What Goes Around Comes Around

ramayan.jpgThe Indian Entertainment Industry, of late, has been hit by a flurry of new TV channels and soap operas. With the relaxation in the Information and Broadcasting rules and opening up of avenues for global transmission, the Indian television is in its golden phase. Consequently, a lot of non Indian entertainment channels are hitting the small screens throughout India. The ease with which the cable TV and DTH transmission have captured Indian households has been a true revelation. Watching the present trend and the unending scope of moneyed advertisement industry in entertainment channels, big media houses are coming up with their own entertainment channels to woo the corporate houses and earn high for themselves. A channel’s earning depends on how much the channel is being viewed all over and that is measured by Television Rating Points or the TRP rating. TRP decides which program on which channel is being viewed the most and the advertisement industry use TRPs as a mark to air their commercials on these channels.

Indian viewers possess a varied taste for programmes, but one thing that will remain constant with time, for the Indian audience, is the liking and furor for mythological serials. The Indian public has embraced all mythological serials with both eyes wide open and so we see media house like NDTV coming up with their version of NDTV Imagine, an entertainment channel, which is banking heavily on its mythological endeavor “Ramayana” to take a plunge into the popular field of gathering TRPs. In the times of “Ramayana” by Ramanand Sagar, it seemed like a curfew had hit the Indian cities when the program was aired. You can imagine the far reaching effects of mythological actors by the fact that every public appearance of those stars went like a big procession.

Recently, it has been observed that these mythological serials are again reviving in prime slots, mainly to the lack of the “Saas Bahu” sagas and other soaps portraying family histrionics getting booed by viewers, who have been completely jaded by watching the old cries and vamps. The return to old mythological field indicates the lack of innovative ideas to capture viewer’s imagination and sometimes indicates the vacuum that has set in the very early stages. The channels are now banking on the old, low risk path to get an edge in the TRP race. Apart from mythological serials, the mythological animation has also hit the children’s imagination lately, with the release of movies like Hanuman, My Friend Ganesha, Return of The Hanuman and the Ramayana. The mythological animation which started when Japan gifted India an animated movie, “Ramayan” on the 50th anniversary of the Indo- Japanese relations, Indian animation has really come far since then.

Comparing the two phenomena, mythological serials and mythological animations, will always lead to different conclusions. Mythological serials indicate a want of TV channels to move forward in the TRP business on account of their inability to think upon new ideas. Reverting back to good old perennial easy ways, on the other hand, the animation counterpart has made a lot of impact on young children and this is evident from the fact that these animations run in packed houses when they are released. You can see young children lining up against their parents to view these movies.

Indian animation has done a good work in making Indian children aware about Indian Gods and imparting invaluable moral education, and has shown that you can always impart morals. The nostalgic “Dadi Maa ki Kahaniyan” have, once again, become more interesting. The Indian children now, have their own Indian version of “Shrek” in Hanuman . It feels good to know that the gen-Y children are learning about their Indian culture in the way they like. The mythological revolution can also be viewed as a drive to wean out the anomalies that need to be addressed pertaining to youth generation.

The Indian Media is still in the formation phases and no matter how mature we call it, the reality remains still the same. It needs to evolve in specific fields to weed out its shortcomings that are hampering the growth of this highly knowledge-imparting and potent field. Undoubtedly, today the Indian Entertainment industry holds an indispensable position in mass communication and keeping everybody well informed.

Ajeet Shekhawat

[Image courtesy: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e6/RamayanRebornRoss.jpg]