By Anil Merani|A recent social media post by the ruling BJP tried to link Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah with the Modi government’s achievements. Such a political slant flies in the face of contemporary desi fiction, which is purely apolitical. Ever since the series format started back in 1984 (Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi), they have shied away from commenting on contemporary socio-political issues, with exceptions like Tamas (dealing with partition).

Forget content. Even TV actors baulk at any political commentary on social media now, in the press, or on TV before. While many woke actors commented on the Black Lives Matter protests in the States, none of them ever dared tweet a word on the varied discrimination incidents back home. There are a few exceptions, like Gauhar Khan, who comments on political issues. 

For argument’s sake, if we visualize an environment where this political apathy no longer exists, we might have TV shows that openly support the agendas of the BJP/INDI alliance.

We will also have myriad series on raging socio-political issues, like specific US TV shows that espouse liberal or right-wing agendas. Today, the powers that be would not take kindly to any partisan content, given how easy it is to influence a semi-educated population. How much the government wants to control the narrative can be assessed by the fact that successive regimes in Delhi have not allowed private FM networks to telecast news.

One of the principal reasons channels and production houses shy away from loaded content is that the controversy it causes might lead to law and order and legal problems. Why take such a headache when you can make money spinning the Saas Bahu saga, crime shows, and mythological series?

Talking about myths, the vast popularity surrounding the original Ramayan has seen lead actor Arun Govil get a BJP ticket for the upcoming Lok Sabha election from the Meerut seat. Arunji, who suffered a career blank for years due to his overarching Lord Ram image, finally sees some luck change.

Some channels are already making a political leap of faith by adding a pix of the new Ram Mandir to the old Ramayan series logo before telecasting. On the face of it, Ram Mandir is now a religious issue after the  Supreme Court gave its verdict, yet on the ground, it can have a political impact.