Racism and Pakistani media
By Shahjahan zehri, Kharan
In civilized nations of the world it’s used for reformation, removing flaws and eradication of social misbalance.
Morning shows in enlightened societies are customarily for children and replete with constructive entertainment. In fact, in past in Pakistan were also. Unfortunately, currently in Pakistan this platform is used for hate-mongering and instigating racial prejudice.
Freedom of speech is being misused here, few months back famous TV face MAYA KHAN was on aired, in morning show, with team chasing dating-couples in public parks of Karachi. However, she was fired from channel for her unethical behavior on the protest of civil society.
On 28th of January 2013 early in the morning another absurd programme “good morning Pakistan” was on aired on private TV channel “ARY digital” which begin with ridiculous and promiscuous jumping, dancing and loud drum beating. After exhausting dance of professional dancer host of the show expressed her noble desire said; sole purpose of this musical concert is eliminating racial discrimination, which later on proved to be the promotion of racism.
In highly abusive script of programme hard-working and impotent Baloch of Lyari were mocked because of their dark skin complexion. Baloch were personified as criminals, liars and bone of contentions. Characters were showed wearing Balochi traditional dress which further highlights their motives of victimising of a particular nation.
People of Lyari are blessed with unique and diverse culture that has a fine mix of Islamic tradition and local values. Baloch of Lyari is open-minded, hardworking and large-hearted with political and cultural history. Linguistically, they speak variations of Balochi language.
Lyari has given international level boxers and football players to Pakistan, however, their miseries, backwardness and talents never captured attention of media but black complexion soon became topic of mockery.
Through biased topic selection (crime, violence, drugs) Lyarians are portrayed as threat And whereas their cultural and economic contribution to the city and country are being ignored.
This is modified form of racism which has been labelled by theorists as “cultural racism” against which Baloch social media activists launched a petition and Baloch civil society conducted rally and demonstrated before Karachi press club.
Such programmes are out of the parameters of journalistic ethics and professional standards. Few media champions justify that “media is mirror which reflects society”. Then why angle of this mirror is fixed on particular direction? Why it doesn’t highlight other dimensions, like talents and plight of life of Lyarians?
PEMRA Pakistan electronic media regularity authority should take action against such journalists and TV channels that violate code of conduct of journalism.
In multi-cultural societies media should play crucial role to bridge the gap between different ethnic communities and it must be ethical because of its high impact on society.
Writer can be reached at http://www. facebook.com/ shahjahan .zehree? ref=ts&fref=ts