Salman Raza

Have we some clear destiny to manifest our social, cultural and religious identities with positive morals values to focus the world. Which could distinguish us as a nation from the Middle East, Europe, Central Asia or Africa? For whom we could be proud of the rituals our forefathers performed.

Gone are the days, when the country and nation were recognized as basis of merit, without discrimination of gender, race, ethnicity and religion. Certainly, while passing from decades of military dictatorships and so-called democracy, merit and performance was not as much over ruled as happened in the last ‘democratic government’ when the sole criteria of merit belonged to particular group, party or family.

 In last five years, the state’s institutions were not auctioned in black and white; however they literally got destroyed by the privileged, through backdoor deals.  Perhaps all misdeeds could be traced recently in popular Turkish soap operas attracting viewers once fond of watching Andheera Ujala, Samandar, Waqt, Khuda Ke Basti, Deewarain, Aangan Terra, Tahaian – like popular drama serials. At that time, people used to glue with the screen for their favorite serials after a week-long time dedicated for thinking as what would happen in next episode.

However, the success of Turkish soap operas actually have created frustration among viewers since the characters, scripts, designing and theme required for making Turkish serial don’t match our culture which is already under  modern Indian cultural influence. Turkish plays surround their own values and expertise e.g the use of alcohol, drinking, inappropriate dressing, senses, drugs etc have no match to conservative-historical Pakistani society (except 5% elite class close to observing modern norms of life). Some examples of core values the actors and actresses appear to portray in popular Turkish serial, Mera Sultan include: a mother (Mah-e-dooran) herself offered a beautiful girl to the son to develop relationships. A father (Sultan) advises his maids to get abortion after she got pregnant with his son-in-Law (Pasha). Jallad (hangman) beheads a sinner with a sword ruthlessly on order of an individual of the royal family openly and also secretly.  Similarly, many beautiful women are offered to the King, Sultan Suleman by both of her step-mother, Hazeefa Khatoon and his real daughter, Khazeena Sultan to create rift between Sultan and his wife, Hurrum Sultan. Such an intrigue and adultery would neither give moral lesson to our youth nor beneficial for overall cultural of the country. Subject of illegitimate children born outside of marriage depicted as not so much against prevailing norms of life. Above all, those dramas have storylines disproportionately and consistently full of passion, intrigue and flattering.

It is a serious concern for the religious-cum-ideological groups that had consisted of large population of the country.

They tried to keep away their issues from Indian shows, for it couldn’t match to their own cultures. But what happened in the last few weeks since start of Turkish dramas as the same Pakistanis have started looking for Star Plus/Sony dramas "which are at least close to their own culture". To them, they (Indians) have close resemblance to their cultural shift taking place between the older and younger generations. Amid prevalent uncertainty emerging through airing Indian and Turkish soap operas, it is fear that Pakistanis dramas might face the fate of our music and film industry already had touched to ground zero. No surprise here, Pakistani music has already been replaced by Bollywood music/cinema. At a time when Turkey has been trying to prove its Europe credentials through different measures adopted to Eastern and Middle East culture and values. It has had been strongly approaching for western model followed by Western-dressing modern State established in 1923 by founding father Mustafa Kamal.

In the Musharraf regime, different private and entertainment channels operating in the country contacted Musharraf, calling for stopping Indian broadcastings. The very reason, popularity graph of Pakistani news channel were reportedly getting decreased comparing with Indian entertainment channels. This lead their management to launch collective move against Sony, Star Plus, Zee Tv, Zee Cinema and others, to get Indian broadcasting stopped. However, it is a big dilemma that when the same Pakistani news channels started their own entertainments in the country they went out to borrow the similar type of soap operas earlier.