The urge to ban

Thou shalt not watch foreign media. A notion supported by many Pakistanis who foster a misconception that placement of such a ban would increase revenue for Pakistani media industry, halt Pakistanis from preferring to watch other channels, and also would indirectly cease Pakistani artists from heading over to the neighboring country.

Why and how, one might think, would this highly contested ban work? After much contemplation as to why people might be in favor of such a ban, I have devised a few ruminative points which are noticeably common. Firstly, people have a tendency to think that such a prohibition would cause the Pakistani nation – especially the youngsters – to discontinue their admiration for other forms of media which has evoked them to adopt some unacceptable ways in order to appear attractive to their peers.

Secondly, in the eyes of a few Pakistanis, folks who are dedicated viewers of foreign media – be it Indian, American, etc – are generating more revenue for the very channels they are watching. Thirdly, it might lead Pakistani artists to retain their struggles without moving elsewhere in an attempt to boost their fame. They might not be able to enter the foreign industry, predominantly because of the reciprocal effect – as I like to name it – which denotes the idea of a country ceasing access to its media by the artists of a particular country which banned its media. Lastly, this ban might create a sense of patriotism and escalate the half-hearted feelings, which many of the youngsters show towards Pakistani media these days. Also, as few folks claim, it will put an end to their (at times) unacceptable modern lifestyle and cause them to adopt Pakistani traditions whole heartedly.

For people who harbor the views – whether one or all of them – mentioned above, I would like to bring forth an explanation, which if applied could put both the viewers’ and the artists’ minds at ease and polish the Pakistani media industry. I intend to address each of the points mentioned above with an answer of my own. Beginning with the point regarding the development of heightened admiration for Pakistani media by the youngsters due to this ban; the reason why this point doesn’t seem competent enough is because such a prohibition would inevitably result in a plethora of loopholes and intensified irreverence, considering youngsters’ extensive liking for the foreign channels. Demand for other channels is increasing because of their large variety of programs and also many people prefer to watch them in order to learn about their language and culture, especially if it comes from a country which is much idolized in different aspects.

Second point might be true but I would, in turn, like to pose a question to the people who keep on referring to this revenue ordeal; what about the people who are in love with Pakistani dramas and despise missing a single episode even if the drama drags beyond 100 episodes? Aren’t they generating revenue for our media? Now, I do know that this revenue won’t be considered enough in the eyes of Pakistanis and therefore my suggestion would be to improve our current channels and their programs so that they are able to indefatigably compete with the excessively famous foreign channels. As for the third point, it isn’t necessarily true that artists would choose not to try their luck in another country merely because of a ban. They might be disappointed by such a regulation enforced by their own country, yes, but I highly doubt a decrease in the number of artists migrating will occur. As far as the last point is concerned, I would refer back to my first explanation of people discovering a vast number of new and efficient alternatives in an attempt to unblock the media being banned, either out of an instinct to go against this fatuous prohibition or just to watch the programs they regularly follow. Moreover, they apparently won’t happen to making use of the current modernities because Pakistan does have its own fashion industry following the west, which majorly contributes to the modern lifestyle.
In any case, no matter what the points behind this prohibition be, a ban is never an answer to any dilemma since it is an extremely inefficient way of proving one’s point and seems as if one is coercing people into following what one claims to be correct. Instead of focusing on various kinds of bans, the Pakistani nation – as well as the government – should aim at amending the flaws their media possesses and polishing them so that they attract a considerable amount of viewers. Furthermore, they should try to comprehend the tactics used by the eminently renowned channels in order to gain a finer understanding concerning viewer’s preferences. Lastly, producing light-hearted programs and prudent dramas would cause not only Pakistani viewers, but viewers throughout the world to pursue following Pakistani dramas frequently, which would give our media a commendable recognition.

Support improvements, not bans, and focus on our performances rather than catering to the ways of foreign media. Let’s take a step towards a positive improvement!

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