Posted in Media

Was media at liberty in democracy?

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Whether the country was ruled by democracy or dictatorship, media in Pakistan has always been expected to positively portray the narrative of every political party, religious group and other institutions. Failing to subjugation, defiant media persons and media houses were subjected to threats – from verbal to physical abuse and life threats.

Zamir Niazi in his book, The Press Under Siege, traced history of threats on media persons, editors and attacks on media houses till 1991. In the era, print media was the dominant source of information with a state run television channel PTV.

Niazi’s book can be more comprehensive by dividing the society in four sections while talking about dissemination of information:

  1. Journalists who disseminate information
  2. Unions like PFUJ, KUJ, APNS, CPNE, APNEC, APNEF, and 18 others to protect the rights of journalists
  3. Political, religious, and other groups whose narratives are being disseminated
  4. General public – the ultimate recipient of information

The book contains countless incidents of suppressing media to curb the free flow of information to general public if it harmed the reputation of any body – the holder of the narrative. Political parties who are the bearers of democracy were no exception – the real dilemma. Political and religious parties demanded front page coverage on the newspapers to restricted the justified coverage to the events and incidents and expunge the remarks which go against their positive image. Each party equally contributed in violence. It didn’t matter whether the slogan of political party was democracy like PPPP or PML-N; or parties formed on ethnicity causes MQM or so called religious causes PAT.

Niazi illustrated verbal abuse to lesser extent and physical abuse to larger degree including severe beating of media persons for withholding the demands. Photo Journalists and cameramen were the easy prey of the hooligans. They were beaten and their equipments were smashed to pieces.

Various incidents in the book revealed the support of Unions for journalists and media houses. They took stand for the injustice and inhuman behavior with them but the opposition was too strong – at times – to end up with compromise.

Various journalists have sacrificed their lives while performing their duties. The promises to support their families by Unions and political parties were in vain. However, in one incident, Muhammad Salahuddin, the editor of Takbeer, received compensation from government after the media house was smashed and the machines were broken.

For better understanding of Pakistani media’s history, Zamir’s book is a good read.

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Posted in fresh poetry, Silent

Silent

 

words

Silence is effective than words.

In the midst of crisis,

When the yelling is louder than words;

And they come up as hollow birds.

When you are tired uttering them,

And their essence is meaningless ford.

A profound wish,

When they are unspoken and silent;

To grasp the meaning of words.

Posted in fresh poetry

Ascend

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After every failure,

After every fall,

After each step pushed backwards,

She maintained the pace.

Not exactly straight.

Shaking steps,

And careful considerations,

Anxiety, when replaced by relaxation;

She tried to ascend.

Every time after failure,

Every time after fall,

She maintained the pace;

She tried to ascend.

P.S.

The World doesn’t care about how many times you have failed. They pay tribute to only those who have ascended and are shining bright.

Posted in English, short story

Empathy turned into disaster

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The roar of the explosion was deafening. It smashed the glass windows of nearby buildings. The cries of children and women wailing for help could be heard from distance. People started gathering from nearby places and helping the injured people.

                                                                                ———————-

The heat of the weather could be felt in the attitude and behavior of people. The moment she entered inside, a long queue in the ladies row was already there. She sighed. No option she had instead of standing in the line and waiting for her turn. Though the antique air conditioner was there to cool the place but its efforts were in vain. After waiting for around half an hour, she produced the prescription of doctor on which three tests were written. The lady inquired if she had twelve hour fast. She affirmed. In few minutes, the lady produced the slip and asked her to wait for the turn.

She looked for a seat but the whole waiting area was full. People were restless and desperately waiting for their turn. Instantly, a woman got up from the bench and went to the counter for her tests. She found a lady with a shoulder bag beside the empty seat. As she sat there, the lady asked her if she could leave her bag. Her compassionate nature could not refuse the lady. She affirmed her that she would take care of the bag. Within two minutes, she could only hear an explosion and her body was ruptured into pieces.

Posted in short story

The Mysterious Assistant

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Whenever I saw her, a strange feeling overcame me and I was unable to solve the mystery of her character. She moved around here and there in search of the upcoming patients on her list to measure their blood pressure before they were examined by the doctor. Her net scarf was always too brief to cover only her head, revealing her hairs from the back side and exposing the figure of her body. The coat she wore was too much fitted to her body that it seemed like it had been stitched after placing the black cloth on her body. Sometimes, she tried to set her scarf from sides to make visible the naturally swollen upper part of her body. Neither she was slim nor healthy; a lady in between somewhere. I had always seen her wearing high block heels whose rattling sound caught the attention of all the patients desperately waiting for their turn in the waiting area of the hospital. She always walked in the waiting area as if a model was doing catwalk on the ramp. The lip colors she wore were always bright in color, besides she also wore dark black thick eyeliner.

An unusual incident happened one day when I was in the waiting area. She was sobbing and mumbling something on the phone call which I was unable to hear. It was throbbing to listen her crying on the phone. She kept on doing that for about ten minutes and then she exposed herself from the room. The way she opened and closed the doors were also unusual in the hospital. It was a large banging which was sometimes prevented by putting her hand on the knob of the door when it was about to bang. When she appeared out of the room, her remaining tears were flowing on her cheeks, her eyes were pinkish red, her lips were a bit swollen and the fluid was coming out from her nose which she was trying to take back.

I was a bit surprised at her weeping, sobbing and specifically the reaction to a call. I had been watching her for quite some years and had always seen her doing the assistant work diligently meanwhile meaningfully being friendly with the office staff and other young assistants as if purposefully flirting with them. In my opinion she had been an unmarried lady of about 35 years desperately hunting a man for marriage but soon some secrets revealed which nullified my opinion.

Another day came when I was in the waiting area of the hospital, waiting for my turn to come. The two fat ladies sitting beside me were chattering about insignificant household politics of ladies. To my surprise, she emerged out of the room with the same rattling sound and greeted those ladies warmly as if she knew them very well. After some exchange of hello hi, one of the fat lady asked her about how her husband was doing after the divorce, hearing upon which I was shocked. She elaborated the whole scenario by mentioning that he had been remarried after 2 years of the divorce and their son had been 10 years old whose expenses were not properly supported by his father. Moreover, her ex-husband was quite happy with his second wife because he loved her before marrying Sadia.

And the mystery of Sadia resolved!

Posted in fresh poetry

Scent

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Pressing of the thumb dispersed the fumes,

dragged her towards a weird land;

full of unusual imaginary shapes.

Fearless of consequences,

she moved forward.

Once a while, twice a while,

many a times.

Gradually becoming familiar,

with strange land and its residents.

Unfamiliarity turned into acquaintanceship.

Scent of “Treasure” led to

the Land of Strangers.

Posted in fresh poetry

Nuance

Change

Swept away by downpours;

Sidelined by the attackers;

Rudeness and arrogance of caretakers;

Made her to grow into a discoverer.

Unfamiliar roads of life;

Traveled by few in harsh times;

Groping by many in dark times;

A  pathway lead her to unknown destine.

Digging holes on the way;

Burying each secret on the way;

Dragging down the veil of lights;

Finally she managed to survive.

Posted in success

Success

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A common perception of success is to achieve materialistic accomplishment which thrive the emotional feelings while some people connect it with the relationships.

Being successful is related to my soul. The more I feel satisfied the more I feel accomplished and successful. My inner voice tells me that success is neither a phenomenon nor an achievement. It is a continuous effort from vacuum to brim. Success is a journey which starts from scratch, slowly and gradually the steps of stairs are taken as there are no elevators to success.