Television provides us with news and information about the events that are taking place in different parts of the world. It informs and enlightens people. It is the best means of communication. It has become the best means for party propaganda, social awareness and mass communication. Our world is a world marred by casteism, communalism, regionalism and racism. Many people of this country feel neglected and isolated.
But if there is anything that can unite and bring together people it is the television. Famous National Network programmes like Chitrahar, Mahabharat, Krishna, Akbar the great, The Sword of Tipu Sultan, etc., are watched eagerly by the people all over the country. There is no denying the fact that television plays a tremendous role in bringing about national understanding, patriotism and national integration. Illiteracy has been one of the hallmarks of rural India though the general illiteracy rate has fallen from 48% in 1991 to 35% according 2001 census. Government has been making an all-out attempt to lower down this rate but with little success.
Vigorous mass literacy campaign by various agencies hasn’t been very successful. In this context television can play a vital role. It is one of the best means to educate people. All cannot get newspapers or magazines. All cannot read and write.
But all can watch and listen to television and get informed. The mass literacy campaign undertaken through national network has been instrumental in lowering the illiteracy rate in the rural areas. The entertainment value of television cannot be overlooked. For most people television is nothing more than a means of entertainment.
It provides films, songs, dances, dramas, serials and live programmes of various matches and tournaments. After a day’s hard work and tension, an interesting movie or a lively programme can lighten our hearts and minds. It relaxes over worn out nerves.
With the arrival of television the world has become small. Today any event of importance taking place in any part of the world can be watched sitting in our room. We need not travel beyond our borders to watch international Cricket matches and ‘World Cups’. They come live in our living rooms at the click of a television switch.
Thus, television helps us in many ways. If well used, it can serve great purposes. It can enrich, enlighten and entertain us. If not well used, it can spoil our society and its ethics.
It can destroy our youth and contaminate our society with social evils such as, negative projection of sex, glorification of women and their body, instill violence, fanaticism and communalism, encourage blind imitation of western ethics, etc. In India the impact of television has been tremendous. We are all moulded by it beyond our comprehension. ‘It is dynamite’- it can destroy us or help us. It is up to each one of us and particularly the authorities, to channel this means for common good and well-being.