Foreign Tv Channels Are Destroying Our Culture Essays

In Favor:-

  • Now-a-days people can’t able to talk pure mother tongue because they are watching foreign TV channels most of the time.
  • These channels have adverse effect on institution of marriage.
  • Many people try to imitate the trends which are shown in TV.
  • Children and youth are easily fascinate towards bad things than the good things.
  • After the introduction of foreign channels, there is a drastic change in our culture.

In Against:-

  • Culture depends on a person’s perception. Nobody can destroy our culture without our permission.
  • As world is becoming a global village, we must be ready to embrace all other cultures and have a knowledge about it.
  • By having foreign TV channels, we can able to know about world shows and can participate in them.
  • Discovery, National Geographic, BBC and much more foreign channels expand our knowledge.
  • Through international sports channel, we can know about the sports of other countries.
  • With the new DTH technology users can subscribe the channels as per their wish.
  • Parents can lock the channels, which are dangerous to children.
  • We can’t blame foreign channels as some local channels are also destroying our culture.
  • It’s not their mistake because they are just following their culture.


        Every coin has two sides, we should take only positive side. We are responsible for our deeds. But of course, govt is regulating the television broadcasting by allowing complaints from public and taking necessary steps whether it is foreign or local channel.

Afterwords :- What are your thoughts on this topic? Feel free to express your opinion in the comment section below.

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 The Indian protectors of our ancient culture, and of course our morals, were immediately up in arms. Foreigners were at their old game of destroying Indian culture. Soon enough, I found BBC TV at my door asking me the inevitable question: Was the satellite invasion indeed going to destroy Indian culture? In as steady tones as I could muster I said with all the emphasis at my command: "Certainly not. Indian culture has withstood not only cultural invasions, but every kind of invasion, military, religious and sociological for 5000 years. If anything, it has absorbed the best from these invasions and made it India’s own in such a subtle way that one does not even see them as foreign any more."

So who can forget 1992, that heady year, when Indian women, from the kitty party chiffon clad-matrons to the middle class behenjis and Dadimas of suburbia lapped up what they endearingly re-named Shanti Barbara and the Bold and the Beautiful, with all their incest and other family intrigues, as if they were their own. And coming down the years, right up to 2000, one can find serials on Indian TV, under the guise of emancipation, transplanting those plots into Indian contexts and getting away with it. Sometimes one could hardly tell the difference.

So who is destroying Indian culture? I, for one, firmly believe it is Indians themselves and I am not the only one. Opening the gossip page of a national daily the very morning I am writing this, I came across an astounding statement by an Indian who is planning a website on Internet, the new Yuppie toy, who seems a second cousin of some like-minded TV producers on Indian channels.

Here is a direct quote from a guest at Manjeet Kaur’s wedding (of all places): Says the news report Rajiv "Slice of Italy" Makhni (whose digital camera has overnight become the most wanted in the digital circuit) had an explanation for it.: Guess what this techno-savvy-dude is currently working on? A porn portal of all things," It’s going to have it all-love, relationships and, of course, lots of hot sex "he said," We have pages after pages on Kamasutra, opulent visuals, illustrations, the works." Well, with Indian enterprise like this do we really need foreign satellite channels to corrupt our pure minds?

And talking of porn, now that we are blessed in Delhi with 60 plus satellite channels (and hopefully in other areas where this paper is read) just take a look from midnight onwards at what is being shown till dawn, particularly on the South Indian Channels. Porn by any other name would stink just as much. Explicit sex of the most crude and vulgar kind in the guise of song and dance sequences, unabashed bedroom scenes enlivened by voyeurs licking their lips in case we miss the point. They make one sick and one wonders what effect this kind of porn in Indian contexts can have on impressionable young Indian minds, which already have access to such porn on Internet. But at least internet is restricted to the affluent portions of society, while TV is now available even in the servants’ quarters of cities and in the most backward of villages. While the Indian authorities are quick to pounce on the Russian after-midnight pornographic channel, which cable operators have been ordered not to carry, nothing seems to happen to Indian satellite channels. There is a very cynical explanation for this. Many of the South Indian channels have strong political affiliations, at least one being owned by a close ally of the government at the Centre. To ban them or even pull them up would mean immediate political repercussions. And which government would want that? And so the pornographic show must go on.

The blatant display of pornography in the guise of entertainment can be traced directly to the commercial cinemas of India, which still dominate our TV screens. For years one has wondered why educated girls from good families lend themselves so willingly to performing those horrible pelvic thrusts, heaves of the bosom and bottom wiggling of the most vulgar sort. Our alert Minister of Information and Broadcasting has been laying stress on family values in her broadcasts (and we are with her). She has asked the monitoring unit of her Ministry, normally used for monitoring political propaganda by hostile countries, to take a close look at the fashion channel I would like to draw her attention to what is going on in her own Doordarshan channels, where not only are vulgar film song and dance sequences aired with as much bravura as on the private channels but where the presenters dress in a manner which even a hardened media-watcher such as this columnist finds distasteful and un-Indian.

