Pakistan’s media this year pulled all stops, falling short of being an Indian soap opera in its own right. What with talk show hosts and political analysts abandoning all pretense of dignity and composure, TV channels baring the darker side of the screen, videos leaking , clerics swearing and Veena Malik showing Rakhi Sawant how it’s done; who needs drama?
Last year in August, a big bad ‘editing machine’ (computer), competitors, minority groups and other bad people (e.g. those who have, according to his column, ignored their namaaz), apparently ‘doctored’ footage of renown tele-evangelist Dr. Aamir Liaquat Hussain and made him swear and giggle over hilarious topics like rape.
This video did indeed wipe the smug smile off the good doctor’s face and left him blathering about conspiracies and a ‘certain’ channel envious of his ratings. This channel was certainly GEO TV, which Liaquat left for greener pastures at ARY. While this video left people miserable, shocked, disappointed and outraged, none of these emotions sum up the bizarreness of this new development.
He’s back! And on the same channel he blamed for his expose’ fiasco. But he isn’t here to cavort around Karachi singing praises of the channel he went on a diatribe against earlier. The pious show stopper of the first video will this year help Pakistan realize what Ramzan really means, in his show Pehchaan Ramzan.
If this wasn’t enough to put you off your roza, more treats await, in the feral form of Samaa TV’s ex morning show vigil-aunty Maya Khan, who was previously fired from the channel for her excellent reporting skills.
She’s back with vengeance and spitting fire of hell this year, not asking for marriage certificates, but will provide us all with ‘sahara’ (support) instead.
As if her fake apology videos weren’t enough.
However the icing and the cake on this year’s Ramzan transmission was supposed to have been our queen of scandal, Veena Malik, out with her own dose of religion.
Our very own desi Madonna (pay attention to the halo around her head), who spent an entire year being very naughty, has decided now to seek forgiveness; not just for herself but for everyone else too in her show ‘Astaghfar’.
The lone tear drop in the middle of the ad translated to tears of mirth on the nations face. The theatrical remorsefulness, the strategic ‘sar pe dupata’ and fire and brimstone in the back drop, were ingredients for what would have been the perfect marketing gimmick for Hero TV, express news group’s new launch. Yet using such a controversial figure to host a religious show was not such a religiously sensitive move. Hero TV or not, a heroine garbed in an ISI tattoo and grenade only, asking God to forgive everyone, borders on blasphemy. At least in Aamir Liaquat’s and Maya Khan’s books it does.
After a missile barrage of protests against ‘Astaghfar’, Hero TV decided to scrap the show and sent Veena back to go sin some more, thus losing the marketing ace up its sleeve. Sure the idea of Charlie Sheen in a nativity play would shock less people than Veena hosting a Ramzan show, but what’s disturbing is the lack of protests on Aamir Liaquat’s reinstatement and/or show, or even Maya Khans.
Admitted that our nation suffers from selective memory loss, its powers of logic and reasoning are flawed to the hilt. Between selecting who to protest against, they chose the sexy woman over ugly, oily, murdering, lying, MQM goon Aamir Liaquat and violator of basic human right to personal freedoms, bare faced lying, party’s like a rock star, hypocrite Maya Khan.
It’s a shame that Veena had to go. We as a nation are overly fond of criminals, it seems, heck we even vote them in again and again (results NA-151 Multan, seriously?). Yet we’re the first ones to cast the stone on a scantily dressed female. Veena’s show should’ve been canceled to maintain the sanctity of Ramzan, but it shouldn’t have been the only one.
By Sarah Eleazar