A lot has been enchanted on twitter, facebook, blogs and other muzzling protests opposing the Geo TV campaign of “Parhne likhnay k siwa Pakistan ka matlab kya”? Let me say that being the supra-genius nation we have been evolved, every individual is bluffed with the ability of trenchant criticism. Free advice is so common that everyone is Maulvi in himself, the wise grandmothers are hunting all around, Mr. Tom, Dick or Harry Puttar has magical powers to explain all the mysterious ills of society. And not to mention, the right to the ‘freedom of expression’ has inherently dribbled into our genomes.
Going through the PEMRA site and accidently visiting the Complaints Call Center where many online pseudo-Muftis have decreed the Fatwas against Geo TV about their campaign of “Parhnay likhnay k siwa Pakistan ka matlab kya?” The intellectual pabulum extends up to saying that “this is totally against Pakistan ideology, please stop this”. Another said “it is in heavy contradiction with the religious and constitutional reference of Pakistan ka matlab kya?” The conspiracy specialists were sleuthing the channel in chorus, so much so that the brigade went on to say “Tamaam news channels ko band kar dena chahye”. Needless to say, such is the freaking level of our creaking criticism.
Before putting the case on the table, let’s consider the famous quote of Mr. Jinnah “Come forward as servants of Islam, organize the people economically, socially, educationally and politically and I am sure that you will be a power that will be accepted by everybody”.
The rapport of Islam with education and its constant reinforcement on seeking knowledge with meticulous quench of truth has remained credential throughout the history. The holy Quran and Sunnah are full with such overwhelming messages. Keeping the notion in mind, I failed to understand how on earth can an educational campaign attack the Islamic ideology?
Scrutinizing the history, the slogan “Pakistan ka matlab kya?” was an epitome for the election campaign of All India Muslim League during the 1945-46 General Elections in the sub-continent. The idea became so vociferously popular that it fueled the Muslim sentiments exponentially and thereby escalating the ideological movement of Pakistan. Though symbolic and laconic but the slogan proved ephemeral soon after independence. It was until 1956 that even the word Islam was not added to the name Republic of Pakistan. Edited in the 1956 constitution, rubbed in 1962’s constitution and then finally revamped in 1973’s constitution, still in place, the identity of the country became Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Dandled with the country name, the slogans too are subject to change considering the epoch of time. With turbulence and trepidation roaming feverishly on our T.V screens, if some channel is showcasing the real issue vis-a-vis education, let us applause for that specific nostrum. Inviting India and Israel as backdrop founders on every issue speaks toothless shenanigans, whereby harbingering the cal-de-sac progress. Before the parochial mob brand me as Geo Agent, lest assure I pay my accolades exclusive to the educational campaign.
Covering the legal perspective as well, the channel does not violate any constitutional clause or code of ethics. The campaign vocationally obeys all the sterling requirements of media ethics prescribed in the updated version of PEMRA Content Regulations 2012 issued on October 10, Wednesday.
Enough has been said, argued and written about the state of media in Pakistan. Whether it is print or electronic or the newly born online news, calling these mediums as fallacious and fraudulent to the utmost altitude has not yet promised any mesmerizing fallout. The reason being the same: we don’t tend to appreciate things that we should. Criticizing both flips of the coin is by far the most unfortunate causality in forming our perceptions. We should have the bravado to say white as white and blue as blue!