Television Today

After TV invaded the Indian household radio was pushed in the background. It became insignificant. But I had read long ago that radio is the medium of imagination. TV is an idiot which makes people tired. At first I did not agree with the statement.

TV was considered a great source of agreement. Every house was considered incomplete till there was a TV of the size that the room deserved. To begin with we had a limited number of black & white TV Programmes. This included The News and some educational programmes for children & farmers.  The real sought-after programmes were – the weekly film & ‘Chaya Geet’. I had a small advertising agency. So I was particularly interested in the viewership versus the cost. There was a programme that would inform viewers about the weekly schedule of programmes. Advertising was not expensive. But the viewership was reasonable. My small agency had smaller clients – for most of whom the Ad-spend was critical.

Then TV was thrown open to private players. Programmes were thoroughly screened by the authorities before these could be produced. This increased the interest of the people. The first continuously running serial was Hum log. Quite popular. But soon it was overshadowed by ‘Ramayan’ produced by veteran film produced Ramanand Sagar. But then came the most popular even “Mahabharat” produced the greatest film producer BR. Chopra. If you had an important family, social or society meeting people would ask “before Mahabharat or after Mahabharat?” Mumbai roads would be empty during the telecast of Mahabharat. The greatest India epic was a classic creation.

Today’s we have too many channels, offering mostly regular type of programmes. Religious programmes still score.