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2020 Round Up: Must Watch Videos On Culture, Politics, Society And History

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In 2020, while the coronavirus wreaked havoc around the world, it also opened up new ways to communicate with people on social media. Live-streaming platforms gave a new direction to online production. Raza Rumi and Murtaza Solangi, senior editors at Naya Daur Media (NDM), launched a series entitled ‘Khabar Se Agay‘ which engaged a large number of online audiences. Through this programme, NDM not only invited experts to explain the nuances of political, social and economic issues to its viewers, but also spoke to important personalities involved in the decision-making process in the country. These livestreams openly discussed political and public issues and highlighted the challenges that the country faces.

We are selecting the best shows for our readers in case they missed them:

1) Moving Towards a Progressive Pakistan

Presented on August 14, 2020, the programme attended by Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy, Nadeem Farooq Paracha, Afiya S. Zia and Ambar Rahim Shamsi sought to pave the way for a progressive Pakistan.  Paracha shed light on the history of the country, Dr. Hoodbhoy presented a few solutions to social problems, Amber Rahim Shamsi spoke on freedom of the press as a female journalist while Afiya S Zia brought forth the complexities of issues faced by women.

2) The Importance of Young Parliamentarians and Youth in Political Parties

Malika Bukhari, a young woman leader of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Shaza Fatima Khawaja from the PML-N and Sharmila Farooqi from the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) participated in this discussion and spoke about youth issues as well as their solutions. The video discussion demonstrated that there are politicians in the mainstream parties who are more interested in public service than unwarranted political bashing. Such politicians are constantly striving for solutions. There were no attacks, no rudeness and the conversation was most civil even when the parties’ representatives disagreed with each other. Instead of portraying the ugly battles on politicians on mainstream TV talk shows, Naya Daur sought to paint an encouraging picture of the democratic debate.

3) Pakistan’s Foreign Policy under Prime Minister Imran Khan, with Hina Rabbani Khar

The programme comprised a session with former Pakistani Minister of State for External Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar to discuss the incumbent government’s foreign policy. Hina Rabbani Khar reviewed the performance of the Imran Khan government in the light of her own experiences as a minister. The programme was watched by thousands of people on Facebook and YouTube, and Hina Rabbani Khar’s eloquent remarks were well received by all and sundry. Once again Khar did not score political brownie points but remained focused on the mechanics of foreign policy.

4) Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s August 11 Speech and its Significance in Today’s Pakistan

Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s speech on August 11, 1947 has always been a controversial issue in Pakistan. According to some so-called analysts, this speech did not exist at all. Naya Daur Media invited two historians to highlight the significance of the speech. Dr. Ayesha Jalal and Dr. Yaqoob Bangash made insightful remarks and educated the audiences on the historical debates. The video discussion attempted to correct historical consciousness. Ayesha Jalal addressed and fixed many an ambiguity regarding the politics of Quaid-e-Azam.

5) Ashura in the Subcontinent: Religion, Culture and History

The history of “Taziya” in itself is part of cultural and literary heritage of the Indian subcontinent. Dr. Omer Adil is not only passionate about this subject but also has a wealth of knowledge on cultural issues. Talking to Raza Rumi, he narrated the history of “Taziya” and Ashura processions in the region and also expressed his devotion to the Prophet (pbuh) and his family.

6) Was Allama Iqbal’s Ideology against secularism? Faisal Devji’s brilliant interpretation

You may have seen many programmes on TV and social media on poet-thinker Allama Muhammad Iqbal, but interview Dr. Faisal Devji, a history professor at Oxford University, is perhaps the most illuminating of them all. He has read Iqbal’s poetry and prose in depth and reveals its various aspects pertaining to history, religion and philosophy in this dialogue.

7) Former ISI Chief Asad Durrani on his Book ‘Honour Among Spies’

Lieutenant General (retd) Asad Durrani, one of Pakistan’s most politically controversial ISI chiefs, wrote his third book, Honour Among Spies, in 2020, which came under critical spotlight. When Raza Rumi and Murtaza Solangi interviewed him on Naya Daur, he openly presented his stance and also shed light on some historical facts about Pakistani politics and his role in those events. The programme was well received among viewers and was quoted in several places. In fact, many other interviews followed NDM’s presentation.

8) Discussion with Najam Sethi on the Future of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)

The formation, objectives and future of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) have been a constant topic of debate in Pakistani politics since September 2020. The movement claims to be popular, but its future is uncertain even though the opposition has strong numbers in the parliament and can potentially remove the current government in a major manouvre. But, in PDM’s first rally, Nawaz Sharif’s speech fundamentally shifted the movement towards establishment than the government, and the movement gained a historic status in terms of its rhetoric. Regarding various debates on this subject, the dialogue with Najam Sethi, which was presented on December 12 was of special significance as a day later, on December 13, there was a Lahore gathering, the failure of which severely damaged the movement.

9) In Memory of Firdous Begum, the ‘Heer’ of Pakistani films

Former Pakistani film superstar Firdous Begum, who made history by playing the role of Heer in the film ‘Heer Ranjha’, passed away on December 16, 2020. For many young people she remains a distant if not a forgotten figure. Dr. Omer Adil highlighted Firdous Begum’s stature in Pakistan’s film history and shared his personal experiences with her in a moving manner. This tribute to her films, her songs, her beauty, was much loved by the film fans.

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