The social situation in our beloved country is deteriorating day by day. Every day, news from the media and social media tarnishes the beauty of relationships. The role of digital media cannot be ignored in this regard. Pakistani dramas are constantly under attack on social media. Experts and intellectuals are crying out that our people’s minds are being deliberately polluted and manipulated, leading to a chaotic situation. There is no denying that Pakistani media is under the influence of the West, making Pakistani society a target of American objectives. Through an extremely organized approach, the media is being used to make society barren and secularized.
One manifestation of the influx of foreign capital in Pakistan can be seen in Pakistani television dramas. The topics of the dramas being made and presented here, give the impression that our younger generation is being systematically targeted.
Dramas are supposed to reflect whatever happens in society. They become the mouthpiece of everyday life, and political and societal issues have been their major topics. There was a time when Pakistani dramas, especially Pakistani Television dramas, were not only highly popular among Pakistanis but were also unmatched and famous in South Asia and even beyond. Our dramas were watched in India and Kashmir as well. PTV presented many dramas that addressed the problems of feudalism, capitalism, and social evils. What was happening in society was depicted in these dramas. Even today, Pakistani dramas remain the strongest and most effective means of expression for the Pakistani media, with a large number of viewership.
A race has begun between private channels, and now they have started making dramas on such subjects that have no reality in our society. The themes and topics of these dramas are corrupting society and life. These dramas are not portraying constructive characters but have completely altered the essence of dramas. In these dramas, neither our culture, nor our traditions, nor any glimpse of decency is visible.
Driven by the temptation to boost ratings, private channels are ready to air any kind of drama on their screens. Similarly, under the guise of enlightenment, exceptional issues are presented as general and common. Doubts and suspicions are being created about relatives such as father, sister, brother, and uncle. Our dramas are making an effort to show and prove that if a woman faces the most danger, it is from these close relatives.
If we observe our current dramas, besides plentiful glamor they contain nothing more than promiscuity, degradation of women in the name of women’s rights, topics filled with hedonism that cannot be watched with family members, and immoral comedy under the guise of humor. A woman wearing jeans is portrayed as civilized, on the other hand, a devout woman who observes prayers and fasts is depicted as deceitful and treacherous in social affairs.
In other words, dramas are focusing only on the negative aspects of characters with religious inclinations. It seems that in our society, every other man is giving divorce and every other woman desires ‘khula’ (divorce initiated by the wife), and our dramas seem to encourage their determination. However, the culture depicted in these dramas does not represent our society accurately.
In a country where the majority of the population is living below the poverty line, dramas are depicting extravagant lifestyles. These channels are exploiting women for the sake of foreign funding and ratings. Women’s roles are exploited, either portrayed as helpless victims weeping and wailing or shown in revealing attire just to boost ratings.
The Pakistani media industry has become a direct playground for Western capital investments. While the government is busy controlling news channels through PEMRA, the entertainment industry has been completely left unregulated. Previously, the PEMRA Complaints Council used to take action on complaints, but now it seems like a thing of the past as the council members act according to the directions of the government and the establishment.
If we want to embrace the West, then we must also embrace the governmental measures and regulations present in civilized Western countries’ media. Where not only a drama but even a sentence if found to go against social norms, strict restrictions are imposed on the media.
In the drama industry instead of highlighting the social issues, they are now producing dramas based on humorous aspects that are self-constructed and do not address the real issues in society, on the contrary, these dramas are the root causes of social issues.
In this race between channels, a large number of dramas are being produced. Previously, we used to watch dramas only at 8 PM. Now, we watch them 24 hours a day. Where there are new actors and directors, there are also new writers causing havoc.
The misuse, or rather exploitation of this important medium of journalism is evident, and the biggest proof of this is that renowned drama writers have abandoned drama writing, while those writing for digests have started to write dramas. As a result, in terms of production, in terms of the story, in terms of dialogues… every aspect of drama has fallen behind.
In Urdu dramas, Agha Hashar Kashmiri has the of honor of being considered the father of Urdu dramas, but he also had mastery over Persian, Hindi, Arabic, and many other languages. Now, the current state of our writers is well reflected in the language of dramas. Now even renowned drama writers like Amjad Islam Amjad and Haseena Moin ask, “Whom should we write for?”. It is said that a writer is the pulse of society who presents a cohesive and vibrant picture by connecting different scattered stories. But here, the writers are busy presenting topics that project a negative image of society and disintegrate it. It becomes evident from the content of Pakistani dramas that whatever is presented is worked out in accordance with a well-thought-out plan and strategy. In this situation, the silence of society, political parties, and state institutions is a great tragedy. The process of controlling the entire society through the media is ongoing, but who will control and regulate the media? Speaking against this matter seems impossible; no one is even willing to think about it. If society remains silent in this manner, it is indicating that the whole ship will soon sink. Therefore, it is necessary to change the social attitude and to make TV channels bound by principles and regulations and for the nation to play its role in saving the coming generations.