midnight's children

It is difficult to deny the burden on the back, it’s prickly and heavy and how much we try to shrug it off, it sticks on harder….it’s the historical burden of the past. The language I am writing in right now, is essentially not mine, but borrowed from another land, my ways are not those of my people but an amalgamation of what I have and what I have borrowed. Thus it was never very difficult to understand this lingering sense of borrowed past, this impossible burden of past as I flipped through the first few pages of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children.

Investigative Reporting

Investigative reporting is distinctive in that it publicizes information about wrongdoing that affects the public interest. Denunciations result from the work of reporters rather than from information leaked to newsrooms.

While investigative journalism used to be associated with lone reporters working on their own with little, if any, support from their news organizations, recent examples attest that teamwork is fundamental. Differing kinds of expertise are needed to produce well-documented and comprehensive stories. Reporters, editors, legal specialists, statistical analysts, librarians, and news researchers are needed to collaborate on investigations. Knowledge of public information access laws is crucial to find what information is potentially available under "freedom of information" laws, and what legal problems might arise when damaging information is published. New technologies are extremely valuable to find facts and to make reporters familiar with the complexities of any given story. Thanks to the computerization of government records and the availability of extraordinary amounts of information online, computer-assisted reporting (CAR) is of great assistance.
Democracy and Investigative Journalism
Investigative journalism matters because of its many contributions to democratic governance. Its role can be understood in keeping with the Fourth Estate model of the press. According to this model, the press should make government accountable by publishing information about matters of public interest even if such information reveals abuses or crimes perpetrated by those in authority. From this perspective, investigative reporting is one of the most important contributions that the press makes to democracy. It is linked to the logic of checks and balances in democratic systems. It provides a valuable mechanism for monitoring the performance of democratic institutions as they are most broadly defined to include governmental bodies, civic organizations and publicly held corporations.

The centrality of the media in contemporary democracies makes political elites sensitive to news, particularly to "bad" news that often causes a public commotion. The publication of news about political and economic wrongdoing can trigger congressional and judicial investigations.
In cases when government institutions fail to conduct further inquiries, or investigations are plagued with problems and suspicions, journalism can contribute to accountability by monitoring the functioning of these institutions. It can examine how well these institutions actually fulfill their constitutional mandate to govern responsibly in the face of press reports that reveal dysfunction, dishonesty, or wrongdoing in government and society. At minimum, investigative reporting retains important agenda-setting powers to remind citizens and political elites about the existence of certain issues. There are no guarantees, however, that continuous press attention will result in congressional and judicial actions to investigate and prosecute those responsible for wrongdoing.

Investigative journalism also contributes to democracy by nurturing an informed citizenry. Information is a vital resource to empower a vigilant public that ultimately holds government accountable through voting and participation. With the ascent of media-centered politics in contemporary democracies, the media have eclipsed other social institutions as the main source of information about issues and processes that affect citizens' lives.
Public access
Access to public records and laws ensuring that public business will be conducted in open sessions are indispensable to the work of an investigative journalist. When prior censorship or defamation laws loom on the horizon, news organizations are unlikely to take up controversial subjects because of potentially expensive lawsuits. Consequently, democracies must meet certain requirements for investigative journalism to be effective and to provide diverse and comprehensive information.


The standard definition of investigative reporting, as agreed upon by such bodies as
The Society for Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors is this:
The information reported has to be of importance to the public.
The information has to be original work.
The reportage has to uncover something not previously known that someone is trying to keep hidden.
Investigative journalism is when reporters deeply investigate a topic of interest, often involving crime, political corruption, or some other scandal.
De Burgh (2000) states  "An investigative journalist is a man or woman whose profession it is to discover the truth and to identify lapses from it in whatever media may be available. The act of doing this generally is called investigative journalism and is distinct from apparently similar work done by police, lawyers, auditors and regulatory bodies in that it is not limited as to target, not legally founded and closely connected to publicity".
An investigative journalist may spend a considerable period researching and preparing a report, sometimes months or years, whereas a typical daily or weekly news reporter writes items concerning immediately available news. Most investigative journalism is done by newspapers, wire services and freelance journalists. An investigative journalist's final report may take the form of an exposé.
There is no more important contribution that we can make to society than strong, publicly-spirited investigative journalism.
Tony Burman, editor-in-chief of CBC News
The Ethics of Investigative Journalism
Every team of investigative reporters pursues a story under different circumstances, so creating an all-purpose ethical rulebook is problematic, though certain standards have become generally accepted. The legal implications of reporters' actions are, by far, more clear-cut than ethical issues. Ethics, instead, deals with how to distinguish between right and wrong, with philosophical principles used to justify a particular course of action. Any decision can be judged ethical, depending on what ethical framework is used to justify it, and what values are prioritized. What journalists and editors need to determine is who will benefit as a result of the reporting.

