The Tribune - Spectrum


Sunday, February 25, 2001

Who is destroying Indian culture?

A PROPOS of Amita Malik’s piece "Who is destroying Indian culture?" (February 4), there is no doubt that the television with its lascivious portrayal of sex and violence though satellite channels is posing a grave threat to our tradition and culture. If this cultural invasion from the skies is not halted it will seal the doom of the younger generation. Psychologists agree that television makes a lasting impression on the mind of a growing child. Adolescents digest most of the noxious stuff which is dished out to them through the idiot box. They try to re-enact in life what they see on the screen.

The perpetration of violence has already done enough harm to our culture. The mindless glorification of gunplay and immoral advocacy of adultery must go for good. The entertainment industry must not be allowed to inculcate obnoxious ideas of sex and violence in the minds of our children, forcing them to snap their link with the spiritual legacy handed down by the great sages and seers.

The proliferation of foreign and domestic networks with double-meaning dialogues, objectionable physical postures, obscene songs and music and scenes of cruelty and violence is a matter of serious concern. Since 1993 foreign satellite channels have been creating mischief in India.


Having spread their network in a number of countries they are bent upon eroding moral values on a global scale. Notwithstanding loud protests from the Central Board of Film Certification, the government has alone practically, nothing to stop international channels from telecasting their objectionable programme in India. It is certain that half-hearted measures will yield no fruitful results. The Cable Television Network’s (Regulations) Act should be more articulate in outlawing pornographic production in the general public interest. No one can serve God and Satan both. If the government turns a deaf ear to people’s protest against obscenity and violence in print and audio-visual media, they must continue the fight to the last. Indeed, the blame for the destruction of Indian culture through TVcan be squarely laid on the Indian government and the people themselves.



There can be no doubt that the idiot-box is administring to its viewers a very heavy dose of explicit sex of the most crude and vulgar kind. Such a display of pornography in the name of entertainment is not limited to just foreign TV channels, our own channels also do not lag behind in the game of destroying Indian culture and age-old social norms.

Why blame and ban Fashion TV, while on our own channels we very proudly display models dressed in indecent and transparent clothes. Such cultural degeneration on TV screens is not the work of any ‘foreign hand’ but is our own innovation and doing.

It is not just the crude display of sex and violence, that has adversely influenced the young and impressionable minds, but the cheap and silly domestic comedies marked by overacting and loud canned laughter have made a mockery of our social ethos and culture values. One would know what I mean if one has seen just one episode of the serial Hum Paanch on Zee.

But the moot question is should the viewers see all that is telecast and particularly should parents and elders in the family stop their children from watching such shows. If our age-old Indian culture has successfully withstood all socio-cultural invasions and onslaughts during the last 5000 years, it is only because the parents, teachers and elders wielded influence and lived up to their duty of inculcating Indian values in young minds.



Of course private TV channels must share the responsibility for contributing towards the destruction of Indian culture. But before asking them not to do so we must keep our own house in order. Let the Minister for Information and Broadcasting Sushma Swaraj, with the help and active participation of various women organisations, take effective steps to pursuade models and film actresses not to participate in or encourage the vulgar display of sex on small and big screens in India.



The vulgarity dished out on our screens in the guise of entertainment can be traced directly to the commercial cinemas of India, which still dominate our TV screens. One wonders why educated and enlightened girls from affluent families lend themselves so willingly to performing such shows. These kind of vulgar movies must be banned by the censor board.


Learn to be happy

"Prosperity continues: But are we really happier?" (January 28) by I.M. Soni was a thought-provoking write-up in which the writer prodded one to understand the intrinsic intricacies and complications of prosperity. Prosperity, in fact, is one of the factors of happiness but can’t always induce happiness. Even prosperous and affluent people, having all materialistic comforts at their command, are often found groping in the dark for happiness.

It is an admitted fact that wealth alone cannot make anybody happier. Rather too much of it may lead to one’s ruin unless one can detach oneself from it. True happiness lies in realising true holiness, moral values, love for one’s fellow beings, service of mankind and the nation.

Worldly possessions and affluence can’t guarantee happiness which is becoming a rare commodity with each passing day. It is a blessing which can be sought by becoming humble, kind, magnanimous, generous and contended. It can not be bought. Had it been so, the not-so- prosperous would not have experienced it.

It is an irony of fate that amidst ever-increasing prosperity we are not happier. Happy is the man who earns his livelihood honestly, leads a simple and stainless life, devoid of envy, jealously and ill-will towards anyone. But it is lamentable that we have not learned how to use and enjoy prosperity because of our ignorance.


Two-minute life

Apropos of Madhurimas article "Ah! This two-minute life" (February 11), I agree with the writer that "instant is the mantra of today’s life". Some people boast about how much they are able to do in a little while. In most cases instant work schedules exhaust and contribute nothing towards effectiveness. Quite the contrary, such people complain of constant fatigue and find it almost impossible to keep their mind on what they are doing.

Attempting to do everything instantly saps the energy of a person. It make one less enthusiastic, less happy less companionable and less efficient.

A healthy lifestyle which does not involve stress, gives enough time for work, but it also gives room for enough leisure. Leisure is the time, when the tensions built up in the body get smoothed out, and after a spell of leisure a person is buoyant enough to start his work again with efficiency.


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