Influence of Western Television Programs on Indian Youth

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Television is the word with which person of every age is aware, it replaced radio as the most entertaining source and is responsible for creating an impact on people's mind. Though its popularity and need is decreasing with the coming of smart mobile phones and latest technologies which provide entertainment on just some clicks and much more but on a smaller portable screen. In today's world, Television is not as important as mobile phones in one's life, but, it surely has some control over the minds of people. A large mass of Indian population still depends on Television as their main source of entertainment. Indian Housewives, working population, college students, children, shopkeepers are all attracted towards the different programmes of their choices, for example, housewives are attracted towards the Saas Bahu drama serials and daily soaps and on the other hand the working men's population is mostly cricket and action movies' fans and are attracted towards the sports and entertainment channels. There are number of television programs for children like Doraemon, Shinchan, BEN10 etc and for the college going students we have channels like MTV, CHANNEL V, 9XM etc which contains reality shows, music and entertainment. A study revealed that a college student watches televison at an average of 4 hours a day and most of the times it is 8:00 pm to 1:00 am, housewives watches television mostly in between 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm or after 9:00 pm post their household activities.

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Public Service Broadcasting always plays an important role in creating an impact on audience and modernizing the minds of youth. Various Public Broadcasting Services includes, PBS in USA, ABC in Australia, BBC in UK. There was a time when Doordarshan was ruling the viewer's minds, shows like, Byomkesh Bakshi, Jaspal Bhatti's flop show, Ramayana, Shaktimaan, Vikram-Betal etc were grabbing everybody's attention and were able to hook audience to their shows for years. Those were the days when people free themselves from their daily activities for a specific time period to watch their favourite Television program. Ramayana's episodes used to come on sundays at 10:00 am in the morning and to watch that, whole family used to sit together to watch the show.

In the present scenario, the Indian youth is exposed to a wide variety of televison programmes and channels which consists of numerous Indian as well as foreign shows. This gives them a wide variety yo choose from. The interests of Indian youth started shifting towards the foreign shows because of the improvement in the quality of television programs of United States of America and United Kingdom and the degradation of Indian Televison programs' quality. Present generation is not as patient as their predecessors, they can't wait for a whole month just to get the same already known story. They are careful in choosing what they want to watch, they want something different, something which is more exciting and entertaining than the Indian television programs, hence their choice was clear, they preffered western television programs over Indian television programs.

Indian televison programmes contains mostly daily soaps and melodramatically approached serials which are not able to give the current generation any kind of motivation, inspiration or any real life experience and hence they are getting bored and have started shifting towards the foreign Television channels which surprised them. Foreign Television channels like HBO, AXN, STAR WORLD is giving the youth what the Indian channels always missed. Foreign shows are directly targetting the social happennings at present and helping the youth to relate the shows with their respective lives, showing them how to tackle wih those situations and finding solutions for their problems from it. These channels are entertaining their audiences in every way possible and are always ready to give their audience something new, something different from the previous content. Also the main reason of shifting towards the western Television programs was the adult content provided in those programs, the language, the activities, the suspenses, they are enough to grab every teenager's attention. Indian Television is still not able to provide audiences the best of them, the most realistic things are blurred in movies, bold words and scenes are covered with beeps and cuts, although we know what's happening in a scene but what's better than watching the real content.

Culture is a way an individual socializes with the society, it is something through which societies reflect their common experiences. Television is a mass medium, therefore it has cultural impacts on its audience also. The influence of Western Television programmes can be discovered from the change in the behaviours and attitudes of youngsters. Their music taste is changed and as we know, music is the expression of inner life, the person's taste of music at an extent defines what a person is, what is going on in his mind and his feelings and emotions. The change in Indian youth's music taste is the major influence caused by western music, their food habits are varied, their clothing style is affected and also their social orientations.

Foreign Televison programmes helps an individual to open up his mind and develop a good personality through its contents. It gives them a great choice over the Saas Bahu drama offered by Indian television. Instead of watching marriages, deaths and characters coming out of their graves, they are watching FRIENDS, BREAKING BAD, HOUSE OF CARD, 13 REASONS WHY, and many more, which are atleast not destroying their IQ levels. According to a study conducted in India, hooking to western television programs has shown a very positive impact on the communication skills of the viewers. Their english speaking ability is improved, their confidence is increased, and overall these programs made people a better person.

Indian youth is now more comfortable as well as confused in the society. This attitude is exposed and have changed, his reaction to a problem, situation is now different.The youth is confused in deciding what is wrong and what is right for them, for someone else, or for the society. Most importantly there is a great influence on relationships nowadays, a male or a female, they are mostly confused and are not sure for their feelings. The extra marital affairs, relation with best friend, cheating on husband/wife, friends with benefits, shown in these programs have resulted in growth of extra marital affairs cases. People are now more confused between love and lust, for them, love is all about finding someone rich, making out, giving expensive gifts and not about feelings. These western programmes are playing with the minds of teenagers who are not that much exposed to the world, they want their friend circle to be as that of the TV show FRIENDS, they are copying western lifestyle which is responsibe for disturbing the culture they inherited.

Getting influenced by western culture should not result in neglecting the Indian culture completely, but it is happening, our culture is disturbed. Girls started to style themselves according to the fashion icons on the western fashion television programs, they have coloured their hair and hairstyles, their clothes are shortened, which is not a bad thing at all, change is mandatory and is consistent but, this change is not according to the Indian culture and disturbs the Indian culture for sure. Men have started wearing jeans and according to a study it is proved that, jeans is harmful for our health, the material used in making of jeans is not suitable for our skin, also as an Indian child we were told that Kurta Pyjama is the best outfit which provides comfort as well as flexibility and is not harmful at all. Learning something beneficial is good but depleting the previous learnt things, ethics and manners is not good at all.

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