Dolly bigmouth: Thumbs down for vulgartainment

Published: June 7, 2012
Email

Last year,  Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), following the directions given by our government, blocked over 1,600 words on SMS that were unethical or against the wider interest of our nation. Later, PTA blocked Twitter over blasphemous tweets for one day.

PTA took such admirable action when it came to national interest, or shall we say our beloved government’s interest. Having said as much, I believe that the quality of programs aired on TV channels nowadays is far more poisonous than these banned words.

For the last couple of days whenever I switch my television on, I find myself looking at either a commercial or some talk show in which Dolly Bindra – an Indian actress – is liberally abusing Veena Malik without even a hint of hesitation. What is even more appalling is that our Pakistani hosts are amused by her disparaging commentary regarding the Pakistani actress. Not once have I seen the hosts demand proof about her allegations on Veena’s character or actions that Bindra so openly criticises.

A few days ago, a music channel broadcasted a commercial in which Dolly Bindra was heard saying,

 Lakh de lannat ho Veena pay.

(A thousand curses upon Veena)

Is this the quality of entertainment our channels are maintaining or has our taste deteriorated beyond repair?

In another show on A Plus, I was stunned to hear Dolly say,

Veena Malik was roaming here and there in the studio for three hours without clothes.

What further shocked me was the response Nargis – the hostess for the show – had to such a statement. These anchors who interview Dolly feel like they are doing an amazing job by hosting shows that encourage such slander. They should be appalled at such nonsensical entertainment.

Insulting Veena is nothing to be proud of; we are making complete fools of our nation by welcoming  people from across the border – people who are known for misdemeanor in their respective countries – to gladly come and humiliate Pakistanis.

Pakistan should have exclusive rights to condemn acts of our people and if necessary, take action against them. We most certainly should not allow others to degrade any Pakistani, not just Veena Malik.

The media is not a field full of pious people, agreed. Regardless of this fact, whenever someone tries to raise their voice against such slander, they are silenced under the banner of  “freedom of speech”. The fact is that these not-so-pious people have big, powerful names backing them up.

On May 3, 2012 I was once again in a state of shock when I saw the show “Raid” on Dawn News. This show was on an undercover prostitution house being run under the name of a newspaper Khuwahish. So why didn’t the media take a stand against the men behind such a filthy operation?

So are we assuming that the killings of women in Kohistan, because they were clapping in a wedding, are far less sensational than Dolly Bindra’s exclusive interview?

How many shows did the media do on Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy for winning an Oscar?

How much attention was given to Shayan Anique Akhtar, or the students who made the largest painting in the world in seven hours?

Why is the philanthropic work of the people who are running the organisations for underprivileged children, women and families being neglected?

I’m not defending Veena Malik or any other person. My point simply is that if there is entertainment, it should not be transformed into ‘vulgartainment’ or ‘cheaptainment’. Whenever we watch the news bulletin, from the first to the second last, all the news is about murder, rape, robbery, government scandals or inflation. However, the last slot for entertainment news always belongs to countries other than Pakistan. It might be because we as a nation don’t have an industry that is producing pure and dignified entertainment any more, or that there is some suspected money involved in forcing the media towards portraying other countries in a better light than ourselves.

Pakistan is a country enriched with talented and creative minds, but the problem is nobody is trying to channelise the talented people in our country – there aren’t may avenues for these minds to be utilised, nobody is working on optimising their potential.

We are just too busy being influenced by the entertainment media of other countries, and I can see our entertainment industry sliding by the day.

This is the right time to get up and exhibit our patriotism and self respect by shunning such entertainment. By insulting our politicians and celebrities, or inviting other nationals to do so, we are insulting ourselves.

Follow Arsalan on Twitter @arsalanb4a

Muhammad.Arsalan

Muhammad Arsalan Ashraff

The author is a researcher and trainer, doing MBA Marketing from Bahria University Islamabad. He tweets as @arsalanashraff

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.