Introduction Television is the most potent weapon today to inform and also to reform the Indian society. It is not merely entertainment. Sadly, most of the Indian audiences think so, and actively encourage this thought. Possibly this is the reason why a Tamil TV serial like Deiva Magal, which did have some useful messages, also had so many negative shades.
The most important question: can we have some mechanism to control the story line of such serials, even it it is not Government intervention?
First, the story - It was a superb story of a joint family, with the main character, Gayathri, shown as the daughter in law. She was initially well accepted, but she grew greedy, and wanted all the property in her name.
Good Messages The serial was good in parts. For example, it did show how honest Government servants can and will do good to the society. It had the father in law always talking about non-violence and his advice to his son, who was reformed later and was good too. This boy becomes the hero in the latter part of the serial, and is shown as a hugely good person, with a rich heart.
The good spirited Sathya, the daughter in law of the old man, was the center of all attention. She is shown for her good acts, her kindness, the maturity with which she handled every tough Government assignment as the Tashildar, how she balanced the entire joint family, how she came out of each trouble in a bold way and how she got around each bad move of the heroine, whose name was Gayathri.
The balance of a joint family was explained very well too.
The negative side Gayathri would win rich men through her charms and sob stories and then kill or attempt to kill them. She did become a good friend of a rich industrialist called Nambi, who fell for her charms. He wanted to marry her, but Gayathri was always in love with her estranged husband, Kumar (the hero's brother).
Gayathri plans a superb web, takes this industrialist to Kerala, and kills him. The narration was gripping and good. Yet, at the end of the day, what will this kind of murder, done with so much of precision, do to young fifteen and seventeen year old young minds, is what needs to be considered.
This friendship with Nambi, and then the attempt by the former to somehow marry her, was not in good taste at all. Every move of Gayathri to win Nambi's confidence, every single move to talk so smooth and nice, every single move to use his influence to trounce the hero Prakash and his wife, and give them all trouble, can only encourage extra-marital relationships and sow such wicked thoughts in some women. mind.
It is so sad that the serial focused only on Gayathri's sole aim of getting the prosperous property, in the heart of Chennai city, registered in her name, through the most foul means possible.
Gayathri also kills another IPS officer, who closely resembles her, and takes her position!! This was absurdity at its best. The storyline was really bad after this twist.
The impact on Society How to cheat, to commit murders, how to plan to hoodwink the police, how to pretend to be so innocent even after committing a murder are all dirty tricks.
We cannot afford another Deiva Magal type serial. Let there not be any more Gayathris in India.
The most important control can be done by the Management (in this case, SUN TV), by appointing eminent sociologists, psychologists, human rights activists (Chennai has a huge number of them) and lawyers to advise on story lines so that the horribly violent scenes may be avoided. Some sort of societal action is needed in this regard.
Good attempt made by the author to evaluate the mega serial being aired on a Tamil Channel. I have been closely watching many serials which crop up in different entertainment channels of Tamil language and noticed one big factor that all serials have more than one husband or more than one wife concept. In real life, people are not living as envisaged and shown in those serials. In fact a popular channel which has whole lots of daily serials in tandem actually shows and give ideas as to how to corner others through bad intentions and means. And households are soon to grab those ideas and implement on their better half. My advise to serial producers, please make serials which benefits the society and it should not be a cause for disturbance in a family.