Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Catch ’em young

Creative Imagination of the Market

by Remigius de Souza

Cars and Guns: Catch them young
Cars and Guns – toys at Rs 10/- to Rs 2000/- from roadside stalls to malls!
Cars and Guns – games at cyber cafes / at home PCs at nominal cost!
Create needs wants; Create supplies: These are Market strategies. Take it or leave it.

CREATIVE IMAGINATION of the Indian ad-world now indeed is flourishing with the advent of TV, and more TV channels on the air. But what is food for one may be poison for the other. Now the children are progressively subjected to abuse by making them ad-models, and subjecting them as viewers to induce consumerism, which, of course, is far from right education, if not to pester their pampering parents.

Sophisticated Child labour

After subjecting women to abuse, for example, “Made for each other” (comparing women companions to cigarettes/stubs/butts), now they have targeted the children. A new class of sophisticated child labour is emerging. Recently this trend has gone far beyond, the not-so-famous ad “Mummy, sach kya hota hai?” (Mummy, what is truth?), though it was banned (on protest!).

Even in the First World countries, where the TV was started, there are strict laws against targeting and using the children through advertisements. However this may not be true of First World India [FWI], in the waves of globalisation, market economy, freedom of expression etcetera. There is no sensor board here to nab the TV ads. Our governments and ministries are busy handling internal – external –natural – man-made calamities. But where are the cultural police gone? Who is supposed to intervene on behalf of the children: the parents, families, teachers, or NGOs?

It is known, at their tender age the children are under the burden of formal schooling and no play. They have hardly seen the ‘real’ world. At this stage if they are pushed into the dragnet of ‘virtual’ world in the ‘real’ time, the results may not be far from predictable; that they may be reduced to be robots at the hands of the vested interests that control the powers. The educated busy parents in the First World India may not be ignorant about this, though they may find some relief from the children being engaged in viewing TV etc.

Or, aren’t the people happy enough by the cinema-sports-world superstars farting in the ad-world? Or, who is ultimately paying in reality, at what price, cost, value and benefit, and for whom? Anyone could see the Geobbels’ policy is followed by the capitalist long-term agenda to catch them young.

Once the pluralistic Indian society is now pushed to polarizations, communities to be communal, and families to be nuclear. In such a situation, holistic thinking and action may prove detrimental to self-interests, or so one may think. Hence the matters of control, conflicts, corrections, cure...or care are taken over by – or given up to – various institutions, and the family, community, the collective takes the back seat. Of course the institutions work in their respective compartments. In the vigilant society it should be the other way: the family – community – the collective should take the reins / steering wheel in its hands, and the institutions (GOs / NGOs) to be used as bullocks / wheels, while navigating through any situation.

Remigius de Souza
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