Why are Bollywood songs in my news?

Published: June 28, 2012

The least channels can do is not mock current affairs with hit numbers.

Pakistan’s political scenario took an unexpected turn when Yousaf Raza Gilani was declared ineligible by the Supreme Court. However, what we got to see on our news channels were pictures of Yousaf Raza Gilani with ‘Yeh kya hua, kese hua, kab hua?’ playing in the background, repeatedly!

The public was asked to wait until Friday when the new prime minister would be elected while the former prime minister’s decisions, expenditures and budget were being questioned. Yet, what we got to view throughout Friday were pictures of candidates for the prime minister position with some more songs playing in the background.

What struck me as most bizarre was the song ‘Raja ki ayegi baraat, rangeeli hogi raat’ playing behind an old video of Raja Pervez Ashraf. This repeated for quite a while too – even after he became the prime minister of Pakistan.

This was not an isolated incident. In fact, last month, when policemen in Punjab were instructed to lose weight and include exercise in their routine, a video of some of the policemen exercising in a park was played with ‘Ek, do, teen’, the famous Madhuri Dixit song serving as background music.

It is understandable that with 80-90 channels on that ‘idiot box’, there is a need for entertainment to hold viewers’ attention.

Undoubtedly, there is nothing more entertaining than the peppy numbers from across the border that can even leave toddlers bobbing their heads.

However, coming across Indian songs while looking at the headlines for the day just leaves nothing but questions regarding the logic behind such actions.

I suppose we as Pakistanis have become so desensitised to news stories of constant violence and strife that putting a light twist is a way of preventing a plunge in to deep depression. Having said as much, I do not think this is quality journalism.

I believe that showing political news and current affairs with Bollywood songs as background music cannot be justified in any manner.

I am no media critic, but showing serious issues with light music in the background irritates viewers and takes away, often-times, from the gravity of the news. Thus, expecting the awam to rally and take action against something cannot be expected if news is made in to a joke.

While our country is going through a rough time, the least news channels can do is not make a mockery of current affairs. Also, something should definitely be done about the little smirk news anchors have on their faces after these headlines with Indian songs are telecasted!


Maham Kamal Khanum

The author is an International Baccalaureate graduate, studying Policy, Politics and Law at American University, Washington, D.C. She tweets as tweets @mahamkhanum (twitter.com/mahamkhanum)

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