I can safely draw an analogy between a horse who is immensely powerful yet in utter oblivion to his physical power. And instead acts in absolute obedience to human beings. Much weaker than him in physical strength yet enjoy complete power over the horse and the Pakistani media which has been held hostage to trivial and petty issues despite being able to do wonders given the power it may actually wield. You flip to any channel at any given point in time in a day and you are bound to see people discussing petty issues. Issues with no end in sight.
I do not intend to talk about the political talk shows here; though the way they are conducted 24X7 leaves much to be desired and raises more questions than it answers. But I wish to discuss ano0ther important issue which I feel has not been taken up with due care by any quarters – concerned or otherwise, so far!
Increase in Cheap Comedy
Our overall national attitude has become careless and comedy oriented and we look at everything with a ‘’pinch’’ of comedy which has consequently inculcated cheap comedy into our national attitude. We have always heard that a message conveyed in comedy has deeper effects than if conveyed directly. And caring little about the adverse effects of this practice, our ever-growing media has adamantly followed this and never looked back.
Of late, I have started thinking about the other dimension of it. What could be the possible impact of it if this exercise was reversed? What if it was put the opposite way? Why on earth even the most intense issues are presented by the electronic media in the most comic manner? And some of the blame ought to be shared by the viewers also, who, from the entire content, extract comedy only to tailor it according to their respective contexts. And then prove their “mettle’’ in comedy by being mordant in gatherings, sharing little time and thought for the main serious issue(s).
Role of media
Now, imagine a media fraternity where not all the stuff is wrapped in comedy nor is comedy seen 24X7 at unprecedented levels. Where comedy is allocated certain airtime during a day. So that the viewers are in the full knowledge so as to know when to watch TV for comedy. And when to watch it for the serious content. I do not dispute that laughter therapy is a better tool to release one’s stress with. But, of course, not to the extent as witnessed in our society and media industry.
When the media starts showing the issues with the deserving intensity and seriousness, it will force the viewers to bring about a certain change in their attitudes. And also start inculcating the kind of change, I wish, I could see in our overall national attitude. A change of pondering, deep reflection, and introspection. True, it will take a lot of effort and time to bring about the desired change. And many media houses may lose viewership and may also fare poor with ratings. But then what use is a change if brought about without troubles and hazards. Of course, every routine today was the most resisted and abominated idea once!
If we consider media as a tool to enlighten people with, which pretty much will be the case. Then let us ask its owners and its string-pullers to help media act in its right perspective. Enough of the cheap comedy. Enough of the comedy-clad so-called serious content! Now we should start trying to shift our attention. From full-on comedy to a full-on serious manifestation of what plagues our society.
At least it can be given a try and if succeeded, our generation will come to thank us. For breaking away from comedy and putting them on the track of reflection and introspection. And it goes without saying that any change, let alone one of this magnitude, will take huge efforts and a lot of time to make its presence felt and be seen. And also, it will take even longer to see society act the way this change, proposed in the preceding paragraphs, intends. But once this target is achieved the time will not be far. From transforming into a developed and prosperous society from what it is now.
Lest we forget, the long-awaited and hardest found fruits taste the sweetest!