If journalism is committed to democratic accountability, then the question that needs to be asked is whether the public benefits as a result of investigative reports. Whose interest does investigative journalism serve by publishing a given story? Does the press fulfill its social responsibility in revealing wrongdoing? Whose interests are being affected? Whose rights are being invaded? Is the issue at stake a matter of legitimate public interest? Or is individual privacy being invaded when no crucial public issue is at stake?
Most discussions about ethics in investigative journalism have focused on methodology, namely, is any method valid to reveal wrongdoing? Is deception legitimate when journalists aim to tell the truth? Is any method justifiable no matter the working conditions and the difficulties in getting information? Can television reporters use hidden cameras to get a story? Can journalists use false identities to gain access to information?
On this point, an important factor to consider is that the public seems less willing than journalists to accept any method to reveal wrongdoing. Surveys show that the public is suspicious of invasion of privacy, no matter the public relevance of a story. The public generally seems less inclined to accept that journalists should use any method to get a story. Such an attitude is significantly revealing in times when, in many countries, the credibility of the press is low. The press needs to be trustworthy in the eyes of the public. That is its main capital, but too often its actions further undermine its credibility. Therefore, the fact that citizens generally believe that journalists would get any story at any cost needs to be an important consideration. Exposes that rely on questionable methods to get information can further diminish the legitimacy and public standing of the reporting and the journalists.
Ethical issues are not limited to methods. Corruption is also another important ethical issue in investigative journalism. Corruption includes a variety of practices, ranging from journalists who accept bribes, or quash exposes, or pay sources for information. The harm to private citizens that might result from what's reported also needs to be considered. Issues of privacy usually come to the forefront, as investigative journalism often walks a fine line between the right to privacy and the public's right to know. It is usually assumed that privacy applies differently to public figures than to average citizens.

There are no easy, ready-made answers to ethical issues. Codes of ethics, despite some merits, do not offer clear-cut solutions that can be applied in all cases. Most analysts agree that journalists must remain sensitive to issues such as fairness, balance, and accuracy. Reporters continuously need to ask ethical questions throughout different stages of the investigations, and be ready to justify their decisions to their editors, colleagues, and the public. They need to be sensitive to whose interests are being affected, and operate according to professional standards.

Some of the means reporters can use for their fact-finding:

* studying neglected sources, such as archives, phone records, address books, tax records and license records
talking to neighbors
* using subscription research sources such as LexisNexis
anonymous sources (for example whistleblowers)
going undercover
Investigative journalism can be contrasted with analytical reporting. According to De Burgh (2000) analytical journalism takes the data available and reconfigures it, helping us to ask questions about the situation or statement or see it in a different way, whereas investigative journalists go further and also want to know whether the situation presented to us is the reality.


