Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Taming the Media

Sanaullah Mastikhel syndrome , in the provincial assembly of Punjab at Lahore, exposed the hidden flame of discontentment among the ranks of PML-N. The rousing welcome of the mover of the resolution, who is under a notice of expulsion from the party chief Nawaz Sharif, stunned the parliamentarians and analysts. Infact the fellow MPs also raised the slogans and termed Mastikhel as the new Chief Minister of Punjab.

Political analysts believed that the anti-Media resolution was jointly consented to be drafted by 18 MPs of almost all the political parties , representing the provincial assembly, but guns are masterly turned towards the ruling PML-N , by the opposition legislators . Insiders believed that Chief Minister Punjab , personally approved the draft of the resolution and Mastikhel had been chosen to move the same at the floor of the house. The PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif , vehemently condemned the act of Sanaullah Mastikhel, and declared him an ‘outsider creating rifts in PML-N ranks’, he out-rightly directed the leadership ( Shahbaz Sharif) “to throw him out of the parliament”

The fake degree disorder is continued to damage the credibility of the parliamentarians, mostly those of PPPP and PML-N, the two major political parties of the country. The second ‘pro- Media’ reso;ution did not appease the journalists’ bodies, who vociferously rejected the same, as it failed to tender any apology to Media , nor the house expunged the anti-media remarks from the earlier resolution. Earlier it was promised, the withdrawal of the previous resolution and scrapping the offensive remarks uttered by some MPAs in their speeches against the media during a week-long standoff. “ The previous resolution can’t be taken back, in accordance with constitutional law, however, the second resolution is just an eye-wash which does not reduce intensity of vilification nature of the previous resolution,” journalists observed.

PML-N has also apparently backed out of its declared intent to dismiss MPA Sanaullah Mastikhel, expecting the party chief would reconsider the issue after going through the complete record of the formal and informal meetings of an 18-member all-party MPAs’ panel that had drafted the resolution against media. Some political circles believe that it clearly personified that Shahbaz Sharif was backing Mastikhel for moving the resolution, and now, Mastikhel threatened to disclose the facts in the media, if he is forced to tender the resignation. Some sympathizers of Mian brothers advised them to avoid cooking up controversies, with their ill planned practical theories to pacify Media by sacking Mastikhel..

The process of verification of parliamentarians’ degrees by different local as well as foreign educational institutions on the request of the Higher Education Commission is near completion. So far 25 degrees are declared as fake while the status of other 33 degrees are still grey.

The PML-N has already announced it will not re-award tickets to fake degree holders. However, under a pledge, the PML-Q forward bloc MPAs in Punjab have been exempted from the ‘rule’ as they had stood by the PML-N during the governor’s rule. In the presence of inflexible attitude of Mian Nawaz Sharif and adoption of his dual standards, reportedly, fake degree holders are seeking help of Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, who is visibly a critic of some policies of Mian brothers, now a days. However, Hashmi did not feel comfortable to tackle the issue in support of fake degree holders. While, the fake degree holders, mostly PPP MNAs, tried to convince their leadership to move bill in the National Assembly to award them a ‘clean chit’, under the patronage of ‘ a democratic action’. The most vocal law minister, ‘Dr’ Babar Awan got a setback from the disclosure of US authorities that his degree of Doctorate of Criminology is fake as the University had a non-Charter status, which was forced to be closed by USA after levying heavy fine.

Fake degrees of the parliamentarians, exposed their intent to get the honorable seats of the parliament, by hook and crook . It attracted international media to ridicule the ‘fake’ legislators, who are not aimed at serving the people, but some other designs to quest for.

Media is getting vibrant day by day, though apparently wayward in direction, but it has adopted a role of equal stake-holder in the daily affairs of the government, which is not synonymous to the disposition of the feudalistic- dominated parliament, both National Assembly and provincial assemblies. Mostly the journalist’s class represent the middle class of the society, which is naturally opposed to the whims of a feudal mind set. They are not all angels, but recent history orchestrated that journalists who were following the foot steps of yellow journalism , where rejected by the public, forced the owners of the respective media houses to sack them. Public perception changed the themes of some top TV talk shows.

The revolt of the provincial parliament, through a joint resolution, is the personification of the non-acceptance of Media as a stake-holder, was turned down with a robust counter-coup by journalists, which would have far-reaching political and social implications in the near future .

Media is the mirror of the society, in which all segments of society have to see their real faces, including journalists and the parliamentarians. One can’t criticize on one’s own face if it looks disfigured in the ‘social’ mirror .

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