When East meets the West...

Should Indian Television depict traditional Indian values or ape the Western serials is the debate here.

Thursday, July 04, 2013 | 6:17:37 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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Today, westernization and modernization has hit our lives so hard. Specifically, when we talk about India, we get to see the perfect blend of East meeting the West. Our Indian women who used to be seen sari all year round have been affected by this modern Western world immensely. Leaving behind sarees just for some special occasions, they have easily adapted the culture of jeans and skirts.

When we are talking about westernization and modernization affecting our Indian women, we also find that our Indian men are not left behind in this race. Be it a nuclear family or a joint family, our Indian men have perfectly managed to handle home and work. They are not ashamed anymore of lending a helping hand to their wives, mothers or sisters too.

Having said that, we cannot forget the way Indian media has been influenced by the West; be it the daily soaps, the youth channels or the news hour. Ah! All of them so west-like!!

India imitates the West...

Having numerous amount of shows being directed and produced in India catering to all sets of audiences, but still why is it that some set of the audience are so hooked to the western shows? Is it the western culture or the modern clothes or the use of slangs? Greys Anatomy, Rissoli and Isles, Friends, Two and a Half men, Big Bang Theory are some of the highly viewed western shows in India. But if we go to see, our Indian directors, producers and writers have not failed in getting the modern culture in the Indian daily soaps.

Miley Jab Hum Tum, Dill Mill Gayye, Love Ne Milla Di Jodi are some apt examples of Indian culture being fused with the west. Such shows are largely made for the youth who like watching the Western shows. While if we have to compare these shows with the other Indian daily soaps that portray deep culture of India, they have the minimal position on the TRP charts. Right from the dialogues, to delivering the dialogues to clothing and relationships showed on screen, be it anything, the Western shows are far more modern than what we see in our Indian shows.

However, keeping all this in mind, we also have shows like MTV Roadies and Splitsvilla which are doing really well, if we have to talk about the youths watching such kind of shows. There is this constant battle going on between the shows of the East and shows of the West. 

Apara Mehta, popularly known as Savita Virani from an iconic show Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi said, "Indian television shows are projecting a culture which we want to see. But reality is far more different than this. Our shows should be near reality if not real. It is too cliched. Today women are educated, independent, and career-oriented. They don't like being within the four walls of the house. They have a job. India has progressed a lot. Our shows are far away from reality and practicality."

Indian shows acting like the mirror to the society...

As it is said that all that glitters is not gold and all that is white is not milk similarly, all that attracts us may not lead us to Rome. Modernization and culture are two notches that people are constantly and perpetually battling for. There are certain sections of the Indian society who see our daily soap with much enthusiasm. These strata of audience fail to understand that these daily soaps are actually acting as a mirror to our society - The Real India! The Actual India!!

Kokila Modi (Rupal Patel) from Saath Nibhana Saathiya fame is shown to be a strict and stern saas but she is the one who always stand for the truth, knows what is right and what is wrong. Akshara (Hina Khan) from Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hain fame is portraying a very sensitive, emotional and family-oriented woman, these qualities of help her to take decisions which are fruitful and beneficial to the family. Moreover, Sandhya (Deepika Singh) from Diya Aur Bati Hum is someone who's fighting all the odds and taking all the criticism from her family members to become an IPS officer and Anandi (Toral Rasputra) from Balika Vadhu fame is shown as a woman who's overcome all the savagery situations and is now an independent, self-reliable woman.

Devo Ke Dev. Mahadev too is a show which is doing extremely well on the TRP charts. Mahadev is one perfect example which shows the correct blend and balance of mythology and modern western techniques of editing. Shows like Parvarish, Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha, Bade Achche Lagte Hain are doing a magnificent job on the TRP charts. But despite of all these things the question arises, why are these shows globally and internationally acknowledged but have least value in the eyes of certain section of people? All these shows are very much rooted to our culture. The purity and simplicity amongst the relations portrayed is the topmost thing that attracts the viewers.

Our Indian culture which is lost somewhere because of this high pace of growth and change in lifestyle help people connect to their own roots and grounds. Rajan Shahi, Directors Kut Production, said "Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hain and Kuch Toh Log Kahege, both the shows are very Indian. These shows have specially hit the abroad audience. Such shows are a reflection of the society. There should always be a proper balance of culturalism and modernity. Akshara is a very shy woman who is educated and likes serving for the family whereas Naitik is a modern guy. The Indian audience are very simple and emotional people. Relations can be complex but emotions come first. As Indians, family is very important to us. Such shows do really well internationally."

Large number of population are still viewing these shows and it is not at all surprising that they get inspired too. Today, the mother-in-law is giving entire freedom to her daughter-in-law to go out in the world and work.

This comparison between the shows of the West and Indian daily soaps will have no end. But is it not good to have shows that keep us grounded and close to our culture or some amount of change in the way of portraying shows is likable and affordable? Opinions may vary but as viewers and audiences of these shows, what is your take over that?

Upasana Patel

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Posted on: 26 July 2013 at 10:57am
man,family is important to every being irrespective of d nation!
dmg,mjht were youth shows but were very indian...the point is thee so caklled 'rooted' shows r very regressive!
akshara does nothing but cry,sandhya's ambitions r lost trying to learn sweet-making n appeasing the hitler-in law...women dont do anything other than meddle in other ppl's affairs or trip n fall in the kitchen or plot n plan!how r these showing indian values?
we need more shows like f.r.i.e.n.d.s ,HIMYM,Castle n grey's anatomy...those r funny,intelligent,captivating n reflect a modern society...the point is one shud learn to balance...if rural areas n sit-at-home auntijies r targeted 4 a illogical,overdramatic,mindless show like saathiya,then there shud be double the amount of shows for the youth,the literate n the thinking audiences...i think most of us have a brain which we like to use n not keep in hibernation,n unlike the makers believe we do have an IQ n prefer entertainment condoning our intellectual capability!

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SandCastle., abhi_12

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Posted on: 26 July 2013 at 10:05am
Ya we also want U make again A a huge gud youth show like Mjht(mily jub hum tum)

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Posted on: 24 July 2013 at 10:07pm
YouthShows are much more better and loved
Dil Mil Gaye My First Love Then Geet Then
mile Jab Hum Tum

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Posted on: 10 July 2013 at 7:38am
miley jab hum tum rocks!!!i dont think its a show inspired from the western culture..just because its a youth show that doesnt mean it doesnt show indian values..mjht is a very clean show and has shown many values like loving ur family!!!
and ya mjht,dmg are the most popular shows!!!pls dont tell about trps

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Posted on: 09 July 2013 at 10:54am
HINA KHAN u are truly rockstar
u are the best
your acting is out of the world
love you hina

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Posted on: 09 July 2013 at 1:01am
Hina khan u r down to earth beautiful n talented. Ur acting is just mind-blowing. It touches our heart. Love u hina khan. Thanx for Interview. .u r d best.

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Posted on: 08 July 2013 at 10:34pm
Hina khan u are so sweet !! U rocking always as akshara !! You are very talented!!

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Posted on: 08 July 2013 at 9:33pm

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Posted on: 08 July 2013 at 11:24am
Only Indian show which can match upto shows like TBBT and Friends is Sarabhai vs Sarabhai. No one else comes close with their mediocre content to it.

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Posted on: 07 July 2013 at 9:46am
dill mill gayye rocks :-)
love u KSG

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