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By Vinod Mirani
There comes the official news of Zee TV network's merger with Sony TV and the news invokes a sense of melancholy. When India liberalised its policies in 1991, changes started taking place in all fields and one of them was the media. It marked the entry of privately owned television channels in India. What makes one a bit sad is that Zee TV, India's oldest television channel, will now merge with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), with Sony slated to hold the majority stake of 53 per cent as against Zeel's 47 per cent.
Naresh Goyal's Zee Telefilms Limited was the first to venture into the telecast medium with its Zee TV channel. The year was 1992, October 2, to coincide with Gandhi Jayanti. I remember the programme specially designed for the inaugural evening. To be candid, it was quite chaotic, like a children's costume party. One of the items stuck in my memory is a skit played out by two young men dressed as rustic Haryanvis, carrying huge dangs, and blabbering what they thought was funny. Though launched in October 1992, the regular daylong telecast on the channel started in 1993.
That opening show did not promise much and that is what the content in the early days of the channel presented. The channel had a huge collection of hit movies it had acquired from top notch producers, many of which starred Amitabh Bachchan. Programmes were woven around movies like songs, dialogues, scenes that were appreciated in the films earlier and were a sure shot eyeballs grabbers.
When colour TV came to India, colour TV sets were not available off the shelf and were imported into the country. | Pixabay
The TV channel needed a running serial to hook the viewers which came its way in the form of Tara in 1993 and went on for five years. This was followed by Hum Paanch, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Banegi Apni Baat and such. Zee had the advantage of being the first alternative to Doordarshan, which was a government-owned enterprise and the programmes were approved by people who knew nothing about mass entertainment. Some babu who was in the Tourism Ministry one day would the next day be with the I&B Ministry and sitting on your TV script! Also, DD approved a serial only for 13 episodes and getting an extension if any, was a tough task. As it were, television took its time coming to India and, when it did, its debut was pathetic. Launched in Delhi, in what they called experiment basis, Doordarshan telecast for about two hours a week, not day! What was there to experiment when the medium was not only accepted elsewhere and was already in the process of moving from black and white to colour broadcast?
Doordarshan Logo. | Wikimedia Commons
For years, it served only a few hundred or so Delhi viewers who cared to own a TV set. TV came to India in September 1959, 23 years since its debut in the UK and six years after coulour telecast started in the US. The India entry was described as an experiment and this experiment lasted for an eternity till the introduction of colour television. Doordarshan branched out to a few other cities and, except for acting as a propaganda tool for the government, showing news bulletins besides educational programmes for students and farming programmes for the farmers, none of whom had access to a television set.
When colour TV came to India, colour TV sets were not available off the shelf and were imported into the country, there used to be a waiting list of some months. If the idea was to promote television as an entertainment medium along with the government agenda, it finally happened only on the eve of the 1982 Asian Games. The then government wanted to showcase India as a progressive country which ran a colour television network through a satellite.
Initially, Doordarshan, which used one city channel to cater to all its people, encompassed Hindi, Marathi, Sindhi and other news and programmes aired only in the evenings with a special morning slot on Sundays. After going colour, slots for serials were outsourced and, it looked like DD had arrived as the first soap, Hum Log, followed by Buniyaad added to its viewership. Then there were serials based on the great Indian mythologies, Ramayana and Mahabharata, which are now replayed on other private channels.
Sadly, that was an era of using U-matic format tapes for telecast and, with little attention to storing or digitizing them, a lot of other great serials are now lost. (On an aside, talk of control: owning a radio set and, later, also TV set needed a license from the postal department in those days! And, till All India Radio went commercial, it was not even worth owning a radio.)
Since then, the floodgates for television channels have opened in India. Doordarshan itself started channels dedicated to sports, news, farming etc and also its regional channels in local languages. Many Indian and foreign channels came in. Today, though a layman may have lost count, there are about 900 TV channels in the country. They come and some vanish just as quickly.
When Sony came to India, the name Sony was yet identified only with its music and video systems, mainly hardware. It was making inroad in the business of entertainment like cinema and television. Sony is an international label while Zee is an Indian brand which has continually been marking its place in the international arena. The Sony merger will only make it easier for Zee to make rapid progress as the channels list may be streamlined.
When Sony came to India, the name Sony was yet identified only with its music and video systems, mainly hardware. | Wikimedia Commons
At present, Zee runs 49 domestic channels in 11 languages and 35 international channels of which eight are in non-Indian languages. To make things clear, the deal is between ZEEL, which is its entertainment channels arm, and not the Zee Media Corporation (earlier known as Zee News). Zee Media owns all the news channels including Zee News and WION and will continue to be owned by Zee Media. While the shares of Zee Media Corporation have remained static, the scrip of ZEEL went from around Rs 170 to near Rs 320 today. And, this is yet the Due Diligence stage and the merger may materialise only after many months!
News channels are forever and, so one thought, were the movie channels. The content of both can be said to be largely exclusive to a channel. But, as things stand, the movie channels are totally deprived of fresh content since they all go to OTT platforms. If one checked, the English movie channels are barely surviving repeating the same features day after day, Hindi channels feed on regional dubbed films, also oft repeated. Looks like a wise move for Zee to retain its news channels and trim the burden of other channels. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: India, entertainment, zee tv, sony tv, doordarshn, channels
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.
At the same time, it is also believed that the cycle and its stages are connected to different seasons, namely, spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
Let us see how the lunar cycle is related to a woman's menstrual cycle!
It must be noted that the menstruation period is during the new moon period and also during the winter season. It is said that this is a reflective phase; a phase of silence, introspection, and solitude. During this phase, a woman's body is more sensitive, and so they're able to connect with it and hear the messages it gives. Interestingly, this is also the time when a woman naturally recycles energy as she menstruates, and hence, it's also the for their rest and recovery.
The Crescent moon represents the pre-ovulation period. This is also the season of spring, and so the time corresponds to an increase in physical energy. During this period, a woman's mental strength is at its peak and their thoughts are much clearer. At the same time, emotions are more stable during this period, and because of which women tend to be more social and outgoing.
This phase of the moon represents ovulation, and the season associated with this phase is summer. It must be noted that this period is full of energy and vitality. At the same time, this period plays a significant role in the lives of women because it's actually a fertile phase in all aspects of their life, be it personal or professional. During this period, the self-confidence and self-esteem in women tend to rise, and along with this, an increase in their sex drive can be seen very well.
This phase of the moon represents pre-menstruation, which is also associated with the autumn season. During this period, a woman's physical energy starts to decline. Metaphorically, just like a tree sheds its leaves, a woman, too, feels the need to let go of anything that is not benefiting her. At the same time, memory and the ability to concentrate decrease in this period.
I hope, now you will not think of the moon just as a celestial body, but as a companion in the lives of women!
Keywords: Women pre-Menstruation, Feminine, women Health Fitness, the moon represents the pre-ovulation period, period and moon cycle.
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.
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)
Keywords: Afghanistan- Taliban Women, Vocational Arts, Handicrafts, Herat female students