Friday, April 29, 2011

Lasting Impressions!

Anna Hazare? Yes, the name rings a bell. No this post is not about him .But where is he now? We’ll know when Arnab or Rajdeep decide to tell us! We think what they make us think.
No doubt, then that the onslaught of pixels in my living room molds my opinion. Or why else would the politicians be in a race to own TV channels? Kalaingar, Jaya, Sun, Sakshi, Mega, Kairali, Maurya, are all TV channels owned by neta-log. Not merely to run down rivals, but to make us think what they want us to think. That Kalaingar TV was the cause of DMKs doom is another matter. They got caught. Bad luck!

Again, I am least interested in British royalty and their escapades, yet my idiot box has been screaming that Kate-William marriage is the biggest wedding of the century watched by two billion viewers. After repeated enticements I ended up watching the live telecast.

Going by the spirit of the times, if pixels are opinion makers for adults then they are the new baby sitters for kids.

Moms might be delighted that their fussy eaters eat almost anything when glued to the small screen. My friend is happy sitting in her office, thinking that her ten-year-old is watching cartoons at home. Instead the boy was hooked to Axe Your Ex and Emotional Atyachaar. She is still happy, “At least porn to nahin dekhta na?”

This week while watching a dance based reality show I was impressed by the dancing abilities of a boy and a girl performing salsa. A moment later I cringed when the host suggestively asked the seven-year-old boy, “Did you enjoy dancing with your partner? Mazza aaya?” The host went on to poke the kid about the close encounter of dancing with a young girl. Since millions of kids were watching the show, was it essential to rub sexual innuendos on a child?

Any mother will avoid taking her children for a Hashmi starrer. But what if he is on TV? The very same day I happened to catch a glimpse of a scene from Tumsa Nahin Dekha on television where a pretty girl at a bus-stop catches Emraan Hashmi’s fancy. He goes right ahead and smooches the girl in full public glare. No marks for guessing that the girl falls for her tormentor a few reels later.

If such brazen acts can get you a girl, what was to stop Ram Singh, a tailor in a jeans factory? An emboldened Ram Singh started stalking a Delhi University student Radhika Tanwar. The song playing in his head is ‘thoda cheekhegi thoda chillayegi, dil kehta hai ek din haseena maan jayegi.’ He stalked the girl for weeks and finally accosted her. The girl ignored him. Three days later Ram Singh killed her point-blank.

As sensible adults we know that in cinema a rich pretty lass might fall for a taxi-driver  but in reality they hunt for tycoons, and blue bloods. Would Ms Carat Shetty have given a second look if Mr Kundra was a government officer? In real life, actresses stalk the ‘Sons of Good Times'. And when he falls on bad times, they drop him like a hot potato.

One can’t blame the screen for all the evils of our society. Smoking is banned in movies and yet one in five teens is puffing away. Who can explain that?
Since television has an uninhibited entry in our living rooms as a baby sitter and as an opinion maker, it has far greater responsibility than the big screen.
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  1. Wonderfully written, television today decides how the future generation should think. The Govt. cheats the citizens and we think the news channels are the strongest pillars of democracy - that they bring in the culprits to justice. Lets give a second thought, media houses run crazily for money, they decide who to be made a star overnight and who should be dumped like a garbage. News is sold and we get a polished version of it. I came back from work today and switched TV - the first thing I saw was the Royal couple's smooch, the same scene was shown over a hundred times on Aaj Tak. Take my word tomorrow 90% of the newspapers around the globe will display the "smooch" on their first page.

    Finally, whatever crap is put on TV, adults need to learn how to think and that's the ultimate point.

  2. True, parents should monitor what their kids watch....and in the process also control their own TV watching habits.

  3. Here is my post beneath your post. Enjoy :P —

    Yes, indeed Arnab is a God. He decides who must be rant on News Hour.

    Neta aur unke channels—Haaye!!
    Shri Amar Singh is really sharp with his tongue and even sharper with his words. I noticed this thing at my friend’s place when his mother was watching the repeated telecast of Aap ki Adalat with Rajat Sharma.

    I read this quote somewhere “Nowadays adults suck more than infants” LOL. “At least porn to nahin dekhta na?”, now I wonder how can she be so sure?

