By Rizwana Shaikh
Elections are approaching nearer day by day and the enthusiasm of all political parties is on a high note. A hefty amount is being spent on print, electronic, and social media campaigns. Manifestos have been announced, claiming highly on issues like law and order, internal stability, energy crisis, foreign investment, education and establishment of new universities, making Pakistan an Islamic welfare state, green revolution and relief to farmers, infrastructure development, poverty alleviation, liberation from the slavery of America, and other beautifully carved slogans. But where are culture, arts, and restoration of film industry? Is this issue considered by any political party and included in its manifesto? Certainly, no party. And if, it’s there by anyone, it would be a mere eye wash.
PPP, PML-N, PML-Q, MQM have no point at all in their manifestos regarding entertainment industry and crisis-hit Lollywood. PTI (claiming and asserting with full force to make a Naya Pakistan), has only one point in its manifesto that PTV will be given a status of autonomous body but nothing for Lollywood. However, ANP has claimed to promote arts, culture, artists, and other people attached to this field; but they also didn’t give any point for film industry. So at the beginning of a new government, the future of Lollywood has still a big question mark.
That clearly means no political party is seriously interested in shaping up the cultural face of Pakistan. Culture that shows the world how our nation looks like, our language, dress, food, life style, values, ideology, traditions, arts, aesthetics, and what kind of people we are.
To get Lollywood firmly stand on its feet, we need a full fledge cultural policy, the first and foremost thing. Under that policy, film industry be supported financially and in terms of talent. But such policy can be made only by a person(s) having strong understanding of arts and entertainment, or by the film makers on their own. Perhaps no political party has anyone with such artistic skills.
Film industry has to devise a plan itself to get their demands fulfilled. Like, artists and others related to film industry should participate in elections, and take steps for industry’s betterment after reaching in assemblies. There are certain faces from industry participating in elections 2013, like Shafqat Zahra Bukhari (Meera’s mother), Laila, Musarrat Shaheen etc. but the thing is they should work for Lollywood after winning a seat in assemblies. Only this way, industry can solve its problems on more solid basis.
Lollywood is an industry that can’t stand on firm basis without government support. There are many matters depending on state, like infrastructure development, concession in entertainment tax, establishment of film and performing arts academies, state of the art cinemas and studios, promotion of arts and culture through different sources etc. can’t be done by film makers or production studios on their own.
Former Punjab government spent billions of rupees on laptop and Metro bus schemes each, but film industry couldn’t get one billion even. This thing is quite enough to consider the stark situation of the important source of entertainment in the country. Why the hell our leaders don’t give a damn to art and entertainment. Though, it’s quite obvious that we need entertainment today more than ever before. It can’t be fulfilled through Indian and English movies, as we all want to see the culture, traditions, characters, and stories of our own society, not of India, America, and England etc. This is the matter of our very survival …
And who knows what the future of cinema industry is after the formation of new government? We’re left with the only option of wait and see. Let’s hope the future will be very bright……