ACROSS history, literature has played a major role in inspiring nations. From ancient Greece, to Rome or Persia and even in the modern world, this equation has remained intact. If anything, literature has painted the colours of a culture in the eyes of those not accustomed to it. It provides a window to the outsides to have a peek into a certain culture.
In Pakistan, however, literature appears to have an increasingly diminishing impact on people’s thinking and lives. And it hardly conveys anything to the outsider; the foreigner. Literature’s role has been taken over by television plays and the movies produced by a fledgling industry.
How they are faring in terms of projecting and representing Pakistan globally, however, is another story altogether. A quick glance at the content of films and television dramas reveals that most of the storylines revolve around matters that in the bigger picture of life and development don’t leave a lasting impact on the thoughts of the viewer.
The stories are there for thoughtless consumption, merely designed to hook the viewer through the emotional tropes of love triangles, family disputes and unjust depiction of women plotting to make the life of other women miserable.
This is unfortunate, given how rich and beautiful our country’s heritage and history is. There is a minefield of intelligent, informative, inspiring and compelling stories that production houses have not seemed to have discovered yet.
The content producers in the country should consider subjects that deal with real-life national heroes who resonate with the larger public so our young, too, may feel proud of their association with Pakistan.
Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2022