World Television Day: Indian Actors Share How TV Transformed Their Lives & Society
16:23 21.11.2023 (Updated: 16:24 21.11.2023)
On World Television Day, celebrated every year on 21 November, Indian actors have spoken with Sputnik India about the profound influence television has had on their lives & on Indian society.
From getting the first color television set at home in the 1990s to spending most of their childhood watching shows and having fun family time viewing daily soap or cricket, television has brought everyone together under one roof and provided the ultimate dose of entertainment.
Several Indian actors shared interesting anecdotes about their experience of working on television which opened the doors for them to films and web series, and how television left an impact on society.
‘Moralistic Stories on TV Made Me the Idealist I'm Today’: Meiyang Chang
For 41-year-old singer-actor Meiyang Chang,
television played a huge role in shaping his life by watching shows that were rich in moral values.
"In the 80s and 90s, it was the new, bedazzling audiovisual entertainment that books or games could not compete with. I was drawn to clean, wholesome and moralistic storytelling in 'Buniyaad', 'Potli Baba Ki', 'Kirdaar', 'Alif Laila', 'Malgudi Days', 'Amravati Ki Kathayein' and others, and the values imbibed made me the idealist I am today," Chang said.
Television opened the doors to the world of movies, music, sports and knowledge, not just as an audience but also as an artist after he won the singing reality TV show 'Indian Idol'.
"A talent hunt gave me a huge global platform and opened all kinds of creative doors for me; an opportunity that previous generations did not have. No longer did I have to wonder what it would take to reach for the stars. Instead, I packed my bags, brought my dreams along, and set out to become one myself," Chand said, who now acts in movies and web series, plays in music concerts, record songs, and host TV shows too.
Chang feels that over the years, television has acted as a unifying force.
"It brings people and families together to partake of a collective emotion for those moments spent in front of the beloved 'idiot box', and that in itself is a huge service in the divisive times that we live in," he said.
‘Television Gave Us Due Credit, Recognition, Identity’: Himani Shivpuri‘TV Brought Not Just Entertainment, But Social Awareness’: Sourabh Raaj Jain
The 63-year-old theatre veteran Himani Shivpuri, who made her television debut with 'Humrahi' TV show in early 1990 on DD National, owes to the television medium that brought her into the spotlight and gave her opportunities to work in some popular TV shows.
"When I used to do theatre, people used to ask me what do I do for a living? It was very difficult for them to understand that acting was my profession. The minute I came on TV, and became recognized for playing the character of Devki Bhojai in Humrahi, it gave me recognition and more good work that helped me stand on my own feet," Shivpuri said.
The actor, who currently stars in 'Happu Ki Ultan Paltan', said that television brought entertainment inside everyone's house.
"That time, Doordarshan became an interesting source of entertainment. It brought interesting stories from the literature, especially by Manohar Shyam Joshi who made 'Hum Log', 'Buniyaad', 'Humrahi', and others. To watch a movie, people had to move out of the house and pay heavily. Whereas television brought entertainment inside your home," Shivpuri said.
‘TV Brought Not Just Entertainment, But Social Awareness’: Sourabh Raaj Jain
Actor Sourabh Raaj Jain, who achieved huge fame for playing Lord Krishna’s role in 'Mahabharat' TV show recalled that he has always been in awe of television since his childhood days.
“I have always been in awe of television, as a child feelings were different but now that I am also part of it I’m amazed at its reach, its purpose, its magnanimity,” Jain said.
He strongly feels that television as a medium has great combination of entertainment and social awareness
“It becomes the cherry on the cake when both of these combine to justify its purpose. I feel blessed that I have been part of many such shows which have delivered both entertainment and social awareness. Television encompasses news, sports, skill learning, and many such portals so as an audience one can choose where the interest lies,” Jain said.
‘Take Back Good Thing from TV’: Aamir Ali
Actor Aamir Ali,
who gained huge popularity for playing a police officer in the sitcom ‘F.I.R’,
told Sputnik India that television shows have both positives and negatives, but its impact solely depends on what kind of shows people are watching.
“Television is primarily for entertainment, but it also shows things which are of no use. It is important to focus on the positives, let go of the irrelevant and insignificant things, and simply savor the enjoyment of the entertainment.
‘TV Has Become More Commercial’: Kabir Sadanand
Actor-director Kabir Sadanand
told Sputnik India that Indian television has gone through a big transformation, from showing enlightening and intelligent shows to becoming more commercial.
“Back in the 90s, TV was the big source of entertainment which had stuff that was enlightening, intelligent, non-aggressive, and thinking ahead of the future. You had TV shows that were encouraging. But now you see more of competitive talent hunt shows which is good as it gives out a platform to the common man and prize money,” Sadanand said.
Talking about the flip side of it, Sadanand said, “We see children who participate in competitive talent hunt shows, and in some way or the other they lose their innocence too early in life with their success or failure.”
“The biggest potential TV has is bringing the families together in the living room to watch big events like the World Cup or news. If families and friends keep their phones aside and hurdled together to watch TV like the good old days, it will bring more human interaction,” Sadanand said.