Pakistan: Freedom to insult?


Veena Malik & You Tube

Two simple questions: why would TV anchors never ask the Meeras and Veenas and Reshams of our entertainment industry, for whatever the industry and they put together are worth, to sit in judgment on the conduct of those who defend the killers of Salman Taseer, or those who blow themselves up at Sufi shrines killing and maiming innocent men, women and children? Why is it always the mullah who must adjudicate affairs across the board amongst adherents of a faith that does not allow for priesthood in the first place? But that is how one-sided the discourse has become in the new, brave, independent media today. If it is media trials that we must hold, then why not hold one of the Lal Masjid cleric who escaped the bloodied compound in a burqa, and who should be held at least partly responsible for the many lives lost in the military action of 2007? That is, if that is how the media organs must see their new role, inflated as it is, in society, which is quite against the industry norms anywhere in the world. There are perhaps more hate-mongers, xenophobic anchors and preachers, on our TV screens on a given day today than all religious programmes put together that PTV broadcast during 11 years of Ziaul Haq’s rule.

Meanwhile, thank you, Veena Malik, for saying loud and clear that you represented our entertainment industry and yourself, and not Islam or Pakistan, on “Bigg Boss,” to which Pakistani viewers back home were just as riveted as their counterparts in India. I respect you for being yourself, and am insulted when you are.

Dawn for more

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