Some of the potential consequences for the subjects of successful investigative journalism include:
indictment and conviction
loss of job
loss of professional accreditation
payment of fines
loss of personal and professional reputation
domino consequences for family members/associates involved in unrelated criminal acts discovered through the process of investigation
Consequences for society as a whole include:
revision of institutional policies
changes in the law
Professional references.
The Reporter’s Handbook: An Investigator’s Guide to Documents and Techniques, Steve Weinberg defined investigative journalism as:
Reporting, through one’s own initiative and work product, matters of importance to readers, viewers or listeners. In many cases, the subjects of the reporting wish the matters under scrutiny to remain undisclosed.
India and investigative journalism
India has witnessed series of investigations carried out separately by the press and media. We rejoice at the robustness of our democracy. We celebrate the vibrancy of the sparkling free press of India. But we know that the constitutional instruments to make the establishment accountable are weakening or failing. The parallel democratic institutions, which are supposed to nourish these instruments, are not fully evolved. Leave alone the ordinary citizen, neither our political leaders nor the academicians and intellectuals have fully cultivated a democratic mindset and culture which should involve transparency, professional commitment and accountability. To that extent, our democracy is fragile and -- to use an unpleasant word -- underdeveloped.
The importance of the “organic” relationship, as described by Walter Lippman, between a healthy democracy and the free press must be considered. One cannot sustain without the other. Indian media is so intoxicated with its so-called freedom (freest press in the world, one might say) that it fails to understand that it is also equally underdeveloped and fragile, that freedom carries certain grave responsibilities and that as upholder of democratic values and freedom (not just another profit-making industry) it has some specific obligations and duties towards the society. It is so obsessed with itself that it does not realize that it is throwing to winds its credibility, respectability and power by not attending to its basic obligations.
The so-called investigative reporting in India in the Bofors case, Fodder scam, Best Bakery Case, Jain Diary Case, Petrol Pumps largesse scandal and even Satyendra Dubey’s murder case have been either rankly partisan political exercises or half-hearted attempts to show off the fearlessness of those media units. Has anyone followed Satyendra Dubey’s case to the end? Who are the murderers? Are they arrested? Who leaked Satyendra’s confidential letter from the PMO? Is that person booked? And the mafia contractors of the Golden Quadrilateral? Was the Godhra riot victims given proper justice? Has the government forgotten the lingering plight of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy victims? Has any paper or channel pursued them? One remembers the sensation caused by Arun Shourie’s series of ‘investigative’ stories on the then chief minister AR Antulay of Maharashtra in early 1980’s.Recently, we have the Jessica lal case remanded by the supreme court, and in the state the Rizwanur case, the Nandigram massacre _in fact all incomplete information that are so sensational that become news demand the reporters’ continuous investigation.
For investigative reporting to flourish, what is required is: an independent and pluralistic media which is fearless, committed to democracy, universal human values, journalists with commitment who can identify problems and have the grit, perseverance, patience and skills to do research and owners and editors professionally non-partisan and without vested interests.
Political expedience
Bofors, St.Kitts, Fodder Scam, Satyendra Dubey -- none of these stories were followed thoroughly and with the rigour that investigative journalism demands. The pursuit was half-hearted; the stories tapered off occasionally, but were revived vigorously whenever a political occasion demanded.
No doubt, there have been laudable attempts at exposing some major scandals at local or state levels. But, often, the exposure is made in one sensational burst and then the press loses interest. The story tapers off or is not followed at all. Clearly, the Indian media has not nourished the discipline of classic investigative reporting. The political, economic and social scenario of India is so complex and rotten and the media’s credibility, despite its enormous power, is so low that even conscientious bureaucrats do not dare to blow the whistle. One whistle-blower who dared was murdered. And the press has nearly forgotten him.
What investigative reporting really needs!
For investigative reporting to flourish, what is required is: an independent and pluralistic media which is fearless, committed to democracy, universal human values, journalists with commitment who can identify problems and have the grit, perseverance, patience and skills to do research and owners and editors professionally non-partisan and without vested interests.
We have a fantastically free press, so free that it does not have a professional self-regulatory mechanism to monitor fundamental ethics of the press. Not even the journalists’ associations, which are more interested in begging for more perks from the government and corporate bodies than in the health of their own profession. Many journalists may have the aptitude and skills for investigative journalism. But their owners and editors do not have the will, even if they have the resources, to encourage them. The owners and the editors too have multiple vested interests -- in political parties, individual leaders, corporate bodies and so on.
Indian bureaucracy, notorious for its red-tapism, does not easily part with even ordinary information, never mind the information acts on the book, and, as mentioned earlier, those who really want expose the malefascence do not trust the press.
Why sting operations?
In such circumstances, what does a restless committed journalist do? He takes a hidden camera with him and broadcasts countrywide bulletins of responsible people accepting bribes. If documents, receipts, accounts, papers or files are not forthcoming as proof, here’s how the journalist furnishes the proof. Live on screen. Tarun Tejpal and Tehelka’s sting operation and subsequent imitations by others have raised a hornet’s nest questioning the ethical propriety of this kind of journalism. It is a positive outcome indeed. At last, ethics in journalism is being discussed, albeit half-heartedly.
How credible is the media?
 We do not seem have culture and discipline to carry effective investigative journalism. The press is losing credibility because of its blatant partisanship and rank commercialism. So take the camera and expose. Never mind, it is one-time exposure of a part. But the proof is there, clearly visible on the screen to make an impact on the minds of the people. The Dehli based schoolteacher’s allegation against the tv journalists can be taken under consideration ,where there are possible chances of preparing a false sting operation. This will at least shake the people and those who are concerned out of their slumber. No, this is not investigative journalism. But it is the sting. An occasional sting operation made with professional commitment may serve the cause for the time being. But that is no alternative to investigative journalism.
To build its credibility and ensure its freedom under democracy, the media in India will have to turn to serious investigative reporting.  The good news is that press is shaking of the age old shackles of inhibitions and intending to carry on responsible investigative reporting to provide the public its greatest power-the strength of decision making.
According to Lord Scarman, investigative journalism has proved its social value and he does not wish to put any curb on it, other than”…the curbs I have mentioned on the right of physical privacy, to which I attach great importance. The other curb I would impose is respect for criminal law.
There are matters which really should be left to the police to investigate and investigative journalists should keep out of it. If ,in the course of investigation, the journalists come across matters which have a strong criminal flavour ,Scarman thinks, their immediate duty is to go to the police and put the facts in front of them and ask the police whether they think it would be appropriate for the newspaper investigation to continue or whether they should put up the shutters. He tactfully adds on that he would not regulate this by law.”Of course, investigative journalism is very much subject  to the risks of contempt of the court in some circumstances. They have got to watch out for what is subjudice  and for what might prejudice a necessary criminal prosecution.”, he remarks.
                                                                                                         11/26/2007 12:30:58 AM


