Today in News…Sudan, Iran and Pakistan!

Well, today was a weird day.. and I am not saying that just from a personal point of view. There were certain items in news that got my attention and even shocked me.

The first one was about a Sudanese journalist woman who has been sentenced to be flogged as her clothes were “degrading”. The woman, Lubna Al-Hussein was wearing jeans which were considered not appropriate and now she has been sentenced to be flogged. There are voices that have condemned this and say that this is more of a government reaction towards her articles which do tend to criticize the government at times.
Apparently the government can always find a way to make those people suffer that only want the best for the country by saying what is right and true. Incidents of these sort have always been seen around the world.

The girl who became the symbol of the Iranian Protest against the rigged elections

The girl who became the symbol of the Iranian Protest against the rigged elections

Case in point is the post-election disaster that is still continuing in Iran. Today in Iran the 40 day mourning period would end for the family and friends of Neda Aga Soltan. Protests were arranged all around the country and the program was to gather at the graves of those who died during the protest.

The spirit of the people of Iran are still high, as they now say that this is no longer just about the Elections but about all of those innocents who have died and about those who are still in the detention center, and the government needs to answer for all those.

It feels like Iran and its government are following their own desires now and not those of the people. These are the same people who had supported the Iranian Revolution and now have spoken only when they found a fault with the system, which according to me should have been considered as a omen by the Iranian Government and they should have seen to it that where is it that they were at fault and corrected it. Continue reading

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Press Club and the New Generation of Reporters!

Press Club yesterday had arranged a ceremony in honor of Mr. Qazi Junagarhi, a journalist/author, and for Raees Fatima, also an author, columnist and a retired professor, and the life partner of Mr. Qazi. It was during the ceremony that this strange thought came to my mind. The occurrence of this particular thought was due to a reporter who made it clear to me how intelligent are our reporters and the people who hire them.

Asking questions to Raees Fatima, he asked her what this book was about, and which cities had been included in this book of her which is about her travels in India. This particular journalist was only interested in making a news that was to be a part in the newspapers of today. And thus he just kept insisting that she tell him what the entire book is about, which in my opinion he should have bothered to read and then put a news about.In his defense he just kept saying that he is here to make a news item and not to write a critique on the book.

Insistently she finally told her about what she has written giving enough details so that he can make his story for the paper. She told him her vies about the Indian city and then mentioned that it was great going to India for she was also from the city of Allahabad. And then the reporter goes ahead and asks her “But isn’t Allahabad in Bangladesh?”

Allahabad has been a prominent city in our history and it was therefore shocking to me that this reporter from a leading Urdu newspaper didn’t know where Allahabad is. This made me realize that thought the number of newspapers and television channels may have increased but the intellectual levels of our reporters is deteriorating by the day.

Press Club was an exclusive club and a majestic building. Getting membership into the Press Club was an honor. Years of struggles against dictatorship had been conducted from this very Club, namely against Zia-ul-Haq. Journalism and Journalist therefore were not only given respect and honor but were also looked upon in awe. These people not only managed to go out and search for the stories that they wanted but they also found a way to say what they had to.

Minhaj Burna, a prominent name in Urdu Journalism, was a member of this great club, and it was from inside these walls that he had launched a struggle for a press media and press during the Zia regime.

Ex-president Musharraf may claim to have given a lot of freedom to the media and it is true that it was during his tenure that the number of private channels increased threefold. But that is one side of the story. The institutions to carter to this demand haven’t been increased in the same way. And it is maybe that’s why that we have reporters that have no idea even where a prominent city like Allahabad, which not only played a great role in the struggle of Independence but also produced some great writers of our time, existed.

So maybe it is not entirely true to blame the reporters, but then knowledge can not only be found in Institutes.