Recently, during a discussion with colleagues, I came to know of the World Television Day, which is being celebrated today, on the 21st of November. It takes me back to fond memories when the television had just been introduced into our household somewhere in the eighties. The entertainment that it brought into our lives at the juncture was perhaps limited when I compare it with what it has evolved into today, yet it brought a lot of relief and a pleasant break away from the monotonous routine.
However, beyond the entertainment and news which used to be telecast on the television, my favourite part used to be the fact that the entire neighbourhood would sit together and enjoy the shows, whether it be the news or a movie. Iconic shows such as the Ramayana and Mahabharatha saw the entire family fighting for a seat in the living room, to get the best view of the screen. Similarly ‘Chaya Geet’ songs from Hindi movies was a treat on Thursday evenings! On Friday was Phool Khile hai Gulshan Gulshan a show that our dear Late Tabassum hosted. She was so good in her style of talking and was so pleasant looking. It’s unfortunate that she passed away yesterday. On Sunday evening the Hindi movie could not be missed at any cost. At our house some foreign students could also be found sitting in front and we talked to them about for mythology with pride, thus introducing them to our culture.
The days have changed a lot since then. I feel saddened to see that while at that time the family would come together to watch TV, nowadays children sit in their own rooms and watch television which could be un-monitored too. Working parents are busy attending to their work and children are left on their own, watching shows that they should not be watching. I do agree that some amount of liberty should be given to children so that they may explore and identify their interest, yet the possibility of them discovering things that might rattle their mind cannot to ruled out. While parents work, they must also keep checking on their children to find out what they are watching on the television. They should identify the emotion that is associated with that show and put a curb on that which might harm them.
OTT platforms have got in a new genre of content on television. While now we do get entertainment through many channels, but monitoring what content should be seen by children and what not has become one more challenge for parents.
On the other side Television has also been used by Govt as a tool for teaching content that would otherwise not reach remote places where access to internet is a challenge.
The television has been a breakthrough in so many ways and I am glad that an entire day has been dedicated to celebrating its advent into our lives. The television has been the greatest source of information and entertainment and I hope we continue to respect the boundaries and learn and grow with its growth.