So one national newspaper published a story on Pakistan’s porn industry and all hell broke loose, at least on twitter. Everyone had an opinion about the article. Some thought it was pure fiction and some thought that the text was politically incorrect. Some called it masala journalism and some said that it is not journalism at all. In short, the report was thoroughly discussed, something that the perhaps both the writer and editor aimed for and achieved.
One commenter on the newspaper did not agree with the article and he said:
I think this article is a fake, as a connoisseur of porn I would have seen some of the porn that they claim to have made. The quality of Pakistani porn does not reflect the kind of technological advancements the writer has mentioned. It is a sad day when a national news paper lies about porn, isn’t anything sacred anymore!
Another commenter had issues with the English of the article. The writer has used the phrase “loud smile” somewhere in the text and she only wanted to ask the writer of this article one thing:
What, sir, is a ‘loud smile’?
The writer has not responded till the last time I checked.
Like every other discussion in the country the debate turned to religion and of course Taliban. There were some puritanical hearts who lamented the fact that while people are obsessed with Talibaan they are ignoring a bigger threat to the sanctity of Pakistani society – porn.
Dishoom on twitter was shocked and awed by the news. According to him, he “religiously googled” about the porn in Pakistan but failed. He searched for “Andheri Raat”, one of the best sellers according to the news report, but even that did not yield desired results. Now he has been appealing to all and sundry to help him find the porn mentioned in that news report. His exact words:
APPEAL: Please tell us where we can find this Pakistani Porn, which is being reported in our national dailies or someone please refer me to this supposed website and blog. Google search has failed me.
Naheed Mustafa thought that the article was in bad taste and said, “Pakistani porn industry sound like high school drama club!” She marveled how the writer can talk about the supposed professionalism of the industry when he quoted one of the actresses that she was raped, sold and eventually ended in porn industry. She also wondered which editor Okayed the report.
The writer was not too happy with people doubting his investigative skills, so he responded with:
Duty of a reporter is always to tell readers what is going on in the society. We raise problems to the point of discussion. It is the job of the authorities to find out where it is going on. We are not bound to disclose exact location of either Taliban or those who are running porn industry….You can find movies mentioned in the article in Rambo Plaza….
Personally, I have no major issues with the story, other than the fact there is no Rambo Plaza in Karachi (I think the writer wanted to mention Rainbow Centre). If the story is correct and the writer did interview some people for it, he should have come up with better fake names, after all, a director named “Tina” can only invite ridicule. I think the writer had seen too many 70s and 80s Bollywood movies where vamp was always named either Mona or Tina and was inspired by it. The writer also got a bit carried away and blurred the line between fact and fiction. One cannot even blame the poor soul for it. If Fatima Bhutto can be praised all over the world for passing pure conjecture as memoirs he thought he could get away with it as well. He is guilty of Fatima Bhutto-izing the story at best.