The veteran playwright Anwar Maqsood in his recent interview said that he no longer belongs to the current entertainment industry of Pakistan in which ratings have taken a dominant place. Maqsood has been away from writing drama and play scripts for a while. He elaborated his reason in an interview with a local news outlet.
He said that “I have stepped back [from writing] because what is happening on the television in the recent times, there is no place for me.” He added, “Now that the rating has occupied a decisive place, the directors or producers have been left behind in every respect. The marketing department decides which actors are needed and which are not.”
He explained how the dramas industry and the trends have shifted in recent years. he said, “In the beginning, Ashfaq Ahmed, Bano Qudsia, Munnu Bhai, Suraya Bijaya wrote the dramas. Noorul Hadi Shah also wrote very good plays and made his place. When Indian dramas paved their way to the Pakistani screens, we thought that they would learn something from our dramas, but on the contrary, our writers started learning from them. It was then that our drama industry began its demise.”
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He continued, “Digest writers have entered the field. Since 70% of the population of our country is illiterate, they like typical saas-bahu narratives and it has become a trend.”
He said that he would not call today’s dramas good or bad. He is leaving the decision at the discretion of the audience. Maqsood added that today writers are writing the drama in rush. There is pressure on writers. The writer suggested the playwrights read before writing scripts. He asked them to shun the domestic politics and conspiracies of mothers-in-law. Anwar Maqsood commented that he did not write to win any awards.