Children in Reality Shows


There is show live on TV, “Recognise the Star”, where a portion of Star’s face is shown and the participants have to guess. Everyone, even the children, is pressing their memories hard who the star is.

Meanwhile, there  was an interesting debate in NDTV regarding the Children in reality shows.  It was really good in the context that the media has stopped a bit to take stock of whats going on. Important observations were made regarding the pressure, stress the children go through during these talent shows. We see children dancing, singing, telling jokes they don’t understand. The debate was about the minimum age of the child after which they can appear in those shows. Important point raised in the debate was the treatment of the children by the judges.  Children or any other participant should be treated with empathy. Anu Malik says that ” How can you say to a participant  that he has lost with hugs and kisses.

Image Source: http://www.mynews.in/News/dailyimage/news/hemant_brijwasi_300.jpg

Past has left us with some grave instances of children being subjected excess pressure to improve their performance in sports, studies and some ending their lives and some becoming addicted to drugs, drinking.   Anu Malik says that stress is a good thing as Surf excel ad says “Daag acha hain”. It is the responsibility of the parents to manage their children.
Yes Stress is good, it gets the best out of you. But the question is whether it is constructive or destructive.  When you see these shows you will see that the children singing and performing songs which are meant to be for grown ups.  When I say grown ups, its both mentally and physically.  How can you say to a child that you got the ” Aaja Meri Gaadi Main  Bait jaa”  song wrong. Dont say Laya, shruthi, Taal. When you sing ” Bheri Piyaa bada bedardi”, it comes out best when the girl singing feels  or knows how to feel that her lover is apathic. Some of these children are very talented, no doubt,  they are able to sing all types of songs with the same intensity and feel. But is it required? Don’t you think we are  forcing the children to grow up too fast and take up the burden of our expectations?

One activist who has filed a PIL(Public interest Litigation) in some court regarding the minimum age after which they can participate in these shows. She made a very important point that when we are trying to revamp our education system to lessen the stress of ranking system and lighten the bags by introducing the grades, why are we subjecting the children to judgments of winning and losing. One of the conductors of a children talent show compared them to sports where there will be winners and losers.  But this is no sport: sports and games have set of rules which can be used to quantify the performance, like sprinting the race in least amount of time. that’s it. Its not dependent on how I feel about their performance ” He ran really hard man”  but my feeling of how one participant does not make him the winner. But in singing and dancing, its about the feeling. They cannot be judged as Number one, two or three. Some one may like one, other may not. And these judges are least qualified for that. Anu Malik the famous copycat who copied many foreign songs and Indianized them, is not 100% purely qualified as judge.  He has struggled in his life to come to that stage, I understand, but what impression can you make on people whom you judge when your own shirt is not clean. “Daag acha hain” !  So its important that parents, Show conductors, judges  make things lighter for the participants and bring them near to the real world. Because in the real world you can get many chances to prove yourselves.  So the participants too just take the things coolly, enjoy the attention, blow some flying kisses, pose for pictures, and go to another show!

We need to create shows which are helpful to the children in life, improve their stage skills, speaking talent, General knowledge rather than making them to sing and dance to some dumb songs. No need of any kisses and hugs in the show, but at least create an environment where the participant can take things sportively and make him feel that there are avenues in life where they could be winners.  I hate seeing the shoddy music and visuals that accompany the so called loser. This is not the competition where the losers will be made to dig their own grave and shot.

Parent of a 17 year old girl who had a nervous brake down during a Bangla reality dance show after she stood 9th.  He did not blame the judges, but only said that they have to act little empathic, as are the audience, we Indians.There is a scene in Delhi-6 where two children go to Bijlee and ask ” Hamhe Mard Banavo Bijlee” without knowing how Bijlee turns a child into Mard and what the so called Mards have done to Bijlee.   So parents take care of the children at least till they are old enough to become Mards and Auraths….

A small girl  says  “The star is Abhishek Bachchan”  The mother asks if she was confident.  “Yes”.  The idiot box says ” And it is the chchota Bachchan.  Congratulations you have won a seat in IIT, Bollywood

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One thought on “Children in Reality Shows

  1. Very nice blog Karteek!!! Of course I think, I am giving my comments late…. But you are very much correct and I agree with you… When we were kids, then also there were shows involving kids in TV… But they were like quiz competitions, small game shows, and all… But now these are different..
    “Daag Acha hain” comparision is good!!

    Good going and keep writing!!!

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