SAFMA debates obscurantism, religious programmes | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

SAFMA debates obscurantism, religious programmes

KARACHI, June 17 2006: A discourse on obscurantism and religious programmes proved fruitful on the second day of SAFMA II, when different countries in South Asia Region analyzed the commonalities between the communities of the religious programmes.

They also discussed reasons whether the religious programmes add to the values of programming and viewer ship or whether they instigate people or have no effect.
There were two sessions on the second day; one was based on obscurantism and religious programmes and the other on stereotyping and profiling gender issues. Both sessions held heated debates as the topics were sensitive.

Khalid Ahmed, giving details of the presentation on religious discourse on Pakistani TV channels was of the view that Pakistan is no longer the perfect place for the proliferation of moderate and articulate un-lingual communicators. He said that projecting religion the way the TV channels do, may help Pakistan accrete the image of a blood-thirsty state, populated mostly by clerics obsessed with the idea of waging war which should not be necessarily state endorsed.

Whereas, Indian speakers Kumar Ketkar and Vinod Sharma were of the view that India is the most liberal state and had always portrayed true picture of the religion that has never dominated in our society. He was of the view that India is not facing the war between Muslims and Hindus, but it is the war of secular and non-secular. Citing one case regarding the belief he said that both Muslims and Indians have same believe in relation to the Sain Baba.

They said that Muslim fundamental propaganda does not reflect Muslims in India and ‘people there have always portrayed the Indian society as a peaceful state and even the politicians did not represent belligerent India in politics. The speaker from Bangladesh Monjual said that none of the journalists were ever targeted in Tablighat-e-ijtima, as it has its significance and was celebrated every year without any prejudice ness.

In the second session which was based on profiling gender issues, the speakers from all Saarc states were of the view that women issues were highlighted by males in very different manner and has always presented women negatively, especially crime reporting has crossed all borders and one sided story was always published by blaming women for all sort of nuisances, especially rape cases. Women in this South Asia region have always been treated as a consumer commodity. Women Journalists are up against all odds than their male colleagues, in proving themselves. Covering conflicts, they face lack of access to information, physical area under conflict and those affected by the conflict.

Farhana Afroze of Bangladesh said that a nation which does not involve half of its population in nation-building cannot progress and women need to prepare themselves to assert their rights and compete.
Source: Dawn