Nirob Torjoni

Ekti kore phool chuye dekhlo nirob torjoni
Ekti kore pakhi uriyedilo nirob torjoni

Ekti ekti photar sporshe shojag nirob torjoni
Muchlona kichui, na rokto, na chokher jol…
Nirob torjoni
Ajibon cheyeroilo nirob torjoni
Jiboner spondon bujheo bujhlona
Nirob torjoni….


Under the Waterfall

By Thomas Hardy

'Whenever I plunge my arm, like this,
In a basin of
water, I never miss
The sweet sharp sense of a fugitive day
Fetched back from its thickening shroud of gray.
Hence the only prime
And real love-rhyme
That I know by heart,
And that leaves no smart,
Is the purl of a little valley fall
About three spans wide and two spans tall
Over a table of solid rock,
And into a scoop of the self-same block;
The purl of a runlet that never ceases
In stir of kingdoms, in wars, in peace;
With a hollow boiling voice it speaks
And has spoken since hills were turfless peaks.'

'And why gives this the only prime
Idea to you of a real love-rhyme?
And why does plunging your arm in a bowl
Full of spring water, bring throbs to your soul?'

'Well, under the fall, in a crease of the stone,
Though precisely where none ever has known,
Jammed darkly, nothing to show how prized,
And by now with its smoothness opalized,
Is a grinking

For, down that pass
My lover and I
Walked under a sky
Of blue with a leaf-wove awning of green,
In the burn of August, to paint the scene,
And we placed our basket of fruit and
By the runlet's rim, where we sat to dine;
And when we had drunk from the glass together,
Arched by the oak-copse from the weather,
I held the vessel to rinse in the fall,
Where it slipped, and it sank, and was past recall,
Though we stooped and plumbed the little abyss
With long bared arms. There the glass still is.
And, as said, if I thrust my arm below
Cold water in a basin or bowl, a throe
From the past awakens a sense of that time,
And the glass we used, and the
cascade's rhyme.
The basin seems the pool, and its edge
The hard smooth face of the brook-side ledge,
And the leafy pattern of china-ware
The hanging plants that were bathing there.

'By night, by day, when it shines or lours,
There lies intact that chalice of ours,
And its presence adds to the rhyme of love
Persistently sung by the fall above.
No lip has touched it since his and mine
In turns there from sipped lovers' wine.'

like The Water

Like The Water  
by Wendell Berry
Like the water
of a deep stream,
love is always too much.
We did not make it.
Though we drink till we burst,
we cannot have it all,
or want it all.
In its abundance
it survives our thirst.

In the evening we come down to the shore
to drink our fill,
and sleep,
while it flows
through the regions of the dark.
It does not hold us,
except we keep returning to its rich waters

We enter,
willing to die,
into the commonwealth of its joy.

Morning Rain

Morning Rain  
by Tu Fu

A slight rain comes, bathed in dawn light.
I hear it among treetop leaves before mist
Arrives. Soon it sprinkles the soil and,
Windblown, follows clouds away. Deepened

Colors grace thatch homes for a moment.
Flocks and herds of things wild glisten
Faintly. Then the scent of musk opens across
Half a mountain -- and lingers on past noon.

