Does the TV control your children?

‘Gurudas ! Turn off that TV now and sit down to study’.

‘Mother, what is this ? I have already studied a lot in the morning. What is wrong if I watch TV for some time now ?’

Children, do you have similar conversations at home ? Who knows what magic TV has done on everyone. Some children are glued to the TV day in and day out. They get so engrossed in watching TV that they do not even respond when called for meals.

The above examples illustrate how children are forgetting simple manners and etiquette because of addiction to TV. So far we have understood how negative sanskars and bad habits are generated by the entertainment programmes on TV, films, commercials etc. Let us now see the additional harm done by these mediums.

1. Physical harm

1A. Harm to eyesight : Children may get eye strain due to watching TV excessively. They may harm their eyesight; as a result, they will need to wear spectacles.

1B. The possibility of developing stomach diseases : Children who watch TV programmes excessively tend to eat while watching TV. In most cases, they overeat. Thus, it affects their physical activities such as playing, running etc., and due to their TV addiction their body does not get any exercise. This affects their digestion process, leading to obesity and stomach diseases.

1C. Imbalance of the mind : ‘When compared with adults, children get more engrossed in watching TV programmes. The fast pace of changes in scenes adversely affects the hormonal balance of the mind. This leads to imbalance of the mind and they develop illnesses such as restlessness and tension. They also become angry and irritable. This is especially true in the case of those who watch TV till late night.

1D. Developing convulsions (Epilepsy) : According to Dr Ashok Uppal, HoD (Neurology), Amritsar Medical College, it is due to watching TV excessively, that incidents of convulsions in the children living in western countries are rising rapidly. These days, many such incidences have started taking place in Bharat as well. A lot of TV channels are available in Bharat; as a result, children are spending more time watching TV when compared with the earlier times. Due to this, there is rise in convulsions in children.’

2. Academic harm

Dear Children ! Do you know why your parents are sending you to the best school and paying hefty fees for your tuitions ? It is because they want you to get good education and a good life. Cable TV, Satellite TV in Bharat, telecast various programmed 24 hours a day! Children lose their invaluable time in watching these programmes & then they do not get enough time for their studies. When they do study, their mind is cluttered with thoughts about the programmes that they have watched on TV. Then, how will they be able to study with concentration ? As a result, their performance during the examinations, and subsequently, their career prospects are adversely affected & shatter the dreams of their parents.

3. Cultural and national harm

3A. Ignorance about our cultural heritage : Addiction to TV amongst children has destroyed the habit of reading books and contemplating on them. Children do not know anything about the great epics such as Mahabharat or Ramayaṇ. They also do not have any knowledge about our seven Holy rivers, seven Holy mountains and famous temples in our country. Such children also find it difficult to express their opinions about any subject (for example, during the send-off ceremony for the 10th / 12th grade).

3B. Wrong role-models lead to ignorance about the true role-models amongst children : An actor rescuing the actress in a film, a fictional character saving the society from calamity in a fictional serial like ‘Batman’, cricketers etc. are presented as role-models to the children. By watching TV, children begin to idolise film-actors, cricketers etc. Due to such wrong role models, children neglect the true role-models like Samartha Ramdas Swami, Swami Vivekanand (who were propagators of Dharma) and national heroes such as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Lokamanya Tilak etc. Therefore, children do not develop interest in issues related to the Nation and Dharma.

3C. Deep engrossment in entertainment leads to ignorance about the duties towards the Nation and Dharma : These days, children in the age group of 3 to 15 years can participate in TV entertainment programmes like acting, comedy, dance etc. In such programmes, not just children, but the adults too become so engrossed that everyone forgets their duties towards the Nation and Dharma.

Extent of harmful effects of TV on children

Harmful effects

Extent (%)

1. ‘Increase in criminal behaviour 20
 2. Increase in love affairs 20
3. Increase in inclination for sports / hobby instead of chores or studies 30
 4. Addiction to TV 20
 5. Others 10
Total 100

– H.H. Dr. Jayant Athavale, Compiler (Year 1992)