People have been spectators of No TV Day banners and posters all over the city. An initiative taken by Hindustan Times, No TV day, Switch on Mumbai Switch off TV on Jaunary 29, encourages people to switch off the idiot boxes for 24 hours and make the day constructive and eventful with their own creative activities.
But will it really be followed? An ambiguous question for which the answer could possibly be No!!!
Television has become so significant a part of life that today we can add it on to the list of 'Roti Kapda aur Makaan' - An entertainment source that can barely be given a backseat in the house. Television which was just a token of luxury earlier is now a need.
If we compare the shows of yesterday and today, there are Brobdingnagian differences to be pointed out. A medium where the shows were usually entertainment packages that provided a reliever, is today a provider of high points and suspense that could barely be missed by the viewers.
But at the same time, the concept of No TV day has been interesting because, thinking about a day without TV and hanging around with friends makes us curious to know on how we will spend it. But in a city like Mumbai where we have frequent power offs for an entire day, I think people have various other alternatives to spend the day.
While we kept aside the normal people, we thought to contact certain industry biggies on their take on No TV Day.
Producer Rajan Shahi who has shows Ye Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai and Chand Chupa Badal Mein running on Star Plus says "First of all I do not think that any medium should comment on how a day should be spent without another medium because it is a personal choice. I do not understand why the positive aspects of a day have to be highlighted at the cost of another medium. Spending a day with the needy and the helpless, go, visit and talk to the under privileged etc are positive conducts that should be highlighted. Television today is not just rooted to entertainment, but a source of education, information and everything. What I would say is that TV has made me a better human being."
Yash Patnaik, Producer of Rang Badalti Odhani on Star One, questions about the concept and says "What are you going to achieve by having a No TV Day? You don't make people spend time with family and friends by making a No TV Day and in fact TV brings families and friends together. It's just another gimmick and I hope the organizations who are calling this No TV Day spend the money and efforts in calling No Bribe Day, No Abuse Day, No Lie Day, No Enemy Day rather."
Sanaya Irani, who was lastly seen in Star One's Miley Jab Hum Tum has a different point of view though. "I think it is a fabulous initiative by Hindustan Times and I feel there should be a No TV Day every week as the box is really addictive. But I can assure that I can stay without watching TV for one day and would definitely like to spend a day out with my family and relatives as I have so many of them. I would also love to spend time with my friends too. I know many people will not follow it but I feel they should."
Gaurav Khanna, who is presently seen in Zee TV's Dil Se Diya Vachan too had a supporting view and said "I think it is a good initiative as it encourages people to be with family and friends. But how far the initiative will be successful, cannot be predicted because 'Old Habits Die Hard' and now since the shows have gone till Saturdays, people are completely glued onto the screens."
Siddharth Tewary, Producer of Zee TV's Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijo and Phulwa, on COLORS has an interesting comment to give. "The concept is great and it is just a day but at the same time loyalty is difficult to achieve and even more difficult to break. Loyal viewers, even if they miss an episode can always catch the repeats anyhow!!!"
Vivian Dsena who is seen in Star One's Pyaar Kii Ye Ek Kahaani also wonders how far the initiative will succeed, "Well, the day will be indeed a break for people and I think Hindustan Times must have definitely taken up the initiative after thorough planning, but I have no clue how far it will be a success."
Given a chance, how can the day be spent? If I was given an option to forget TV for a day, I would prepare myself with my favourite comics, novels and recipe books so that I could spend the day very well with family and myself.
Rajan Shahi though believes in balancing his personal time, profession and time spent on TV, "Television is my bread and butter and apart from the reason that I belong to the industry, television is indeed a source of education and also relaxation and I have no reason to negate the medium. I know what my priorities are and I do spend quality time with my family which makes me wonder why I should neglect TV for a day."
Gaurav Khanna shares "There was a time when I was really glued to the screen, but today I do not even get time to even give a glance to it. If given a chance, I would definitely like to spend the day with family and friends and also visit places in Mumbai where I have not been yet."
Well, the D-day is actually today!! So what are your plans, readers? Will you believe in the day, and say 'Bye Bye' to your favorite television serials for a day? Or are you already ready to watch today's share of serious twists and turns in your favorite serials?
Whatever it is, it is again the 'Junta' who has the right to decide!!
Reporter and Author: Saranya Valsarajan