When we look back to the time when television had just taken off in India and now, we will come across some major and blatant advancement. The Indian small screen programs were introduced to the entire country in the early 1980s and has hooked the Indian population ever since. In the beginning of the multi-billion dollar industry, there was only one national channel Doordarshan, which was started and owned by the government. Television at that time had hardly very little to offer as opposed to now. Twenty years back the channel (Doordarshan) showed programs like the news, educational programs, social awareness advertisements and finally, handful of entertainment programs including cartoons and TV serials. Besides that, the Mahabharat and the Ramayana, both Hindu mythological stories were the first major television series to be produced. They had such an impact on the audience that they would leave all their work and go and watch, when it was telecasted. People considered this serial to be a medium through which they could connect themselves to our roots. This period of television was also considered to be the true beginning of television even though it had existed since quite a long time. They were so popular among the audiences that these Television serials marked the world record in viewer ship numbers for a single program.
Slowly, television was taking over the population in such a way that that by the late 1980s more and more people started to own television sets even though there was just a single channel which led to a saturation point in television programming. With this, the government decided to start another channel which had part programming and part regional and the channel was named DD 2 and then was later renamed to DD Metro and both the channels were broad casted side by side. This is the time when TV was no longer considered a luxury but a necessity for every middle and upper class family.
Moving on from the mythological programs, DD introduced whole new concept altogether- TV serials in the form of “Family Soaps”. One of the most popular dramas was “Humlog” which reflected an image of a typical Indian family of contemporary era; they showed their struggle and hardship to overcome all hurdles in life. Viewers started to relate to the characters and their issues which made it a bigger success. People were so hooked that if a character was going through a bad time, the entire country expressed their sympathy.
TV Serial Title Songs
But the channel didn’t stop there. DD metro showcased the newly made over India. Many television serials like Shanti, Udaan and Rajni portrayed women in a newer light where the characters were made very powerful and talked about different aspects of a women’s personality and that there is more than a woman than being a wife and a mother. They boosted the confidence level among the women in India. Along these serials came programs that targeted teenagers. Next came a series of game shows, musical shows like Aamne Samne, Superhit Muquabala, many educational and awareness programs, quiz contest etc. The next big step of change was taken by replacing drama serials with comedy shows like Tu Tu main main, Dhekh bhai Dhekh, Zabaan Sambhaal kai, Shrimaan Shrimati etc. which left the audiences in fits of laughter and was considered a compulsive daily dose for all families after a hard day.
With advancement in technology it was only about time that the television industry came up with new improved hi-tech special effect TV serials, which included difficult animation. Dramas like Alif Laila and Chandrakanta too became a major hit with the audiences and left no room for imagination even though the stories lacked pace and not to mention intellect. But regardless, they had everyone addicted to television.
New revolution altogether took place in the world of television altogether when Cable TV was introduced. Here, all needs of the family were taken care of. Men could watch cricket and news, children could watch the latest movies and dance to the latest music and women could continue to watch their daily soaps. Cable TV provided everything, from news, to entertainment, to educative information and left to facets empty.
It was a revolution with in a greater revolution when Ekta Kapoor entered the television industry by storm with her K-soaps. Each and every channel was practically in a constant fight with each other to grab the attention of the viewers. The most popular TV serial being “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi” had become a household name and the day was not considered complete if the show was not watched and the world was considered to have come to its end when someone missed an episode. This was the kind of impact the serial had on everyone and over night, Ekta Kapoor had become the “Queen of Hindi TV Serials” when she introduced similar soaps which had become the buzz of the town and continued to remain so for a long time.
What really took the cake was the game show “Kaun Banega Crorepati” hosted by big B himself. The show managed to re-launch not only him but it managed to shift the viewers attention from all that daily drama to something much more intelligent. It produced the same kind of storm that was created by the Mahabharat. Gradually the audience moved on a bit if not entirely to different shows besides the usual Saas-Bahu drama.
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Soon after reality shows have started to take over the television. Every channel is coming up with a new reality show every day like music competition, Celebrity game shows, adventure shows etc. Most popular among them are MTV Roadies, Indian Idol, Nach Baliye and Fear factor and have the audiences glued to the television with equal interest. Newly launched channels like colors and NDTV Imagine have introduced shows which showcase the daily issues that population today suffers from like child marriage, female infanticide, etc, in their newly produced television serials.
How long will it be till the time an entirely new and fresh concept is introduced but one can predict the wait will not be long and if there is one thing we can be totally sure of that is with time television will too keep changing and with each change a new vision of changing India will be reflected.
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