Why Pakistan needs Ramazan game-shows

Published: June 16, 2015
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Many new game shows are surfacing these days, especially keeping Ramazan in mind, and most of them are designed in such a way that expensive giveaways are easily gifted to participant.

A few days ago, a seminar was organised at my university by a company that handles computer hardware and software. At the end of the seminar, the sponsors arranged a question-answer session and every participant who answered correctly was given a gift hamper. I was one such participant and I won these really cool Lenovo speakers as a result.

Even though it was a small thing, winning those speakers made my day.

Social events and game shows of such nature are always appreciated. People become excited whenever a new game show comes to town or if a new contest is aired. Previously, we used to have the famous Neelam Ghar on PTV, hosted by the legendary Tariq Aziz, which everyone used to love and families would get excited about getting tickets for the show and participating in it weeks, sometimes months, in advance.

So this phenomenon is not new.

These shows have become a source of entertainment and respite for the masses and they often work as catharsis from the reality that surrounds us. But many find them uncouth and people, especially those from the upper strata, dub these shows as uncultured, as some of the challenges included in these shows border on ridiculing the contestants.

While I agree that it game-shows should be entertaining – entertainment with the purpose of ridiculing should be called out as soon as it is detected. Challenges should be made in such a way that they accommodate families and create a more jovial environment, are conducive to the learning of the audience. The idea should not be to make the people watching, or participating, uncomfortable, but to leave them with a sense of accomplishment.

People genuinely enjoy them, especially during Ramazan, and such shows should be encouraged – because everyone likes a good game show. In fact, such shows are not unique to Pakistan. Shows like these are played all over the world. For example, Minute to Win It is a very famous show where contestants are supposed to do easy challenges in one minute and win prize-money that would probably take ages for them to earn and save.

Similarly, Fear Factor is particularly enjoyed by people worldwide, even though the challenges can be downright disgusting. In it, people do the most unusual and close to impossible stunts to win prizes. Be it eating a tarantula or jumping off the tallest building in the world – they do it all.

Considering this, Pakistani game shows are pretty generous with what they have to offer. Not only do they give prizes for answering a question, they will also give away gifts to anyone and everyone who comes to the show.

Answer a question correctly and you’ve won a vehicle that would’ve taken you ages to get.

Make the right guess and you find yourself owning a designer lawn-suit.

The possibilities are endless.

There aren’t a lot of interactive activities or TV shows in Pakistan where the public has the luxury of just having a good time with their families. Winning prizes is an added bonus. You may be a burger, a bun-kabab or neither, but you’ll have equal opportunities to win a bike, a car or a vacation abroad. And if it is a Ramazan show, you’ll get free sehri and iftari, and have a blast just being there.

Many new game shows are surfacing these days, especially keeping Ramazan in mind, and most of them are designed in such a way that expensive giveaways are easily gifted to participant. These range from gold jewellery to cars, motorbikes and even rickshaws. There are laptops and cell-phones, too.

One such show, hosted by Rambo, Javeria, Uzmi and Barkat, caught my attention and I plan to follow it as soon as it is aired. People will register to be part of this game show and the participants will be selected randomly, which means everyone has a shot.

The people of Pakistan deserve a little break in their lives and it is completely okay if someone wants to give them opportunities for this said break.

I, truly, do not see a downside to game-shows and am looking forward to participating in this one! After all, who doesn’t like free stuff?

This piece was authored by Jehangir Mirza.

Express Entertainment

Express Entertainment

This post was sponsored by Express Entertainment for Malamal Express - A Unique Game Show, live from Karachi and Lahore

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

  • samreen

    Game show and Ramazan…I think Ramzan is not for entertainment.Recommend

  • Jagmohan Trivedi

    Game shows besides entertainment provide a participatory forum to test their
    knowledge,craft and of course break from mundane routine of life.If there is
    festive season,holidays and relaxed atmosphere,it is all the more welcome
    to participate.Such participation can also enhance social interaction,togetherness
    and reduce rampant tension,fear and sectarinism,engulfing the environment.
    The writer of the blog deserves three cheers for drawing attention to game shows.Recommend

  • PAK

    There should be better Islamic shows instead of this baseless entertainment shows, to teach the society more about our religion. These Islamic Shows used to come on PTV way before all these channels ever existed.

