Have you ever wondered about the status of children in our country?
Quite frankly, I wonder if they have any status at all ! IF you watch the TV programmes that are doled out in the name of children’s programmes, I’m sure you will agree with me. It is often unbearable to watch the inane things that are said or done in the name of children’s programmes!
Recently I happened to watch a children’s programme being aired at prime time on a Bengali channel that usually have sensible programmes. The set is of an underwater scene and is quite impressive and aesthetic. But perhaps that and the children aged 4 – /8 years are the only good things about the programme. I had to steel myself to watch through the whole programme that is guilty of
- frightening children with djins and light and sound effects. The djin threatens to take the children away for not being good
- asking children to shoot at the djin using a toy pistol
- using competition
- asking foolish questions like ‘whom do you like more – father / mother’.
- Using objectionable language
Besides this, the anchor asked pointed questions to each child about whether they had to suffer corporal punishment at home and later used these clips to show to the parents when they were called in. Then the parents were given funny ‘punishments’ in front of their children. All this is considered good fun but I’m amazed at the crudity. Why should parents be embarrassed like this on a public forum? Of course, I agree wholeheartedly that corporal punishment is bad but surely there are other ways to focus attention on this. Surely, undermining the confidence of the child in their parents quite subtly is perhaps not the answer to the problem? I’d very much like to know the objective of the makers of this programme.
In India, most children’s programmes are without any worthwhile objectives. No programme is made that has sheer humour as its objective. The one exception being Dadima’s puppets. I don’t think terrorising children is funny. It can have a very negative effect on children.
One should also think twice before asking children to shoot someone that they don’t like. What message does that give the child? When the child grows up and finds somebody they don’t like will s/he shoot them with real pistols then?
Competition too seems to be a must in all such children’s programmes. With all the print literature and also counseling programmes on radio and television, we still resort to competitive programmes.
When will grown-ups act responsibly?!
It’s a pity because we have the brains and skills to make superb programmes if we did not bow to the TRP devata.
Most educators and sensible parents ignore the Television medium as not worth their while. However, knowing the reach of this medium I feel educators and parents should get together and raise their voices against inane and deplorable programmes that are aired in the name of children’s programmes.
What do you think?