Saturday, October 31, 2015

What are our kids watching on TV?

My toddler started taking an interest in cartoons recently. That is when I realized that the cartoons/ programs on Nick Jr., Disney Jr., Baby Tv etc. are repeated every other day. There are NO NEW EPISODES. They keep on repeating the few episodes they have, over and over again without thinking how it might affect these kids. The whole idea seemed quite daunting and alarming. I mean, aren’t these cartoon channels even the least bit concerned about the Indian kids? Why haven’t the parents reacted yet?

If you were a 90’s kid, you would have probably seen shows like The Rugrats, Hey Arnold, Spongebob Square Pants (not the terribly dubbed version in Hindi), The Wild Thornberrys, The Flinstones, The Jetsons, DragonBallZ, The Loony Tunes, The Scooby Doo Shows, The Powerpuff Girls, The Angry Beavers, Cat Dog, Beyblade, The Avatar, Card Captor, Naruto, Captain Planet, Duck Tales, Tiny Toons etc...the list goes on and on. We have some amazing memories of some amazing cartoons that we grew up watching if you were lucky to have cable TV at home. There was mystery, adventure, romance, action, comedy and what not. What happened to our Cartoon channels? Have you ever wondered?

Do we not love our kids? Or are we just plain ignorant or just not paying enough attention? If you happen to pay attention to the cartoon shows that your kids have been watching, you are sure to go bonkers. There is nothing new on these cartoon channels except for the unimaginative desi cartoons with despicable accents, some creepy-strange looking Japanese or Chinese cartoons and unnerving repetitions of classic cartoons like Tom and Jerry or Mr. Bean, Johnny Bravo, Dexter’s Laboratory, Blue’s Clues or Dora the Explorer. So, you think Chhota Bheem is the best because your kid is crazy about the show. No, it is because you don’t know any better and your child never had the opportunity to see some wonderful cartoons that we, the 90’s kids, grew up watching. Don’t our kids deserve any better than these cheap Japanese imports like Shin Chan or Doraemon? Strangely, these uncanny characters that grace our television from morning till night, day after day, are awfully flawed and are not the best role models for our kids.  

 I shall maintain my silence regarding the religious connotations of shows like Chhota Bheem or Kisna. But, I am of the strong opinion that they could be made a bit more imaginative than the morbidly redundant story-line of the desi-superhero beating up monstrous villains with “oohs”, “aahs” and “dishoom-dishooms”. Are these cartoons doing any justice to our cultural heritage? Wait, no! Absolutely not. Are these cartoons reflective of modern India? No! And most importantly, why the terrible accent? They could have at least done away with the accent.

Well, this again is my personal opinion. I prefer my child watching cartoons than playing with the mobile or fiddling with the laptop. While these cartoon companies are minting money by showing sub-standard cartoons to our children, we must remember that these cartoons are going to be a big part of their childhood and it is up to us parents to make it memorable and meaningful.

                                                                                                               -Letter from a concerned parent.