Spring Rain

Spring Rain  

by Sara Teasdale
I thought I had forgotten,
But it all came back again
To-night with the first spring thunder
In a rush of rain.

I remembered a darkened doorway
Where we stood while the storm swept by,
Thunder gripping the earth
And lightning scrawled on the sky.

The passing motor busses swayed,
For the street was a river of rain,
Lashed into little golden waves
In the lamp light's stain.

With the wild spring rain and thunder
My heart was wild and gay;
Your eyes said more to me that night
Than your lips would ever say. . . .

I thought I had forgotten,
But it all came back again
To-night with the first spring thunder
In a rush of rain.


The Rain 

by William Henry Davies
I hear leaves drinking rain;
I hear rich leaves on top
Giving the poor beneath
Drop after drop;
'Tis a sweet noise to hear
These green leaves drinking near.

And when the Sun comes out,
After this Rain shall stop,
A wondrous Light will fill
Each dark, round drop;
I hope the Sun shines bright;
'Twill be a lovely sight.

life in a Metro -Kar Salaam

Kyun zindagi se ho shikava gila ,
yeh hasati hai roti hai, jo bhi hai jaisi hai
jo bhi yeh deti hai woh hai tera.
kar salaam….
Nakhre utha isake nakhre utha,
haan dhoop bhi hai yeh, chhaanv bhi hai yeh
jo bhi yeh deti hai, tu maan ja
kar salaam…..
Kho jaana, pa jaana, na paana, hai jindagi jaane le
bik jaana, loot jaana, bass jaana hai jindagi maan le
karle yakin, jo kal gaya woh phir se aata nahin
gujra huva jo waqt hai woh dastak lagaata nahin
jo aaj hai bass wahi hai tera
Kya teri hasti hai, mitti ki basti hai
pal mein hi ho jaati hai yeh fanaa
kar salaam



William Henry Davies

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Sonnet- To silence

Sonnet-To silence

Edgar Allen Poe

Science! True daughter of Old Time thou art!
Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart,
Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?
How should he love thee? Or how deem thee wise,
Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering
To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies,
Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing?
Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car?
And driven the Hamadryad from the wood
To seek a shelter in some happier star?
Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,
The Elfin from the green grass, and from me
The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?



Pablo Neruda

And it was at that age ... Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don't know how or when,
no they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.
I did not know what to say, my mouth
had no way
with names,
my eyes were blind,
and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
that fire,
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
the heavens
and open,
palpitating plantations,
shadow perforated,
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.

And I, infinitesimal being,
drunk with the great starry
likeness, image of
felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke loose on the wind.


W.B. Yeats
“And I grew weary of the sun
Until my thoughts cleared up again,
Remembering that the best I have done
Was done to make it plain…”

An acre of grass

An acre of grass
“…Neither loose imagination,
Nor the mill of the mind
Consuming its rag and bone,
Can make the truth known.”

Dover Beach

Dover Beach
Mathew Arnold

”- the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.”


