Monday, April 15, 2013

Will the soap kill the family?

It is generally tom-tommed by the said programs that they are the upholders of "bhartiya sanskriti" - indian culture. that they bring indian tradition and culture)and the latest design in saris, hairdo and jewelry) into our houses. that they demonstrate what model families are like (sanskaar and all that).

But bear with me here, as i make the exact opposite assertion - The serial (or the soap) will be the end of any healthy family - forget about Indian et al. It is the serials that are responsible for families turning even more political, for the end of real camaraderie and the start of role plays in all interactions.

What you see is what you become. Dont take my word for it. When you read Jane Austen , does your idea of romance change for a few hours? When you see Olympics, do you wonder about the state of sports in India? When you read about death sentence for terrorists and the "implications" - do you get angry that people have no objection to feeding them taxpayers' money, but will object to justice being done? Yes you do. Or some variation of these thoughts. The stimuli we choose for ourselves will shape our thoughts - at least momentarily.

And when u repeat the same kind of stimuli (ask fans of Hindi novels, Wilbur Smith or people who watch crime shows), your brain is even more attuned to think in one direction.

Now lets see the direction that these soaps give to our minds:
1. The only way to take the story forward is to be mean, nasty, cruel and to hurt another person. Since the sphere of our activities in the serial is the home, it teaches us how to misinterpret, how to hurt, how to misrepresent and how to be cruel to our own family members or friends or those closest to us.

2. The "bhartiya sanskriti" tom-tommed in these serials is the MOST MYSOGYNISTIC representation of Indian culture that i have ever seen. If this is what the women are watching and enjoying, i really dont have much hope for womens emancipation in India.

3. There is no story. TV is not called Idiot Box for nothing. There is no intellectual stimulation except to second guess the next maneuver of the characters. The only message is that you should judge people, misunderstand them and misrepresent. Use information, not constructively, but to create webs of deceit.

If people in your family enjoy serials, do be ready for layered communication, circumlocution and domestic politics. And oh yes, you can kiss that simple family communication goodbye. in these serials, there is no family. Just a set of "good people" and a set of "bad people" sharing the same house and working on cross purposes.



Stuthi B said...


Z said...

I don't know anything about Indian soaps, but from what I know about British ones, I agree with every word you say - except that over here, most men are thugs or inadequate idiots who couldn't cope without strong (yet ludicrously over-emotional) women.

Indrani said...

Sheer waste of time!

Manish Raj said...

Long back.. ages back.. I've stopped watching these serials..

I knew it will get worse.. don't waste time..


Onkar said...

very true and thought provoking.