Stereotypes and Prejudices of Indian Television
Television has really come a long way since the Buniyaad and Humlog days .Today every other channel has raining variety of daily soaps to entertain the audience starting from young love stories for the youth audience like Navya or Geet hui sabse parayi to saas-bahu kitchen politics and drama for the family audience like Pavitra Rishta or Saathiya to suspense thrillers for both set of audiences like CID or reality shows like KBC and Big boss for our daily dose of entertainment.
But still time and again one question which has been constantly raised on Television is that whether the channels and producers are extra cautious when it comes to their quality of shows and so they have no choice but to follow the stereotypical genre of shows and play it safe for the Trp giving viewers?
We have shows made on Punjabi families, Gujarati families ,Bengali families and Marathi families which are being liked by all but we have rarely shows made on Muslim or South Indian families and the question is why? Is it becaause the producers want to play it safe and go with the majoirty of trp giving viewers?
Today our TV Industry is filled with popular Khans like Iqbal Khan, Hina Khan, Ejiaz Khan, Sara Khan who are some of the top telly actors today but why is that our telly shows never has a Khan in it? Why is it that a Television never comes out with "My Name is Khan" or "Khuda ke Liye" type of a project which are appreciated worldwide on big screen? Are our producers and channel too scared to experiment here on small screen? .
The last successful project on small screen which was based on a Muslim background was Sony's popular show Heena which ran for so many years and saw huge popularity among all section of viewers but after that no producer really gave it a thought to make another Heena type of a show and we wonder why, when our TV Industry as well as film industry is filled with so many popular Khans whom viewers just adore.
Normally channel and producers believe that they want to invest in shows which can connect with general audience. So are our producers afraid that a show made on Muslim background might not really connect with the Trp viewers?
There are several films made in bollywood and south indian film industry which has beautifully presented a love story between a hindu and a muslim boy-girl like Bombay .So why cant small screen have similar shows based on a mix of Hindu and Musilm culture which can entertain both section of Hindu and Muslim community not just in India but also worldwide with stories based on friendship between a hindu and a muslim which can increase the tolerance between two communities and which will reduce the tiff between both like we had earlier seen in popular Bollywood films like Heena made under RK banner .
There is always the scare of whether the Trp viewers who are more immune to our daily dose of Gujju shows or Punjabi shows might not accept this sudden change but unless the makers come out with something different and try to experiment with something unique, how can one bring a change in our TV world? Its high time that India being a secular nation, our TV producers and channel should try to break the stereotypical image of our TV shows and try to make shows which can portray all the communities equally so that people from other religions dont feel neglected and this way through television one can show India's strength is its unity and harmony between all the communities.
Television today is a very popular medium and we have seen so many cases in real lives where someone is inspired from a fictional character in a daily soap and tries to follow the footsteps of that fictional character. Television has seen popular Bahus like Tulsi and Parvati becoming role models for everyone and in the recent times bahus like Gopi, Pratigya, Geet, Archana and Anandi have also proved to be a role model for many. So why cant this same Television medium produce role models in the form of names like Heena or Salma and try to nullify the age-old bridge between both the communities ? .Same goes for the men of our TV shows as well..If TV can create popular eye-candy characters like Krishna, Maan, Armaan, Manav and Dutta Bhau then why can't same TV create characters like Salim or Rizwan Khan?.
This was a small effort from our Telly Tadka team to try and break the picture of stereotypical formulas and the prejudices which are being followed on Indian TV over the years and we hope that soon this is broken and we get some fresh change in our variety of shows in the coming years.
Author - G.Ganguly