Change in Plot
The women factor
The birth of a vibrant feminist movement in the late 70s –a host of non-governmental organizations focusing on women’s issues had come up in the decade (1975-85) following the declaration of the International Women’s year- also aided the process of emancipation.
Many of these feminist groups consisted of urban middle class women who successfully pushed for a range of pro-women laws, established institutions to provide legal and material support to destitute women and watchdog committees for monitoring phenomena such as the representation of women in the media and so on. One of the consequences of the movement was also a deluge of “women oriented serials” on Doordarshan between 1982 and 1987.
The serials encompassed a variety of genres: soaps, sitcom, docu-drama, self help and so on. Adhikaar for instance, dealt with the legal rights of Indian women; Kashmakash was based on short stories by women writers. Stri drew portraits of extraordinary women, while Airhostess explored the lives of single working women. The intention- to present a positive image of women- was clearly a laudable one. Filmmaker Deepa Dhanraj[1] noted that, “ given that scarcity of nonfiction programmes  centered around women, practically any images are to be celebrated.”
In implementation, however Doordarshan did not quite live up to the time, Dhanraj concluded that the attempt had misfired on several counts which included oversimplification of the causes of women’s oppression; structuring serials with a view to male gratification and suggest solutions that often ended by reinforcing rather than changing the status quo.
According to Amrita Shah[2],” The medium also put together contradictory messages. Programmes such as Adhikaar, on women’s legal rights and Aur Bhi Hain raahein, on career options for women were telecast along with jowl ads in which glamorous models played out the traditional roles of wife, mother and sex object. In Ramayana, the highest rated serial at a time when Doordarshan was trying to encourage liberal attitudes towards women’s emancipation, the main female character Sita – a woman who unquestionly joined her husband Rama, in exile, was kidnapped by Ravana provoking a war between the two kings, and was eventually dumped by her husband when his citizens cast aspersions on her chastity.
The social change did make its way into the daily soaps of the time. Woman started holding more serious positions particularly in companies owned by deceased fathers or husbands. “And letters received by Humraahi –a serial propagating woman equality-indicated a growing support for independent women who could speak out against male tyranny and some impatience with the doormat type. [3]
          The world of TV soaps was inducing a widespread coverage in middle class attitudes, much to the relief of the younger generation of women who suddenly found age old shackles disappearing overnight.
Twenty something garment fabricator in Bombay for instance held television entirely responsible for the fact that her conservative Muslim mother no longer pressurized her to leave her job and get married. Teenagers in small towns like Indore found themselves found in a position to flaunt the latest bold fashions without running against parental disapproval. Sexologists, psychiatrists and marriage counselors also testified to a sharp rise in awareness and acknowledgement of sensual desire among women. Clearly the urban middle class woman had come a long way. But so much change in so little time could not but provoke reaction.
Not to mention serials like, Shanti, Radha ki Betiyaan Kuch Kar Dikhayegi, Kkusum, all propagated the empowerment of women and have established social issues along with dramatic narratives that made the audience live through the ups and downs of the character’s life.

