As a child, I remember the pre-cable days when television meant Doordarshan and Doordarshan Metro (DD Metro). Shows like ‘Surabhi’ showcased the length and breadth of the country to one and all, helping us understand and appreciate our own homeland. Shows on folk tales like ‘Potli Baba Ki’ and stories by Indian writers like ‘Malgudi Days’ provided clean and insightful entertainment to children leading to the development of a child’s mind enabling him/her to be more aware of the environment and purpose of his/her birth. We were sensitized to our cultural heritage and glorious past through the likes of ‘Tipu Sultan’, ‘Ramayan’ and ‘Mahabharat’. ‘Fauji’ and ‘Buniyaad’ served as a reminder to the contributions of those who fought for our freedom, and those who keep a watch every day on the border so that you and I can have a goodnight’s sleep.
Inspite of these good things, television then was definitely lacking in terms of communicating a whole quantum of global information to Indian people. A need that was excellently catered to with the arrival of cable TV; a plethora of new national and international channels became accessible to the Indian viewer exposing him/her to a whole new set of ideas, views and opinions. It seemed like a welcome change.
Back then we failed to see the flip side. The good Indian productions lost out to family dramas loaded with plotting and scheming, while characters portrayed were far away from what one would want in a role model – cynical, immersed in artificiality and guised by kilos of makeup. What was worse, the programs came with loud and disturbing background music that could transform any environment into a depressing one and could transform you from any mood to that of glumness and extreme irritation. Indian masses didn’t take much time to accept and even imitate such characters, increasing TRPs and accelerating the spate of more such programs. Many such channels were funded by anti-Vedic thought and began misrepresenting our culture by showing those babas who are involved in scams, not showing real and genuine people.
While there still exists certain programs and channels that harbour constructive ideas, sadly, there are very few who watch them.
Since two decades now people have been absorbing wrong messages via television and subject themselves to negative sounds, characters and situations on a daily basis. The same energy that the TV feeds them daily with is transferred by the viewers to their homes and society at large. Repercussions are visible in the growth of crimes, stemming from frustration, depression and deteriorating value systems in families.
Media is an effective tool to shape public opinion and can serve as a social developer if used in the right manner. It is high time that the content of various shows on television gets regulated and monitored keeping in view its impact on moral, social and cognitive development of society in general, and youth in particular. Also there is a dire need to help the youth reconnect with their culture and history through shows that portray our magnanimous past.
Certain business houses use these programs to sell
their products as the influence of TV on your minds in phenomenal. All this leading to creating a distorted demand for useless products. The models who sell these products to you like the spiritual yantras for your prosperity are themselves hardly prosperous. Specifically the male
models selling hair growth techniques are themselves
bald. Consumers beware!