By Nidhi Khurana:
“Art is moral passion married to entertainment. Moral passion without entertainment is propaganda and entertainment without moral passion is Television.”Â -Rita Mae Brown
Television probably is the most loyal invention that has stood by us in all the times, whether it was the time when the hijacked jets attacked the twin towers and Pentagon, or when a Ganesha idol was sipping milk from spoons or when the little Prince fell into the 50-foot deep bore-well, and whenever we needed someone to be with us when we found ourselves alone.
So has been the role played by television in children’s life. In fact, it has played a more interesting role in this case. My cousin tells me that she does all the household chores only when she makes her two year toddler sit in front of the television. As soon as ‘Munni, Sheila, or a Chameli’ appear on the screen, this kid cannot stop tapping his feet and jumping in his seat. So, for children, television is the reigning deity of the present, irrespective of the detrimental effects it can have on their health and development. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), most children plug into the world of television long before they enter school.
And what do we have to say about the daily soaps, liked equally by children and adults? How do they affect children? Are they good for anything? A great deal is known about the effects of these melodramatic daily soaps on children. Yet, nothing about it is considered seriously. Surprisingly, they are considered to be a good source of daily entertainment. Gone were the days when serials were considered to be the windows to ones culture and reality. However, now what serials portray is an exaggerated reality, a western image disguised in an Indian attire, glamour and obscenity. Daily soaps undoubtedly romanticize profanity, having multiple children with multiple men and women, being gangsters and so on.
And there is a lot that can be said about reality shows like Roadies and Big Boss too. What do they have to teach our kids? What do they have to contribute to the society? Sadly even animated serials and cartoons help in spoiling our kids. They learn that it is good to have girlfriends and boyfriends at a young age, like that of Popeye and Mickey Mouse and that it is good to be naughty and let your mother shout all the time, like Doraemon and Shin Chan.
Nonetheless, I do not believe that TV spoils children. It depends on the perception. Television as a source of media represents information to its audience in the form of images. These images are the direct reflection of what happens around us. Sadly, we tend to ignore the good things it has to teach. For example, Crime Patrol on Sony is doing a good job these days to create awareness about the crimes that are happening around us. Unfortunately, there is little that we are doing to get rid of these crimes. We are creating fear in the minds of children by virtue of cases of kidnapping and abduction, which is causing them to live in constant fear and also depriving them from exploring the things they want to explore.
There is no doubt that television can be very educating but a lot of objectionable content has to be done away with as it is doing nothing but slaughtering the innocence of the children