As if we have not had enough of moral policing from our Mumanis and Chachis, teachers and professors, co-workers and bosses, Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan decided to take action on behalf of a letter written by Former head honcho of Jamaat-e-Islami Qazi Hussain Ahmed and Justice (retd) Wajihuddin (seriously Wajihuddin Sahib?) against obscenity aired on TV channels. Justice Chaudhry believes that TV channels are spreading vulgarity and called PEMRA officials to the court to admonish them.
According to the news reports, the Chief Justice cited some offensive programmes and advertisements and said that one finds it difficult to watch them with family. However, I am saddened by the fact that he does not cite offensive programmes that one cannot watch even when one is all alone, let alone with the family and inquisitive children because they test the limit of sanity. Where was the suo moto when the Engineer Agha Waqar was going on about his waterkit and federal minister Khursheed Shah was raving about it? Why was it all not shut down because if you ask me, our national pride was in tatters when that travesty was being passed around as scientific breakthrough? I was so embarrassed to watch it that I literally hid my face. My nephew asked me if laws of thermodynamics can really be altered and I was even more ashamed to be a tax paying citizen of a country where a 12 year old was subjected to witness this litany and had to make sure that it was not true.
I hope one of the obscene programmes that CJ took notice of is Maya Khan’s Ramazan show where she adresses everyone – men, women, children, adults, and green little Martians – with terms like mera bacha, pyaroo, golo polo and what not. Her conversation is peppered with many Hai Allahs and fake tears. Watching her calling a man like Nooruddin Bhai (he is an activist in his 50s who suffers from muscular dystrophy and has been working for rights of people with disability) pyaroo tested every fibre of intelligence, rationality and prudence in my body, but that is not considered vulgar because her conversation is interspersed with multiple references to Allah and Rasool and she wears a duppata on her head!
While CJ had PEMRA’s chairman in his court for this matter of obscenity, the CJ thought that he should also ask the PEMRA chairman (CJ had issues with him being just an acting chairman for over a year) about the programming on private TV channels who air programs about higher judiciary and ordered him to bring on all press conferences and programmes against judiciary before the next hearing. However he had no issues with programs that mock politicians of the country and call them all sorts of names because they are ‘popular’ and ‘in good humour’ which basically meant that TV channels are free to get as obnoxious and obscene with the politicians in name of popularity and good humour, but the judiciary stays untouchable. He rounded up his
sermon observations by calling up on the TV channels to leave religion out of it. Looks like moral policing in this country found a new judge and champion against the heretics who enjoy the very very obscene display of something like a Bilal Khan video or women’s tennis.
If my twitter feedis to be believed, Justice Chaudhry told the PEMRA chairman that August personalities like Aurya Maqbool (a babu) and Ansar Abbasi (Journalist and former Jamat-e-Islami worker) will point out the incidents of fuhashi (obscenity) and PEMRA will shut it down. So basically, if CJ has his way – and he usually does have his way – dudes who have no business butting in broadcasting and have no experience in national broadcasting policies formulation will decided the content that will be allowed to go on air. At times I wonder if I live in a country that is a replica of Ayn Rand’s Foundtainhead and Mufti-e-Azam Iftekhar Muhammed Chaudhry is the Ellsworth Toohey of our times. Our tragedy is that we don’t have anyone to challenge the Ellsworth Tooheys of Pakistan.
PS: Not the most coherent post but I was kinda livid when I read about it.