Television is one of the most wonderful achievements of science. It is the transmission of images of moving objects by radio waves. It represents an advanced technological marvel of the present age. It has revolutionized our life in many ways.
Television in India was started on 15 Sept. 1969 as a pilot project when the AIR set up an experimental TV service in Delhi. But over the year it has expanded into a vast organization with several stations all over the country. To begin with it was the part of AIR, but from 1st April, 1976 the TV delinked from AIR and has a separate identity.
After Cinema T. V. in India is the most important medium of instruction, education and entertainment.
The TV is being extensively used for instruction and education. Discussion on various current topics by eminent person in that field are illuminating. TV may be used as a successful instructor and trainer. Various aspects of mechanical, electrical and medical training can be explained to the trainees on TV in a very effective manner and could therefore be very gainfully used for the purpose of education.
Television as a medium of visual communication offers immense possibilities to overcome the illiteracy and assist in the process of modernization. It has a marked role to play in furthering the cause of education and has a unique advantages over the media. The messages on TV screen are pre-selected, sorted out and then presented in the simplest possible manner.
TV can also effectively assist teachers in achieving educational objectives by supplementing and reinforcing their efforts. For the sports lovers, there are live telecasts of Cricket, Wimbledon and other sports events. Good television films can be made on various important problems our country is faced with and they may provide suitable solutions also. Indian TV is also trying to preserve our tradition particularly in fine arts by presenting the tradition as dances and also folk songs on TV.
TV has become easy, simple and a regular source of entertainment for the people and also have been able to keep the people occupied. Important functions like N.A.M., C.H.O.G.M., the Republic Day parade, the Beating Retreat, Kavi Sammelan, Ghazal session, songs etc. are also telecast. An effort is made to have variety in programmes to suit all tastes. TV serves as an important medium for business and trade circle, who advertise their products through it.
The TV industry can provide employment to a large number of young men. The industry has a fairly bright future for development. There are a large number of small factories manufacturing parts and spares of television sets.
But there is another side of the coin also. There are some people who consider TV luxury for a poor country like India. So it is not fair that less than one per cent of the people shall be provided with this luxury at the cost of community as a whole. Nevertheless periodical surveys about the public reaction to the TV programmes have indicated that most of the programmes telecast are dull and boring plays etc. are uninspiring and badly directed. Most of the Hindi serials have such a heavy dose of preaching that they lose much in artistic value.
Another criticism against the Indian Television is that like the AIR it is the mouthpiece of the Govt. and the ruling party. The News Bulletins in Hindi and English and the news and news programmes are heavily coloured in favor of the Govt. and the party in power. There is hardly any programme which allows free, frank and straight forward criticism of the Govt. policies and the ruling party politicians. Therefore there has been a demand for AIR and Doordarshan being turned into autonomous bodies with no control and interference by the Govt.
No denying the fact TV can become effective medium in changing the social and political order yet it can be effective only after it is allowed to function independently and without being influenced by party politics.