TV channels accused of exploiting Culture Day
By Hussain Khan
HYDERABAD: A number of politicians have lambasted Sindhi-language television channels for exploiting the “Culture Day” festivities in order to promote their “own agendas”.
“It`s not media`s mandate to lead in such things. Only political parties have the mandate to set the agenda. The day is being exploited by media groups to serve their own interests,” Jalal Mehmood Shah, a grandson of the late nationalist leader G.M. Syed said.
Another nationalist leader, Dr Qadir Magsi of the Sindh Taraqqi Pasand Party, was equally disdainful of media.
“They should refrain from indulging in politics at the behest of the government.”
Last year, a call to celebrate the day was given by the Kawish group in response to comments by some TV anchors objecting to wearing of Sindhi cap by President Asif Ali Zardari during his state visit to Afghanistan.
The call was backed by other Sindhi media groups and major political parties, including the PPP`s Sindh chapter, the MQM and nationalists, and the day was celebrated on Dec 6.
This year, however, the Kawish group is celebrating the day on Dec 5 and the other media groups on Dec 4.
Unlike the last year, the PPP`s Karachi-based information cell put its weight behind other Sindhi media organisations, leading to overnight formation of the Sindh Media Cultural Forum.
The two-day celebration of Sindh`s culture started in the province on Saturday, enabling the people to acknowledge their identity with pride.
Last year, it was just `Cultural Day` and this year the Kawish group added a new dimension by calling it a `Unity Day`, but the other Sindhi media groups with the support of the Sindh government are calling the day as `Culture Day`.
Zulfikar Halepoto, of the Sindh Democratic Forum, said that political parties should tell media bluntly that “please stop, it`s not your job at all. Let political parties do it”.
“It would have been better if each person is encouraged to donate Rs100 for flood victims to help them re-build their homes. We can build entire towns for survivors,” he said.