    Now all these shows are dumb and rubbish and if you want to even telecast such shows then you have 11 months in the year to do it.Recommend

  • M Waqas Sajid

    waste of precious time in the month of Ramzan — No Muslim will ever recommend that, provided he has the basic knowledge about the importance of Ramzan.Recommend

  • ximian

    This society knows enough religion already. If anything, we need to dilute it to get rid of the killings, corruption (yes religion is a primary contributor) and the inhumane levels of hypocrisy.Recommend

  • Amjad Khan

    Nothing wrong with these shows in Ramzan or any other time of the year and it is not against any islamic teachings. I think this entertainment provides a breathing space for the society which is already badly effected with corruption, terrorism, suicide bombing, bhatta mafia, chori chakari, badmashi and 2 numberi of our politicians, molvies, ullamas, jagirdars, wadairas and other big leaches sucking blood of the poor nation. So this religious entertainment is much better than the stupid talk of any molvie sitting on TV channel and spreading hatred among different sects in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Amjad Khan

    This entertainment is not harming anyone or any religion. Grow up, open your brain and widen your thinking babe.Recommend

  • Amjad Khan

    Who is better muslim in Pakistan? Are you talking about the so called Ulamas and Molvies to tell us about Ramzan or how to be a good muslim? They destroyed Pakistan and divided 180 millions in 180 sects with their hatred speeches. Better keep them away and let these people take a sigh of relief and peace.Recommend

  • Jayman

    Is enjoyment ‘halal’ or ‘haraam’? Do you know?Recommend

  • truth fairy

    The problem is, God gave us 11 months to enjoy, and announced just one month of being humble, realistic and introspective. If Ramadan was meant for enjoyment, whats the difference?
    And, let me tell you, that game shows (not specifically Ramadan shows) are a big smoke screen for stealing taxes. Look into it a bit and you will know why/how.
    If you want to spend Ramadan just like other months, please do not bother at all with Ramadan and its significance. Recommend

  • truth fairy

    Do people participate in these shows for religious reasons, or just greed of materialistic objects like gifts? Any single individual who ever refused a gift in these Ramadan shows? And the very word “show” shatters your dumb argument to pieces. The very idea of Ramadan was to take a break from worldly matters and reflect upon the year spent by far.
    Next time, do not ask others to “grow up” or to “open brain (huh?)”. Learn to disagree respectfully.Recommend

  • truth fairy

    LOL so you think all that killing and social evils are because of Islam? Islam needs dilution, really? Can you be even more ridiculous and nonsensical?Recommend

  • truth fairy

    Those same Ulamas and molvees grace and empower these Ramadan shows. Kick them out first, before imposing your enlightened moderation upon us.
    And start respecting the molvee faction in general.Recommend

  • Sadam Buzdar

    dear these ramzan game show are often recorder before a month from ramzan as i have noticed one by amir liaquat in badshahi mosque lahore last year. and as far ramzan and entertainment are concerned so this is really a lie we are gusted into and harming the dignity and prestigue of ramzan as it is the month of blessings and getting yourself cleaned from sins not to make new onesRecommend

  • Jayman

    So having fun is ‘haraam’. Recommend

  • Amjad Khan

    Ramazan is not for entertainment. But muslims do every kind of 2 numbari in every month including the holy month of ramazan and Pakistani are on top of the chart like Janab Zardari saheb’s kartoots on TV these days and mazhabi fitra aur khal kay pujari moulvees. I think there is nothing wrong in celebrating this month with Ibadat, Prayers and Entertainment too.Recommend

  • Amjad Khan

    Look at pakistan first, analyze the ground realities and then argue such things. I am sure if you are in that show, you would never refuse to take the same gift or rather people like you are asking the lawn suits and Q mobile gift on phone calls in every morning show. Just keep in mind that Pakistani crowd has turned into Bhikaris and Jawaris due to corruption and bad governance of Pakistani politicians,,,so if these ordinary people take some free gifts in these shows,,,its not Haram or against the spirit of Islam which is the only practical religion on earth. Read about pakistan again,,,i think you don’t know the truth.Recommend

  • Amjad Khan

    my foot baby,,,just show me one mullah or molvi in Pakistan who earn his living with his 10 fingers. I doubt, you will find even one,,, Guaranteed.Recommend

  • zohaib iqbal

    if you call “aamm khayega aamm” a game show, RIP our source of entertainmentRecommend

  • cocodeal

    This is a fascinating and exciting read….Interested in playing the game, then maybe we can take a look at 4rsgoldRecommend