INDIA: Ponders Where to Draw the Line On Television Censorship – There are Boundaries to Everything, Porn Should Be No Different

Express news service : New Delhi, Mon Feb 13 2012, 03:00 hrs
 
With Indian television coming of age, and having more than 350 separate channels, we have countless international celebrities from all realms of entertainment (adult to generic) drawn to India to promote and participate in reality shows. Thus, when the limits of entertainment are stretched in the intensely competitive race for viewership and revenues, you can expect a lot of programming that the general public might have problems with — hypocritical or otherwise. This raises an important question: Does Indian television need tighter censorship? The general public, have a rather warped understanding of censorship. We have misinterpreted its meaning and are unknowingly bringing about the doom of creativity. I don’t think it is for anyone to decide which programmes should or shouldn’t be viewed by people. We mustn’t forget that there may always be an appreciative audience for what we find offensive or inappropriate. The very idea that the public is incapable of determining what is appropriate for them and that someone else has to make that choice for them is appalling. More than censorship, I believe what we need in Indian television is a code of conduct that all reality shows should abide by, failing which the show cannot be aired.
 
Miheek Rao, IX C

Tagore International School,

Vasant Vihar

Almost every other day, some or the other reality show is hitting the screen. Stars and actors are welcoming them with open arms, and so are the audience. Real day-to-day life is not as much dramatic and entertaining as depicted in these shows. At times, such shows create an exciting footage from various clips mixed with each other. Celebrities are roped in to create hype for the show, especially international celebrities. Debates over censorship of television content have been on for years now. Censoring of such shows are required in order to remove all sorts of obscenities. The need for wider censorship is even more because television has a far wider reach than cinema, especially since international content is included in Indian television schedules. Television does need tighter censorship.

Pratinava Rajpal, IX-A

Tagore International School,

Vasant Vihar

In india, many reality shows and serials are broadcasted. Some shows have very high TRPs while others have very less. Big Boss is one of the shows that sometimes has high TRP, and sometimes low. To increase that, we should not bring in international celebrities. In my view, international celebrities do not increase the TRP. We all know that most of the Hollywood programmes are for adults. Our culture is different from theirs, and if we invite foreign actors, it would be shameful. When Western reality shows do not call Indian celebrities, why should we call them? Indian movies are not broadcast abroad, so why broadcast Hollywood movies here? I am totally against. I think that in this age where international celebrities are being roped in to promote various programmes, Indian television needs tighter censorship.

Saurav Singh, IX- B

SL Suri DAV Public Sr Sec School, Janakpuri

For a television programme, the viewer who holds the remote is the censor. It is up to him whether he wants to see the programme or not. According to me, censorship in India is an eyewash — just the method adopted by a few persons of authority to show that they can control what people can see, and what they cannot. In India, where every citizen has the right to freedom of expression, nothing can be completely banned. Expression banned is expression unleashed. Also, a thing that is censored attracts people more, because people are curious and they love controversies. So, it’s high time we realised that television broadcasting in India requires a strict and rigorous rule regarding what is viewed by the public, and keep a strict check to ensure indecent things are not broadcast. Today, the choice of the masses has changed, and it is sad to know that the young generation derives more pleasure from what celebrities and stars are doing. So, it is not just the government that should take a step towards censorship. The public also needs to be sensitised to which programme conforms to the recognised standard of propriety, good taste and modesty.

Christina Sharon, X

St Mark’s Sr Sec Public School, Meera Bagh

Since time immemorial, India has tried to be at pace with developed countries in every aspect –academics, sports, music, dance, drama, or any other field for that matter. Times change, and along with it, the mentality of people also changes. Gone are the days when free time was just for games or reading. This is the era of social networks. Children all over the world are exposed to the open world of Internet. In the cyber world, there is rarely anything called a ‘censor board’. According to me, if censorship on television broadcasting in India is not liberalised, then there is no need to tighten it. It is ten times better if children get to know something in front of their parents, under their guidance and supervision, than get to know of something behind their back and make an issue of it.

Rohit Raman Banerji, X D

St Mark’s Sr Sec Public School, Meera Bagh

In the 21st Century, television has turned out to be one of the most important gadgets. It is hard to find a home where there’s no television. It has become an essential part of life of each and every individual. Television has many uses, people use it as a means of entertainment, for actors and technicians it provides career opportunities. Most importantly, it is used as an advertising medium by companies. Television is a window through which we can see each and every aspect of life. Earlier, television shows were usually serials, documentaries and movies. But these days, a new trend of reality shows has started. Many reality shows also invite foreign celebrities to create controversies, and therefore increase TRPs. In this dirty game for TRPs, reality shows don’t hesitate to cast explicit material — unmindful of the young minds they will be exposed to. All these things affect our culture, and brings Western culture into our country. Due to these things shown on TV, teenagers and youths get distracted from their studies and fall prey to various evils. The Indian youth is gradually losing sight of moral values and Indian culture and tradition. People don’t realise that stuff shown in reality shows is actually not real. In foreign countries, there are proper committees that set guidelines for television. On the contrary, Indian television does not have proper censorship. This is due to the lack of tight rules and proper laws. The Indian censor board is not proving effective in the absence of proper code of conduct. This negligence of the government is going to prove very dangerous for our country’s future. So, there is an immense need of a tighter governing body to control the television content telecast. If it is done, it might lead toward having a prosperous and healthy nation.

Mukul amrohi, XI-A

SL Suri DAV Public Sr Sec School, Janakpuri

NowADAYS, it has been observed that international celebrities are being called to promote programmes. The producers of various shows are very interested in making money, and for this, they call international celebrities. Indians are equally capable of promoting television programmes. But, in spite of giving a chance to Indians, we go for international celebrities. There is a big difference between Indian and international celebrities. Our culture is totally different. They have a different outlook in their county, and when they are given a chance to promote Indian programmes they mainly reflect their own culture. In India we are more concerned about our values and we never go for anything that would oppose our culture, our values. When these celebrities promote Indian programmes, they promote them in a totally different manner. This affects the mindset of small children and sets a bad example for them. Indian television needs tighter censorship, so our Indian culture can be maintained. As we are responsible for our values and culture, we should work together to safeguard them.

Akanksha Sharma, XI-A

SL Suri DAV Public Sr Sec School, Janakpuri

our country is getting economically stronger with each passing day. And, we can become stronger only if we have greater faith in things that actually belong to us. If we think only about foreign celebrities and their films, we will forget the homegrown ones. We shouldn’t forget that it was Shilpa Shetty who emerged winner in the international reality show Big Brother. So, in my opinion, we shouldn’t let down our Indian society and Indian celebrities.

Ritika Suji, XI-B

SL Suri DAV Public Sr Sec School, Janakpuri

Very often, we see foreign celebrities being called from abroad simply to promote several products or ‘reality shows’. These reality shows rope in international cricket or Hollywood celebrities to increase TRPs. Why do the people behind these so-called reality shows not invite Indian celebrities? Now there is a new trend — people who don’t get a ticket to Hollywood enter Indian television and gain popularity among the people. Eventually, they wind up in Bollywood films. Why are we running towards foreign culture? Why cannot we call Indian celebrities such as scientists and hockey players? They are our true celebrities. Our culture is degrading with each passing day.

Priyanka K Raman, IX-B

SL Suri DAV Public Sr Sec School, Janakpuri

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