Thoughts by Bahadar Ali

May 17, 2016

Perturbed PEMRA: Udaari to Blame Or…

Filed under: Political — bkhan @ 1:35 pm

Saadat Hassan Manto, the prolific and gifted writer that he was, always protested to his detractors who would allege him for his ‘immoral’ depiction of the society around him. He always took pride in terming himself as the mirror of the life, the way he would see around him. He used to say, “if society has an ugly face, it is not my job to chastise it. Don’t expect that I would sugar-coat the filth to make it digestible for the public at large. I am a writer not a politician, it is their job to fix it”.

A similar issue is surfing up in one of the popular Urdu drama being aired these days with the name “Udaari”. The main theme points to the curse of sexual abuse of minors, that is certainly not uncommon in the Pakistani society ( or for that matter around the world ). No doubt it is disturbing to watch the innuendos, metaphors and sexual solicitation used to abuse a minor girl by the main villainous character. It is filmed in the rural settings where suggestively it is easy given the high degree of prevalent patriarchal attitudes of life.

The Pakistani Media Regulatory Authority ( PEMRA ) has took note of this ‘careless’ depiction of one of the frequented aberration. Yes, it is an aberration but certainly not an anomaly. Everyone knows, it happens. Burying the head in sand is another matter, for which we have no dearth of this and many other accounts. As I mentioned earlier it is an uneasy watch. It gives goose-bums simply to fathom what is being presented.

No doubt it is an uncomfortable truth. But the social scientists never discouraged to bring society vices to the front. The fabric of society never gets weak when the hidden ugliness is courageously discussed and presented. It makes them stronger and more aware. Rather than shooting the messenger, the core issue needs to be addressed. Child molestation always destroyed the lives of the victims and compromised the future of those subjected to these heinous acts while the perpetrators of such crime would go scott-free because of the sealed lips. The sheepish behavior emboldens the criminal and attaches no moral guilt while the victim gets stigmatized.

I am of the view that instead of stabbing the truth, PEMRA should vouch for such daring people who are not afraid to speak the truth. It is our choice to uplift our face or break the mirror. Mirror seldom lies!

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