Yes you read it right, I am so annoyed over the fact that our kids are being “taught” Hindi- Urdu through cartoons that are dubbed in Hindi-Urdu rather than the Urdu we speak here in our country. Not only this, many cartoons are based on cultural and religious myths of Hindus and while everyone talks against Indian shows on Pakistani channels and Indian models in Pakistani ads, we hardly ever hear anyone talking about these nonsensical cartoons, which have no educational value except that our kids are learning Hindi-Urdu very fast and they watch cartoon characters lying and cheat on-screen. Some years back PEMRA imposed a ban on Cartoon Network and Disney because of these dubbed shows but few months later this ban was lifted on the condition that these dubbed shows will not be shown on the channel. But after a few months the dubbed shows were back with a bang because our children are so addicted to them that they cannot survive without them! Those of you living in Pakistan who have children in the house will know what I am talking about. I have seen many children who are literally addicted to these shows and mothers have to impose a strict ban on Cartoon Network, Disney and Pogo but when kids go to friends’ houses their first request is that they want to watch Doraemon or Chota Beem.
Few months back when Geo TV announced that they were going to have Disney Time I was very happy to hear that because I thought that finally someone has thought about dubbing these shows in Pakistan. I am all for children watching cartoons in Urdu, as long as it is the Urdu we speak here in our country. But when I saw the cartoons being telecast on Geo I was utterly disappointed since they were dubbed in Hindi-Urdu, so basically our channels were just promoting the Indian Urdu even more. Sometimes it scares me that the kids who are growing up watching these programs won’t be able to tell the difference between the two languages. This is what I call cultural invasion in its true sense. Showing Indian advertisements is not as dangerous as this latest trend and something should be done to address the issue.
First of all my question is that even with so much technological development and enough monetary resources why can we not dub these cartoons ourselves? My second question is that if we have enough money to launch new news or entertainment channel every second month, why can’t we have one channel for children too? Pakistan television private or governmental has never produced good quality shows for kids in abundance. And I think that we are missing out on a great opportunity to educate our children through television. These children are our future and a little investment in them is going to go a very long way.
When Hum TV launched a new channel a few months back, I was not happy about it at all because Hum TV is doing so well already as far dramas are concerned so why not invest the same time, energy and money in doing something for the future generation? I am waiting impatiently for the day when we will have our own cartoons promoting our own values, language and customs. I have seen children watching animations like Dettol warriors and Safeguard ones over and over again. These animations are not meant for entertainment purposes at all but are very educational. Kids find them very interesting and follow the instructions given by the animated characters and understand the difference between good and bad as shown in these animated advertisements, this only goes to show that television is such a strong medium that it can bring about any kind of change. It is sad that we leave it to India to make and dub our children’s entertainment shows but can go on making endless dramas for grown ups. It is obviously more about money than doing something good for the betterment of the country.
PEMRA should take a step forward and this time around ensure that no Hindi-Urdu dubbed shows should air on Pakistani Cartoon Network. It would be much better that our kids watch these shows in English, Chinese or Japanese if we cannot do the dubbing ourselves.