Reimpose ban on Indian television content and films
We wanted our own country because we are separate from Hindus in most respects, including culture. If we now continue to allow cultural invasion by India, we shall be destroying the justification for our Independence.
The Indian films were banned to allow our industry to stand on its feet. Unfortunately, greedy people have found a way to bring in Indian films again. The Censor Board is persuaded to allow exhibiton of Indian films in cinemas, ignoring balatant violations of the law. (Bogus certificates are submitted to claim that the actors and others in an Indian film are not Indians.)
When cable networks were allowed, Indian channels were included due to limited number of available Pakistani channels. During Musharraf period, Indian news channels were banned because of their virulent propaganda against us.
However, entertainment channels continue to poison our society. Television is for all; even the illiterate can watch it. The barrage of films, music, dramas and other content on television is causing havoc on the minds of immature viewers, particularly children. (No wonder, children are known to ask when the body of the grandmother will be cremated and when the bridegroom and the bride will take seven rounds around fire.) Our values and beliefs are attacked incessantly. Even doubts are created about the justification for the creation of Pakistan.
PEMRA took belated action in banning Indian entertainment content on television channels. But viewers were shocked to see it back. It is a matter of great national interest, not of choice.
The Indian content is causing great harm to our talent. When channels devote most time to content from India, they will have much less time for the work of our own people. If our cable channels do not show our own content, music, films, who will? Our films are not released in India. Our channels are not shown on Indian cable networks. Why should we be so generous? Bangladesh, the closest ally of India in the region, does not allow import of Indian films and television content for the simple reason that it wants to protect its own industry.
The problem is not just with cable and television. The pirated copies of Indian films are sold everywhere and cinemas prefer Indian films to our own.
The whole sitiation is a violation of the Constitution. The Preamble of the Constitution says that “adequate provision shall be made for the minorities freely to … develop their cultures;…” If the Government is required to make adequate provision for the minorities, how can it ignore the vast majority?
محمّد عبد الحمید
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مصنف، "غربت کیسے مٹ سکتی ہے" (کلاسیک پبلشرز، لاہور)