After Bangladesh, Doraemon irks Pakistan, set to be banned!

New York, August 3, 2016: While the world was still coming to terms with the revival of an old fatwa on Pokemon Go, here comes another bad news; a prominent Islamic party of Pakistan, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), led by former cricketer Imran Khan wants Doraemon, the Japanese cartoon series banned.

In the Wednesday session of Pakistan’s Punjab Assembly has called for a ban on the much-loved cartoon series Doraemon.

PTI’s Member of the Provincial Assembly Malik Taimoor Masood while moving the motion said that Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) must think about imposing a ban on Japanese cartoon Doraemon or at least contain its airtime (to kill the reach among kids) as it has ‘explicit’ content that has a bad impact on the impressionable Pakistani children. He also said that the 24-hour cartoon channels are harming the educational and physical growth of children but he was most worried about was the language. He said that the language employed in the cartoon Doraemon abuses the cultural and societal norms of Pakistani society.

The resolution is going to be discussed in the next session of the Punjab Assembly. Doraemon is an extensively popular cartoon and is the story of a robot cat who comes back in time to help a boy named Nobita who keeps failing in his endeavors. Eventually, friendship blossoms and the two become inseparable. Many of the episodes of the cartoon series are seen as blasphemous as the robot cat Doraemon is shown as the one with solutions to most problems. Pokemon Go was also banned for promoting theory of evolution which is considered unIslamic!

While many see this move by PTI as ‘weird,’ it is to be seen in the political context of present-day Pakistan; the leader of PTI is an ex-cricketer and a casanova Imran Khan who is now known as the ‘Taliban Khan’ for his support for the extremists’ interpretation of Islam. His party is ruling one of the most religiously sensitive KPK (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) which is one of the most lawless and extremist-friendly regions of the world. Considering the sway of the extremists in Pakistan, this move will help in earning more favourable points.

Some commentators see the Doraemon banning as an attempt to stop Hindi.

Pakistan is not alone to the Doraemon phobia, Bangladesh also banned the cartoon in 2013 over the fears that Hindi, the primary language in which the cartoon is dubbed in the subcontinent, will make it hard for Bangladesh kids to still be attracted to their language Bangla.

That demand was made by powerful politician Shahriar Alam of the ruling Awami Leauge.

Interestingly, the Bollywood, Hindi film industry, its movies, and actors are very popular in both Pakistan and Bangladesh with many Pakistani actors willing to do even small-time roles just to get an entry in the industry.