… a joke indeed, and it makes me laugh. And I make this statement with the highest degree of sarcasm. I am not a big fan of watching TV, in general. Do I like an occasional program or a comedy/ sitcom or the news once in a while? Yes! But am I one of those who can be glued to the TV for hours and be entertained by it? No! And that is certainly not the case in Mumbai.
As a psychologist, I am amazed by what appears to be a clear paradox and hypocrisy in the content that is aired and censored on TV. What do I mean? Let us consider the simple fact that there is a mindless discrepancy in the censorship department of Indian TV. I generally tend to watch the English programs on the Western channels as they are far more appealing to me than the Indian ones. Programs such as Dharma and Greg, Ugly Betty, Rules of Engagement, Melissa and Joey and other such sitcoms, have some words and language which apparently, by Indian standards, are considered adult rated. To elaborate, words such a “hooker”, “sex”, “sperm”, “ass”, and “sexy”, amongst others, are carefully censored, making viewing TV a very disjointed experience sometimes.
On the other hand, and this is the most frustrating part, the Indian channels will not have words that are considered derogatory, but, will do a great job in show casing some really explicit and questionable images on TV. These images are generally portrayed in TV commercials and in Hindi movies and music programs that, I think are, short of being considered pornography. So while there are no direct words that allude to sex-related content, there are heaving bosoms, gyrating pelvises, scantily clad bodies, and subtle yet offensive sexual language and scenes, that are openly portrayed on television.
I just don’t get it! How is it OK to have such explicit material aired on TV, but not OK to have everyday words like “sex” or “hooker” allowed on the English channels? How is it OK to air such Hindi programs during “family time” hours, but try and censor every word that may be sexually oriented on the English channels? Any ideas?
That’s why watching TV is a joke….it just makes me wonder what the motives of the Indian censorship board are. Do they really know what they are doing and how some of the Hindi programs perpetrate more disarray than a few everyday words in the English sitcoms? Is the Indian censorship board bribed by the Indian film industry? On what basis do they justify the airing of some material and the censorship of more benign ones?
This is all a mystery to me. I am not aware of what the motives and ideologies of the Indian censorship board maybe; but I am aware of how inconsistent and hypocritical it is, and how the airing of explicit sexual material can have a major impact on the young and impressionable minds of today’s youth. Go figure!