Foreign dramas threaten Pakistani cultural values
ISLAMABAD: Artistes of the Pakistani showbiz industry said that a sequence of events hastened the collapse of the Pakistani movie industry but the two setbacks that stand out in this unwanted process are the decision to allow the exhibition of Indian films in Pakistani cinemas and the airing of foreign, especially Turkish and Indian, drama serials on local TV channels.
The artistes more or less agreed that this “external cultural invasion” was snatching away the remaining outlets available for Pakistani artistes to show their skills in the field of performing arts.
Pakistani dramas, now losing out prime time space to foreign-produced drama, not only regaled the audience at home with their excellent content and quality but also gained popularity abroad with their superb depiction of Pakistani cultural values.
In the 90s, when Pakistan’s film industry crashed, TV dramas accommodated the artistes of silver screen in an attempt to keep alive the identity of the actors.
Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) Director General Tauqeer Nasir said, “Unfortunately, we did not take timely action to save our film industry but the recent cultural invasion by Turkish and Indian dramas on Pakistani channels is unacceptable for TV artistes and if the issue is not handled properly, history will repeat itself and it will adversely affect our cultural values and heritage.”
“Enhancing viewership and making money sometimes creates gaps and the downfall of Lollywood was the result of not filling these gaps in time. The drama sector will suffer if the Pakistani nation stays silent,” he added.
Tauqeer Nasir also said, “Pakistan has immense talent, but unfortunately we do not honour our heroes and value our heritage which is creating lack of nationalism in the young generation.”
He added that it was the duty of parents and teachers to create a sense of nationalism among the youth and media should also play a constructive role in this regard by realising the national interest and promoting the cultural heritage of the country.
“The trend of airing Turkish and Indian dramas on top channels poses a question mark on our local production standards which were not low. The dramas being produced and directed here follow true ethical and cultural values, viewership restrictions and issues purely connected to our society. First, we brought the culture of Indian sarees and heavily made-up women in our homes, and now Turkish dramas are invading our culture and promoting vulgarity to a great extent,” the PNCA DG remarked.
Tauqeer Nasir said that the media should launch a comprehensive awareness campaign on the slogan of ‘Be Pakistani, See Pakistani’ to benefit the local drama industry, artistes, talent and more importantly to keep the local culture and traditions alive.
“Our dramas are all about raising issues of human interest and bringing correction to the society with soft expressions of performing art,” Tauqeer added.
Renowned Film Director and Producer, Syed Noor said that these foreign dramas should not be showcased on Pakistani TV channels, as it will create confusion among the youth in adopting between local and foreign cultural values.
“The dramas being produced in Pakistan were purely family content while the foreign dramas have their own culture, which include bold dressing and way of living, which is not acceptable for most of the Pakistani families,” he added.
Syed Noor hoped that the trend would prove to be a temporary one and said, “Our artistes have talent and they will take this challenge with an open heart to reverse the trend.”
A top management official of a private TV channel said that the channels promoted foreign dramas because they received better feedback.