V for Vendetta is one of my favorite films. Though I don’t endorse the literal destruction of parliament through explosives as portrayed at the end of movie, but nevertheless I understand the symbolism and advocate the fact that major restructuring is required regarding how the elite in Pakistan rule the masses.
The movie is a cult and has a huge following around the world. The famous V mask wore by the protagonist throughout the film has become the symbol of revisionists across the world. The mask is becoming as famous as Che Guevara’s cult photograph that enjoys a special place among aspiring revolutionaries – those who wish to see a more equal world.
Saying that, everybody using V mask or Che’s photo is not a revolutionary. Many use it just because it’s trendy. But there is a type who intend to pervert by wearing a revolutionary mask. Among them, there is a controversial media house – BOL Network. When BOL was about to launch, I really had false optimism regarding possibility of an alternative, more popular opinion coming out of TV, but my hopes were shattered the day they hired Aamir Liaquat. Just like many, Aamir is a product and need of today’s sensationalist media houses to stay relevant whatever way they can find. Aamir Liaqut, as predicted, left BOL on a not so friendly note.
Without any interest in how this drama unfolds, I really intend to unmask BOL. There is everything wrong about BOL. They are flashy, biased, self-righteous, and over generalize subjective matters to an extent that they make other channels look good. They use assertive voiceovers with false jingoism to authenticate themselves as flagbearer of masses’ voice that is absolutely not true. To register that they are true patriots, they run a clip a thousand times on their own channel that goes like, “We are not taking ads, because our priority is Pakistan, (and then a little disclaimer), but we will do this later”. Really absurd.
They have created an imaginary character who wears that V mask and they call him Mr. Qaum. Mr. Qaum does nothing but mock, generalize and spread hate. The self-proclaimed leader of masses, Mr. Qaum should have a reality check that we, the masses of Pakistan, do not own you. Your opinions are your agenda and what you do is not journalism.
Name of a program like Aise Nahi Chale Ga is evidence of BOL’s self-righteous style of journalism. A journalist’s duty is to find the truth, but it seems like they already know the truth and are masquerading and perverting masses as revolutionaries behind a false mask.
Throughout the movie, writers of V tried their best to portray the protagonist as an “idea”. V dies but he organized every one behind that mask. Unfortunately, there is no V in real life and organizing people upon a noble idea is an uphill task, not impossible for sure. We carry Che on our shirts, we paste V on our bikes and cars, but we are really far from understanding what actual revolution asks for.
It asks for serious decisions; it asks for reflection on a daily basis about what’s going around us in society. There are individuals who have noble intentions, but there is no organization – at least on the surface – that translates intentions of the individual into a collective and strong ideology that can truly become voice of masses. Mr. Qaum is certainly not that voice.