    I heard this type of cheesy comment in a Kids Comedy reality Show by Rahul Mahajan and then he laughed hysterically. My mom despises him. Needless to say how hollow head he is.

    To me Ram Singh appeared to be a serious and severe case of “I wanna have a GF” with that kind of typical Govinda song banging in the solitude. Stalking a girl for so long & then killing her. Guess ignorance is not always bliss.

    If Kalmadi and Co. will buy Times Now, Doordarshan staff’s face would actually glitter. Now after a decade they’ll have living organic viewers, no more fake dolls sitting watching Doordarshan to impress boss for salary!!

  4. It is like a two faced sword.. earlier we use to make bad choices, or ill informed choices because of lack of knowledge, today we still make ill informed choices due to over load of information.

    There is a reason, why certain people cry 'responsible journalism' and it is nothing but an attempt in vain.

    And then there are the Television serials- forget reality shows, the fiction that is shown on television is as bad. What with illegitimate children, and second marriages because there are no children..
    Honestly speaking there is NOTHING on the television that is forward thinking.. it is all about revenge and hatred because of money...

    What really needs to be done is, that we need to use our educated mind to sift through the mound of information that is thrown at us, and similarly, we really have to indulge the kids in things that form a childhood, not televisions, not internet, but in helping them inculcating hobbies and making them play in the parks..

    Really, that will help!

  5. the post presented a hard but true face of Indian Media of which brazen example is Nira Radia.

  6. Ok. This is going to help me in my studies and you are not taking me court when I take lines out of this write up :P. would you ?

    I believe media is powerful. It really is. However, it is like those recursive questions- hen first or the egg. Whether media shows us what we want to see or we see what media wants us to see. You have commendable arguments in favour of the second side. But in some way, we are responsible for letting it become that powerful.

    Why are our children not in playground in evenings ( and watch TV instead )?

    Why are parents not the one who shape their value system ( while Emotional Atyachar and Roadies do that- which basically is the concept that you can not go ahead without stepping on someone ) ?

    Why have the blessings undergone a change over years from ' achcha aadmi bano ' to 'bada aadmi bano' ( and eventually to "early to bed and early to WEALTHY and wise" ?

    I believe we are influenced because we want to be influenced.

  7. what an eye opener kind of post Alks!
    I now wonder if I should let Seeya watch so much television during meal times and feel content that at least she is gulping down the food:/

    I also absolutely detest the idiot box...never understood what pleasures women derive out of rona dhona and completely wicked conniving shown in the soaps!

    the news channels have become even more irritating stretching a one line news into a repetitive torture for half an hour!

    loved the honest sentiments here and agreed on every line:-)

  8. Know what i think emotional atyachaar may be doing more harm to kids than porn. makes you believe everyone will cheat as and when they get the opportunity..Way to go to build trust...

    Nothing can be done bout politicians giving pravachans but take it with a pinch of salt...

    And all is not lost, we should just stick to cartoon channels. they are the best..laughs and teaches u to take life lightly..

  9. I dout if TV can creatively influence the mankind..the reason being we are not given the brain time to assimilate the information. Hence e take it at the face value.
    The Hazare agitation was the prime example. Tv gave him a wide coverage and made it popu;ar and later they themselves pulled it down to earth..

  10. thought provoking write up alka .As you said ,pixel effect is too much on our lives.I remember the dance based show episode where the kids were asked the question.I felt like slapping the host who asked that ,if I could:)And yes these days Rajdeep and barkha decides on a person's quality or nature.:))

  11. The situation is actually becoming worse in bollywood when even the songs that todays youth keep on their lips rap words like 'Dum maaro Dum' and the visuals are equally raunchy and in the vicinity of obscenity.

    And someone's airing my thoughts, just after I wrote this, the same track started in some dorm near me. :P

    Nice post, and as a effort to tell the Marital pair that I won't interfere in their private affair, I am switching off the television.

    Blasphemous Aesthete

  12. Our media has indeed been taken over by the neta log. Loved your analogy of television as the new baby sitter. Great post, Alka. Enjoyed it.

  13. @Anto....You guessed it right. The same pic is on all the newspapers.Very well put.


    @Prateek....Arnab holds his court every evening at nine, pronounces judgment and the janta punishes by throwing shoes.You are so right about DD.

