The TV Trouble
The threat from the TV is real. Studies in India and abroad have now proved what every parent had believed. Television viewing affects children'sbehaviour, culture, their academic performance and IQ.
Form time to time, there have been reports of how children had tried to imitate their favourite hero in a serial and landed in trouble. The foreign programmes dubbed in Hindi have done immeasurable damage to the speech and thinking of children in India. The Indian TV channels have themselves so much adapted to the western style that sensible nations like Bhutan and Nepal had banned many Indian channels.
Now, the international journal on children Archives of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine has published three independent studies, which conclusively prove that excessive TV viewing is harmful for children and it leaves them affected life-long. TV viewing is no more an urban menace.
Compounding the problem of TV is the children'saccess to computers, internet and video games. The video game parlours and cyber caf? have mushroomed in even small towns with children having access to them.
A study of 1000 children from birth to 26 years of age has provided conclusive proof that childhood TV watching (ages 5-11) results in poor educational achievements, while in adolescent TV viewing (ages 13 ? 15) shows long-lasting adverse consequences on the subsequent socio-economic status and well being of the child. Which means, children given to too much TV in early teens do badly in life.
These studies have only monitored the quantity of TV time and not the quality of TV programmes. In India, the TV menace has a multiple effect because of the artificial superimposition of a foreign culture and lifestyle on the young minds. There is no control or monitoring of the TV programmes and children'schannels in India. Before the situation goes out of control, the government would do well to step in to play the deterrent role.
Illegal Migrants Act Deported by Supreme Court
The Supreme Court, by striking down the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act 1983, has done what the UPA government was unwilling to do. This highly illogical Act has been a major area of contention in Assam between those who were sheltering the illegal immigrant Bangladeshis for their vote-bank value and those who wanted to arrest the demographic invasion of the state. The IMDT Act 1983, provided for detection and deportation of illegal immigrants by a tribunal, with the onus of proving on the complainant.
The Prime Minister has constituted a Group of Ministers to go into the possible ways to subvert the court verdict and allow the illegal immigrants to stay and bleed India. The reaction of the Congress party and the sundry minority organisations in Assam goes to prove that the government was using the minorities as a stable vote-bank. The Congress government in the state is now working on a plan to stall the implementation of the Foreigners Act, which is prevalent in the country, to identify and deport all those who illegally entered into India after March 25, 1971. The Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi was at pains to assure his vote-bank not to panic while the state party president B. Kalita said that the party would redraw its strategy.
The tension in the state has been brewing for some time now, with the locals protesting the usurping of the farmland and other properties by the illegal immigrants, plush with money they are, because of the political clout they enjoy. The previous NDA government had prepared a Bill to repeal the IMDT Act. The Bill was referred to the Parliamentary panel and lapsed. A task force set up by the Union Home Ministry had found that under the IMDT, out of an estimated 1.5 crore Bangladeshis, only 1494 had been detected and deported by 16 tribunals in Assam, since they were set up. But Communist-Congress combine at the Centre decided not to repeal the IMDT and let Foreigners Act be applied there. This despite the fact that Rajiv Gandhi as Prime Minister had signed the Assam Accord, in which the IMDT repeal was one of the major clauses.
The repeal of POTA, the continuation of IMDT-like Act, protection and support to the anti-women Muslim personal law ? the UPA is on a well-laid course to promote internal disturbance in the country.