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One step forward, two steps back
Sir: As new television channels emerge on the scene, it is becoming evident that more and more people are seeking information and at times solutions to their problems through this medium. However, it is unfortunate that television is nurturing the already backward and regressive views of the people. In one programme on a private channel, the host takes calls from viewers seeking solutions of their problems. A ‘Maulana Sahib’ then answers their queries, giving them Wazaif to recite.
While one does not object to the programme’s objective which is to make people turn to religion to seek solutions for their problems, it is sad to note that programmes like these are not going to help Pakistan evolve into a progressive society and state.
For example I saw an episode in which a woman called, seeking advice for choosing the subject for her masters’ degree. While the question itself was quite stupid, the answer was worse to say the least. The learned maulana replied that ‘education itself is not suitable for you’ (aap ke liye parhai munasib nahin). Can anyone explain how education can harm a person, especially a woman?
We are always quick to set up censor boards to check ‘obscenity’ and ‘immorality’ but do we have a body or an institute that looks beyond the woman’s duppatta and highlights such trends that are again taking us back to the Stone Age?
Sir: Ordinary people in Pakistan are being subjected to injustice in the name of television licenses. Pakistan Television (PTV) which is the concerned authority has sold this license-making authority to a private firm for about Rs 57 crore. This company is sending around its operatives to collect the license fee and the latter are extremely rude and obnoxious. They misbehave with residents of houses including women. I would like to ask some very simple questions of the concerned authorities:
1: Is PTV the only channel providing entertainment to the people of Pakistan?
2: Is PTV providing real entertainment to the people of Pakistan?
3: Is PTV the only popular channel in Pakistan?
4: Is PTV going into losses and needs to cover them by license fee collections?
5: PTV needs to think about why people are willing to pay Rs 200 per month to cable operators but unwilling to pay Rs 400 to PTV annually.
7: Is the license fee levied on the TV set or the programmes?
M ZAHEER AHMAD
People’s TV choice
Sir: An ad is appearing these days in Daily Times. It is an appeal from the cable industry to the government about their problems. I sympathise with them. Our worthy information minister has said that he would not allow the cable industry to broadcast Indian entertainment channels as long as he was in charge. I would like to know why the government has taken this decision.
May I draw attention of the information minister towards the millions of Indian movies sold in the Bara Market quite close to his Lal Haveli. Obviously the people of this country enjoy watching Indian films and would also like to watch Indian channels. Our government should not behave hypocritically and let the people enjoy what they really like.
Sir: Congratulations on Humair Hashmi’s article (Attraction and psychotherapy, Daily Times, March 11, 2004) on Freud’s theories about transference and counter-transference.
It came as a shock to finally read some positive and accurate views on Freud. Well done! However, I would like to add that Mr Hashmi’s contention that a therapist and patient can become friends after the treatment is over is somewhat risky.
Kudos for Shaheen
Sir: Congratulations to Pakistan and its citizens for Shaheen II. Now we hope that next time we should aim even higher so that one day we may join the elite group of countries that have the capability of reaching space and the moon.
SHAHRYAR KHAN BASEER
Remembering Mr Batalvi
Sir: I am writing these lines to express my personal sorrow on the sad demise of Ijaz Husain Batalvi. I had the fortune of being his student. He was an intelligent lawyer who was also passionate about literature. He was also a brilliant conversationalist. In short he was the master of every trade.
He was extremely punctual and would be in class at seven in the morning during December. He was more than a teacher; he was a friend and shared his experience and knowledge with us in a manner that it never felt as if he was a teacher lecturing us. His lectures would be in Punjabi.
He planted the roots of literature and mysticism in my soul. I have great memories of him reciting the poetry of Shah Husain “Assa naina de akhay laggay”. I hope that all of his students will join me in praying for the departed soul and offering our sympathies to his family.