The Evolution
          The first television serials brought in the middle class homes and social issues clubbed today. Thus Hum Log and Buniyaad were about the plight of the common man. Yeh Jo Zindegi Hai, Nukkad, Flop Show nurtured the same theme and became small screen classics.
          The cultural bend of minds produced religious epic serials such as Ramayana  and Mahabhrata and TV sets in all the houses across the country all of a sudden become idols to worship with incense sticks, street got deserted on every Sunday and the whole family comprising of members from 4 years to 90 years watched the gods battle against evil. The country was heaped with so much of religiosity that a political party got into prominence in the coming years, strong enough to bring about one of the deadly riots in the history of the country.
          The stream of serials that was to follow in the coming years was by the dint of the series of satellite channels launched were launched one after the other. The producers were continuously studying the audience and soon realized that perhaps one section needed more attention than the other genres. What came as a result were several sitcoms that flooded all the channels, making it difficult for the viewers to decide which one to watch and which one to neglect. Dekh Bhai dekh, Kareena Kareena, Hum Paanch,Line of Control, Sarabhai, Khichadi stole the show away. But neither of them could stand as tall as their comic predecessors. Massod Akhtar lamented,” Comedy though to some extent popular is not up to the mark.”
So, when the audience was too tired of the comic bone, the never ending family saga serials took the stage. With a population close to 400 million individual viewers, and a bouquet of channels offering an exhausting, unlimited and formula-tested soaps of ‘holier-than-thou women with huge red bindis, streams of vermilion and imitation mangalsutras, as opposed to the vamps with  over the top pan-caked makeup and a perpetual evil look in eyes, Indian soaps started  playing with the psychological emotions of the common Indian women who are the primary target for high drama and suspense and who tend to favour the positive or the negative vibes given out by these women characters. With the advent of producers like Balaji Telefilms, women started swearing by the characters of ‘Tulsi’ of Kunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi … or ‘Parvati’ of ‘ Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki’ . Such is the craze for these women characters that advertisements for marriages have insert like, ‘the girl should be like Tulsi’! The message is strong and clear, today’s mother-in-law wants a girl who would be completely traditional, protect the family values of her in- laws (does not matter if she is abused and berated by one and all – misunderstandings are always cleared after six episodes of glycerine tears and high family drama) and respect her in-laws no matter how scheming they are. Almost all serials are women-dominated, and if one leaves the saas-bahu (family drama) and moves to the more modern soaps, one would find instances of some bold and uncommon theme. Soaps like ‘Astitva- Ek Prem Kahani’, dealing with a young man falling in love with a much older woman, or ‘Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin’, where a common ordinary looking girl makes it to the top on basis of her merit, have been some milestones in influencing the youth. ‘Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin’, has inspired common looking girls, with no glamour to back them, to stand for themselves and create their own niche in society. Yet, some could not stop complaining about the agony that the serials induced in them. Almost everyone would responded to the survey listed a numerous reasons that went against the popular serials, especially the k-serials. Presence of huge family with untraceable source of wealth; Presence of an immortal person; Mother and daughter must look like sisters of same age and grandmothers must look like older sister but age difference to be minimized as much as possible; All festivals in calendar must be celebrated; Presence of one or more negative characters is must; Plastic surgeries, death and reappearance, loss of memory etc. should appear repeatedly until audience develop sixth sense; Each episode must end with suspense; There must be regular addition of new character in serial; Long form of co-incidence in the language of serials is taken as commonly occurring incidents; and lastly the obvious attempt at copying the popular and box office hit Bollywood movies or unfortunate daily incidents that got flashed across national dailies for days together.[4]
          Even though the new serials in the recently launched channels like NDTV Imagine and COLORS TV, and in also those one pre existing ones, have elbowed out the kitchen politics and have taken up social issues much more serious, as in the case of Jyoti, Mein Teri Parchaayi hoon, Balika Badhu, Na Ana Is Desi-Laado, Sabki Laadli Bebo, Mere Ghar Aayi Ek Nanhi Pari, Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijo.[ What is joyful about these new serials is that they are more compact and finish off without boring off the viewers.[5][6]
Mythology appeals no more
          The charm created by Ramayana, Mahabhrata, and on the other hand Tipu Sultan, Chanakya is no more found in the new serials like Jai Sri Krishna, Rani Padmini Kak Johar. Dharti Ka Veer Yodha Prithviraj Chauhan rouse to popularity for it showed a much talked about costly sets and too much emphasis on the king and his beloved’s dragged on romance.
Inadequate children’s show
          “As compared to their needs or their population, there is very little television telecast for the children”, a 22 years old, Chitrak Mitra commented.
Thus children hardly find anything appeasing to their taste in the main stream channels. Few feel like tunning into channels like Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Jetix, POGO, HUNGAMA TV. All they watch are serials much above their age.
“Hindi TV serials for that matter all TV serials do affect the children, they get matured quite fast, they get to know things beyond their age and thus there is a loss of the actual childhood. Complications in families do result from this unwanted development. It seems children no more act like children; they all are adolescents from the age of 5 or 6,”said Mr. Subhasis Chakraborty.
Mr. Masood Akhtar opined,” Surely, children are very much affected by the Hindi TV serials. Whatever is shown in these serials less than 10% is beneficial for children. Children believe in whatever is shown, and they jump off the roof, die, and commit crimes. They do not understand the black and white characterization in the serials; neither must we expect it from their age group. Yet, they watch it and their aims and ambitions are taking shapes accordingly, which is unfortunate. They are bumping into things which they should not.
The TV serials meant for children are certainly not meeting my expectations. Good programmes meant for children should be shown in all the channels, during the afternoon before the children sit down to study. Good fiction stories should be made for them…I think Cartoon network is doing a job.”
According to Dr. Puson Gupta,” I think advertisement affect children most. Basically children are not bothered about boring serials; they are choosier than adults.”
Mr. Manoj Swami said,” In an era of dual income, nuclear family, where both the parents go to work, TV and internet is becoming a child’s best friend and obviously they leave a great impression on a child's mindset.... sometimes indelible impressions.
"Malguri" and "Indra Dhanush" are by far the best serials for children that I have seen in Hindi. Recently some attempts have been made mostly in animation (Krishna and Chhota Bhim) but as far as my understanding goes children today mostly watch cartoons made outside the country but dubbed in Hindi.”
Thus needless to say the serial makers have not done much to cater to the children viewers.

1)    Dhanraj, Deepa: The Media and Women’s Issues: 1994, ‘Whose News’ (saga publications).
2)    Shah, Amrita: Hype, Hypocrisy And Television In Urban India: 1997 ‘Middle Class Strike Back’, pp:-180-181, (Vikas Publishing House Pvt Ltd)
3)    Ibid.Pg- 182
4)    The Times of India,” Shhh! Psst-psst! Unfolding some of the best conspiracies”, Friday, July 21, 2006. And also added by some of the people who responded to the survey.
5)    The Times of India,” Ba, Bahu & now the Beti, by Nikhila Pant, 5 May ,2009.
6)    India Today, Stereotypical TV girl gets a reality check by Priyanka Srivastava June 6, 2009.