If one is asked to name one media personality hosting a TV show whose presentations now a days are totally lacking in objectivity, fairness, sense of proportion and balance, one name pops up and that is Dr Shahid Masood.
The man was not half so bad during his ARY days when he used to hold court with such luminaries of faith as Justice (R) Javaid Iqbal and Dr Israr Ahmed. Topics of discourse used to be metaphysical in nature; existence of “Jinns” or life hereafter, and whether “sharaab” is totally forbidden, or there exists some loophole through which a man of faith can sometimes imbibe, if his fancy desires a little intoxication. (Amusingly, if I remember right, Justice (R) Javaid Iqbal favoured the latter view).
Now despite or most probably because of religious tilt of his programmes, Dr Shahid Masood had some following and was considered a relatively respectable name among media personalities. However, something subsequently happened and completely transformed this man. What demons are torturing his tormented soul and how they would be exorcised remains to be seen. But a fair amount of his admirers (including myself) felt betrayed by transformation of this decent man into some unrecognisable monstrosity and left in droves. (For example, I and many of my friends and acquaintances have stopped watching “Mere Mutabiq”).
However, what after a long time attracted me to this programme this afternoon (I watched repeat offering since Saturday night is exclusive for other cultural activities) was the presence of Senator Syed Faisal Raza Abidi in the programme. Now here is the type of man PPP would do well to have some more; aggressive, logical and most importantly unapologetical for his loyalty to leadership and the party. And he has slain many big mouthed politicians and talk show hosts with his well placed quotes of Hazrat Ali. One hopes to see him more often dismantling and dispatching some of the notables of anti-PPP lobby to smithereens. What a delight!
Well, coming back to the programme under review, all participants were type cast. Dr Shahid Masood did not disappoint. In spite of supposedly moderating the show, he was in open support of Ansar Abbasi and was fully devoid of any sense of fairness, balance, objectivity or impartiality. Hatred for PPP was oozing out of his every pore. Interestingly enough, at the start of the programme I could not decide upon physical change in his appearance which was quite discernible. Someone suggested hair transplant, the other was of the view that extracurricular activities in Thailand or wherever he is hiding now a days have changed his demeanor. However consensus emerged on hair transplant and left one wondering whether the traits of objectivity, impartiality, balance, even-handedness and fairness could be transplanted back in a once decent man and his calling.