By AMANULLAH BASHAR
Dec 17 - 30, 2001
Talat Hussain, one of the few TV stars, known as the
man of wisdom and vision having various distinctions to his credit is
actively engaged in private production these days. He was accorded with
a Gold Medal by London Academy for Art and Music. Talat also worked for
London's National Theatre in 1972. During his distinguished career
spanning over 40 years he gave some masterpiece to the world of art in
Pakistan. His heart throbbing performance was widely acknowledged not
only in Pakistan but all over the world wherever Pakistani plays are
being watched. Among the hits he has performed some of the TV plays are
known as "Hawain" , "Kashkol" and "Seeah Safaid"
(black & white). Currently he is running his own private production
under the name of Studio-9. As Director he is working on serials known
as "Sahil Say Door" " Na Kam Na Ziada" and "Umeedon
Kay Saye". Talat also contributed in the world of Theatre and
presented plays like "Khalid Ki Khala", " Raz-O-Niaz"
PAGE: How do you
see the popularity of Indian plays being presented by different dish
channels and how would you compare them with plays being produced in
Whatever is being presented on Indian channels cannot be described as
plays or drama in fact these so called plays are the soap operas and do
not fall in the category of art of drama.
Pakistani TV plays compete with whatever you have called them as soap
operas if the free trade with neighbouring countries especially with
India is allowed under the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Talat Hussain: As
far as creativity of art and drama is concerned Pakistani plays are far
ahead of what it is being created in India. Even Indian Art and Culture
opinion leaders are openly saying that people are fed up with the
vulgarity being shown on TV channels in the name of art and drama. It is
a short-lived phenomenon and will die soon. They would have to retreat
to the originality and what is really belonging to their culture.
Pakistan is lucky in a sense that the film and television industry has
maintained identity of its art and culture and that identity will help
to beat the competitors in all respect. We are not afraid of the influx
of what is being said the cultural invasion from neighbouring India. In
fact they are copying the West while the West has already been get rid
of cheap glamour, hence we do not have any need to follow them because
they are already lost, Talat said with confidence.
Pakistani plays, drama and films are so good why this industry failed to
operate on the economy of the scale and contribute significantly in the
You cannot describe it as the failure of the film and TV industry, if at
all it enjoys the status of an industry. However, it is the part of the
society and whatever it has achieved is the reflection of the society.
Being the most sensitive segment of the society, the film and television
sector should not be seen in isolation. Recalling the days of 70s Talat
said that the political and social changes in the society in that decade
are directly responsible for destabilization of this industry. The
political environment and changes at social front allowed a group of the
people to dominate the aesthetic and social values that are generally
promoted by the middle class. A certain group of the people having no
aesthetic values was allowed to prevail in every nook and corner of the
country due to excessive politicization in every department and
organization of the country. Time, which is the best teacher, however
proved that the change imposed on the people was not worthwhile and that
is why that system was put on reversal later on. However, as a result of
that imposition of ideology all values, norms suffered, which also
adversely affected the growth of the social and economic life of the
A certain class of the people who believed in money
making and not that values also occupied the film and TV who killed the
spirit of quality productions both in film and TV, Talat said. He also
mentioned about the creation of NAFDEC in those days, which he feels was
also responsible for ruining this industry.
PAGE: What steps
you would suggest bringing stability and growth in this industry.
speaking, in order to run the affairs, the governments appoint
bureaucrats in radio, TV affairs. As far as administrative matters are
concerned, it is okay, let the bureaucrats run the administrative
matters, however to establish this organization on sound footings with a
sense of direction in accordance with the need of the society, only
professionals should be inducted in policy. There is no dearth of world
class writers, poets, directors, and artists in Pakistan. Services of
these people with the quality to have their fingers on the pulse of the
society are allowed to give a direction to this art making industry,
Talat observed. He recalled the good old days when film industry of
Pakistan produced such a marvellous films, which out classed the
well-established film producers in our neighbouring country. We can
repeat that performance provided people having a sense of direction are
brought back in this industry. A good piece of art cannot be produced by
"sifarshis", he remarked.