It is an undeniable fact that television is a great source of information, which can be utilized for societal uplift and reformation. It is more than just an idiot box and several informative shows justify this argument. However, this is not the case when it comes to Pakistan and its television industry. There are phases when our television shows and Pakistani drama serials highlight sensitive social issues with a possible solution to them but then again a streak of non-progressive and stereotypical shows arrive. Television constitutes its importance due to the innumerable sources of information it provides. It means something to the viewer because it connects him to the rest of the world, playing a role in formulating public opinions. This way, a great social responsibility lies on everyone related to this industry or paradigm as they are supposed to be learned ones; ones who can set a benchmark of society.
Sadly, the Pakistani TV industry seems in no serious mood to take the charge of being the trendsetters, instead they are vehemently involved in their lust for higher Target Rating Points. Therefore, they end up following what the general public or the layman likes. Take in consideration our morning shows and you will easily understand what I mean. There is hardly any meaningful discussion in those shows. And even if the intelligent and witty hosts find an issue to be scrutinized by experts, it’s mostly about beauty and certain domestic issues. Then there is another drastic and horrid aspect to it, which is organizing weddings on the sets of something called a morning show. These Pakistani TV shows are not aimed at raising the mental level of an average housewife by diverting her attention to learning and to other lucrative hobbies but rather provide cheap entertainment to her that can supposedly relieve her daily life stress.
Not only does the morning of an average Pakistani housewife begin like this, but it’s the whole day that she watches less innovative stuff on television. There are a number of television serials currently on-aired that portray woman as beings of a fragile and weaker gender. You will mostly see lead actresses in Pakistani TV bursting in sobs and tears rather than taking a tough and unshakable stand for them. There have been serials like Mere Qatil Mere Dildaar on Hum TV where the lead female character was initially shown as a weak woman but as the situation unfolded, viewers saw the character as that of a lady having high self-worth. The character of Maham, played by Mahvish Hayat was a better one if compared to the character that was Khirad in Humsafar. Bandi, an ARY Digital serial, however, completely stands against the bleak picture that many other television plays provide with regard to women and their strength; but then again we have a traumatizing serial such as Ek Tammanna Lahasil Si. EKLS has crossed all limits of dissatisfying sagacious viewers by presenting an extremely nek-parveen kind of character, Nazia.
Portraying reality is important because in our social setup exist several women issues, but one should also try to produce solutions to these problems using the medium of television dramas. What Pakistani TV channels do is depict the actual conditions to such a high extent and with much zeal and fervor that they forget about the solution and leave no profound and positive impact on the lives of their viewers. Need of the time is to have sensible and learned writers as well as thoughtful female actresses who should be wise enough to weigh the causes and effects of any character they do and make a good analysis before accepting anything that is presented to them.