Accountability

There is a race in Pakistani media scene. Everyone wants to break the news first and channels go to the extent of claiming that it was them who broke the news first! Isn’t it strange that the media warfare has left the people of this country handicapped and mentally ill. Rather than making them more aware, they are more unaware of the situation even then consider themselves to be well informed! I’m talking about the “fake” Swat flogging video! I remember the day when the video was aired, it was Friday and since it was Friday and I had to pray after coming from university and then I went to sleep after lunch only to be awaken by an sms that said a lot of bad stuff about the flogging and the Swat administration and the people being inhumane who were doing that! Fortunately or unfortunately, I didn’t see the video till after sometime. Back at university, when N.A. and Salwa and I were sitting together, we were thinking the same thing, how can it be that no investigation had been done before the video was aired by all the TV channels. The video was repeated shown again and again and again! Anyhow, I remember posting something here regarding the video being fake! Now there are reports that it was actually fake!

Now have the tv channels, who aired the video soo much as to make the world believe that whatever that they are showing is true, repeatedly apologized to the people of this country again, and again and again for not verifying the video before airing it! “sach ki lagan”, “har khabar per nazar”, “geo aur geene do”, don’t they feel any accountability or responsibility of airing the video with so much rush as to avoid one of the most basic principles of media where one has to investigate and verify the authenticity of a news item before airing it! The leaders, political administrators and the military, everyone just jumped to conclusions without thinking for once if this is duly investigated! If there was such an incident or not?! This is what you call spreading AWARENESS or is this what you call brainwashing the people and running propaganda factories?

Propaganda factories are working yet effectively to dismantle the thinking abilities of the nation once again! Since the stupid Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik thing has been going on, all the news channels just show that, the ministers are talking about it, the youth is taking about it. Not having a TV, my husband watches news on internet and for two weeks all we heard was about Sania and Shoaib as if there has been no other news out there. Millions of people are suffering in Pakistan, operation Raah-e-Raast, drone attacks, suicide bombs and Dr. Afia’s upcoming hearing and the final verdict, and all this so-called awareness-spreading-media could highlight was two people getting married?

This is what we have come to! No one’s going to say anything to anyone, do whatever you do and you’d go free until or unless it is in the best interest of “some” agencies or “some” people and “some” countries.  This is just like Orwell’s 1984, the masses are fed so much of this propaganda that they seem to have lost their own insight into things and they believe whatever that media wants them to believe! hadd hai!

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1984 and the Contemporary World

We did 1984 by George Orwell this Semester. And since exams are around the corner, me and my friends were trying to discuss some of it’s aspects. And since we have it in our Literature and Society Course, the teacher gave us the whole historical perspective of World Wars and the Communist Russia, Lenin, Stalin, Italy’s Mussolini and the Nazi Germany.

The whole Idea of the secret police,”Cheka” in Russia when Lenin was there, and then the spy police in Germany of SS and SD. The same allusions are made by George Orwell in his book when he mentions the Thought Police. How there are spies everywhere.

Then the Trade Unions were abolished in Germany and “Nazi Labour Front” was formed. And they had to give certain percentage of their wages to The Party. The whole idea of the Nazi Youth movements were formed where the kids were trained to spy on their family members. The kids were trained to be the ardent supporters of Hitler’s Germany, “working for the German Superior Race”. And we see the reflection of all this in the book. How The Party works in 1984. The Inner Party members, then the Outer Party Members, the Anti-Sex League and the kids who are spying around their parents turning them in.

And there were other allusions as well.

The Writer, George Orwell himself said the book is about the Future. And if we are to look at it from that perspective that how well was he able to give the picture of the future, we have to draw connections of 1984 with the contemporary world. And we were shocked that how well and how far was Orwell able to see beyond his times. How he was able to write such a masterpiece three years after the second world war which gave such insight to the future world.

So, drawing allusions from the contemporary world; First, The Thought Police. And the whole Idea of “big brother is watching you”. If we look at the contemporary world, it’s SO OBVIOUS that our movements are watched really closely. The satellites are there to track you down with your mobile devices or otherwise. The “Google Earth” thing was scary as we could actually locate our own home, the city and everything from there. And something like that is on Internet, just imagine how sophisticated their devices would be which are “not for the public” use. And not just that, the phone lines being tapped, the emails intercepted, and I strongly think that this post is going to be read and I’ll be watched rather more closely and if I get “vaporized”, it won’t come as a surprise!  Anyway, not only that the new things on Internet to tag you, for example, orkut, facebook, blogs and your e-mail accounts. Everything is under scrutiny. Everything’s being watched over. And the thought is pretty scary. Thought Police is more like CIA, ISI, or others.

Secondly, The Propaganda. How in 1984, there’s a whole propaganda, that we’re at war and we’ve prospered this year. We are in better conditions then the last years. And this brings us back to the whole idea of how in Pakistan, Mr. Shaukat Aziz and President Musharraf always brag about the fact that the GNP and GDP are going up. We have more foreign assets now, and people are prospering day by day! The newspapers and the media seems to be “FREE” but they are under restrictions. The media follows govt’s policies or whoever-is-in-power’s policies. Not only that, the text books in Pakistan were recently changed with the intervention of US. One of the teachers, in an interview, were heard to say that from old text books you got the impression the Pakistan was made on the ideology of Islam! And the new text books donot hold the same ideas. Not only that the picture CNN and BBC and the FOX NEWS present is not objective. They are presenting a very biased, subjective point of view to the world (Don’t feel agitated! it’s True!).

Then the allusion of the Room 101. The whole idea of people  being vaporized and tortured to their bones. And Musharraf has mentioned in his book that he has sold people to CIA. People were vaporized by our very government. Plus the horrifying discovery of the AbuGhriab prison in Iraq and Gauntanamo Bay and others that we don’t know of.

Well… though the list goes on and on, I’d like everyone to read the book and see for themselves how the “totalitarianism” of the West is killing the “proles” of the world.