As far as I know, first, Aaj News started with a series of programmes exposing crimes of various kinds in the country. Soon several others followed suit and the result is live coverage of criminal and anti-social activities breathtaking in their range and diabolical variety.
CRIME EXPOSURE AND DEPICTION In the process the reporters and their teams exposed themselves to great verbal abuse, physical assault and bodily harm as the criminal elements saw the investigation as a threat to their income earned through unlawful, criminal and harmful means. Hats off to the brave Media people – men and women – who risked their life to take on despicable and greedy jackals in their very dens!
OF DRUGS AND LIQUOR One category of these programmes includes investigation and reporting of manufacture and sale of harmful drugs like gutka, charas, hashish, opium, heroin and the like, more often the less costly gutka and charas. Through narrow lanes in rundown localities viewers were taken round into dens and hovels where the cheaper varieties of these cursed drugs were being packed and sold to young and old alike to eventually turn the users into addicts, forced to turn to a life of crime to meet the cost of a ready supply of drugs to their bodies trapped into a craving and dependence from which there is a no easy escape. While on the subject may we suggest that an investigator anchor person also take us round a 5-star Hotel and demonstrate how easy it is to buy imported liquor, over the counter, no questions asked! Are police unaware of these goings on or they are beneficiaries of the nefarious activity as well?
“RECLAIMED” OIL TO FRY SAMOSAS IN? Other categories investigated and reported concern production of food using harmful, even toxic substances under most unhygienic conditions before selling the end product packed in attractive packing to be sold to unsuspecting consumers. Animals diseased and dying, even dead ones, were shown being cut up and slaughtered illegally to be supplied in the meat market and sold to unsuspecting consumers. Another innovation was extraction of oil from viscera and bones of animal carcasses to be sold as oil in which to fry Samosas and other toothsome delicacies you and I are so fond of eating. Can criminal activity of this kind which requires fair amount of space and movement of heavy stuff be carried out without the knowledge of the police and officials of the health department? In the same category falls visit by a Channel presenter to a filthy food factory where tomato ketchup was being prepared without tomatoes and the “appropriate” color given to the “ketchup” by dyes otherwise used to color cloth (not permitted as food color) and the end product packed in shiny sachets to be sold to you and me as a mouth watering add-on to sandwiches and burgers!
FALSE PIRS AND FRAUD DOCTORS In a somewhat different context but even worse may be mentioned the plight of poor unsuspecting people exposing themselves to great danger to health, life and property by allowing themselves to be lured by criminals of the most despicable type for a quick financial gain or freedom from disease or fulfilment of some long-felt great desire. In one case a dirty looking “problem solver” would give admirers an electric shock as their hands touched his in respectful salutation. This would boost further his self-proclaimed and reputed occult powers. Hats off to the female investigator who exposed the live electric wires cleverly camouflaged which gave the devotees a shock but kept the Pir insulated from it! A number of fake, unqualified doctors and false Pirs playing with the lives of gullible people were similarly exposed. The episodes would fill several tomes!
NEW MEANING GIVEN TO RECYCLING! A third type of report concerned “recycling” of highly contagious hospital waste including used (contaminated) syringes and plasma bottles and similar waste items sold by the sack full to intermediaries to be “recycled” and sold to the public instead of being burnt and destroyed by the hospital itself. We had seen a TV media report some weeks back, which had traced the movement of a van surreptitiously carrying used items from a hospital to another destination where they were to be washed cursorily repacked and sold to unsuspecting users as new while still carrying hazardous contaminations of various kinds. We thought that was that the Health Ministry would move to prevent such misuse of dangerous recycling at least at the major hospitals. Imagine our surprise when only last week a Channel investigator managed to buy two huge sacks of dumped hospital waste for a few hundred rupees from a famous government hospital in Karachi and confronted the hospital senior staff with the “lot” just purchased within feet of the Hospital gate! The hospital bigwigs had no answer worth the name and were at a loss to explain what was happening right under their noses. Did any heads roll? Was the hospital bigwig in charge of security or waste disposal fired and taken to court? We have not of any such thing happening.
THROUGH THE “CUSTOMS” Have you had the experience of clearing your baggage through Customs at one of the airports? I haven’t recently, but no matter! A Channel presenter took us through the process in an ingenious way: He told the officials that he had forgotten to bring the key along. There followed a number of shady interviews with a number of Custom’s functionaries and eventually after much haggling the “unopenable” suitcase was cleared and allowed out after payment of a hefty sum. The Channel representative confronted the top officials with what happened with the errant suitcase. The top Customs official could do no more than mumble something about black sheep in customs giving a bad name to the department. But viewers had seen enough to know that black sheep were in controlling majority and a comfortable one at that.
(firstname.lastname@example.org)Wajid Naeemuddin, "Spotlight: Criminals exposed by Media men (and women) at great risk to themselves! Our vibrant TV Part One (But wait till you see Part Two)!," Business recorder. 2013-10-01.
Keywords: Social science , Social issues , Social rights , Social problems , Social values , Social justice , Electronic media , Crimes , Doctors , Drugs