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Music or dance shows of the good old Doordarshan days were few and far fetched. Weekly once- there used to be Chitrahaar / Oliyum Oliyum. And professional singers would perform on special occasions. The concept of reality shows wasn't quite defined, back then. Now- with the fever catching up in all the regional languages, we are exposed to dozens of reality shows for music, dance and other art forms.
True- it does help tap the potential among the general public and presents them a great platform that even change their lives. Celebrity singers and music directors are bought in as judges and after many rounds that span over months, the "lucky" winner is awarded, a car/house/cash and a chance to be a playback singer. For any aspiring singer/dancer- these reality shows are really a boon. And for the audience- Us- it provides great entertainment as week after week, we are enthralled with songs from various genres and people with some musical background enjoy the nuances that the judges point out when the contestants perform.
All that said- the real notion behind this blog post is- Do Kids need Reality Shows? The kids are first selected by a general audition where thousands of other contestants crowd in and if they manage to impress the judges in those 120 seconds- they are selected. As adults- it might be acceptable to take up challenges and prove our potential to the world. But do kids need to be put through the entire ordeal?
The Stress is the first point that comes to our mind. Dozens of rounds need to be cleared for the kids to come to the finals- which is what every single parent aspires. The posh car, luxury apartment are not really for the kids- those are the little baits to get the parents to enroll their kids into the contest.
And there is this whole theatrics about the "elimination" and the camera zooms in on the crying kid and the crying parents. Isn't it our duty as parents to teach them the more important lesson, that participating is more important than the end result? Agreed- competitions bring out the best in the kids and inspire them to do well. But, does it really mean the child cries his/her heart out at the end and some TV channels use them to garner more TRPs?
And the choice of songs/dances that the kids perform. Phew! As parents, at home, we frown when something "uncomfortable" crops up on the television when watching it with our kids and we swap channels in a jiffy. We fret and fume over the "U"/"A" ratings for a movie and make informed decisions. Where does all this disappear when the kids have to chose songs to perform on the big stage?
A little girl decked up in all glamorous costumes makes those sensual moves as she grooves for an "item" number and the judges go Gung ho over her husky voice and her wonderful rendition! Seriously??! And as parents, are we supposed to sit with our kids and watch this? And of course there are those dance shows where kids perform such difficult, dangerous and back-breaking steps and dance to crass songs with partners only to get those high scores from the judges. What morals or values are we really imparting to the kids? We expose them to a myriad of muck at a tender age willfully and then fret over not being able to raise them as responsible adults?
Wake up parents. Am not against competitions or reality shows. If you feel the kids have it in them- go ahead and pave way for their career. But first make sure your role as a parent isnt compromised in the long run.