Children in reality shows
Reality shows stream in through the television into our homes 24/7. It is shocking that at times, who wins Big Boss or who becomes the latest Indian Idol matter to us so much more than, say, a path breaking find in the cure for cancer. We live in a world where success is most often defined only by winning and not achieving. The winner takes it all. Literally. There is no place in our hearts or memories for those who come in second.
Isn’t it a pity then, that parents push children as small as four or five years into this seemingly bottomless pit of competition? Laughter shows, dance shows and singing shows on television are the latest battle ground for children. While on one hand, we seek to relieve children of academic stress by doing away with competitive exams and merit lists, it is heart rending to see a little child break down on television unable to cope with the pressure and pain of being ousted out of a reality show.
There have been countless stories of children who have succumbed to the pressures of a reality show leading to depression, loss of interest in academics or co-curricular activities or at times, even suicide. Are these few transitory moments of fame worth the anxiety and stress these children go through in this journey to the so called ‘top of the heap’?