reality TV shows


The 71st Republic Day bestows upon Ekta Kapoor the Padma Shri award. But to what extent does she really deserve this prestigious honour?

Ekta Kapoor, the producer of over a hundred television serials, numerous web series and many more movies, also widely known as the “Czarina of Television”, was conferred the Padma Shri on the 71st Republic Day for her “distinguished service” in the field of art. Having joined the industry in her teenage years, Ekta Kapoor has only grown in her field and captured the time and attention of countless middle-aged women across the country.

The Padma Shri award is the fourth highest civilian award in India. It seeks to recognise achievements in all fields of activities or disciplines where an element of “public service” is involved. My question to you is what exact sort of public service does Ekta Kapoor offer to this country. Apart from corrupting the minds of millions of her viewers with unrealistic exaggerations of stereotypical Indian households, demonizing the women and objectifying their bodies, I highly doubt Kapoor has offered any real contribution to the growth of Indian cinema.

“Where Ekta Kapoor is the Queen of Indian Television she bears the onus of the Indian television being in a state of misery. From creating absolutely irrelevant and idiotic stuff to feed the Indian women, and further adding to the focus of masala and formulaic approach of Indian Television, it never rose from its mediocrity that has nothing to do with reality,” quotes Faizan Salik, a second-year English major student from Jamia Milia Islamia.

The television industry under Kapoor appears to have arrived at a stagnant halt where the producer refuses to broaden her perspective and continues to broadcast pretty much the same plot with different actors. Having bound the scope of these television series to match the mindsets of her majority viewership, Ekta Kapoor has successfully made the Indian Television yet another failure of the country.

Is this the kind of contribution that we look for in our country? Is this the kind of producer we bestow the fourth highest civilian award upon?

Cinema poses a crucial medium to spread awareness to the public at large. I am definitely not against the commercialised cinema meant for the sole purpose of entertainment. But when out of 100s of her serials like Saans Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kasauti Zindagi Ki, etc, not one single show attacks the sexism, social hierarchical structures and basic prejudices in society, I apologise but I find it rather difficult to vouch for our highly glorified producer.

I do not wish to defame Ekta Kapoor. We have all shed tears watching Shor in the City and laughed out loud at Kya Kool Hain Hum. But when you possess such a loud voice that is heard by millions of people, I only expect you to do your duty to the country and speak to them what they really need to listen to. That is when I’ll believe you truly worthy of this honourable award.

Feature Image Credits: The India Idiot


Aditi Gutgutia
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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’.

Indian TV sow


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



Radhika Boruah

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