Samaa TV’s apology and Maya Khan’s smiling (not) apology

Maya Khan's 'not apology'

So after all the public pressure, Samaa TV apologises, says the programme that was broadcast (moral policing, intrusion of privacy) does not reflect their policy, and that it won’t happen again. The anchor says that the programme host Maya Khan has also apologised – but the apology we are then shown is no apology. Sitting in a bedroom (bedroom??!) with her hair wrapped up in a turban, she smilingly  says she didn’t mean to hurt anyone – Continue reading

No to vigil-aunties: thousands protest media’s moral policing in Pakistan

A morning show broadcast in Pakistan on Jan 17, 2012, on Samaa, a Pakistani television channel, has catalysed what could well be the beginning of a media consumer rights movement.

In the show, Subah Saverey Maya kay Sath (Early Morning with Maya), the host Maya Khan, charges through a public park looking for dating couples to interrogate. With her is a battalion of other women, who join her in self-righteously lecturing the couples they come across – does your family know you are here, why don’t you meet at home if you are engaged, and, most outrageously, if you are married, where is your nikahnama (marriage certificate)?

When the harassed couples ask for the camera to be turned off, the Samaa team pretends to acquiesce but carries on filming with sound. As several people have pointed out, this intrusive behaviour could result in putting those couples in life-threatening situations in a country where forced marriages and ‘honour killings’ continue to be the norm. Continue reading

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