From Tragedy to comedy: Indian media

It looks like a box, takes a fixed position in the living room and has the power to hold individuals for enormously long period of times. A box that can completely turn upside down think tank, change perceptions and turn positives to negatives; television nowadays has the ability to make individuals looking west look east.  The spectrum of Indian television is wide and fast growing; from the mega starrer movie channels, to the harmony of saints of god, to the generation X love and spice shows and last but by no means the least the reality shows which have a big question mark always hanging on their reality part. But one thing that has been rock solid and growing exponentially is the Indian comedy industry. From times of jaspal bhatti’s incisive wit in the flop show, to the era of 5th floor cuff parade of sarabhai’s and now the diverse multi-lingual comedy soaps of SAB TV. The Indian media market has never been short of its share of comedy.  The television industry has cut trough social, economic and religious lines and now is a common denominator.

 The last decade of Indian television has seen some of the very famous comedy shows that went on-air. While the oldies like sarabhai vs. sarabhai or shriman shrimati have their own remembrance the new shows have created an intense new market for themselves. The stand up comedy which was really not much into liking of the Indian society has now become the dinner time sweet without which the dinner almost feels incomplete. Those stand-up comedians who barely got a gig on the television now have weekly running soaps with TRP’s increasing quicker than the dollar price. While channels like SAB branding themselves as an all comedy channel we can be rest assured that comedy in Indian television media is not stopping. Different viewers have different reasons for their thrust towards these comedy shows. The basic silver lining is the aam aadmi is relating himself easily to these kinds of shows rather than the INR 29 figure of poverty line of the government. Whether we talk about the days of Taarak Mehta acting like a true Indian bride, or the babuji of the chidiya ghar with his true gandhigiri the comedy connection is running big guns. The society which used to see themselves in the kahani or kyunki of kapoors has started relating themselves to the daya or bakula of sab TV. With a confirmed happy ending always, the fear of failure is completely wiped out from the minds of the individuals and the audience prefers the linkage. While the kyunki of Kapoor’s had all the masala spices to induce a negative rani laxmi bai in all the married females, flip side the laughter of adhikari brothers has got the orthodox solution to almost all the major family problems. With less popular or almost new characters and little or no past media rumors about the character; the character image becomes more like one from the public. The sense of humour in country has changed. From the days of slapstick humour we have changed to an era where people have started laughing on themselves. The liking of comedian like Russel petters has grown and we are becoming more or less ready for the silent or the observational comedy. The same skewness towards comedy can be observed on other medias also. With the dismal economy condition Mrs. Gandhi and Mr. Singh have become the undisputed cartoon characters for the media. Comedy which used to cover a side block in the middle section of the newspaper can find itself some space in the front page also.

The great words of Sir Lewis black “It’s absolutely stupid that we live without an ozone layer. We have men, we’ve got rockets, and we’ve got saran wrap – FIX IT!!!”  

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