When the first time I heard someone referring Television as idiot's box, I thought it was titally baseless. I wouldn't have seen great epics like Ramayana and Mahabharatha without this wonderful equipment. I would have missed Sachin's straight drives and Amitabh's breath taking performances. Times have changed now. DD gave way to innumerable private channels. Capitalistic greed to maximise profits took center stage while quality and content of the programs took a back seat. Channel owners are ready to even kill each other for their share of viewership. There is no question about the enormous reach and influence of visual media especially television on Indian viewers.
However, after watching some of the shows I realized that the ‘Idiot Box’ comment is not completely baseless. The prime time viewers shifted their attention from ‘Surabhi’ to ‘Roadies’. Roadies was a huge hit and it has become the topic of discussion for youth. A reality show which is completely scripted and fake like a WWF wrestling match. The key learning points from the show is – ‘never trust anyone (even your best buddies)’. God himself runs this show by the nick name - Raghu. His words and actions on the show suggest that he is nothing short of a street rowdy. He and the participants of the show mistook arrogance for attitude. Bitching and backstabbing are the key ingredients for this ridiculous show. The creators of the show would not have realized that a significant population of kids also watch this show and today television also plays a part in shaping up their behaviour. According to the show, the mantra of success is ‘being selfish’. However, no country or society will prosper if the individuals think only about themselves completely forgetting the collective interest of the nation or society which they belong to.
Following the success of roadies, so many other reality shows propped up. The basic ingredients are the same – aggression, arrogance and glamour. However, the tag for most disgusting show has gone to ‘Such Ka Samna’. This one has crossed all the limits and the content is indecent to the core. Star Plus must have got its share of viewership and the participants must have got their share of the profit by virtually striping in front of public. Creative freedom doesn’t mean that you can air even adult movies through national channels. There should be some kind of regulation to prevent such shameful, indecent shows. The curiosity of viewers to look in to other’s personal life and the sadistic joy of watching how his wife and kids react to the dark secrets of his life is absolutely disgusting. The viewers of this show needs psychological help.
The so called “creators” of these western rip offs forgot one key point. The culture and values are different for different audiences. This is a place where family values have utmost importance. The family system in India replaces the Social security system of the western countries. Blindly following westernization is not going to help us. Unfortunate part is most of the good things from the western world are conveniently ignored by us. How much ever educated we are, we still can’t follow lane discipline while driving. We care a damn for public property. Even though we are intelligent and creative, we still lag behind because of lack of discipline, which is one thing we should learn from westerners.
Forgot to mention another show, ‘Rakhi Ka Swayamwar’. I could hardly watch it for ten minutes, because I do not have money to buy another TV! Rakhi visiting her potential ‘In-Laws’ and explaining her demands was totally ridiculous and I don’t think even after 100 years no Indian girl will dare to do this. Seems like she is going to marry some NRI soon. But I dont even have a slightest doubt in my mind that this is yet another show where every single dialogue is carefully scripted. The high profile marriage at the end of the show will be a gimmick just to fool the viewers.People who talk crap (like Rakhi, Mallika) have got good market value nowadays, which indicates the degradation of values in Indian society.There were nation wide protests following Mangalore Pub incident, however no one is bothered about the below incident where a girl is slapped publically. Is it coz Shambhvi deserves to be slapped in public?