Circle of Mediocrity


Several TVs with images

By Umer Raza Bhutta

The nations are built and known by many factors. One way is through what we read, listen, write and watch. Over the last one decade where we have seen top gear in media production, we have also seen a deteriorating standard of the same.  The nation took a sigh of relief to move away from the one-sided view of one TV channel of the state and to see a different view on TV from the opposite side. The prime time drama was replaced by the prime time political shows. Many where happy to see the government finally under the radar of the journalist and to see their views on TV.

But as everything has a limit and a boiling point this too reached at a point where now the biggest success comes through a person who is ridiculing “anyone” the most. The dramas in TV too seemed to be covered by the thick cloud of such frenzy. Since it is a business and it has to run 24/7, many brains got involved. Now there are shows on TV that are done for every occasion and every part of our lives. No argument on that, but where is the quality. There is of course a large quantity now, but I dare say that even religion is not spared and money-making machine is doing its trick to foul the most liked people i.e. celebrities of the recent past into hosting shows.

In the month of Ramadan every TV you tune churns up with women (who otherwise might not cover their head) that come up with their own religious mind. This is acting or over acting but it is there to show case that we are on TV and either helping religion, underprivileged people or just covering the air time. I am not suggesting that they should not do this or stop all what they are doing, but there is no substance and healthy discourse. There was a time when Naeem Bukhari used to interview people, when late Moin Akhtar was asking funny, serious and intellectual questions, when Anwar Maqsood was making a light fun of the people and system. Now there are ugly stage players who have risen to fame because of their ugly comments and below the belt remarks about anyone and anything. They are now seen as defining for us what has happened and how to see things. They ridicule every one and each other and we laugh. We also refer to their comments and acknowledge their insight about the issues. They are nothing but a reflection of us, sitting on TV and showing us what we want most. We want a politician to be made fun of, we want a poor man to be helped publicly for his daughter’s treatment, we want to know what sin a person has done by marrying another person, we want to laugh our heart out to see how those who have been voted to power by millions, being humiliated. Without knowing that by doing so we are humiliating our self.

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