Tv an Idiot Box

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Television nicknamed by the Americans as 'idiot box'; is one of the most revolutionary inventions of the twentieth century. Its vast potentialities as a powerful medium of mass communication cannot be underestimated. It is, indeed, the last world in entertain­ment and enlightenment. It can enlighten our illiterate and ignorant masses; it can widen their mental horizon and help them to rise above communalism, racialism, regionalism etc; it can promote inter­national understanding; and it can generate a healthy climate for peaceful co-existence. But in the hands of incompetent people, it can damage public morals, it can breed religious fanaticism; and it can vitiate international atmosphere and even precipitate a war.

In a country like India wherein a very large number of people do not know how to read, a visual medium like television has unlimi­ted possibilities. Yet in the development of telecasting, India has lagged far behind many other countries including some which are otherwise much less developed. According to statistics released by UNESCO in 1970, the number of television sets per 100 inhabitants in India that year was only 0.02 as compared to 0.2 in Congo and 26.4 in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Television had been devised by John Legie Baird, a Scottish inventor, in 1928. Thereafter, its development in the technologically advanced countries of the west was rapid and very quick progress was registered in evolving sophisticated techniques which made multi-channel color television a possibility. The launching of com­munication satellites in the space-age has given further fillip to television, investing it with a truly international character. Now it transcends international boundaries. It has enabled people in one corner of the globe to see with their own eyes events happening in another remote corner, making the world appear much smaller than it is.

It was only in 1959 that the first experimental television station in the country was setup in...
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