The young woman who presented a filmi music programme a week ago on the Metro channel of Doordarshan appeared on screen in a tight shirt where the highlight was a large human face printed on each bosom. It was not only in execrable taste but distracted one’s attention from what should have been the highlight — the music. In fact, on all channels, a new breed of young women anchors appear in Karol Bagh and Colaba versions of Western dress, usually, consisting of a slit skirt going up to the thighs, a skimpy top with shoe-string shoulder straps and plunging necklines which leave little to the imagination. All this in an effort to keep up with the Jones’s (or perhaps one should say the Bhatias).

Some time ago, I was interviewed by Time magazine on why Baywatch was such a popular programme even in India. Did it not offend Indian sensibilities? No, I replied, firstly it was the superb health, the wonderful bodies of the young men and women who figure in it. I did not add (it was for a foreign magazine) that normally Indians would have found the shapely young women in skimpy swimming costumes a little too strong for their tastes. But they were mostly champion swimmers performing heroic rescues of drowning people. And secondly, they wore what they did so naturally, that no critical thoughts entered one’s head.

What the Indian anchors trying to appear modern in pseudo-western dress do not realise is that Western women are used to that kind of dress-it is within their own culture. They have beautiful legs, which most of our girls do not, they know how to walk, sit and stand in the most skimpy of dresses, which our anchors do not. They do not always have the physical proportions for Western dress and look self-conscious all the time, in addition to speaking in a silly brand of Hinglish which is as badly phrased as it is spoken. It is outside our culture just as Western women usually look ridiculous in saris because, it is outside their culture. Usually only Indian girls who have been brought up abroad, such as rare exceptions like Ruby Bhatia, can carry off Western dress. And her dresses are also within decent limits.

Reverting to the Fashion Channel, which Bangladesh has already banned. Once again, it is their culture, their way of dressing, even Indian couturieres are now being shown on that channel. Admitting that intimate lingerie and see-though dresses are not what Indians are used to, seeing them on foreign models who are extremely professional and impersonal, while walking down the ramp takes away any suggestion of pornography. Indians have seen much more at Khajuraho and Konark and if left to themselves will act as maturely as working class women audiences did in Mumbai when they saw Bandit Queen and, later, even Deepa Mehta’s Fire. Indian cinema audiences have been under-estimated for years by our film censors. I feel the same applies to our TV audiences. They can put sex and even violence into perspective when in context and done with responsibility. Which is very different to exposing them to pure and unnecessary pornography or indecent clothes under the cover of modernity.

Recently also under scrutiny have been our serials. Gone are the days of Buniyaad and Tamas or domestic charming serials like Rajni. At the moment we have parallel themes, serials such as Saans and Kora Kagaz which uphold the rights and aspirations of women who have been let down by their men, which have largely kept within bounds and not totally scrapped what are still believed to be the basic values of the Indian women. Side by side are the now more mushy, visually opulent serials about intrigues within traditional families, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and the rest. A certain stabilising influence seems to be at work here, and I have also watched Bengali serials where, after husband-wife problems erupt, there is frank discussion, followed by honourable reconciliation. Which is far preferable to the silly domestic comedies, marked by over-acting and loud canned laughter, which play to the lowest common denominator. But at least they are preferable to the middle period of Indian TV when we had a surfeit of "Shanti" Barbaras and The Bold and the Beautiful in highly contrived, unlikely Indian contexts.

Meanwhile the most horrific sex and violence films continue to assault the senses on foreign channels like Star World and AXN. When I see a title like I Two Guys a girl and a Pizza Place I tend to look the other way, because most of the American serials are so steeped in local American contexts and values that surely they are more a form of escape for Yuppie viewers who feel perhaps modern and international when watching them. If we must watch foreign channels give me every time National Geographic with its moving and beautiful programmes on birds and animals and the environment or Discovery, with its wealth of programmes on many subjects of universal interest from the early days of flying to how to act in an emergency to science and health. And the BBC with its absorbing series on the great civilisations, that is when it becomes academic and detached, which it is not always in its news. It is in this type of serious TV programme that Indian TV has failed miserably.

The best part of the satellite invasion is that it brought to Indian TV what had been missing so far: Competition. It showed up the inadequacies of Doordarshan, its bureaucratic ways, it lack of professionalism, its technical backwardness. Satellite TV transformed news coverage, it brought politicians face to face with relentless interviewers without fear or favour, it exposed social evils, it freed election coverage and politics generally from the strait jacket to which DD had reduced them. So the satellite invasion, like other invasions of India down the centuries, has had more positive results than negative. Before we flog it further, let us put our own house in order and ask the all-important question: Are not we Indians ourselves responsible for much of the cultural destruction that continues on our TV screens?

At the entrance of Broadcasting House in Delhi are inscribed Mahatma Gandhi’s immortal words, which we would do well to remember:

I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides

And my windows to be stuffed

I want the culture of all lands to be blown

About my house as freely as possible,

But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any of them."


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