Screw this 'Pehredar Pia Ki' petition

There is a change.org petition making rounds which is asking for a ban on a TV serial “Pehredar piyaa ki” on grounds of it being a bad influence for “our kids”. A quick summary for the fortunate ones who don’t know what it is. The story is basically a 10-year-old getting married to an adult woman, who is basically his bodyguard. The perpetrators of this petition have problems with the visuals of the kid “flirting”, “stalking”, and other related negative words this grown ass woman. They have a problem with this being a) aired and b) aired at prime time which might affect “our children”. Just be clear, whatever is in quotes in this writeup is that way deliberately.

First, my thoughts on this. All of this. If this show is bullshit and regressive, this petition is bullshitter and regressiver (yup, i made words). If you put a gun to my head and ask me to choose one to defend I will defend the show against the petition.

Now let me tell you why. If you are pointing to the regressiveness of the program content then one could argue that trying to get it banned would be the most backward ass move. This is a classical Freedom of Speech/Expression issue which most of the progressives usually promote. Keeping aside the content of the show, considering it a black box, what is basically being said is “We don’t like what this is so we don’t want anyone to consume it”. How is this different from religious extremists banning cellphones, jeans, and chowmein or Censor Board banning movies or the AIB roast. Yup, I dragged AIB into this. This is stupid on so many levels and if this does happen, which it should not, would do more harm than ever.

But what about the kids and their impressionable minds. First things first your kids are your responsibility and not that of the producers of content on TV. If you don’t want some specific content to be consumed in your household then you can easily ensure that. Although I really doubt that they are going to demand to watch PPK if you do not inculcate the habit of watching PPK in your kids by watching it yourself. You don’t start it, they won’t even know it exists. Even better, you and your kids can watch some BBC/Discovery/History channel program together at that time and bond. Even “Oggy and the cockroaches” would be a better choice. You would be surprised to know that you can do all of this very easily without petitions. Who would have thought?

To conclude, I completely agree that the concept is poor and should not be present in 2017 but this should not be done by bans but rather organically. Instead of asking people to sign a banning petition ask them to ask people to not watch the show. With no viewership, its TRPs will crash automatically and will soon be canned. Don’t bring this show in limelight by building a full blown controversy around it.

PS: Has any change.org petition ever achieved anything? Genuinely curious.

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