The latest Axe commercial (an edited version of the international one) has been axed.. Although as of yesterday it was still on air.
Is it indecent and vulgar? Well, a girl biting a piece of a boy's bum (even if he is made of chocolate) is juvenile humour, IMHO. And I don't especially like the boy (looks like Archie fell into a vat of Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate). Bhai dark chocolate hota to I might have accepted that bumbite :)
There are several more 'offensive' commercials on air. If you wish to take offense, that is.
What is far more damaging, derogatory and what have you are full-fledged serials like Ballika Vadhu. This is a show which airs Viacom 18's Colors.
The show is essential about Anandi, an 8 year old girl who is married (yes, MARRIED) and enters her sasural. The episode I caught was all about how her 'husband' (a little boy called Jagdish) wants to send her back home because his mother and everyone else seems to love her more than him now.
While sasuma puts Anandi to sleep by telling her stories about rajkumars, Jagdish goes to his terrace in search of a falling star. Because he has heard that if you see one, your wish comes true. And his wish is ki woh chuhiya ghar wapas chali jaaye.
It is cute, but in a very sick kind of way. First of all, child marriage is ILLEGAL in India. Period. Hence it should be illegal to promote the idea of a ballika vadhu in the first place.
Neither does the story seem to be set a hundred years ago. The furniture and clothes look pretty modern. The channel claims it is set in rural Rajasthan but it's hardly evident. As you know, in TV serial land adding a 'sa' when you address someone makes it Rajasthani (bhaisa, dadisa and so on).
The final scene on the show last night was truly revolting. Anandi and her mother-in-law can eat only after the men and the dadi have finished. What's more, Anandi must eat from her husband's jhootha plate. She refuses and starts crying... but ultimately relents as the alternative is to stay hungry the whole day.
And by the way, the family eats on a proper, Western style dining table. On white crockery. If this is rural, then I'm a village belle!
I am never in favour of bans and censorship. But I make an exception in this case. NGOs and the government are working hard to eradicate child marriage, although it is an uphill task.
In such a scenario, surely we can do without a Ballika Vadhu where the idea is being flaunted. Unless they have a track in the near future where the police arrest both sets of parents, I think the show should be taken off the air!
The I & B ministry recently issued a notice to MTV for 'denigrating women' on Splitsvilla. I have no view on that coz I have never seen the show.
But someone needs to note that it's not just MNC advertisers and music channels that might be 'corrupting' influences. What passes off in the name of Indian culture can be far worse!