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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014

Why Indian TV shows are always politically correct

Kavita awaasthi, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, May 05, 2014
First Published: 12:02 IST(5/5/2014) | Last Updated: 16:35 IST(5/5/2014)

The West Wing, Scandal, Good Wife, House Of Cards — while shows in the west have often touched upon politics, Indian TV has stayed away.

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Of course, there have been shows like Ji Mantriji, Pradhan Mantri, 24 and Samvidhaan, but these are few and far between.

Instead of being largely about politics — like its western counterpart — 24’s plot revolved more around the First Family.

Samvidhaan is also a story about our history and the forming of our Constitution, rather than the current political scenario.

Producers and broadcasters shy away from touching upon the current situation in the country, no matter how fictionalised.

In 24, Anita Raaj said her character — of the Prime Minister’s mother — was inspired by Sonia Gandhi, but the makers refused to confirm the same.

The show did well in the metros, but it didn’t break records with its ratings.

It’s unfortunate, because when something new is attempted but not received well, producers feel discouraged.

One reason for shying away from political subjects may be that there is already an overdose of it on news channels.

Apart from latest updates, they also offer a lot of satirical and special shows on the subject.

On general entertainment channels, not many people want to watch serious issues.

The show, Nandini, tried to take the political route, but the poor response led producers to make the story more about romance and kitchen politics. Now, it is set to go off air.

Meanwhile, daily soaps are creating awareness about voting among the audience.

A couple of shows also highlighted the Power Of 49 campaign, which says that 49 per cent of Indian voters are women.

The truth is that when they watch TV, viewers want a break from their daily problems.

They prefer romance and family stories to those that are close to reality.

Comedy shows may have a take on politics, but they integrate the theme in a fun way.

Indian soaps touch upon politics in a superficial manner.

But for a change, if they do delve into reality, it would perhaps give viewers something to think about too.

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