Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cruel Dunya - Update 2

So, I was going to simply post the latest salvo from the PFUJ in the ongoing battle between Dunya TV's MD Yousaf Baig Mirza (YBM) and former staffer Maheen Usmani who has accused the former of sexual harrassment. And I'm doing that. But reading through the press release, I couldn't help myself from commenting on it as well. The syntactical and grammatical errors and proofos are just too many to ignore. If this is the state of journalists' language skills and attention to detail, we know where we're headed.

PFUJ Secretariat

Media Release

Female broadcaster seeks reshaped inquiry committee

ISLAMABAD: 30:- Popular broadcaster Maheen Usmani, who had been working at the Dunya TV and tendered her resignation in protest due to uncalled for attitude of a top media manager over her harassment, has stated that “she has no confidence in the impartiality and fairness of the members of a harassment committee formed by the management of the channel.”

Ok, so when will we stop using the definite article for names? It's "Dunya TV" not "the Dunya TV" Mr. Naz. But it's a small quibble, unless you also, habitually omit 'the' where it IS required, such as "due to [the] uncalled[-]for attitude..." One other thing: did Maheen Usmani quit over her sexual harrassment (use a spell check Mr. Naz, there's two 'r's in there) or over the attitude over her harrassment? And did Dunya TV really form something called the "harassment committee"?

In a letter to the Director Human Resources of the Dunya TV (a copy of the message sent to the PFUJ) the female broadcaster proposed that the Committee should comprise senior people from within the company as well as from outside.

She said that “a Committee comprising Asma Jehangir, Kamran Shafi, Dr Fauzia Saeed, a representative of Aasha, a nationwide alliance working against sexual harassment against women at workplaces, an office-bearer of the PFUJ and chairman of the Dunya TV Ch. Arshad as its members would be acceptable to her as they would be unbiased and not open to any pressure”.

Hey, wasn't Mian Amer Mahmood the Chairman of Dunya TV? Who is Ch. Arshad? Something Mian Amer Mahmood should know about?

She said that “she would appear before the Committee consisting the above -mentioned people.”

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists supported the stand of Maheen Usmani, “and termed her demand genuine and added that as per principles of natural justice fair play, equity it is imperative that this issue should be inquiry through "Independent" Commission as the same relates not to individual but entire journalists community as well as working females of the country.”

Learn to use commas Mr. Naz. "Justice comma fairplay AND equity." "Should be inquiry" makes no sense. Learn to use articles and possessive punctuation too. "...not to AN individual"; "THE entire journalistS' community." "Working females of the country" just sounds awkward. But more importantly, why have you put "Independent" in quotes? Are you making gestures with crooked fingers and going, wink, wink, too?

The Secretary General of the PFUJ Mr. Shamsul Islam Naz, urged upon the women members of the parliament, human rights organizations, NGO's and civil society to support the just demand of Maheen Usmani for open Inquiry comprising of independent persons and having repute of integrity.

OK I'm just going to stop bothering about the 'the's and 'an's although I really do wish all of you would stop writing NGOs as NGO's...But I do want to know why a letter written by you is quoting you in the third person? And do you really say things like "persons having repute of integrity"?

He further said that this is not issue of any individual prestige but the credibility and integrality of a one of the leading media channel is also at stake, and propriety demands that the Media Owners should also come forward and ask any of the Independent Organizations of the Court like Supreme Court Bar Association, Human Rights Commission, to hold this said incident, with a clear cut terms of reference of “fixation of reasonability” of the access if committed any one”.

Ok this is just gibberish Mr. Naz. I think the "integrality" of the PFUJ is now at stake.

“More than fifty percent population of country comprising of women, how long we can push them walls and create hostile environments for them to remain away for contributing for the prosperity, well being of the nation and country institutions”, PFUJ Secretary General questioned

As well he may to the utter beffudlement of the nation. Obviously, so you DO speak like this Mr. Naz!

He further said that no doubt it was our pride that first women Prime Minister and Speaker of the Parliament were “women”.

Shocker. The "first women Prime Minister and Speaker of the Parliament were "women""! Oh, but there's that quote unquote around women again. Aah, the nudge, nudge, wink, wink thing again, eh Mr. Naz?

Yes it is also a history here when senior most women – Judge of Lahore High Court, had to elevated on the basis of his seniority, constitution, judgments of apex court; she was denied that opportunity, during dictator Mushrraf. There was not a single voice from any organization of the lawyers, civil society, NGO’s who had raised voice against such blunt discrimination on the basis of the sex, which is against the Islamic Jurispendence, Constitution, Universal Human Rights declaration, International Women Rights, ILO Conventions”. Such precedents reflect how much we believe in “equality”, Mr. Naz argued.

I don't EVER want to be in an argument with Mr. Naz. Period.

He further said that time has come that each and every persons should raise his voice against the male atrocities, leaving a side that “media house would not accommodate their contentions”.

I'm at a loss for words. Really.

The PFUJ warned it would not allow to harsh up this serious issue and buried under carpet in any circumstances and vowed to continue its campaign until unless the culprits are not bough to justice.

Shamsul Islam Naz
Secretary General

Harsh, baby, don't you cry. Perhaps you can plaster posters of "GO Sexual Harassment GO" all over town like the Jamaat's "Go America Go". And yeah, we'll know that you mean well.


Anonymous said...

Its a pity that rather then supporting a lady who resigned from her job, due to being sexually harrassed by MD of Dunya TV, people here are discussing spelling mistakes. Its a known thing that our women are harrassed at the work place, but hardly anyone ever complains. Here is someone who has the moral courage to report such a thing and all she is asking is for an opplogy and not anything else. All of a sudden we find all kinds of comments against her and her character being assasinated. Please I urge everyone to be neutral and consider that your own sister, wife or mother could be in such a situation, we must not take side of a known villian like Yusaf baig Mirza, who has a legacy of misdeeds starting from Libas in UK, then ZeeTV, then as MD PTV with Nawaz and Musharraf, then ARY, then GEO and now Dunya. Everyone who does know him a little does know what kind of a character he truly is.

XYZ said...

@Anonymous1: If you had followed the posts by CPM on this blog, you would know that the reason this issue (sexual harrassment) was raised here *is* because we consider this issue important. But whatever opinion you or I or CPM has of YBM, it is only fair that he has a chance to defend himself against the allegations. If they are true, he should be hounded out, to set an example for anyone else daring to do this sort of thing. But if the allegations are false (it would not be the first time workplace allegations turn out to be motivated by other factors), Ms. Usmani should be made to answer for them. That is all.

The comments on the language of the PFUJ press releases are simply about the PFUJ and its Secretary General, not about the case or Maheen Usmani. Are we supposed to keep mum on everything that is in some way connected with the case because it may be perceived to be impacting the case? Incidentally, Dawn published a nasty ad two days ago, dissociating itself from Mr. Naz who used to be its correspondent in Faisalabad and telling people to deal with him at their own risk. Is that siding with Dunya TV against Ms Usmani too?

I don't know where you come up with Ms. Usmani's character being assassinated. I have not seen even one comment attacking her character! In fact, CPM points out that he does not know her personally. Even the other bloggers / commenters only talk in general terms about journalists. Let's not take on a victim mentality for no reason whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Ms.Usmani whom I do not know personally also has been demonized at pkpolics by team dunya, which goes on to claim that she was having an affair with DN and that she is divorced and states all iknds of things in support of YBM. Who should be allowed to defend himself, but the way things have unfolded, he appears to be on fault, as all his assertions have been proven tobe false. IFJ is for holding an impartial enquiry and so is the press club. What is of interst is that what can be the motive for the supposed victim be.