Watching a little one on the screen is an endearing sight for one and all. Be it a 3-year-old or a 13-year-old, children have become an integral part of the entertainment industry over the time. From the 80s till date, child artists have been pillars of several shows and it has been amazing, to say the least.
However, in modern television, with extreme exposure, the criterion has changed massively and that too at an alarming rate. Here, I analyze the fact that is the treatment to child artists on television done correctly today? Are they even 'children' anymore?
When Innocence was portrayed as Innocence...
Going down the vault, I am not sure many would remember the classic TV series, 'Kachchi Dhoop' presented by veteran Amol Palekar. The 80s show had the-then 'Maine Pyar Kiya' star, Bhagyashree in the lead role when she was in her teens along with two other brilliant child actors. The series was termed to one of the well-crafted series and it remains the same even today.
Not that it did not explore the 'modern topics'; the show presented how children experience jealousy, insecurity, love, anger and apprehensions with their siblings, friends, and peers. However, not once does one feel that there is any sort of dichotomy between the actual concept and the way it is presented.
The flashes of disappearance started to appear!!
One of the popular shows back in the 2000s was the robot-comedy, 'Karishmaa Ka Karishmaa' which was an adaptation of the English show, 'Small Wonders.' While there couldn't have been anything cuter than the sweet little girl indulge in the various adventures which were honest and hilarious, there were some factors that made one realize that the 'innocence' and honesty' may be on its way out. Though it was purely acceptable that a robot super kid can do anything, but there were scenes when the little girl was ruffled rather scaringly, made to say words practiced by adults, etc.
Today's child actors are not 'Children' anymore...
As much as we keep whining about technology being responsible for the apparent deterioration of kids' mental and psychological abilities, that is not the case completely. A little kid, who should ideally be enjoying his golden days is made to slog for 16 hours of shooting every day, made to remember dialogues instead of educational apparatus and exposed to every possible thing which is not 'ideal'. Technology takes a backseat when human acts come into play.
It is the sheer nature of TV viewing that has been detrimental to the kids!!
Portraying 'realistic' TV shows is fantastic and there cannot be anything better; however, child artists are made to slog for acing those intense scenes at times.
A little girl is forced by two goons who press a kerchief on the kid's face forcefully to kidnap her.
'GODDESS ENTERS IN LITTLE CHAKOR' The little Chakor (Sparsh Khanchandani) going through the struggle to freedom goes through a phase, where 'Devi enters the body of Chakor' and Sparsh was made to act like a person who is possessed. Seriously? How in the world is any of this justified? Where is the 'kid' in this mess?
Little girls made to cry and howl as captured by terrorists, little girls made to scheme and plot against old women and the little girls are made to act like boys, little girls made to pay Goddesses, little girls made to perform scenes in cold and chilling water and what not! These factors are just some instances we are talking about.
This 'exposure' needs to be controlled...
While I am not against the inclusion of child actors in various daily soaps, it is the treatment of these kids is what matters. Taking the practical matters into account, we understand that modern TV demands erratic working hours and tiresome schedules, but it is the absolute duty of the makers and the parents to make sure that it is limited to the maximum extent.
It is important that the kids remain 'kids' for the maximum period of time. We are not talking about the eradication of the concept of child actors in TV shows, we are only talking about damage control.