Media is the most potent instrument of communication and can manipulate public opinion. 

Our lives are so saturated with media that we are frequently unaware of its presence and influence. The media inform, entertain, educate, and infuriate us. The media manipulates our emotions, tests our intellect, and undermines our intelligence.  

The significance of mass communication and its effects are as old as mass media itself. People are always likely to be aware of how media messages influence individuals by causing ordinary shifts in their values, norms, and culture. The media are now an integral component of our lives, especially television. It is correct that there is no solitary home without a television. Television is increasing the audience’s awareness of the most recent information. It made it nearly impossible to locate a home without a television. Television aided people’s awareness of the societal shifts in fashion and way of life. On television, dramatizations were the primary source of entertainment. It instructed, persuaded, and provided data on new patterns. Television dramas are among the most significant sources for fostering and enhancing social values and norms.

Dramas have a substantial and direct effect on viewers. Therefore, Pakistani television dramas should be influenced by Pakistani culture. Currently, various television channels broadcast Turkish dramas. These dramas pose a threat to both our Urdu dramas and our Pakistani culture. These plays violate our customs, traditions, and culture. Turkish dramas contribute to the vulgarisation of our society. These dub dramas destroy our Pakistani Urdu dramas. In Pakistani Urdu dramas, women are not portrayed accurately. The portrayal of women in Pakistani Urdu dramas contradicts our culture. Some Urdu dramas depict sister revival, which directly opposes our moral and cultural values. The majority of girls and women wear Western clothing. Today’s women are adopting various cultural aspects, such as cuisine, clothing, and language. The exchange of cultures is a positive indicator of development, but it poses a significant threat to one’s culture.

History & Significance of PTV Dramas

Since 1969, Pakistan Television (PTV) has produced television programs. They have created several legendary and timeless television programs. PTV dramas are renowned for their superior production values, compelling narratives, and cultural significance. Among them were 50/50, Zard Dopehar, Dasht, Alpha Bravo Charlie, and numerous others. Such dramas were simple to view with our families at the time.

During the 1980s and 1990s, PTV dramas reached new heights of popularity and quality, producing numerous iconic dramas. These classic dramas included Tanhaiyan, Dhoop Kinare, etc. During this time, PTV dramas began to address a broader spectrum of social and cultural issues, such as family dynamics, gender roles, and political turmoil. The strong female protagonists in PTV dramas who challenged traditional gender roles and stereotypes became a hallmark of the genre.

Private television networks in Pakistan have increased their competition against Pakistan Television dramas in recent years. However, PTV continues to produce and broadcast dramas that reflect Pakistan’s evolving social and cultural landscape. Today, PTV dramas are regarded as a significant component of the cultural heritage of Pakistan, and many of the classic PTV dramas continue to be cherished by audiences of all ages.

Pakistani Dramas of Today

Pakistani dramas have evolved and endured numerous changes over the years. In the early days of PTV, dramas primarily emphasized telling stories that reflected Pakistani culture and society. These dramas play a vital role in the audience’s daily lives, particularly women, in addressing social issues. The writers of Pakistani dramas portray women as having to endure suffering to save their homes. They must take the violence in silence to keep their family together; otherwise, they will be divorced and given no regard. Dramas depict the harsh reality of how males abuse women, the violence, and the rising number of rape cases. When the general public, including teenage girls and women, sees such content, fear is implanted in their minds because the dramas demonstrate that most rapes are committed by close family members, instilling fear. In addition, it is shown that a working woman’s dread of leaving the house is caused by sexual harassment.

However, with the advent of private television channels, the emphasis shifted to sensationalism and a younger audience. Regarding fashion, language, and acting style, today’s Pakistani dramas are significantly influenced by Western culture. Some researchers are concerned that this trend has resulted in the propagation of liberal values and a departure from traditional Pakistani values. When the culture of India is imitated and emphasized in Pakistani dramas, the people of Pakistan adopt it, distorting their authentic culture. They acquire a lifestyle that is not a part of our culture, and their living standards become influenced by Western culture. The negative portrayal of culture has a negative effect on the youth as well. 

Despite these concerns, Pakistani dramas substantially influence the younger generation. These dramas significantly influence numerous adolescents, and they frequently discuss them in conversation. This trend has shifted towards sensationalist dramas aimed at a younger, more impressionable audience. While there are concerns regarding the impact of Pakistani dramas on the younger generation, it is also essential to recognize the positive aspects. Numerous dramas address crucial social issues, including domestic violence, child abuse, and gender inequality. By bringing attention to these issues, Pakistani dramas have the potential to effect positive social change.

Final Thoughts

The impact of Pakistani television dramas on youth can be both positive and negative. While they can impart cultural insights and moral teachings, they can also reinforce negative stereotypes and create unrealistic expectations. To reduce the negative effects of Pakistani dramas on youth, producers, and writers must be cognizant of the messages they convey in their productions. They should refrain from perpetuating detrimental stereotypes and violence and instead advocate for positive social values. In addition, parents and educators should have open and frank discussions with young viewers about the messages and themes in Pakistani dramas and help them develop the ability to analyze and evaluate media messages using critical thinking skills.


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