What do our educated read online?


It appears that I am not the only one worried why no one is visiting stories about Pakistan and its economic and social future on my blog. I take much pain in gathering the trends data which is really relevant for us Pakistanis, particularly where the indicators for future development are.

Sometimes the total views of a post do not cross the double-digit. Even thought-altering articles in Messed-up Pakistan Series receive so little attention.

This was becoming frustrating.

Today, the jigsaw puzzle was solved by Dawn.

Using data gathered from Google Analytics and the Dawn.com website during 8-21 July 2014, it published what people viewed, liked or shared in the fortnight: these were mostly entertainment stories!

Dawn contrasted them with the day’s most significant story and the comparison was shocking.

I took a screen shot of the two comparisons, above. Help yourself! If you want to read the full Dawn article, it’s here.

On a few other occasions recently, I had observed this trend also.

The day MQM chief Altaf was arrested in London, Indian actor Rajni Kaant‘s nervousness and actress Karishma Kapoor‘s divorce were top-viewed stories on BBC Urdu. BBC’s Haroon Rashid‘s tweet, below:

altaf news karishma

Similarly, the day Pakistan Army‘s Zarb-e-Azb operation started in North Waziristan, Indian actor Salman Khan‘s anger on a journalist topped the views list. See below:

BBC top 5

On another day with Zarb-e-Azb operation in its second week, the news about the picture of a ‘handsome’ American man accused of a crime by police and the handsome receiving female attention reached the top. The analysis of Zarb-e-Azb operation and its consequences was far low in the list. Screen shot, below:

bbc zarb-e-azb

Does this say something about our population, their news appetite and their consumption of news and social media?

Must mention that Dawn and BBC are not known for masala stuff. They are being read by the most educated among our country. This also tells the state of our most educated then :p

By Wali Zahid, a social media analyst and strategist, blogger, reformer

Do not miss our Understanding Pakistan Series

Wali Zahid on Pakistan of future

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  1. This is in response to your messed up Pakistan series.

    Genesis of Pakistan
    Today, Pakistan is passing through an extremely rough time of its over-60 year history. The scope and level of anarchy is nothing less than a civil war. It is so thorough that one can easily forget the 14th century dark ages of Europe. Justice is denied, law is trampled upon, fear prevails, peace is gone, insecurity roams about, corruption is rife, tyranny is ubiquitous, in short law of the jungle prevails in every section of civic society. A little deeper examination and we come to realize that the sequence of the worsening conditions is not entirely of its own making. Rather, it is a well-orchestrated and superbly designed and staged upbeat melodrama of a few bigots. All through the past over 64 years of Pakistan’s creation, its state is snowballing from bad to worse; one pattern of events producing a set of another more calamitous condition and each contributing to even more chaos, confusion, anarchy and strife. It looks as if the country was meant to face this predicament. At young age of 24, it was chiselled from centre to make two non-significant states and today at 65, the conditions are bleakest in the Western Union of loosely bound 4 provinces called Pakistan. Only the Nukes in possession of the country seem something out of the plan.
    Pakistan is a unique and spectacular case of the Western enactment of a drama in the third world where these powers won on merit everything they wanted leaving wreck of a country homing a multitude of miserable people. America and Britain obtained the desired results within the stipulated time, fiddling and harnessing only the civilian and the military bureaucracy in a country of immense strategic importance. USSR is no more, India reined-in and China has been encircled. Pakistan’s appearance on the world map in 1947 coinciding with the demise of Muslim Caliphate (only two decades before in 1919) is too significant a coincidence to be overlooked. Paranoid masses blindfolded by the slogan ‘Pakistan ka matlab kya, la ila ha ill Allah’ were then umpteen times away from reality. Nobody gave even a cursory thought as to how and why should the chauvinistic Britain, jingoistic US and other allied powers who were then intoxicated by the lust of newfound power after defeating Hitler and disintegrating Islamic Caliphate, allowed to create a country anything but Islamic in character? Was that possible and was that something even a fool can expect from powers who a little away in Turkey were busy brokering the division and re-mapping of the Muslim World. If someone thinks otherwise, I would be mad. As a matter of fact, the game plan was remarkably crafted and smoothly run. After incapacitating Nazi Germany and Japan, dividing India and making a satellite state out of it (Pakistan) in anticipation of a danger lying hidden in the red peril of USSR and the Communist China, the main agenda items behind the creation of Pakistan was nothing more than erecting a front-line state against all sorts of the so-called terrorism.
    Greater India had never been a tolerable preposition to the West all through the history. Resultantly, we find frequent aggressive spells from the West a regular pattern in the ancient Hindu culture and history. In fact, we find races of aggressive foreign-born tribes entrenched in the routes and terrains of the areas now forming Pakistan. According to late Prof. Dr. Dani of Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad, 66% of blood now running among the Pakistani population is Central Asian. When Britain had to reluctantly exit from India, it was difficult for the masterminds to accept a greater, one-piece India. A figurehead was cultivated in the West. Raised as leader (Quaid) of the Indian Muslims to rationalize division of India based on two nation theory, Jinnah, himself belonged to a shaddy cult of Islam (Ismaili/khoja) was an instrument of division of Maha-Bharat into, East & West Muslim Pakistan and Hindu India naively spelling-out the differences between Islam and Hinduism as the raison de itr. It seems ridiculous to even think of Jinnah dedicating his life for a Muslim cause himself not knowing as basic a tenet of Islam as taking off shoes while entering the mosque.
    Division of India brought rewards for the West. On the one hand, they have curtailed the limitless bounties greater undivided India could have reaped and on the other hand, thrust it against an eternal belligerence with newfound satellite state of Pakistan by leaving fate of Kashmir in lurch. Themselves, the two superpowers sit in Islamabad to oversee USSR and China and at the same time deprive Pakistan of the fruits inherently resting even today in the natural resources abounding within its territories. Gandhi and his ilk accepted the division since to him, the creation of Pakistan was nothing else than ‘containing the problem.’ The warring tribes which have always been instrumental in attacks on India residing right left of Grand Trunk Road have been contained in Pakistan. Pakistan would then serve as a buffer against any such attack on India for all times to come.

  2. Wrote a note “hungry for spice” on my fb with specific area of what we like to watch on TV: We, as a general TV audience ask for it. We buy the spice, they sell it!

  3. Exactly……when program Pakistan idol was on air the madness showed by youth was the indicator that what type of ideals youth is considering admirable and acceptable………….more appetite to prove your self through singing or dancing rather than doing concrete efforts which may add in the worth of country.

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