Ramadan is a month of is intended to help teach Muslims self-discipline, abstinence and generosity.
Muslims give alms and charity openly during the month and open their hearts to each other. The religion of Islam preaches and appreciates simplicity and lack of pretention.
Whereas many countries give bargains and concessions to consumers throughout the month; some use it as an opportunity to milk them dry.
Unfortunately Pakistan falls in the latter group. Not only in terms of necessities, but now apparently entertainment and religion as well!
From actors turning religious experts over night to religious scholars turning into sought after celebrities; Pakistan's electronic media goes into frenzy for more or less 30 days of Ramadan-The frenzy to get the highest ratings and maximum sponsorships, that is.
The latest: Pakistan's most controversial presenter, Aamir Liaquat Hussain giving away, crates of mangoes, designer suits, motor cycles and abandoned babieson his prime-time show!
Yes, not cats and dogs or even a car, but live human babies!
So far, he has presented two babies to childless couples so far!
His show, though has the predominant theme of Ramadan is nothing more than a mix of outlandish tastelessness.
Any viewer with even a margin of decency and sense cringes when the anchor goes, "This is the beautiful girl who was thrown on a pile of garbage by somebody. See how beautiful and innocent she is," with a weasley smile on his face!
The babies were presented by Muhammad Ramzan Chhipa, who runs the Chhipa Welfare Association.
"We have lots of babies that are just abandoned, left in the garbage or other dirty places," he said. "Often we just find the bodies so our message that we make is to tell people to bring their babies to us, don't just leave them."
His actions overlooked by his channel and embraced eagerly by the entertainment –thirsty audience makes one recoil from bad taste.
Adoption is not a light matter. Making it a part of the media madness is unforgiveable.
But maybe not in Pakistan where TV anchors patrol parks, hunting downyoung couples dating, convertingnon Muslims to Islam and raidsuspected brothels. Last year Veena Malik - a model and actress best known for posingnude in an Indian magazine - hosted a showwhich had her asking the viewers to join her in asking the Lord’s forgiveness during the Holy month! And she did it in style! Her sultry form and voice beseeching Muslims to seek forgiveness for their sins, amid visuals of hellfire!
But if the antics of such hosts make one cringe, Mr. Hussain would send you in a shock with his blatant disregard of religion, humanity and indeed any decency.
In 2008 he hosted a showin which Muslim clerics denounced members of the minority Ahmadi sect, saying they deserved to die, urging fundamentalists Muslims to kill without fear.
Though Aamir Liaquat may be the best contender to give Oprah Winfrey a run for her money, almost all the channels are making the most of the Muslim Holy month of abstinence and charity into a race for ratings!
The screens are full of nauseatingly colorful and embellished sets and celebrities, sportsmen, controversial anchors and talk show hosts, all trying to milk the most out of the month.