Creativity sans responsibility

After some time, the thought that there must be more people out there like him who tend to believe all that is showcased in advertisement, serials and the like, struck me for after all in India we do have a majority of illiterates.

As I ponder on the above issue, another thought strikes me; can creative people shirk social responsibility? Is creativity a sufficient excuse for not reasoning out the impact the visual media has on common man? There has been heated debate on the above issues and the people who create them state that they portray what actually takes place in society. They tend to place the onus of responsibility on the viewers. Unfortunately they refuse to accept that we tend to internalise much that we see unconsciously.
Axe, Fair and Lovely, health and soft drinks all tend to portray a larger than life image and give credentials to lot of untruths. There are so many advertisements that state that it’s okay for your child to shun food as long as it drinks a particular brand of wholesome health drink. It does not talk about the drink being used as a complement to food; rather it is used as a supplement to solids.

I don’t think I need to highlight the untruth behind that statement, but how long can a busy mother hold on against the temper tantrum of the child who totally goes by the ad. The child tends to believe that it is okay to say ‘no’ to a regular meal as long as it drinks a particular brand of health drink.

The same is the case with fairness cream. All such advertisements showcase instances wherein a person’s self-confidence is directly proportional to a fair skin. How terrible! Does that mean that anyone who lacks the proper skin tone needs to hide and cringe throughout her life? Are the advertisement moguls unaware about the melanin content and that nothing much can be done about the skin tone? Aren’t they sending outrageously wrong signals?
Then of course are the famous advertisements for Axe products. Women are portrayed as creatures who totally depend on their olfactory organs rather than their intellect when it comes to selection of men!

Why can’t the creative heads come up with advertisements like the recent Max Insurance, Airtel, Gulab Jamun Mix that evoke laughter each time you see it and showcases the India that is family bound and beautiful. Kudos to such creative people.

Soap operas
Serial addiction has one positive outcome. The serials depict the worst of the human characteristics and the darker the nature the more TRP the serial is enjoying. It is at such times, I delve nostalgically on clean serials like ‘Hum Log’, ‘Rajani’, ‘Yeh jo hai zindagi’, ‘I love Lucy’, ‘Mind your language’, ‘Buniyad’ and ‘Wagle ki Duniya’.
Now, we have singularly unattractive characters bent on scheming, hurting, murdering, cheating, and trying to bring about a downfall of some other characters in almost all the serials. On the other hand, we have the good suffering the most despite his/her fervent prayers. By god, the message these serial makers are sending is crystal clear — Cease being good!

Coming back to social responsibility the audio-visual media is a powerful one. It is a tool that can effectively mould the people to be responsible citizens. In a world of uncertainty, problems, disease, recession, strife and chaos why is there a need to re-live all the above in imaginary lives too and have a TV war in our drawing rooms? All the present day serials send out ambiguous message and it is reflected in the society. No wonder there is so much negative energy going around. We spend our mornings in a forced laughter club and spend our evenings crying over the soap operas losing out on precious bonding time with our families. Indeed we are an amusing lot!

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