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Mumbai University brings TV soaps into curriculum

education Updated: Dec 13, 2008 12:22 IST
Chesta Wadhwani
Chesta Wadhwani
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Post-graduate students in English Literature at the University of Mumbai will now get a taste of Indian pop culture.
From June 2009, a new subject, Popular Culture and Cinema, is being introduced. Saas bahu soaps will now find a place amongst Oscar Wilde and William Shakespeare’s literary works.

Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahanii Ghar Ghar Ki, Khichdi, Kuch Khatti, Kuch Meethi, Kkusum and some Marathi soaps like Ghadle Bighadle and Chaar divas Saasuche will now be the subject of erudite discussions.

Best of all
Along with the best of regional literature, the syllabus also includes an extensive study of Indian reality TV.

Currently, the literature faculty is hosting a two-day workshop to decide on teaching methods. They are trying to recruit prominent personalities from theatre, television and films to give lectures to the students.

Actor Paresh Rawal’s wife, Swaroop Sampat who featured in the superhit comedy show Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi, is one of the first big names to be roped in.

Rambhau Badole, head of the English Department, says the time has come for the literary field to acknowledge Indian television. “Times are changing and the literary subjects need to be constantly updated. Our folk culture has reached every part of the world. It’s time our students studied the big television revolution,” Badole asserts.

Shoaib Qureshi, a recent graduate, said that the move would make literature more interesting. “It’s certainly a bold step to introduce pop culture, specially saas bahu soaps, in English Honours.

“It will extend knowledge frontiers and students who fancy fiction will benefit from the decision,” he asserts.
Badole informs that the faculty is trying to get leading protagonists of daily soaps to give an inside view to
students.

As part of the course curriculum, Popular Culture and Cinema will also encompass American sitcoms like The Bold and The Beautiful, Friends, Sienfeld and the British comedy Faulty Towers.