Khirbashini Munugaran discusses the impact that drama serials may have on young people going through difficult times.
The thoughts and hearts of children are like blank sheets of paper when they are born. The sincere smiles on the faces of children tell us they do not know how to hate people or how to be brutal.
Their smiles tell us they want to reach out to the future, to fulfil their dreams and become great people, who can be models for future generations.
But these days, I don’t see those meaningful smiles on the children’s faces. Those smiles have turned into fear and concern; the younger generation don’t seem ready to face this challenging world.
Recently, many cases have hit the front pages of the newspapers – reports of teenagers attempting suicide because they are unable to live up to public expectations or to face the community in difficult times.
What I’m curious about is how these children know about suicide. Who taught them that?
Maybe they learned about suicide from dramas – especially, certain drama serials in which the character attempts suicide, captured in slow motion, showing every detail about how it’s done.
Certain drama serials may even show us how it is done. In such drams, the house invariably seems to have a bottle of poison handy, and the character drinks that poison if he or she is unable to face the world. If a poison bottle is not handy, they have ropes around to hang on the fan…
These are some of the scenes I have come across in drama serials. How do these irresponsible scenes affect children? We can’t solely blame the dramas or films.
What is the role of parents? At night, many parents sit in front of the television and watch all kinds of drama serials. Children may sit with them and watch these dramas as a family activity. All of us have different perspectives and different kinds of thinking skills. As a mature person, we can differentiate wrong from right, and understand propaganda and manipulation when we see it.
But what about children? As mentioned, they are like blank sheets of paper. They are easily influenced by what they see and hear. They remember the suicide scenes in the drama and how these acts were done.
People may suffer from depression because of pressure from society or a dominating government or tough economic conditions. When parents, teachers and friends scold them or when they feel depressed, children may think about ending their lives and attempt suicide by trying out the suicide scenes they have watched.
Some of these children attempt suicide because of depression; they are unable to live up to public expectations or face the public.
The National Film Censorship Board censors and bans scenes from many good movies because they deem such scenes could be sensitive for certain groups or ruin the teenage mindset. If they can censor such scenes, don’t they censor suicide scenes that could give children ideas?
Parents also have an important role in watching every step of their children if they are depressed or worried about their future. Please use a few hours to talk with them, seek professional help and teach them how to compete in this fast-changing world. Ending their life is not the way. Tell them to come forward from each challenging situation and fulfil their potential.
Khirbashini Munugaran is a young writer who follows the Aliran website.