Surya TV's 'Kutti Pattalam' stops telecast, inappropriate content sounds the death knell
Malayalam channel Surya TV, part of the Sun TV network, has stopped the telecast of a children’s show, ‘Kutti Pattalam’, after the Kerala State Commission for Child Rights pulled them up for inappropriate content.
The show, which had been telecast since 2012, had children between the ages of 2 and 5 as participants.
The “humour” for the show was derived from the anchor asking the children age inappropriate questions.
In one of the episodes, a girl who is studying in Class II, is asked “Why have you come here?"
The child readily parrots the answer that she’s been taught: “To get married!”
The anchor replies, "This is not a marriage bureau!” She then tells the audience, “She (the child) is too eager to get married that she decided to come here.”
Everybody laughs, including the parents of the child.
The anchor does not stop at that. She goes on to ask the girl about her preferences for selecting a groom. The girl naively repeats - “I want to get married.”
The anchor then goes on to educate the girl about the rules of marriage, telling her that she first needs a groom to get married. She asks the child to choose a groom from the audience – as if she’s asking her to pick her favourite flavour of ice cream or candy at a store. The child obediently points to a man from the crowd.
After the audience has had its (un)fair share of laughter at the expense of the girl, the anchor goes on to pronounce that though she is a little girl, her ‘aspirations’ are not so.
When the girl shies away from asking the man his name, the anchor coaxes her into doing so. Everybody seems to be happy at this scene, including the many eyes watching the show on their TV screens across the state.
In another episode, the anchor asks a girl if her teachers praise her father. The girl says that they compliment him on his height. The anchor then asks if the teachers also praise her mother and the girl replies, “Teachers will only look at the dads.”
As is to be expected, the response is met with uproarious laughter.
The Child Rights Commission intervened after Hashim Kolamben, a native of Malappuram, petitioned to the Commission in 2015, accusing the show of “indulging in mental torture of children as a result of the anchor speaking to innocent children in language in double meaning, so as to give a vulgar twist to their innocent replies.”
In its order dated 19th July 2016, which Livelaw has gained access to, the Commission pronounced the case to be closed, after the channel informed them that it had stopped the telecast of the show since 23 March 2016.
Sun TV network pointed out that the repeat telecast of the show had also been stopped since April 24.
After a detailed viewing of many episodes of the programme uploaded on the channel’s website, the commission had, in January this year, ascertained that “the best interests of the children were not being ensured through the programme.”
The producer of the show agreed to make modifications to address the Commission’s concerns in the episodes to be telecast from 1 February 2016 and agreed to take down episodes from Youtube on which objections were raised. However, the channel informed the Commission in May that they had decided to completely stop the telecast of the show.
‘Kutti Pattalam’ is not the only such show that puts on display the forced precociousness of children. ‘Run Baby Run’ on Asianet Plus and ‘Peekkiri Pokkiri’ on Asianet are also along the same lines.