“Aur yeh Tullo ki bike……Aap ki NAHI hoi”
Sad, we know but this is what Islamabad High court proclaimed on Wednesday (Well, not literally but this is what they meant, in heart). Islamabad High Court (IHC) unlike the nature of the citizens of Islamabad, was pretty active on 9th May, 2018. It ordered PEMRA to put an immediate halt on all the transmissions that ‘appear to be like a circus’. You guys might be wondering what circus are they talking about, and why on earth did we not watch it. Let us clear this thing up. By ‘circus’, IHC is referring to Ramadan shows that involves its host gamboling around the set and distributing free stuff into the ‘herd’ of clueless yet indigent people.
A lot of debate around the nature of these programs has been in the air for quite some time now. Islamic scholars, preachers, politicians, government authorities and media personnel, everyone has put forward their two cents on the matter. Game shows like, ‘Jeeto Pakistan’, Neelam Ghar, etc. have been constantly criticized for killing the spirit of Ramadan. They have, somehow managed to exploit the neediness of the middle and lower class and use it to their advantage, by creating the hype. It is called a Ramadan transmission by name, but beats its purpose. It has now become a source of entertainment, a trend as a matter of fact, a business. People who should be channeling their energy into understanding the translation of Quran, now use it to figure out which box contains ’20 Tola’ of Gold.
IHC, at the hearing of PEMRA’s code of conduct’s implementation for these Ramadan transmissions asked TV channels to end these ‘indecent and immoral’ activities at once. They weren’t happy at all with people from the television and film industry meddling into the holy matters. The notice said, “No programme suggestive of containing lottery and gambling, even apparently for a noble purpose like Haj/Umrah tickets etc., shall be promoted to air either live or recorded”.
This is a huge blow to the sponsors and the broadcasters of these shows. Slowly, yet effectively these programs started to mark the beginning of Ramadan. People look forward to enter these shows at any cost because they know that they won’t return empty handed. The verdict is now a huge disappointment for not only the channels but also for a big proportion of the general public. But, let’s hope it restores the essence of this sacred month.