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Cultural Invasion In Pakistan

        Jiwan Kafle

Globalization has become a unidirectional gateway to American and Indian mass media entering Pakistan. The flow of information from super-power United States and regional-power India to Pakistan is contributing to impose foreign values and for cultural invasion over Pakistan. Globalization has been defined as “the ‘name’ that is often used to designate the power relations, practices and technologies that characterize, and have helped bring into being, the contemporary world. Apart from economical and technological aspect, the term has been widened to include “broader cultural, political and environmental dimensions” as well.

Whether one likes or dislikes the phenomenon, it seems everyone has a stake in its meaning, and is affected by its discourses and practices. It is true in case of Pakistan too, especially when   former General Musharraf in March 2002, decided to set up Pakistan Electronic Media Regulator Authority (PEMRA) with a view to facilitate, license and regulate the growth of electronic media in the private sector. After that private channels are also encouraging the process of globalization by playing the role of globalization agent.

Just like in the case of defining globalization there are contrasting views regarding the impact as well. Both the views, globalization as a process that is being considered beneficial, inevitable and irreversible vis-à-vis being regarded with hostility, even fear, believing that it increases inequality within and between nations, threatens employment and living standards and thwarts social progress, have been recognized. From Pakistani point of view, Globalization is taking place not on terms of equality of nations, but is based on relations of dominance of a few and the subordination of the many. It has been observed as ‘monopoly’ that is manifested in terms of the market economy wedded with liberal democracy, high-technology and media revolution. Even straightly, the universal process of globalization” is commonly understood in Pakistan as ‘Americanization’ or ‘Westernization.’

First, globalization has failed to rescue the ‘free flow of information’ being misused by powerful nations as mere curtail to hide their dominance. Thus the process has become unidirectional gateway to American and Indian mass media entering Pakistan.

Second, the connection between international power relations and the media is in such a way that international mass media, specifically American and Indian here, won’t be free from the interest of the power systems around them. Now, it is to be analyzed whether the flow of information through American and Indian mass media is contributing to impose foreign values and for cultural invasion over Pakistan. The issue of foreign media impact should be priorities.

The doctrine of ‘free flow of information’ seems becoming mere an instrument of domination in the hands of powerful nations. As the consequence, foreign media’s influence as exporters of foreign culture is going on unobtrusively. Because media have their obvious cause to support the ‘monopoly’ or ‘power relations’ there seems sufficient ground that they tend to impose ‘cultural homogenization.’ American and Indian media could not be exception. As empirical evidences show, globalization has become a gateway to Western and Indian mass media to impose foreign values and for cultural invasion over Pakistan. This has brought urgency to policies specifically designed to deal cultural globalization through mass media because the condition will remain so until Pakistan could not utilize the gateway for two-way flow.

The writer is a Nepalese student currently studying Msc Communication Studies 4th semester Print Media at Institute of Communication Studies,PU. He can be reached on gmail: jkafle15@gmail.com

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