parents are a pain in neck and what not!
Now come to another episode, the programs like CID are teaching our youth innovative ideas of crime and murders! Has anyone thought where this would escort us? Not the least is the quandary of the dramas shown on different drama channels! The projection of other religions and nationalism, the charisma of having extra marital affairs, the family politics etc. is no doubt leading us to develop an ailing mindset.
My question is who is assessing the media content and policy? Let me explain this to all my media friends, we are destroying our culture, language, nationalism and everything we have. Moreover, we are persistently portraying Pakistan as a terrorist country, where everything happening is troublesome and people should either leave the country or invest in foreign assets.
Don’t we have anything positive to show?
Where is the programming like Tanhaiyan, 50 50 , Alif Noon, Waris, Taleem-e-Balighan , Khuda ki Basti, Ankahi , Dhoop Kinarey, Alpha Bravo Charlie, Ainak Wala Jin and kaliyan for kids, etc? Till 1999 we see a decent programming which educated people on their day to day issues, instilled nationalism and endorsed the culture of Pakistan. But what is it now?
Name any channel whose fixed point chart (the transmission chart) has dedicated even a half hour slot to tourism, entertainment and soft side of Pakistan? Why cannot we have road shows, documentaries on heritage, any programming to promote the events being held like theatre, Film Festivals, Jashn-e-Baharan, Tourism activities etc? Why can’t we project our own values? Are we ashamed of being Pakistani? I am not talking about religion, I am focusing on Pakistan. Why can’t we show the inter faith harmony, the celebrations in Gurdwaras, Churches, Shrines, Mosques, Temples etc? Why don’t we show the beauty of Karachi? Why just killing and deadly fights among political parties? Why is Islamabad limited to parliament, Supreme Court and Protests? Why is Lahore not promoted as the largest living cultural hub? Why is Thar limited to the water scarcity, why are the deserts not promoted as a tourist site? Why Balochistan and Khayber Pakhunkhwa are declared the zones of terrorism and tribal enmity? Why don’t we project the natural assets and beauty of these areas?
Pakistan is enriched with cultural heritage, natural resources, sites, sports, theatre, performing arts, literature and intangible culture. Why cannot these places and events be highlighted in the programming? I am thankful to the news packages and reportages in which at least two minutes are often given to showcase the lighter moods of Pakistan, but trust me that’s not enough. Every country in the world from USA to India and other under developed countries, all have issues like unemployment, crimes, robberies, political and economic instabilities but they always highlight the positive aspects of their country. Why can’t we as media professionals do all this?
Here I have a request to all media authorities to please look upon redesigning your content policy. Think what we are showing to our children, students, and nation as a whole. Let’s make this a nation full of nationalism and not a nation of astrayed thoughts and criminal minds.

(The writer can be contacted at taniaq29@gmail.com)