Time To Question Our Own Values?

Time To Question Our Own Values?

Many of our channels promote Indian shows on regular basis. All sorts of Indian shows from dance shows to reality ones are aired on our television channels all through the year and not only this many of our local shows are inspired by these Indian shows because they are so widely followed. We have seen many dance shows which are organized by our own production houses but are nothing more than a Pakistani version of these Indian shows and have nothing to do with our culture or identity. What I find extremely surprising is that none of our actors or any person belonging to the media world has ever opposed these shows strongly till now. Sure we do hear people say that the Indian shows should not be aired every now and then but have you ever seen a proper movement led by an artist or a number of artists against Pakistani shows that are inspired by these Indian shows only?

Now that the Turkish shows are going on air our actors and producers have a serious issue with it and will do anything to stop these shows from going on air. The actor Faysal Qureshi asked people to join hands with him in order to protest against these shows so that the channels won’t let them go on air. This is what Faysal Qureshi has asked from his fans:

“Dear friends and well wishers of Pakistani media, please show your support for Pakistani drama by showing up in person at 3:30 p.m on Saturday 15th DECEMBER at the Karachi Press Club. As you may have noticed, there’s a sudden influx of dubbed dramas as well as Indian soaps in the prime time slot (8 p.m-10:00 p.m) on several mainstream entertainment channels. Nowhere in the world does a country give such precedence to foreign content instead of its own indigenous software as Pakistani channels are choosing to do at this moment. If this trend is allowed to continue unabated, several Pakistani producers and production houses will be forced to shut down. It has been a long and arduous journey for artists, writers, directors, music directors, art directors and producers as it is… Please show your support for this industry and Pakistan’s cultural identity. We look forward to seeing you at the Press Club on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.God bless you all!” (Faysal Quershi)

My question is that was it okay for all these Indian shows to go on air as long as the time slot did not hurt our actors or production houses? If it really is about the cultural identity of Pakistan than my second question is that do shows such as Nachley (in which Faysal Qureshi himself very actively participated) represent the culture of Pakistan? Is it okay if Pakistanis themselves are a threat to their own culture and identity? We need to safeguard our culture and identity ourselves first and then point fingers at others. If our own shows are inspired by Indian shows than how can we hold them accountable for invading or threatening our culture? Is it really about our culture and identity or is it more about the production houses not being able to make as much money as they were before after these Turkish plays in particular go on air?

There are many Pakistani dramas also in which we see all kinds of things that are against our culture, traditions and moral values. We see people openly having extra marital affairs, we see sisters flirting openly with their Brother-In-Laws, people getting drunk is no problem at all, every second negative character in our dramas drinks as if it is no big deal and the comedy in our dramas is getting more vulgar by the day. Why don’t we question all of this and change the way things are. Pakistan has all the talent it needs to make good dramas (and we are making many too) without adding content that makes it impossible for the viewer to sit and watch these dramas with their family. Our dramas were not like this many years back, so whose footsteps are we following now? We cannot allow foreign channels to come here and spread vulgarity but we don’t keep our basic values in mind while making dramas. Instead of promoting family values, we are constantly making plays based on thinking that was indeed imported from the neighboring country.Where did this whole saas bahu saga start from in the first place? We never used to make dramas like that before. Is infidelity a part of our social fabirc?

I understand that our artists and production houses are feeling threatened now that foreign dramas are making their way to our industry but I also hope that our production houses set examples of Pakistani culture and tradition themselves too by promoting it in their dramas and shows. I hope that Faysal Qureshi will not be seen dancing to Indian tunes in his next show, only then will I be convinced that this is indeed about culture and identity and not just money.

Saud.