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Reality Check

Ask your parents what TV meant for them in their heydays and they'll tell you that the Indian idiot would love his Hum Log, Mahabharat, Chitrahaar or simply catch Prannoy Roy' crisp news on Doordarshan. Then there was a simpleton SRK in Fauji and Circus. Needless to say, desi telly has changed by leaps and bounds since then. Indian television has since then become genre-specific. From the game-shows like Star's KBC and Sony and Zee's forgettable attempts to dethrone the Big B to exceedingly deadening 'family' soaps and the Indian Idols, SaReGaMaPa's, we've now been bitten by the reality bug and how! We all know about the hype and the TRPs that these shows generate. The Shinjini Sengupta case couldn't have come at a better time to warn us that we're going way overboard with such 'reality' shows. She is but one of a million such aspirants who dream of making it big in this flagitious industry. With parents pushing their kids to unimaginable limits and harsh judges scuffling among each other, the kids are bound to give in. And the price they pay is their childhood. These innocent kids probably cannot realise that one such setback doesn't demean them or their abilities and that winning and losing are all part of life. As viewers, all we do is feel sad for the kid when he/she breaks down on stage. But we still continue to be hooked on to it. Why? Its not to see the dogfights between the judges or the pretty host but because these kids are mighty talented! And such talented kids will make their mark, reality show or no reality show.

But who is to blame for this big mess we've landed in? Judges, parents, the media or the kids themselves? I feel our media does half the damage by thriving on sensationalism. For instance, it was once considered inappropriate to broadcast any difference in opinion among the judges as it would put them in bad light. But now such tussles are shown as promotional trailers! And to a large extent, parents are to blame too. The Sengupta case should be a lesson in responsible parenting. Let's do the children a BIG favour- let's keep their childhood alive.


pavi said…
hey,but ultimately TV channels r in an entertainment venture n not a social venture(though they impact de lives of ppl n engage dem emotionally!)15 minutes to wt most Indians want now,,,its entirely de "parents" fault NOT de Youths' or de tele channels'!
Vikram said…
We like a bit of drama in our lives... Hence the dedicated fan-following of Kyunki... and other demeaning shows

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