When I sat down to write this article, I thought the topic should be why are our people against Turkish dramas? but then I thought that will not make an appropriate title since most of our people, the layman, is not just against Turkish dramas but there are so many people who have been opposing Indian programs too for such a long time but no one listens to them. So I am more interested in finding out why our actors, producers and directors are against Turkish dramas. Lately, I have read so many articles on blogs, newspapers and magazines against Turkish dramas and not to mention the debates that are going on, on the electronic media. It is our favorite topic nowadays and after reading so much against Turkish dramas I found some of the arguments very flawed so I would like to discuss here why I am not getting convinced by these arguments. Let me also add that if watching a Turkish play means you are ‘supporting foreign content’ then I DO NOT support foreign content because I don’t find it interesting and engaging enough full stop. Does that make me a very loyal Pakistani hmmm I am not sure! Okay here are some points that I would really like people to take time out for and read. I consider myself a very impartial observer so this may make sense to some people who are not driven by emotions but listen to reason. In any case don’t forget to share your views.
1. The People Who Support Turkish Dramas Are Not Patriotic OR Show Your Patriotism By Helping us Ban Turkish Content.
Are Turkish Dramas the only foreign element in our country? Look at the things you use around the house start from the computer you have, then the phone, which car do you use? Which drink did you have today? Pepsi? Is your Television set made locally? Is your shampoo local? What about the milk and cheese you eat? When you eat out do you have Chinese or McDonald’s or it has to be a desi restaurant every time? And if that is not the case than does that mean you are not patriotic? Absolutely not. You buy these products because as a consumer you have the right to choose. If our people can be considered unpatriotic because they “support” foreign things than not too many of us are patriotic are we? If it indeed is true than all local restaurants should rage a war against the multinational chains because they are a “threat” to them. All the soft drinks are being made locally, so Pepsi etc should be banned too and the list is never-ending.
I want to buy my fridge and watch my dramas without the fear that what I choose will gauge the level of loyalty I have towards my country. There are many other ways of showing love to your country like by being honest at work, saving electricity so on and so forth.
2. Turkish Dramas Are Against Our Culture OR Turkish Dramas Will Take Over Our Culture.
My first question is what is our culture? Because as far as I know Pakistani culture is very diverse and varies not just from province to province but from city to city.
As a society Pakistanis have always derived cultural values from their religion.
What is the general theme of our dramas?
Saas Bahu troubles
Husband and wife having problems
Husbands having extra marital affairs
Girls getting raped and what happens to them ete etc
Where does culture come in? Let’s talk about dressing now. The Turkish actresses are very boldly dressed and our actresses are so graceful and dignified (only in dramas) otherwise if you watch the same actresses in fashion shows and other shows they are equally bold in their dressing. What does that show? Are we hypocrites? We have to be fools to think that actresses who cover their heads and bodies in dramas are like that in reality too and we know it only too well that they are not. We saw it very clearly in Lux Style Awards. So, where are we going as a society? Are these people the true representatives of our culture? Or are we being fooled? Or is it okay for these actresses to dress up boldly for shows (that are also shown on our televisions) but not in dramas?
Why don’t our celebrities protest against the mujra channels that are openly shown by every single cable channel and are easily accessible? Are they in line with our culture? Are they not ruining our culture? If our artists are not just worried about their own self and about the culture than they should oppose all things that are against our culture. To start with the cheap local theatre shows should be banned. And what about the Indian shows, why don’t our artists speak about that?
3. Turkish Dramas Are Not Good For Our Drama Industry.
Turkish dramas or any dramas that are watched by people provide good competition and it is the basic rule of economics that competition is always good because it gives people choices and it improves quality of products. Turkish dramas will give incentive to our producers and writers to come up with original concepts in order to attract the attention of people. No doubt we are making excellent dramas even now but you will all agree with me that most of the stories are taken from digests and people have stopped putting in the effort to get an original script being written for a drama. All dramas revolve around similar themes because too many dramas are being made and no one has time to come up with new ideas. Maybe these Turkish dramas will actually save our drama industry while it is still strong enough before it goes downhill.
Who will be benefiting monetarily from these dramas? We already know that our channels are getting these dramas at a cheaper rate and local artists are dubbing these plays so they benefit from it. Once the drama goes on air, it is our own channels which benefit from it.
4. If Such Serials Start Running Regularly There Will Be No Audience For Pakistani Content.
Hamayun Saeed gave this statement and I was appalled to hear it because it surprises me that these producers who expect the viewers to support them fail to give the viewers any credit and themselves too! All I want to say in response is that please have some faith in your own dramas and the people who watch them. All Pakistanis who have a television set at home also have access to cable and they have the choice to watch anything they want already but they still choose to watch Pakistani dramas because they are good enough. So enough of the exaggeration already! If you continue making good dramas, we will continue watching them.
I said it before and I am going to say again that I do not watch or “support” Turkish dramas but at the same time I feel that the artists who are giving emotional statements are just being unreasonable and insecure. They should continue making good dramas and stop the blame game. We should not feel threatened by competition but take it in our stride.