The Editor, The Indian Express, 9-10, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi – 110 002. Subject: Reality of reality shows Sir, I have just returned from Mumbai, where I had the opportunity to visit the sets of a television reality show featuring children.
I was looking forward to a pleasant experience but was instead horrified to see twelve and thirteen-year-olds being constantly exposed to harsh lights, and having to sing and dance continuously for long hours. Also, I thought that the tone they were made to adopt while speaking, as if they were heroes and heroines in their own right, was neither in good taste nor something that would psychologically do them any good later on in life. What was perhaps even more shocking was that most of the children’s parents were right there on the sets, lapping it all up with a kind of mad frenzy in their eyes! I don’t know if we are partly responsible for spoiling the innocence of our children and making them neglect their studies. Besides, do these children get any time to play games? As for the parents in question, many of whom allegedly spare no effort in trying to get their children ‘adopted’ by big business houses, they should be made aware by psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, the media, social workers and others, of the irreparable harm they are causing their dear children by burdening them with expectations and turning them into sacrificial lambs at the altar of filthy lucre.
Can’t the government introduce suitable legal measures to protect these children? Yours faithfully, Ravi Prasad