By Rashid Sami

The ultimate achievement in the lives of many humans is to achieve some form of immortality. But when these “immortals” stumble, we the common people are reminded (to our relief) that nobody is immortal. In the third world, media plays a very significant part in the making of a “hero” and this is the reason why media in our part of the globe, specially the electronic media is controlled by the state. The media exposure that our masses, specially the urban population, have had in the last two years or so, is far more than the last 35-36 years of television in the country.

With every power shuffle in the Capital City there are new set and code of rules defining the policies of the new power players of the country. Fortunately or unfortunately, the department of information has always been amongst the first ones in the line of live. The result of the sarkari restrictions and control on the electronic media has resulted in what the present state of television is in the country.

The 80s say the introduction of the first private channel in the country. This was also the time around when CNN made its way to the mini screen. Enough has been said and done about the formation, affairs and after match of NTM, but the question is whether the mini-screen is heading the right way. At present television is being run without any defined policy with referred to the subject, censor policies, quality of programming of restrictions on the number of commercials in any said programme. There are innumerable complaints made to PTV authorities about commercials during a programme, especially with reference to the ‘bumper breaks’. These commercial breaks can make way into the programme anywhere the sponsor deems appropriate. Don’t be surprised to see a ghee ka kanaster coming in between the romantic milap of the hero and the heroine.

It is not a think tank that is defining rules for our mode of entertainment or the image of the country, but the Seth and ambitious investors on the miniscreen who cannot see beyond their interests.

The investors on the two television channels in the country seen to be concentrating more on their “P-R” and lesser on the quality of script and production. The major number of investors are also producers, and as they are ‘insured and assured’ of ample advertising in their run-of-the-mill programming, they are bothered neither about the quality of programming or the image of the country through the satellite.

Even if young blood is injected into the present state of creativity in the mini-screen the ‘remuneration’ offered by these investors is very small.

Bisaat has all it takes to be a megahit, but there are some reservations about the slow pace of the drama. The producer of the play, Ghazanfar Ali, however, says the play will gain momentum as it nears the climax.

Nadeem’s debut on the mini-screen is going to be followed by Javed Shaikh’s comeback to the miniscreen. Directed by Haider Imam Rizvi, written by Zubair Abbasi and produced by Nasir Danawalla of Cine Mark. Mausam is a story of the multi-faceted society where characters on one hand are bogged by the realities of life, and on the other prefer monetary aspects to emotional bonds. With the combination of veteran and new cast such as Javed Shaikh, Sohail Asghar, Humaira, Qaiser Khan, Sonya Khan, Ali afzal and Sanam Iqbal, Mausam can be seen on PTV from 2nd March 2000.

Chandpoor ka Chandoo is getting more viewership as the storyline is light and the treatment in the programme I professional.

Uncertainty still lingers around the PTV set-up as the fate of the news channel is yet to be decided. The investors on PTV World are regularly meeting to combat the new situation. Aslam azhar is also said to have made a comeback into the TV arena and might be given new assignments.