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Changes in Indian TV serials: Have become bold with time and unwatchable also with family
Do you remember Indian television's first soap opera Hum Log, which was telecast during 80s on Doordarshan? Hum Log was the story of an Indian middle-class family of the 1980s and their daily struggles and aspirations. People remember it as the TV serial that they used to watch while sitting with the entire family be it kids, young and elders.

But is such family get together possible today while watching any TV serial being telecast on various entertainment channels? Ask a viewer and his answer would be surely in a big 'NO'. But what is the reason that a family cannot sit together today and watch a soap opera?

It is because nowadays the TV soaps have become hot and steamy with the introduction of intimate scenes generally shown on big screen. To increase the viewership, the producers of the TV serials are scripting intimate bed room scenes, kissing scenes for their episodes. In such scenario no doubt it is not possible for a family to sit together in front of TV sets and enjoy each others company.

When we asked actor Raza Murad, who has worked in big as well as small screen industry, about how he sees such changes in the small screen industry, he straightforwardly condemned the inclusion of bold scenes in TV serials.

"I think the producers and production houses as well are responsible for this. Why do they allow such serials to be telecast. TV is a cinema which is exclusively watched by the entire family. You watch TV serials with your parents, with your elders, brothers and sisters and sometimes bold scenes create a kind of embarrassment for the entire family. One can even make interesting serials without these kind of (bold) scenes. And as far as I am concerned I won't endorse such serials to be presented on small screen," said Raza Murad.

He also talked about the disclaimer which comes before the telecast of every episode, "Even the statutory message shown by all the channels say that if anyone has any objection against any particular serial or a show or a TV channel, one can always file a complaint. But unfortunately, we are not taking all this very seriously and my personal opinion is that government should take this on a very serious note."

Ad guru Prahlad Kakkar, termed the change in the TV industry a means of commercialization and accused channels for being biased in case of children interest.

He said, "I think, it has commercialized up to that extent that they are looking at what people desire for. The fact is that nobody is bothering about the children who are watching TV the most. And nobody has quantified the impact of TV or channel. And right now nobody wants to do that same survey as they don't want to open the can of worms, because in realm it is a can of worms, as content all over including advertising."

He added, "The point is, the channels should get together and form a body of professionals, where they will decide very clearly about their dos and donts and what influences the audience. See, with adults it is completely fine but what about the children, with whom you cannot watch the bedroom scenes. So, if we put that kind of rule then automatically they will be careful. But point is who should be putting the rule, the industry, or the government, because if industry puts in a rule then it is sensitive toward the revenues as well as professionalism. And if one doesn't want government's interference in it then mend the things itself."

But now the question is, whether the society is adapting to such major changes that have come in the entertainment sector which target audience not according to their age or need factor but for their own profit.

He added, "Society has changed, so forget about accepting the change. See, TV is not changing society but society is changing TV."

Geeta Shree, editor of Bindiya, a news magazine on female centric issues while explaining how children are getting affected by the boldness factor in the TV serials said that the small screen industry needs to understand that it is different from the big screen while scripting its serials.

She said, "It seems very embarrassing when bedroom scenes emerge out from nowhere. It actually hurts the sentiments of whole family. In case of movies, if there is any adult film then people prefer to watch it individually. Even children understand themselves that those intimate scenes are not watchable for them and they prefer to walk out when such scenes come. So, I think TV needs to be conscious and learn that it is totally different from cinema and it has to maintain a certain level. Though we are not against the telecast of such scenes but if one is directing family show then things should be kept in mind. I don't believe in moral policing but in the name of creativity one shouldn't cross the limits."

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