Tired after all day of study and work, going through the TV channels I saw a channel showing news with some strange sound effects with every other news having a Bollywood song or music in the background. A funny logo on the top right side said ‘Hero’. To my surprise the news which were aired after every one hour were called ‘dabbang news’. The style of anchor dramatized along with the script of news having the high extremes of ‘masala’. That day, it failed to get my attention and I switched the channel.
Today, a surprise by the same channel is certainly the last thing anyone could have expected; a promo of a Ramadan special program which will be hosted by Veena Malik. The video of the promo went viral on the internet with thousands of views within few hours. There was soon rising of anger within the public which was soon seeable on twitter, facebook and other forums. Comments such as ‘can the media sink so low?’ were seen all around the forums. Because of the dubious past of Veena, some comments were full on humor. “Karha imtehan hey ab ki baar rozey daron ka!” a person commented on a political forum.
Ramadan is a month having high religious value throughout the Muslim world, with fasting being compulsory in this month. A person observing fast is reminded about the people who have little to eat throughout the year giving rise to sympathy, brotherhood and humility in the society. Prophet (Peace be upon him) recited a Khutba (sermon) in which he said: “This is a month, the first of which brings Allah’s mercy (i.e. the first 10 days), the middle of which brings His forgiveness and the last of which brings freedom from the fire of Jahannum.”
Consequently, more and more people are willing devote their time towards religion in the month of Ramadan. This is well understood by the TV channels or, I must say, by all commercial giants. The seed of capitalism which was sowed by the West is showing its implications on our media. The fight for ratings has already done a lot of destruction to the image of media. Morning shows; which once used to be most favorite shows of Pakistani women, are also losing their charm because of the rating system.
Two weeks ahead of Ramadan, all the channels have started the promotions of the Ramadan programs which will be aired; it seems all channels have invested heavily on the anchors that are the heart and soul of such programs. A renowned channel has hired Boom Boom Afridi for this purpose; another major channel was already being criticized for appointing Amir Liaquat again when this surprising appearance of Veena has forced people to re-consider the credibility of these channels.
According to current media philosophy, a successful anchor is not the one who fulfills the purpose of the show but one who attracts sky-high advertisements for the channel. Talking in a talk show, a famous analyst Hasan Nisar made it obvious that majority of the anchors uses Islam to make money in the month of Ramadan.
The promo gives a well-explained idea behind the program. Veena is incomplete without her tears and the show is named ‘Astagfar’. The funniest part being the tagline of Hero TV displayed at the end of promo ‘Dikha dey sab kuch.’
It is now crucial moment for the media to decide what directions they want to take. A clear code of ethics by the regulatory body can help resolve this issue. We’ll have to see if the show gets accepted by authorities or it faces extreme criticism and ultimately get banned. The public has strongly opposed the show, even reported the show to PTA. Lets wait and see how media regulatory authorities take up this issue.
What do you guys think ? Should Veena Malik be doing a Ramadan transmission ?
Seeing the portfolio of Veena Malik, should she be allowed to do a religious show in the holy month?
Your comments below!