Crush the reality shows

In the name of reality some shows exceed the social limit and create havoc in the lives of common people. Due to the hgih TRP ratings media goes gung ho over these shows. With the media frenzy people too get attracted towards these televisions shows without any distinctions. Age, class, caste and other social factor become invalid when it comes to these shows. The social psychology of the Indian society cannot be controlled by the intellectual warnings. It is better to censor these shows. Left unchecked will create devastation in the society. It is like leaving the criminals free.

 

The Deccan Chronicle writes on 19th November 2010

 

The eclipse of Doordarshan’s monopoly on the small screen, and the opening of the brave new world of liberalisation and globalisation, have served several worthwhile objectives and brought to our milieu many laudable commodities and services that we were earlier missing out on. Alas, a good deal of television programming is not in this category. The independent news and current affairs channels are generally second class, although enough years have passed since they first appeared. Of the fare these purvey in the name of entertainment, the less said the better. But many will probably agree — it is impossible to speak for the majority in the matter of personal tastes, and when it comes to offering a non-legal definition of decency — that the so-called entertainment channels have plumbed depths that we didn’t suspect existed in our broad cultural context, although that area too is elusive of a definition that may satisfy most. So, the question is does the recent directive of the information and broadcasting ministry asking two channels that broadcast Bigg Boss and Rakhi ka Insaaf respectively to broadcast at times that will blank them out of viewers and hit their earnings hard, come to the rescue of those of us who look upon these serials as base, gross, vulgar or otherwise unacceptable? Making the effort to be careful, the government order has not asked the channels in question to stop broadcasting the serials it finds offensive, or to televise only duly edited parts. However, the Bombay HC has stayed the I&B instruction. There is every likelihood that the channels will come up with the freedom of expression argument. Of course, no freedom is absolute and reasonable restrictions do come into play in a democratic order. Probably the judges will eventually look at the question whether the broadcast material causes enmity between sections of the people, nudges viewers to violence, or outrages the sense of public modesty in the manner open pornography (whose public representation is taboo in India while it is not in some Western democracies) does. These grounds have been trodden before, needless to say. At least at the level of theoretical discussion there can be no serious disagreement that freedom of expression should apply even to those who provide lousy fare, or make a living out of choosing to be vulgar. In effect, then, the HC is likely to be ruling on whether the particular material placed before them — and this might amount to going over each episode — is deleterious to the society’s health and causes internal divisions, sabotage or unrest. This is frankly quite absurd. After all these programmes have been on a long time and the government has not sought to clamp down on them before. In the spirit of democracy and free expression, it might be best if the government withdrew its order (although it might find many takers) altogether. What the I&B ministry has done is censorship by another name. That much is clear, and that is exactly what some right-wing groups tend to do through display of open goonda force. Perhaps the choice of viewing a particular programme should be left, in the final analysis, to those who subscribe to them.

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