Did you ever really think that television in India could rise to a position where it would almost become an indispensable part of our lives? From the very beginning, Doordarshan instantly struck a chord with the Indian middle class that formed the backbone of the sub-continent.
With time and with the arrival of other domestic and international channels, Indian TV evolved as a huge phenomenon, something that could change the fate of a nondescript Sushil Kumar – face of small town India.
TV then acted as a connecting link that wove the diverse socio-cultural backgrounds of the nation into a single yarn since 1982. The iconic song ‘Mile Sur Mera Tumhara’ became a catchphrase that stirred national consciousness among people. In short, TV erased the boundaries between Kashmir and Kanyakumari.
With magna opus like ‘Hum Log’ and ‘Buniyaad’, television as a medium narrated stories of the Indian middle class. Viewers could instantly connect with the characters on screen and the shows were based on shared social and cultural experiences.
Prior to the national telecast of shows, the All India Radio was the only medium available to a common man. But with advent of TV in India, masses were not only entertained but also educated.
Since Indian TV’s salad days to the recent times, viewers have been getting to see a rather bolder medium, showing a wide spectrum of shows, teasers of which are more than enough to grab eyeballs. TV is now a medium used for film promotions, brand promotions, celebrity promotions and so on and so forth. And it wouldn’t be wrong to say that television has acted as a catalyst in turning dreams into reality.
It was this medium that reportedly gave Amitabh Bachchan a new lease of life when he was almost about to turn bankrupt. With `Kaun Banega Crorepati` season 1 (Indian version of a UK TV show), the actor of the millennium touched an emotional chord with the audiences and thereby resurrected his plunging financial graph.
Now hailed as the `Badshah of Bollywood`, Shah Rukh Khan kick started his acting career with the small screen. `Fauji` saw Shah Rukh playing an army man and made him an overnight sensation. SRK had also made an appearance in `Circus` a popular TV show opposite Renuka Shahane. `Doosra Keval` was yet another show of SRK prior to his Bollywood days. Since `Deewana`, his first Hindi film, SRK relentlessly worked hard to turn into a superstar. Now an internationally acclaimed personality, SRK too feels the need to get back to TV, to either promote his films or host reality/game shows.
A number of film personalities have tried their hands at TV. The long list of celebs includes Govinda, Abhishek Bachchan, Arshad Warsi, Salman Khan, Preity Zinta, Koel Puri, veteran actor Faaroque Sheikh, Juhi Chawla and many others. Aamir Khan too is all set to make his small screen debut.
TV was earlier used as a stepping stone to enter Bollywood. But with the growing popularity of TV stars, the trend seems to have come to an end. The worth of small screen can at no cost be undervalued.
TV in India is now at his peak. Though TV is nothing less than a hysteric revolution, TV gurus have adopted method to make this “idiot-box” family to viewers. TV is that golden key that has opened many doors of avenues for talent to flourish in India. The success formula is something that cashes in on people’s sentiments, which has been instrumental in making an Abhijeet Sawant, a Shreya Ghoshal, a Sunidhi Chauhan and an Ankan Sen.
However, it’s too much a good thing. Reality shows have superseded and shows with good content seem to have vanished into thin air. But as they say, a thing of beauty is joy forever, TV is here to stay. And as the saying goes, any publicity is good publicity; or else anything that grabs eyeballs is entertaining. Maybe that’s the latest mantra for success. Good or bad, we just cannot ignore TV, for small screen is really BIG.
(The 21st day of November is celebrated as the World Television Day)