Kamran Brohi's Blog

An Academician & Researcher

Archive for January 2011

Cultural Policy of Pakistan and Broadcasting Media

with one comment

I have written a blog before on the Impact of Indian and other channels on Pakistani society, and the recent controversy concerning the vulgar behaviour and appearance of Pakistani film actress Veena Malik on an Indian Reality Show, demands more attention to this issue, which is badly  affecting our society and culture.

The general consensus which is found among the masses of Pakistan is of anger, shame and disappointment against this lady, who seems to be having no regrets of whatever she did over there. However, the reaction of the masses shows that we are still Pakistanis and no matter how much influence and impact Indian and other channels have on our society, we still feel from inside that we are Pakistanis and this (what is shown on Indian and other channels) is not truly our culture. Although one can argue that we have diverse cultures in our country but the reaction and condemnation of people shows that that they truly believe that it’s not our culture.

I don’t want to discuss or judge the actions of Veena Malik in Big Boss because whatever she did over there is due to the lack of certain rules and policies on Pakistani broadcasting media especially Film and TV industry. Whatever she did over there is quite common even in Pakistan Film and TV Industry.

There is no argument against the fact that the Indian culture and specially the culture, which is represented or shown on Indian channels is quite different from our own and even theirs. “The customs, culture and traditions of the people of a country are representative of the history, faith, language and environment of that country. Likewise, the cultural patterns of Pakistan speak of our rich cultural heritage and traditions. The culture of Pakistan seeks its influence from the cultures of India, Central Asia and the Middle East. Pakistani culture varies widely from Punjab and Sindh to Baluchistan and Khyber………” [1] It shows that although the culture of Pakistan has some Indian influence due to heritage but still there are a lot of differences when it comes to language, vulgarity and most of all the religion.

Just like any other country it’s the major responsibility of Ministry/ Department of Culture and Heritage to work according to the policy of its Government for the protection and promotion of its culture and heritage. Now let’s have a look at the list of the responsibilities of culture division of Ministry of Culture in Pakistan. “The main responsibility of this Division relates to the promotion of education in arts and culture including all matters pertaining to the privately sponsored dancing and cultural troupes going abroad on commercial basis; development of arts council, institutions and galleries; financial assistance to arts organizations, artists and journalists and their bereaved families; Pride of Performance Awards in the field of arts; preservation and conservation of national museums and historical monuments declared to be of national importance; cultural pacts and protocols with other countries and their implementation; development and control of film industry; administration of Censorship of Films Act, 1963; establishment of cultural centers.”[2]

In some advance countries like UK the Broadcasting industry is watched and controlled by the Ministry/Department of Culture according to the policy of its Government for the Culture and Heritage, as the social impacts of broadcasting industry are much faster and influential as compared to others in a society. The above excerpt from the website of Ministry of Culture Pakistan shows that the control of the Broadcasting industry in Pakistan is not the major responsibility of this ministry. As the two important factors relating to Broadcasting industry are on the bottom in the list of the responsibilities/priorities of this ministry, so there is not much attention being paid to them. The broadcasting industry in general is not the responsibility of Ministry of Culture in Pakistan which is very much necessary these days, especially when we have allowed the broadcast of so many Indian channels in Pakistan.

I was looking for the Cultural Policy of Pakistan and luckily I found its draft version on the website of its ministry. However, I also found that the last Cultural Policy of Pakistan was formulated in 1995. The revision started in 2005 and is still in progress, which is regrettable.  The ministry has invited comments and views from general public for the revision of this policy and I think they are not getting enough feedback on this important issue. Neither do I see any discussions and debates on the media on this serious issue, which is going to cause us a great deal of trouble, if left unattended like this.

I think we should all come forward and discuss and come up with suggestions for the promotion of our own culture and demotion of foreign and especially Indian culture in our own society.

  2. http://www.culture.gov.pk/

Written by Kamran Brohi

January 24, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Posted in Pakistan