Harris Khalique, in his column ‘Vulgar and obscene’ (Aug 15), raised a very important question about the definition of the term obscenity. He rightly maintained that the work of eminent writers such as Manto and Meeraji was branded “vulgar” regardless of its actual purpose of exposing the hypocrisy and double standards prevalent in our society.
There are many in our country who believe that women should not take part in sports and oppose the right of women to choose their life partners. They, however, remain unmoved by the growing number of incidents of violence against women.
Dr Najeeb A Khan
This is with reference to Harris Khalique’s article titled ‘Vulgar and obscene’. The writer’s approach regarding the issue couldn’t be farther removed from reality. Khalique conveniently ignored the social problems that haunt us as a direct consequence of the onslaught of ‘vulgarity’ and ‘obscenity’ that have now become the hallmark of our entertainment channels. I fail to understand how can the soaps and advertisements that are shown on our TV channels be dubbed as ‘critical and enlightened discourse’? Our ‘aesthetic tastes’ and ‘intellect’ have undergone much degradation if anything. These were, in fact, in a much better state during the 1970s and the 1980s when TV dramas followed some standards, were based on social and even political issues and carried some messages for the viewer.
Why can’t this medium be used to highlight the plight of the ‘seven-year-old girl selling national flags’ that Khalique talked about, and thousands of other children like her? Why can’t it be used for the purpose of generating social and political awareness in the masses? Not only the entertainment channels but our whole electronic media needs reformation if it is to play any positive and constructive role in our society.