Thursday, 26 July 2012

Liberals Gone Wild

No, this isn’t about TheRealWTF in a wet T-shirt contest, this is something even wilder. A couple of days ago I was witness to a very impassioned tweet sermon by a very impassionate - I am not supposed to take names here, so we shall just call him Mr. Mehrumi.

Mr. Mehrumi is known for being a liberal voice among us backward folk, and his stances on minority rights are a particularly admirable trait. Imagine my surprise then that the moving tweets were actually directed against people taking up a minority cause.

Yes, those darned Rohingyas in Burma/Myanmar. They have not only caused much suffering there - to themselves, by existing - but also masterminded some serious turbulence in Pakistan. I don’t know what it exactly is, but the Pakistani liberalese don’t like them Burmese. I suspect it’s because of the rumoured Arab descent. Our liberals don’t take kindly to the Arabs, although they do take kindly to their American friends. Reasonable people.

So, Mr. Mehrumi didn't turn out to be the only wild one. In fact, there is plenty of outrage found amongst the Pakistani NGO running humanitarian community against the outrage against the persecution of Rohingyas. Geddit?

The liberals are angry that you give a shit about massacres in Burma. Yes.

That is not all. If you give a shit about the massacres in Burma, you are inherently bigoted AND you are against every minority cause inside Pakistan. Like Ahmedi persecution, the Shia killings, etc.

I am all for outrage, I really am, but I have got to point something out to our more enlightened brethren.

Here goes.

You are full of bullshit.

Allow me to explain.

Nobody made you the judge of my morality, or anyone else’s and nobody made you the "Thaykedaar" of our conscience. Speaking up for the cause of Muslims, and let’s face it that’s the only problem you have with all of this, does not make me insensitive to minority causes at home.

It certainly does not make it fit for you to say, or in any way imply, that I am against the cause of a Shia or an Ahmedi or a Baloch.

This “let’s call everyone out on selective outrage” thing that you have going, stop it.

Seriously. You avoid MENTIONING the daily Karachi killings by “secular” political parties, which is naked terrorism, as resolutely as Rehman Malik avoids making sense, and you have the audacity to call people out on selective outrage?

And what do you really do about the Ahmedis and the Shias of this country? They are under siege and you continue to support the PPP government which has simply turned its back on them. The Hazara MNA Syed Nasir Ali Shah staged a protest sit-in in front of Parliament House against the Government, and what do you do?

Clap when Zardari gives one meaningless statement after the other! Look up the meaning of shameless. Please.

Discuss at length the TDKR shooting and the freaking gun laws in America but talking about Rohingya massacres diverts attention from important causes? I mean. Wow. WOW.

I have to say.. Well I don’t. It won’t matter; I don’t have grants to hand out.

So. As I said. You are full of bullshit.

Monday, 16 July 2012

AnchorGate Reflections – The Shameless Media Machine

Let’s all just applaud our free and vibrant media for another chapter in their book titled “utter shamelessness”. I know they are quite distinguished in the above mentioned field but the AnchorGate episode does warrant special praise.

I mean just look at how everything has simply died down, no bumps, no glitches, it’s just smooth sailing now. Perhaps smoother than it was.

When that two part video went viral, putting Aloo Anday and Wadera Ka Beta in their place, all hell looked set to break loose. The outrage was only matched by the hilarity of it all; a storm was well and truly afoot and it seemed like the Pakistani media was in for a beat down.

Didn’t happen.

At once the journos, adaptive creatures that they are, joined the chorus of abuse against their fallen comrades. Meher Bokhari was Zeher Bokhari, while Mubasher Luqman had always been the failed film director, never part of the esteemed and honourable profession. The whole fraternity distanced itself from the episode, complete with mock rage and some really dramatic soul searching.

Instead of being a source of shame, the fact that journos took money from Malik Riaz became a source of laughter. Over and over again the earnest complaints of not receiving any plots from Malik Riaz marked out the rightful ones from the corrupt lot, which apparently comprised of just Mubasher Luqman and Meher Bokhari. Every other media man/woman supports a halo, which is paid for by their own hard earned money.

What really happened in the aftermath of AnchorGate? Well, Hamid Mir took some pot-shots at Mubasher Luqman, steering well clear of mentioning the Villa he had received from Malik Riaz, as had been claimed in the leak. Sana Bucha found herself in the awkward position of hosting a debate on yellow journalism. Said debate was attended by Geo’s finest, so expert opinion on yellow journalism was readily available. Interestingly, the beacons of truthfulness (Najam Sethi please stand up) spent less time discussing how the media is so corrupt and more time complaining about Shaheen Sehbai.

Sehbai’s crime is that he did what the media doesn’t want to do; report. So down with Sehbai, and up with the people who didn’t want to speak of Malik Riaz on TV and used a timid “Sahab” at the end of his name each time they did.

Maybe it is na├»ve to expect journos to be fair when judging themselves, they are only human. I did though expect some hue and cry about Malik Riaz, about the whole “Bunny’s Call” incident. No sir. Many simply blanked it.

At times I wish instead of Gillani’s son calling, there should have been a call by some Major Shamshad or whatever. I mean an hour of Nusrat Javed screaming, jumping and breaking stuff would have made good TV.

Talat Hussain was one man that seemed to do justice to the issue. I almost fell for his act too, but thank Najam Sethi for revealing that Talat’s actually CIA. One thing irks though. When Talat gave what were obviously false financial details on his show, Sethi didn’t reciprocate. Najam sahib instead chose to lie, in the casual, confident manner that has become a trademark, that his financial details can be accessed under the freedom of information act.

A man of his wisdom and experience definitely knows that said act only applies to government servants and even his tax returns are deemed “private”, not obtainable according to the FOI Act. But maybe I am being harsh. It could be that Najam wasn’t hiding behind red tape; merely confusing being “in the employ of” with being “an employee of”.

Anyway, the honesty brigade on TV couldn’t even get rid of Meher Bokhari, while Mubasher Luqman is rumoured to be negotiating a return. The media machine has already surpassed pre-AnchorGate shamelessness levels, as evidenced by the Young Doctors Association issue.

I hinted in the Observations post that the real money in media comes from the hairy brothers of Lahore. If any evidence be needed just look at the Punjab Gov adverts overtaking Bahria Town adverts during YDA strike. Anchors were just going for the kill; Javed Chaudary – the Lifafa is strong with him – asked a doctor point blank how is it right for him to murder people. Every report by the “Iqbal Jamil camera man Shakeel Ahmed ke sath, Baghwanpura, Lahore” was mocking the “messiahs” and denouncing them as goons or murderers.

Nothing has changed in light of the AnchorGate debacle and yet the trumpeting never stops. Every single media outlet is a sham and every single one of their employees will use the TV, the newspaper and even twitter to proclaim purity of soul and integrity of spirit.

Godspeed o shameless ones.