Parents, experts welcome ban on film music in schools

Officials plan to instruct schools to celebrate annual days in ways that reflect history, patriotism, culture and heritage of the nation

Songs like ‘Chikni Chameli’ have been extensively used and liked in many school annual functions.

In a bid to protect impressionable young minds from the influences of movies, the department of primary and secondary education has decided to issue directions to schools to keep film songs off campuses. This rule will be applicable to state government and private schools affiliated to the state board, from the next academic year. 

The immediate trigger for it seems to have been the experience of a senior official from the department, who said he was “shocked to see the songs chosen for students to perform to.”

The officials are planning to instruct schools to celebrate annual days in ways that reflect the history, patriotism, culture and heritage of the nation. And stakeholders welcome the step.

“It is a welcome move and a long-due one. Though a lot of rural folk-based music is available across the country, popular film music seems to be the only option for students in schools. The backdrop has rich, colourful images, even LED screens. The children don’t really dance; they puppet the moves of the actors and actresses,” says Pruthvi Banwasi, Secretary for Roots Educational Trust and Secretary of Karnataka Council of Pre Schools.

He blames it on the parents, who, he says, look for extravagant displays in school functions so they can brag about it later.

“Display is important for parents. So since they have already seen the movie song, they will expect a similar visual. If it is not up to their standards, they blame the school, saying that they have not rehearsed enough. But if you take a regional folk song, no one knows the visuals for it. Since there are no preconceived images, the parents will appreciate the programme put up on stage,” he points out. 

Shefali Tyagi, principal of National Public School, HSR, also supports the move. “We do not encourage film songs at our school. The lyrics and vocabulary in these ‘trending’ film songs are not suitable for children. There should be a focus to make children familiar with the regional songs from both North and South India.”

Nandini Nagraj, academic advisor, HMR Group of Institutions, sees both pros and cons to the ban. “We use film songs for our Republic Day and Independence Day celebrations and they do arouse patriotism. The annual day celebrations are an experience through which students are exposed to creativity, originality and reality. In that sense, this move makes sense as film songs and dances, though popular, cannot do justice to real learning,” she says.

Parent to a school-going daughter, serial actress Ramya Ajay also feels this is a good move.

“There is a need to instil our cultural values in today’s kids. They are totally consumed by western ideas and hence, it becomes our duty to make them aware about our heritage. Film songs have nothing to give anyway. Indian folk songs have so many life lessons which could have a positive impact on them.”

Dancing to folk songs will allow children to learn a lot more since they can learn about the history of the song, the history of the place where it originated, the outfits of that particular region and more, points out Pruthvi. “Overall, the child learns a lot more than wanting to be a Shahrukh Khan or an Amir Khan,” he says.

He also points out the expenses involved in setting up such grand displays of ‘filmi’ culture. “Some schools nowadays hire costumes for performances. Why can’t they make the students just get it from home, instead of asking them to spend so much? In ours and many other schools, students just get a circular asking them to wear a particular shade. Why does it have to be a tailor-made outfit?”

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Parents, experts welcome ban on film music in schools

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