ISSN: 1998 - 4162

JISR MSSE Journal Contents

Volume 11, Number 1, January 2013

Rise and Fall of Progressive Thought in Pakistan: An Appraisal of PTV Drama Tradition
Bilal Zubedi - SZABIST, Karachi, Pakistan
Dr. Riaz Ahmed Shaikh - SZABIST, Karachi, Pakistan


The progressive thought process initiated by the Progressive Writers’ Movement of South Asia encapsulates its very ideals of secular thought, politics of social realism, challenging the status quo and presenting a fight of ideas or intellectual discourse. This aiming to develop a consciousness within the people about their existential state being promulgated by writing, the modus operandi of the movement, is what this paper adopts as a tool to further assess the reflection of the socio-political discourse on progressive thought, on to television in Pakistan. The advent and position of progressive thought served as the very foundation of PTV drama content during its initial years of 1967-1977. Being the only television channel and owned by the state, its acceptance and that of progressive content found place in society naturally. Due to no private interests playing a role and more creative space provided by the democratic government of the 1970s, the initial decade came to be known as the golden era. Television reaching across geographies brings people on a uniform platform face to face with their lives, social problems and alternatives facilitating an interpretation of content, progressive content in the initial years of PTV. This paper aims to explore and analyze the same along with any effects it might have had for society in terms of building an alternative perspective to the one which existed. This being the entire purpose of the progressive tradition. However, since 1977 after a right-wing military takeover in Pakistan it is generally believed that the circumstances for the channel and some of its best content began to change coupled with the lack of intellectual rigour. Ultimately, this led to the decline of progressive traditions at PTV; a postulate deduced on the basis of findings ascertained through primary research on the matter forming the body of the paper.

Keywords: Creative minority, decline, oppression, Progressive Writers’ Movement, progressive thought, PTV drama, progressive literature, realistic literature, status quo


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