Flix Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 05:30
One of the most popular animated series on kids’ channels in India, "Chhota Bheem", does not seem to be a show many adults approve of. Developed by Green Gold Animation, the show has for quite some time now been criticised for its content- some have called it violent where as others have picked holes in the flat storyline. Now, a petition has been started online by one Susnata Seal who states that the show, which was launched on POGO TV in 2008, is not as “innocent” as the makers claim it to be. "The show constantly feeds concepts of violence, bullying and rivalry to the children and sets unrealistic standards of strength, which causes kids to be more violent towards others." Seal in the petition writes that the show has been thriving “on the lower level of intelligence shown by the current generation of kids”. “The storyline is so unnaturally dumbed down to appeal to the lowest common denominator,” he writes, “that it virtually leaves nothing for the kids to apply their brain into. And due to the fact that a vast amount of kids are addicted to this show, it can be fatal for the intelligence of the next generation.” Chhota Bheem may be a nine-year-old, but he possesses the strength of Bhima- the second of the Pandava brothers known for his might- which he uses to reduce his enemy to pulp. Seal writes that portrayal of these sorts “sets unrealistic standards of strength, which causes kids to be more violent towards others.” Screenshot of petition The petition which demands a ban on "Chhota Bheem" has received over 700 signatures till now. Comments on the page provide an insight into the common dislike for the show’s content and how some worry about the negative effects it could have on children. Rahul Kedia, a signatory, wrote on the petition’s page, “I really dont like my younger brother watching this cartoon and trying to be like chota bheem. he was injured during such activities.” The show has also been lambasted for promoting stereotypes. Sowmya Rajendran had earlier written in a blog for The News Minute, “It’s bad enough that the villain is called Kalia (Amar Chitra Katha seems to have made it impossible for any of us to dream of a fair-skinned evil person) and Chutki has to walk around with two pink blotches on her face to emphasize her fair and lovely skin. But it doesn’t stop there. The stereotyping extends to gender roles and what each person is expected to do because of their gender. What’s more, the folks who came up with this are unapologetic about it.” Rajiv Chilaka, the creator of the series, had in 2012 told Forbes India that since they could not  imagine “Krishna on shorts and baniyans”, they came up with the idea of a younger version of the mythological character. He also added that he thought that Bheem could be India’s equivalent to Mickey Mouse. Chilaka may have been right about the show’s immense popularity, but has that come at a cost of negatively affecting children’s health? Or is too much being read into a cartoon? Image source: Chhota Bheem/Facebook Also read: Chhota Bheem, Doraemon, Ninja Hatauri, Krishna: No girls as protectors or even survivors  Image source: Chhota Bheem/Facebook