The season for objections

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SummaryPerhaps we can boycott television news channels next — they’re giving us enough reason to do so

all likelihood, it is, from the 1950s with a fresh coat of Asian Paints Ultima (“tareef sirf ghar ki”). When will our TV characters live in homes that are simply houses? Why must they always live in mini Taj Mahals?

And when will they stop dressing like maharajas and maharanis? It is culturally outdated for a man to be hanging around in a shervani all day. Sure, Ansh was attending a wedding this week (Punar Vivaah, Zee) but he frequently dresses like every day is a wedding. Perhaps we should ignore the little matter of how the majority of female characters are decked out in finery like jewellery shop mannequins, but how, when it’s the first thing we are made to notice? Why are they wearing heavy fake jewels in the first place? We’re told told TV is aspirational, but are these the cultural aspirations we want viewers to aspire to? Ban them all.

In the real world of TV, while English TV news channels discussed cultural intolerance from Tamil

Nadu to Kashmir, Monday and Tuesday, the Hindi channels were warning us what we were in for: the big chill or “maha thand” (Aaj Tak). So before the deluge on Monday night, we had been forewarned, which is just as well. Otherwise, we might have thought that the cultural wars were being fought out in the open with all that thunder and lightning.

On Tuesday morning, ABP was wading in ankle-deep water as it showed us pictures of north India snowed under or rained out. It also informed us that Rajnath Singh had cancelled his Lucknow meeting due to the rain. Odd... have you noticed that Hindi news channels lend much more space than English news to matters that concern our daily lives?

Watched Malala Yousafzai’s first public statement on BBC World, and while we could not take our eyes off her face, which bears evidence of the brutal attack on her, she spoke with fluency and simplicity. Now that’s aspirational in every way.

shailaja.bajpai@expressindia.com

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