Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The fall of the Indian Television

The article was published in The Assam Tribune, ‘My Space’, on 31st July, 2011
Written By Anupa Lahkar
While we were growing up, our elders would always say “Work hard, imbibe talents and do your duties well, if you want to be very famous in life and who knows people may even one day see your pictures in newspapers and television for all the good reasons”. Little did they discern that television would one day become a den of the notorious lot, the who’s who of the crime world and a bunch of struggling actors or wannabes baptized with foul mouth and outrageous dressing sense.
Television has now become simply the podium of many who have taken the entire audio visual experience to a new low. Who can ever forget the time when veteran actor Aalok Nath would fight for strong family ties in ‘Buniyaad’, or Ashok Kumar summarizing the tale of a family and Indian values in ‘Humlog’, or for that matter the beautiful true to life stories of ‘Mitti ke Rang’. I still get a the high whenever I watch reruns episodes of Byomkesh Bakshi, where the detective would come up with dexterous ways of nabbing the criminal and bring out the darker personality of the most placid looking person. It was a golden era and my generation was fortunate to be a part of it.
Quite overwhelmingly television today is all about washing your, your fiance’s , your wife’s or your family’s dirty linen in public. And not just wash, but scream and sell your concocted private life for other’s entertainment.
Programmes, where a very perplexed person conducts loyalty test on his/her would be and then get ready with a pair of chappals to hit it right on the cheating better half’s face, all in the view of the camera is definitely quite tasteless.
Well, if that’s not meaty enough, television plummets its sense of ethics to several notches down, they bring in two extremely struggling, fame crazy, foul mouthed couples and lock them up for people to see their primal instincts come to the fore. Primal or not, the instincts to be on the camera is definitely evident.
What more, they even make families meet each other on well furnished studios and allow them to discuss ‘none of anyone’s business’ love lives of their spoilt wards on the set. If you’re jobless enough you can use the programme as a beeper because the beeping never stops (in an attempt to mute slangs being exchanged by their wards).
It is not ‘reality’ but ‘profanity’ that television channels are busy broadcasting, all in the lust of TRP’s.
Sadly our kids will probably never have the luck to boast about watching ‘Mahabharat’ together with the whole nation, they will never have common tunes of ‘Duck tales’, ‘Mowgli’ or ‘Shaktiman’ to hum and feel nostalgic. They might have their own take on television but can they ever think of life as a beautiful feeling completely blind to those desperate attention grabbers.
Just like movie clubs can we not have television clubs which would also feature stories, of valour, courage, heroism and honesty? Or the new generation will grow up with the feeling that everyone out there is a cheat trying to accentuate the blatant seven deadly sins.
 I guess every age has its own set of likes and dislikes and it overgrows those feelings always. Well I don’t really think that a set of prudish programmes can be beneficial for now but definitely television must leave us with a better taste rather than the bitter dose of nonstop nonsense.

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