MF refers to the Mehengai Festival that Geo Television is celebrating this week. (I do not condone profanity nor would you catch me using it…as such.) Such is the level of inflation, especially after the annual budget just presented, that the future looks even bleaker (not that there is anything positive going on in the country lately).
The inflation in Pakistan has reached such a high level that it has indeed become a joke. The awaam have continued to cry and bemoan it. Protestations. Demonstrations. Even suicides.
But there is no respite. Nothing has been done by those in-charge. Every day, we are crushed a little more under the weight of this hyper-never-ending-inflation.
What to do is the question.
Geo’s witty answer is to make mehengai related jokes. In fact, their answer is to have a whole damn festival in honour of it. This includes an awards ceremony on the lines of their popular Bus Kar Awards, which is a twist on the usual jokes of Hum Sab Umeed Sae Hain, and other segments in shows like The Shareef Show and The Sahir Show (an ‘s’ bonanza!).
And while I agree with the sentiment, I don’t like the idea of it that much. Granted it makes a change from all those serious-looking newscasters droning on and on (and on) and using the most cliched of cliches and repeating the same thing. And it certainly is giving the poor (pun intended) population of Pakistan the rare chance to laugh. The best kind of laughter, I might add. What better than to be able to laugh at your own misfortunes. It might actually pave the way for constructive thinking and action.
But is it going to? I doubt it.
The jokes are old and it is clear that they are trying hard. There is competition from rival channels and humor is now a bandwagon to be jumped up on as soon as possible.
I don’t know how much longer we can continue to laugh and make jokes at ourselves. True, humor is a great mechanism to get the point across. Take Hasb-e-Haal, for instance. Even Khabarnak. Hell, most shows are now using the same technique to some success.
But going as far as calling it a celebration? A little too much.
And I am sure the people who are really being affected, those poor souls who don’t have enough to feed themselves on a regular basis, they certainly don’t find the situation funny.