Sunday, 27 March 2016

The Great Indian Television Shows

During my eighth grade,  our school organised a seminar to encourage the spirit of social service among the students. We were made to understand  how rapidly our nation would be able to eradicate illiteracy if all the students who have an access to education help those who are deprived of it. They used the slogan 'Each one teach one' repeatedly and it got stuck in my mind. I got determined to help somebody who did not have an access to education but couldn't find anybody around me to do so.
Then, one fine afternoon during my summer vacations(right after my eighth grade) I was relaxing in my house and as a part of the daily routine Shanta Bai(our maid)  arrived.  I opened the door and saw that she wasn't alone, her daughter in law who wasn't older than sixteen years  also accompanied her. I was glad to see her as it suddenly struck me that maybe she is the one whom I can help . She was helping Shanta bai with her chores and meanwhile I thought of having a chat with her. After exchanging a  few words I asked her about her education and she told me she was an illiterate and I got overwhelmed with joy (After all I was a kid :P)
After talking to her and inquiring about her daily routine I came to know that she used to be free during the afternoon. I talked to her about my plans to help her with her education and all and expected her to be very happy and excited  about it. She took a pause and said "I don't have time to study". I reminded her that she is left with some free time in the afternoon and during that time she can come to me and I would love to teach her. Before I could finish my sentence, she said abruptly  "I'm not free that time, I have a daily soap(one of those Ekta Kapoor serials) to watch". This sentence broke my heart. I tried to convince her but she was very adamant about watching the show and prioritized the show before her education.
Television, something which was once seen as a medium of spreading awareness and literacy among the backward sections of our country is now maybe the biggest barrier to education at least in  rural India.  It has ruined more lives than our traditional and quintessential  faux pass. The visual electronic media has undone all the positives that DOORDARSHAN once targeted to implement in India.
The biggest (dis)advantage of television is that it makes us forget all the burdens and failures of our life and takes us to a virtual world. Earlier, during the supper time, people used to talk with each other, used to discuss all the problems of life but now all they do is to watch what is going on in their favorite sitcom. One is not worried about his job but rather worried about a character's married life in a serial. I guess its high time that we learn to respect our values and people more than the characters in a shitty daily soap. Its time to take the remote control of television in our hand rather than giving our remote control to it.

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