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Families and friends would leave everything and sit together to watch the show

The traditional consumption of media through television has drastically changed over the past few decades. Most of the population around the world has shifted to their laptop screens or smart TVs that are compatible with the endless streaming platforms available at our disposal. Watching or listening to a show or a podcast is no longer a stationary activity instead it has evolved into an on to go activity, we can watch any show from around the world at any point in time on these streaming platforms.

But the things were not always this way, the shows used to air on television at a given time every week. It often makes us wonder what kind of soap opera would have aired for the first time in India. The first-ever soap opera Hum Log (We people) aired on Doordarshan, which was the only channel at that time on July 7th 1984. Doordarshan is a public service broadcaster that was founded by the Indian Government. Doordarshan being the only available channel was the sole source of entertainment for generations from the 1960s to the 1990s. Most of the programmes that used to air on the network were documentaries, public service programmes and occasionally a movie. That was when the revolutionary drama Hum Log was finally aired in 1984 and brought a new genre and new definition of family time to Indian television. It completed its 37th anniversary of being aired in the year 2021. The timeless story of "Hum Log" was developed in collaboration with writer Manohar Shyam Joshi and director P. Kumar Vasudev.


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The show aired once a week, families and friends would leave everything and sit together to watch the show on their or their neighbour's television, given that owning a television was a luxury at that time. The show "Hum Log" represented what was then a truly Indian lifestyle. A heart-warming story of a lower-middle-class family with their everyday struggles to achieve what they want. The show made its way directly into the audience's hearts as the characters were a direct reflection of an Indian family and each character resonated with their daily lifestyle, be it the precocious talkative young 15-year-old Chhutki who always had her nose in her textbooks or her older brother Lalloo who was walking through life without any goals or plans but still took a shot at the civil services. From age-old patriarchy to prevailing alcoholism the show explored every aspect of an Indian household.

Miguel Sabido, Father of soap opera. (second from right) Miguel Sabido pioneered a writing methodology for a drama seriesWikimedia commons


ALSO READ:Popular Indian Family Sitcoms 'Hum Paanch', 'Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hain' All Set to Go West: ZEEL

The show was a clever blend of fictional narratives with subtle moral messages and social lessons, and this combination of education and entertainment was no accident, but a deliberate attempt of developing a new media form in India. The show was built around ideas introduced by Mexican director Miguel Sabido, who was behind the popular Mexican TV show Ven Conmigo (1975). Sabido pioneered a writing methodology for a drama series that combined popular culture and educational material that appealed to the working class. In May 1983, Sabido visited India for a workshop at Akashvani Bhawan where he mentioned that television soap operas need to be broadcast five times a week (which was unconventional at the time) to achieve "desired effects". Each episode ended with veteran Hindi film actor Ashok Kumar's monologue, where he discussed the ongoing story and situations with the audience using Hindi couplets and limericks. He also talked about what the main takeaway of the episode was and a wise public service announcement at the end of a drama serial, reminding the viewers that even within the fiction there was reality.

The 156-episode saga of Hum Log still occupies the same special place in the hearts of the viewers today as it did at the time of airing.

Keywords: Television, Soap Opera, Family drama, public service announcement


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It is believed that when a woman goes through her menstrual cycle, she goes through the different lunar energies.

Well, if you'll notice then the moon takes twenty-nine days to complete its lunar cycle, whereas women's menstrual cycle is generally 28 days! Coincidence? I think, not.

It is believed that when a woman goes through her menstrual cycle, she goes through the different lunar energies. In fact, in ancient times it was said that the natural rhythm of women was to menstruate under a new moon and ovulate under a full moon.

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Hugs, caress scenes, extramarital affairs, vulgar and bold dressing, bed scenes and intimacy of married couples are being glamourised in utter disregard to Islamic teachings and culture of Pakistani society," PEMRA stated

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has directed Pak TV channels to stop airing what it calls indecency and intimacy in dramas, Samaa TV reported.

A notification issued by the authority states that it has been receiving numerous complaints from viewers who believe that the content being depicted in dramas does not represent the "true picture of Pakistani society".

"PEMRA finally got something right: Intimacy and affection between married couples isn't 'true depiction of Pakistani society and must not be 'glamourized'. Our 'culture' is control, abuse, and violence, which we must jealously guard against the imposition of such alien values," said Reema Omer, Legal Advisor, South Asia, International Commission of Jurists.

"Hugs, caress scenes, extramarital affairs, vulgar and bold dressing, bed scenes and intimacy of married couples are being glamourized in utter disregard to Islamic teachings and culture of Pakistani society," PEMRA stated, as per the report.

The authority added that it has directed channels time and again to review content with "indecent dressing, controversial and objectionable plots, bed scenes and unnecessary detailing of events".

Most complaints received by the PEMRA Call Centre during September concern drama serial "Juda Huay Kuch is Tarah", which created quite a storm on social media for showing an unwitting married couple as foster siblings in a teaser for an upcoming episode. However, it only turned out to be a family scheme after the full episode aired, but by that time criticism had mounted on HUM TV for using the themes of incest to drive the plot, the report said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Pakistan, Islam, Serials, Dramas, Culture, Teachings.


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Dozens of female high school and university students in Afghanistan have joined vocational centers to learn tailoring and cosmetology

Dozens of female high school and university students in Afghanistan have joined vocational centers to learn tailoring and cosmetology as the women and girls have been banned from school and university since the Taliban took over the country, Tolo News reported.

According to these girls, sitting at home is very difficult for them, therefore they are willing to learn a profession.

"It has been a couple of months that we are at home since schools and universities were closed. We have to learn a profession or a job because we can't sit like this at home," said Samira Sharifi, a student.

"I want to learn a profession for my future to help my family, we want our schools to be opened so that we can carry on with our education," said Mahnaz Ghulami, a student.

Most of the trainees in the vocational centres are students of high schools and universities.

After the closure of high schools and universities across Afghanistan, Herat female students have started gaining vocational training in the province.

"We have decided to learn tailoring along with our education," said Shaqaiq Ganji, a student.

"It's necessary for every woman to learn tailoring to help her family and her husband, especially in this bad economic situation," said Laili Sofizada, a teacher.

Due to the closure of schools and universities, the number of students in vocational centers doubled compared to recent years, the report added.

"Our classes had the capacity of 20 to 25 students but we increased it to 45 students, because most of the students have lost their spirit, and their schools and universities have closed," said Fatima Tokhi, director of technical and professional affairs at the Herat department of labour and social affairs.

The Labour and Social Affairs department of Herat said the department is working to provide more opportunities for Herat girls and women to learn vocational training.

"The art and professional sector and the kindergarten departments have started their activities, we support them and supervise their activities," said Mulla Mohammad Sabit, head of the labour and social affairs of Herat.

During the past two months, most of the women and girls who worked in state and private institutions lost their jobs and are trying to learn handicrafts and vocational training. (IANS/JB)


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