There is an increase in number of reality shows, its participants and the audience to enjoy it. Does it mean that we are increasingly getting inclined to find happiness in humiliation?
SINCE THE last few years a new trend has started in television, which is of reality shows. Gradually, these shows have become favorites of everyone. Good and informative serials like Bournvita Quiz Contest, which was liked by every child, and schools used to prepare their students to make them participate in the show, have slowly vanished from television. These informative serials have been replaced by series such as Indian Idol and Roadies.
And it is not only the kids and teenagers that show eagerness to participate rather parents also encourage their children to participate in these reality television shows. Sometime back I was listening to an FM channel where a mother was asked what she wants her 4-year-old son to become in future, to which she answered I want my son to participate in reality shows and earn lots of money. Parents make their children join expensive dance and music classes so that they could participate. But what happens when they reach the auditions? Millions of kids and youngsters line up just to get humiliated and banged by the judges. People are told things about themselves in a manner that could cripple anybody's confidence for lifetime if the contestants are weak-hearted.
Pick any episode of Indian Idol, especially auditions, it is full of humiliation and cheap jokes cracked on the people appearing for auditions. And Roadies has marked the beginning of an era of reality shows where abuses, being open, humiliation and being bold have been re-defined. I feel bad whenever I see a youngster or a kid after finishing watching the show gets up boldly and uses the same abuses; acts in the same rude and ill-mannered way.
In one of the episodes of MTV Roadies, a contestant was compared to a donkey and humiliated in front of others with a fact that the episode and the scene would aired soon. The punchline of future Roadies shows is that it gets more humiliating and ruder. In several other singing and dancing reality shows, even when it is said screening is done even before a participant appears in front of judges then why do they screen people who dance and sing awfully - isn’t it just to create instances where there would be cheap, humiliating comments?
An extremely large number of audience have started enjoying these shows. They try to find fun and laughter in watching another person being humiliated and made fun of. But they forget how the person being humiliated in front of so many people would feel, what would be impact on his or her psyche?
What has happened to the psyche of present day parents, children and the audience? Parents see an easy way out to make their kid earn fame and name at a very young age. But by taking this path they are forgetting that they are gambling with the future of their kids. And what should be said about the audience? That we have started enjoying this game of humiliation? I know a couple who knew their son sings very well, and in order to send him to a reality show and get him qualified they were more than ready to take him to a doctor who would stop him from reaching his puberty so that his voice doesn’t change. Doesn’t it sound disgusting? Are we in so much love for money, name, fame that we the audience, participants, judges, and parents are ready to go to any extent?
These reality shows would stop once we the audience would stop watching and enjoying the humiliation, would stop making our small and young kids a medium to earn name, fame and money. We are living in India
where parents still have hold of their kid's life, so it is in our hand that we lead our kids by setting an example, and instead of following them on the path of short term fame, which also gives humiliation, abuse, long-term impact on a child's psychology, we should lead them to the path that would transform them into an excellent social being.