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June 9, 2015

Protecting our values and culture


June 9, 2015

There has been a debate going on in the Pakistani media on the alleged Indian cultural invasion of Pakistan. However, views expressed in this regard in newspapers and magazines are few and far between.
Some circles insist that there is a strong cultural affinity between Pakistan and India. They claim that only fundamentalist sections of the Pakistan society are opposed to the Indian cultural onslaught. These circles also claim that the Indian cultural invasion of Pakistan began in 1973 with weekly telecast of Hindi movies by the Amritsar television. However, most claims made by these circles are untrue and can only be taken with a pinch of salt.
In fact, most of our newspapers are full of film reviews of Hindi movies and coloured pictures of Indian actors and actresses. The trend has caught on with the powerful electronic media. To be exact, it seems the electronic media on the whole has left the newspapers and magazines far behind in this regard.
While there is nothing wrong in cultural exchanges between two countries, which have been going on for quite some time, it should not result in cultural domination of one country over the other. Foreign cultural rites, alien language, deep meanings behind certain themes and vulgar practices affect the mind of the youth.
Have we forgotten that Pakistan has its own distinct culture and language? Quaid-e-Azam had in one of his speeches declared: “We are a nation with our own distinctive culture and civilization, language and literature, art and architecture, names and nomenclature, sense of values and proportion, legal laws and moral code, customs and calendar, history and tradition, aptitudes and ambitions; in short, we have our own distinctive outlook on life and of life.”
Thus, in view of foreign cultural invasion, especially from across the border, the government should regulate what is being shown in the media. It should also encourage local investors to put money into the Pakistani entertainment

industry, which should not depend on foreign dramas or movies from across the border.
Also, with regard to India, there should be a reciprocal treaty for showing films and dramas. One way traffic with a flood of Indian films is a dangerous trend for Pakistan and has to be curtailed. As there are only a few studies which show what impact alien films and dramas from across the border or the West have on the country’s youth, the government should also commission such studies on a large scale. Moreover, Indian movies that portray Pakistan in negative light or malign our values, ethics and institutions have to be banned in the country.

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