So much for TV Channels’ 14th August Celebrations!

So much for TV Channels’ 14th August Celebrations!

There was a time when 14th August came soaked in patriotism.New patriotic songs used to be the order of the day along with special 14th August plays and talk shows and documentaries on independence and its significance. But it was before the advent of private television channels in Pakistan. With the inception of private television programming in Pakistan,the independence day celebrations have somehow taken a backseat.

There are no more ‘special’ patriotic songs made for the day.Rather,we have mediocre songs sponsored by corporates such as Ufone,National Foods,Warid etc. No effort is made to create any special song anymore. Even Ptv has lost interest in this regard.

On top of it, the few special dramas that were telecast on the occasion were neither engaging nor were promoted widely for people to be informed of them. There was this one special drama which was sponsored by Walls once again.Since Turkish and Indian dramas have become invincible on our TV screens,this independence day saw Kuzey Guney and Ishq-e-Memnu on Urdu1 (a foreign channel operating in Pakistan only), Janay kiya bat huee and sub se sona ishq on Aplus and Mrs Pammi Pyarelal, Asi and Yeh Hai Meri Kahani on Express Entertainment. These shameless channels could not stop foreign programming even for a day yet they earn buckets full of revenue from Pakistan. Very sad indeed and a reason for all Pakistanis to stop watching these channels!

The remaining mainstream channels do such special and strong programming and promotion for alien occasions such as valentine’s day,mother’s day,women’s day that you are left wondering why did they leave out our independence day? Was it worth leaving out or do they not get enough sponsors for such occasions? Have we lost all interest in our country and its quest for independence which saw hundreds of thousands of people rendering bloody sacrifices?

Local cable channels were also busy showing Indian movies with Pakistani flag logo pasted on the top of the screens.But Punjabi entertainment channel Apna takes the cake here as it showed Salman Khan starrer Veer which was the story of a Rajhistahi Prince against Britishers. This channel and its management should have telecast this movie on 15th August as they intended to commemorate Indian’s independence day and not Pakistan’s.

Overall,very disappointing and low key programming by all channels on this symbolic occasion. It goes on to show our dying patriotism as channels only show programs which fetch them ratings. Apparently, such programming doesn’t boost ratings….


Haseeb Ahmed