My Interview on Identity, Politics and Media

I was interviewed by Roshandan team in the summer of 2019. Saw the video a little late. Here’s the video and there is a brief description penned by Mehmood Ashraf.​

Roshandan interviewed Raza Rumi on his journey spanning decades of professional engagement on various policy, media and academic platforms. Raza shares his insights on what kept and still keeps him motivated to work and tells us interesting and inspiring stories surrounding his experiences in life.

Raza realised his passion lied in writing, research and journalism after serving in civil services and Asian Development Bank. For Raza, freedom of expression is vital for public consciousness and any society’s progress. He laments censorship of media. However, he also stresses upon insightful crafting and filtering of information which is bombarded in current era of social media. While digital media provides space for debate and discussion to know and understand each other, people often misuse it for personal propaganda. For instance, in India mass media is advancing and endorsing state irresponsible exclusive policies. The “brainwashing” done in 1980s in Pakistan is being replicated by Indian BJP leadership.

Raza believes in a “collective spirit’ that embraces diversity of cultures, ideas and ideals. For instance,  the identity of “Indian” is being tied with Hindutva ideology and that of a Pakistani is with majoritarian Islamic faiths. Moreover, mass media-state alliance portrays “imagined communities” sowing divisive seeds: Hindustani and Indian – are they common as in national identity expression?

Raza speaks highly of “identity” and “civilizational roots” and that both reinforce each other. It is hard to craft path to future if a nation is oblivious of its past. Pakistan has a lot to learn from its past. The current “Naya Pakistan” as an idea gave hope to the vibrant youth but there are structural changes needed to make things better. National identity will be expansive than curtailing. National fervour will be adaptive and progressive as long as it embraces youthful passion.

His start up Naya Daur Media is a progressive News & Analysis forum. Its small yet passionately committed team aspires to run the outlet in a manner that both challenges the mainstream media and engages the young men and women of Pakistan.


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