From the very first Indian soap ‘Hum Log’ to present day soaps and reality shows, Indian television has grown undoubtedly, but not always for the better.
Indian television witnesses some of the longest running daily soaps with over 2000 episodes of over–hyped rhetorical drama. Their scripts have so far not been successful enough to conjure up a healthy dose of daily entertainment — without sending their audiences the wrong message. As the story of one serial after the other unfolded on screen, to be the “perfect” woman on Indian television, one needed to be a docile housewife and sacrifice everything for the family’s happiness. Drama is when people skip their meals, when someone is reincarnated with the same face, when even after taking leaps of six to ten years, they use the same technology that they used earlier. Mythological and historical series are somewhat information-bound, but paranormal shows are as unconvincing as forced smiles. Stories often drift away from the main plot. Adding to this are the visual effects used in shows like ‘Sasural Simar Ka’ aired on ColorsTV, ‘Baalveer’ on SabTV, and the conventional ghastly figurines in paranormal shows like ‘Aahat’.
With their upward sloping graph of TRP, reality shows are no less. The first reality show on Indian Television was ‘Bournvita Quiz Contest (BQC)’ which gained popularity in the 1980s. Reality shows not only break the monotony of drama series, but also serve as the perfect tool to satisfy voyeurism and, for some others, the irrepressible temptation to get their 60 seconds of fame. Though various shows have various formats, some of them have had their fair share of controversies and their credibility has occasionally been questioned with allegations that they are not as real as they claim to be. Shows like ‘Love School’ and ‘Emotional Atyachar’ are some reality shows that have often reeked of pretension and orchestrated drama. Shows like ‘The Bachelorette India’, ‘Mere Khayalon Ki Mallika’, and ‘Rakhi Ka Swayamvar’ are indubitably bogus.
Indian television entertainment will seemingly never change, or revolt, but it certainly offends. Its limits will be set by the ‘Indian’ morality, which will internalise and proselytise. The smaller screen is constructed in a way that is antithetical to the urban or modern life which has always pandered to what social scientists call ‘the agenda’ – issues of concern to the viewing audience.
Image Caption: While Indian television continues to provide us with a wide array of shows, it fails to be logical and convincing in the least
Image Credits: Youthbuzz.com