The Kalasha Times Report
By: Luke Rehmat
Kalash July 28, 2012. Few days ago I had a chance to read a prominent journalist’s view about bloggers he declared ‘’no responsibility and no accountability so bloggers are not journalist’’ do you think journalist are responsible and accountable in Pakistan? Yes very responsible in presence of people like Malik Riaz and very accountable for getting bribes.
I do not go into an in-depth discussion but I would love to highlight few cases here. Number one during fire erupted in Kalash valley forest Acuagha, Dawn reports link blogger link
Number two Dawn reported on Kalasha tradition about keeping environment protected Link. Report says Kalasha do not keep chickens at home the reasons given was wrong. Although there is a historical background about this situation why Kalasha people weren’t keeping chickens? Dihar (Messenger) predicated in ancient time that there will be a bird with a sign on head come and then Kalasha culture will be affected it would be sign for Kalasha culture disappearance and consider it impure. The peoples of the time were informed that they shouldn’t eat and keep this bird called ‘’Kankawac’’ (Chicken). Therefore Kalasha peoples were not eating eggs and chicken in past. Now majority of the people eat chicken and some families keep chickens as well.
Last month I got an opportunity to watch IDRAAK on ARY news about Kalasha community (Episodes 0ne, two, three). The contents were not only fabricated but also insulted Kalasha culture, religion and traditions. Many other TV reports in Pakistan are not good only focused on love marriages saying …oh! Kalasha people marry anyone one the wish during spring festival Zhoshi one can go and take a hand of a girl who he like and take her to his house and term the festival a place for love marriages. What you think is it possible? Reality about this story is that in past arranged marriage was common among Kalasha community. But the passages of time love marriage replaced arrange marriages, but in rear cases arrange marriage exist even now. Yes if a girl and boy have understanding almost for 1 to 5 years or more then they can marry during the festival or any time they want. It is not necessary for one to marry during the festivities only.
I had a chance to get interview on Geo News during Zhoshi 2012. The reporter taught me few lines such as ‘’please repeat the sentence I had teach you’’ what he was teaching me was ‘’I am going to have love marriage during this festival and I am happy’’ should the responsible journalist fabricate everything according to their needs or they should present the facts?
On 9th may 2012 I had got an opportunity to read out daily ‘’’’ Urdu news paper where wrong information was printed regarding Kalasha community and its rituals unfortunately I had lost the piece of paper. What I had analyzed after reading and watching such reports and articles, is that our media people are matured yet?
Most of the journalist, authors and anchors used to quote when the write something on Kalash, from Robert Son a British man who published a book called ‘’Kafirs of Hindukush’’ in 18 century (He was living with royal family in Chitral, and how one expect that he has collected and researched well, 2nd big reason is that Kalasha were not educated in past and interpreter were mostly outsiders, what I think is due to communication gap people had published many wrong things about Kalasha peoples and festivities) the journalist him/her self not able to make factual reports and depending on old books…do you think the sources mentioned on the previous books are reliable? Why? Because the authors who had published their books and done research living with non-Kalasha people, and few people had a chance to remain with Kalasha families and they had written good one.
Most of the authors come in the valleys for few days or a month and started writing fictions stories about Kalasha peoples.
The main theme of the long article was that does our media is playing negative or positive role to promote good image of Pakistan? Few months ago a news published on many national and international online and printed version the report was ‘’telephone is not only an instrument in Kalash valleys’’ that misleading report was got huge coverage. Was this title really fabulous? Why media seems to supporting propagandas then facts?
I don’t want to argue about this topic further as i think journalist or blogger both sought to be responsible whatever they are presenting to the public that is all.