  14. @Sakshi...You have said it so well.very apt.


    @Sritatsat...What you say is true . Since we are in a mood for polly bashing and also due to RTI media is unearthing new scams.Negative news gets more TRPs than positive news.
    Great quote!
    Not everyone is educated or evolved enough to sift good from bad. Impressionable minds do get affected by what media says.

  15. @Suruchi....Thanks dear, I am glad u liked it.


    @Jon...Very well said.

  16. @Raji....Thanks.

    @Anshul....With an onslaught of item songs, raunchier the better, women are being seen as sex objects. Dum maro dum is soft porn,nothing else.


  17. Teleivision - the new baby sitter!! haha...soo true. My friend uses her TV as her babysitter.

    Pravachan by Swami Amar Singh ji!! LOL..

  18. very well written...i also get pissed off by the ads tempting u to buy movie trailers saying "tawaif ki lootti izzat aur TMK ko pararna...doono bekaar hai!" this what we want our kids to learn!!! but still i feel our media is better than the media of countries like China where it is totally controlled by the government...things like Jessica Lal was not possible there...

  19. For the name, fame everyone is playing the game!

    Precocity is already on rise, no matter how well the kids are nurtured, the idiot box does create lasting impressions as you said it!

    And what can be said of the samachar channels, they already have so much to say, as 24x7 is also less for them ;)

  20. @Always happy...We all do that...but have to be very careful.

    @SUB...There has to be self regulation since it enters our drawing rooms.


  21. Its a gem of a post. With the netas controling the media, the grip becomes deadlier. Television is glorifying the rot in the society and feeding it back to it. As you said, young minds are especially vulnerable.

  22. @USP....Thanks indeed!After excessive dose of idiot box, i feel like an idiot myself!


  23. From disseminating news our TV channels have beomce 'opinion makers.' Never mind that they don't have half the intellect or analytical powers to do so. And so they also think that they can decide what should be shown to the brain-dead populace which watches the soaps and 'breaking news.'

    As the 'baby-sitters' of the modern era, TV is playing havoc with the minds of children. Why talk of reality show hosts, our ads featuring pre-teens are suffused with sexual innuendos too.

  24. Hi Alka,
    TV is totally claustrophobing us ;)).

    Let all of us stop watching
    cricket, news, saas bahu,abusive programs and then naturally trps will decline. But is anyone going to listen... no hence it goes on .

    Cool writing

  25. Isn't it why they call it the Idiot box?
    Loved the like pixels are opinion makers for adults

    And in my opinion Emotional Atyachaar is worse than porn.

  26. @zephyr...True.

    @Ashwini..Very well said.Now that Arnab has a story about Purulia arms drop, we are thinking about it. Else we had forgotten the episode.They analyze it for us and subtly force us to think on their lines.


  27. very true this visual media is very effective in generating opinions....

  28. Wonderful. The babysitter bit and the sons of the good times were exceptional. Sad, these times. Would recommend you a sensational documentary called 'Zetgeist'. It deals with three issues: Religion, 911 and War. But the power of 'pixels' and their role as decided by the powers-that-be has also been touched. An absolute must-watch!

    How've you been. It's been ages!

  29. @Irfan...Thanks for reading.

    @Mangoman...Welcome back.Will look for it.
    I am good, slogging at blogging. You tell me naukri mili?

  30. Ji haan. Banda PepsiCo join karega July mein as a Territory Development Manager.

  31. 'Sons of Good Times' so, brutally true! :)

  32. Thats why i dont watch TELE.. I feel its mostly wrong and Indian channels , OH MY GOD never again I had them subscribed for a month and that did it for me ..

    So no TV :(


  33. @Mangoman...Treat kab? Posting kahan?


    Bikram....good boy!

  34. thats a very very deep thought. a simple one yet we ignore it so many times.. i set my younger brothers on tv to keep them busy didn't thought that tv might be spoiling their budding brains... this is a very crucial and sensitive issue... for it affects children and their coming future...

  35. Alka,

    Repeated exposure to certain situations on visual presentations has immense affect on mind, specially young ones as they are vulnerable. Self discipline by Cinema and TV is the call of the day. How would that anchor react if his own child was asked such insinuating questions? Double standards, isn't it? It is all for TRP.

    Take care