LAHORE: A Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf legislator on Wednesday submitted resolution in the Provincial Assembly calling on the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to regulate cartoon channels. Particularly, the resolution calls for a ban on Japanese anime series Doraemon.
The resolution submitted by Malik Taimoor Masood said round-the-clock airing of cartoons on cable TV was addictive. It said this posed a threat to healthy growth of children.
The resolution called on the federal government to make it binding on the PEMRA to either ban cartoon channels, especially Doraemon, or to limit air time to a few hours during the day.
The legislator said 24-hour cartoon channels were adversely affecting the mental as well as physical growth of the children. The resolution said inappropriate content and the language used in the cartoons were damaging for societal norms.
Doraemon depicts the adventures of a robotic cat and a young boy, Nobita. It is aired on various cartoon channels. Its Hindi-dubbed version is available for viewing in Pakistan.
The resolution said the cartoon was promoting violence as well as foul language among children.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Masood said the Hindi dubbing of the cartoon was promoting a foreign culture.
Hailing from Wah Cantonment, Masood is an MPA from Rawalpindi’s PP-8.
“To me, this appears to be a plot being against our culture. Children pick up attitudes at a young age,” he said.
The resolution elicited social media reaction. The hashtag #PTIvsDoraemon began trending on Twitter hours into the submission of the resolution.
Masood said being an elected public representative, he wanted to interact with the public and raise issues that concerned them.
“There is a genuine concern among parents regarding the mental and physical well being of their children due to cartoons being aired all day,” he said.
“I have a two-year old baby girl who is following the same course. Efforts should be made to discourage television addiction among children,” he said.
Taimoor said if the PEMRA did not ban such channels, it should at least ensure that the content was given a limited airtime. He said he would raise the issue at all forums failing suitable response from the provincial assembly.
An official statement issued by the PTI’s media department said the party was against censorship, adding that “hurting social and moral values under the guise of entertainment was not appropriate.”
The statement said the resolution had been moved by the PTI legislator in a personal capacity and the party leadership was unaware of its content.