“social relations involving intrigue to gain authority or power”. It is the one of the best definitions of “politics”. Politics is a topic that is discussed widely, especially in Pakistan, Cricket and Politics are the top most discussed subjects. No matter where you are and who you are, out of nowhere politics will jump to make space in the discussions. Interesting part of this scenario is; political discussions among all and sundry diver to some new end. Making fun out of politics and politicians works like add-on to the political discussions.
There have been many books with theme of political satires by renowned writers and political analysts across the world, and statas show that have been making their places in the public and private libraries. Newspapers had been publishing columns following patterns of satire on political acts. This has been a light and humorous way to point out the loopholes and back-draws government’s usually ignore. Electronic Media also jumped into the realm. In 80s there was a show called, “yes minister” came to the screens where the domination of establishment and bureaucracy over the decisions of minister was the central idea. There was sequel of that show “yes prime minister” but apparently, it was failed to reach the bar that earlier program set.
Electronic media and politics had the relation that a goat can have with the lion. Media as in whole struggled hard to get freedom however even during dictatorial and authoritarian era; media in Pakistan there have been shows that bounced some political satires. The example of such shows can be the classic comedy of PTV known as 50-50. In 90s there was a show called “kalyiaan” featuring puppets, which was one proper show to feature taunts on the politics and socio-economics situations in mild way that remained non-controversial. However to get that level of comic factor writers and producers have to very witty and know socio-politico-economic fabrics of society closely.
“Hum Sab Umeed Say Hain” came into scene before the election of 2002 and became an instant hit because it was featuring the look likes or dummies of famous people, targeting mainly politicians, and this kind of parody was a new thing for Pakistani audience. Today there are number of such shows that can be classified as satirical political shows. However pioneer show was 50-50 and kalyiaan.
Several characters like Uncle Surgam, Maasi Musebatay and Bonga etc became very popular keeping in view the messages given by these puppets. They played important role in creating awareness. Now a days most favourite character is, “Azizi”; Azizi is the brainchildren of Aftab Iqbal the ex-host of “Hasb e haal” . Azizi was characterized on TV screens in 2004, earlier it was a character that could only be found in the columns of Aftab Iqbal. Yes in 2004 on ARY digital, there was a comedy show and “Hasb-e-Hal” was a small part of that show. Sohail Ahmad was the face of Azizi and still the story is same. Unfortunately, the show could not last long and then it took five years almost for Azizi and Hasb-e-haal to make a comeback. Among all the shows, the character of Azizi is the most famous that personifies common Pakistani man who has his own opinions and reactions over what is going around him.
The other popular shows from same category are Darling (Express News), Kalyiaan (Dawn News), Khabarnak (Geo News), Miss Dunya (Dunya TV)and many others almost on every channel. Some way or the other they try to follow the style or the way of Azizi in eagerness to beat his magic. Almost every news and current affair channel is following this new trend now. There are some good things about it and there is another face of the story too.
The positive aspect of this trend is, TV channels are showing something that makes you laugh rather than causing stress and unstable blood pressure. One gets some updates and information from around the globe in light manner that has an added value of laughs and smiles. Even those people who do not have interest in politics watch such shows, as it is more of an entertainment for them then a political show.
The bad aspects that such shows have brought to the screen is the fact that this has resulted in to the trend that everyone is trying to follow and that is ultimately spoiling the charm that such shows must have. One more thing that sometimes is important to mention is while making fun of personalities just to gain TRPs, cross the limit, if the politicians are bad then they should be denoted bad in a graceful manner and even the fun part should be wrapped in grace. Either such shows are also molding the mindset of the people, deliberately or not, where they take every issue like fun and digest every serious issue easily. However it is important to understand the message behind light and humorous satire made. Humor is constructive in such stressed era it is inevitable but the doze of satirical face of politics must not be more then the prescribed amount.