8 Aug 2019

In the 1980s,the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union was still taking place. During that period, Hollywood fully supported the US and spread American propaganda to every corner of the world. The movies produced by Hollywood, in English, were watched and understood all over the world. One key reason for this phenomenon was that the UK had expanded its influence across the globe during the previous decades, not only establishing colonies but also introducing the English language to those regions.
On the other side of the battle, one key weakness of the Soviet Union was its language. Russian, along with the other languages spoken in the Soviet Union at that time, was limited only to the Soviet Union itself. Those languages were generally not understood outside of the Soviet Union.

. If you watch James Bond movies from the 1970s or 1980s, you will find a Russian secret agent portrayed as the villain almost in every film while the British and the American secret agents were depicted as heroes. This is how the stereotype of Russians as negative-minded people who want to destroy the world was created, while the British and Americans were the heroes who would always save the world. This trend did not end with the Cold War. In fact, it still continues to happen. Even today, in many Hollywood films, the villain is either Russian or a speaker of Russian. This kind of propaganda causes brainwashing at a mass scale.

This propaganda through media was not just used in the Cold War. This phenomenon also exists within the US and other developed countries. For example, if you are a US citizen, you will probably assume that every Arabic speaker is stern, rigid, and violent. The reason behind this is that Arabic speakers and Muslims are regularly portrayed as terrorists and villains in both films and on TV. Since people develop their specific thoughts and ideologies unconsciously, this is a specific way of influencing the masses.

Looking back over the past 70 years of history in Pakistan and taking note of whatever has been registered in the minds of people through either media or education shows what a deep impact they can both have on our minds

When a child develops certain thoughts through media, those ideologies remain embedded in their beliefs throughout childhood, youth, adulthood, all the way up to old age. After so much time, questioning such thoughts at a mature age becomes difficult, if not impossible. Similar brainwashing was carried out for decades on the people of Pakistan. The entire nation was shaped based on one specific ideology and religious sentiments were used to promote that ideology. Those who were children during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s are now mature and their thoughts have become well-rooted. Now it would be extremely difficult for them to do a self-assessment and change their thoughts.

Nowadays, alot of negative attitudes prevail in our society. The foundation of this phenomenon is this very brainstorming that was used to make the public accept the Afghan Jihad and other such ideas. When a Pakistani today tries to evaluate and question their own thoughts and ideologies, they are stunned and feel as if their personality is breaking down. This simultaneously causes them to come face-to-face with the problem of their identity and makes them begin to question who they are. Education is the only way to cope with such problems. Education is a tool that allows a human to learn about reality by setting aside their emotions. A quality education will help you learn how to keep your emotions away from your thoughts. Looking back over the past 70 years of history in Pakistan and taking note of whatever has been registered in the minds of people through either media or education shows what a deep impact they can both have on our minds.

When a person applies logical thinking, the facts start to become apparent. To that end, international history and social sciences are the subjects that can truly help in freeing minds and eradicating the mental slavery that is the result of propaganda. Sadly, even today there is a prevalent trend of the media supporting various types of propaganda. Along with this, the quality of education deteriorates day by day. It is becoming impossible to discuss many subjects, let alone criticize them. A philosopher posited that if you want to know who your real rulers are, just see who you cannot criticize. Perhaps keeping the education budget on the low side is a plot whose aim is to ensure that sense no longer prevails among Pakistani people. If they do not have access to any thought processes of their own, they can once again serve the agenda of other powers through propaganda, unquestioningly.

Published in Daily Times on 08-Aug-2019

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