The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) banned the telecast of the ongoing drama serial Jalan this week after numerous complaints regarding it. Why? PEMRA said it was showing ‘indecent content.
Earlier, PERMA directed ARY Digital and the makers of Jalan to review its content and script. As well as modify it in accordance with Pakistani values.
The plot of Jalan revolves around an illicit affair between a man and his sister-in-law. It has drawn plenty of hate and outrage on social media ever since it began airing in June.
In a press release, the media regulatory body said it had been getting multiple complaints. Regarding the drama, its content, and script through the Pakistan Citizens Portal, PEMRA social media accounts, and PEMRA call centers.
“Audiences have strongly criticized the drama saying that it has made a mockery of sacred relationships,” said the press release.
They warned drama makers that if they do not oblige with their recommendations, PEMRA would take strict action under Section 27 of the PEMRA Ordinance. Also that it would stop the drama from being aired without any prior notice.
PEMRA issued notice after multiple warnings
In the notice issued by PEMRA on 10 September, they said that Jalan did not align with the cultural and societal values of the country. The notice went on to add that the serial went against the ethics and morals of Pakistan.
The statement further said the regulatory body had given repeated warnings to the channel earlier as well to revise the content of the aforementioned show.
However, since no changes were made and the warnings fell on deaf ears, they banned the show under Section 27 of the PERMA Ordinance
The ban cited as a result of the complaints received by the regulatory authority from the viewers for indecent content. Jalan stars Minal, Emaad, and Areeba Habib in lead roles.
The growing troublesome content of Pakistani drama serials
Social media users often debate the problematic and troublesome content of the Pakistani dramas. Viewers noted that a growing pattern of divorces, incidents of cheating, failed relationships, infidelity, and violation of the sanctity of close family relations in the shows.
Furthermore, many think these shows damage the ethical and moral values in society. Also, the repeated story lines of the shows have dimmed the charm of Pakistani dramas to the local audience.
Clearly Pakistan is going through some moral crisis. Most of the scripts, movies and dramas promote jealousy, abhorrence, animosity, unfaithfulness, dishonor, and many other problems of our society.
Section 27 is a prohibition of broadcast media or distribution service operation. It states that broadcasting or re-broadcasting or distributing of any program is prohibited if PEMRA is of the opinion that it is pornographic, obscene, vulgar, or is offensive to the commonly accepted standards of decency.
Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority controls the content on Pakistani screens. Earlier, it also imposed a ban on the repeat telecast of Pakistani dramas Ishqiya and Pyar Ke Sadqay.
It stated that PEMRA took this action due to its content being against social and religious values.
The ban was imposed under section 27 of the PEMRA Ordinance on private TV channel ARY’s drama ‘Ishqiya’ and Hum TV drama ‘Pyar Ke Sadqay’.
PEMRA has banned replay of both dramas not only on ARY Digital, Hum TV but also on ARY Life and Hum Sitaray.
According to the statement, the viewers are criticizing the main theme of the dramas and the viewers are very upset over the broadcasting of material related to the violation of sacred relationships.
PEMRA has directed all TV channels, media houses and production houses to review the content of dramas.
The Pakistani entertainment industry has been enjoying quite a success in recent times with several hit drama serials captivating audiences nationwide. Critics are of the view that as different productions and writers do their best to push the envelope and create groundbreaking content, measures like the recent one from PEMRA may be detrimental to the industry here.