|Image by Korry Benneth via Openphoto
Disclaimer: This post is purely my personal opinion and it was not written with the intention of offending anyone. This is primarily targeted towards readers living in predominantly Muslim nations and perhaps even channel broadcasters working in these nations. This is in no way a reflection of my opinion on any particular ethnic group.
Nowadays with the widespread use of computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets a wide range of entertainment options are at the tip of the fingers of users. However, in many parts of the world the television is still the primary means of entertainment for those of us who are blessed with the financial means to purchase one.
Based on one’s geographic location many different entertainment options may be available on local TV stations. Perhaps one can say that in many majority Muslim nations in the Middle East and other parts of Asia currently Turkish Drama series’s are one of the most popular forms of entertainment. In the last few years these Turkish drama series’s have become extremely popular and they have almost completely taken over a market that was once largely dominated by Indian drama series’s.
Before stating my personal opinion on this change I would like to point out that many of these nations such as Egypt, Pakistan and Iran (among many others) have and continue to make drama series’s that are widely distributed on a local and even international level. However, unfortunately, I have not seen enough of these dramas to form an opinion on them so this post will primarily focus on Indian and Turkish drama series’s. Furthermore, any particular Islamic issues regarding watching TV or spending time watching these drama series’s are beyond the knowledge and scope of this humble writer. Please be warned that this is only an opinion peace and you are highly encouraged to contribute your opinion in the comments below.
As a big fan of both Turkish and Indian drama series’s I have watched a number of different series from both of these great nations. Based on one’s particular tastes one may prefer one type over the other. The majority of both Turkish and Indian drama series’s are primarily focused on some sort of a love story and the difficulties that the characters face as a result of their families, society’s or other factors. Overall, Indian drama series tend to strongly adhere to normal cultural and religious traditions whereas Turkish shows aim to reach an increasingly wider audience thus they tend to be more “westernized” but they do adhere to some lovely Turkish customs such as showing respect to their elders by kissing their hand. Moreover, these dramas can be a great way of getting a glimpse of the beautiful natural scenery and historical sites present in Turkey and at the beautiful cultural traditions of the Turks especially their hospitality and delectable cuisine.
Overall, Turkish drama series’s tend to be much more liberal than their Indian counterparts. They usually contain their fair share of somewhat explicit intimate scenes. Aside from this overall liberal nature the problem with Turkish drama series’s is that they very blatantly and on a consistent basis show their characters drinking wine and other alcoholic beverages. Furthermore, premarital relations are also very common in these shows.
Premarital relations does exist on Indian TV series’s but they are often no where near as explicit as they often are on Turkish drama series’s. Also, alcohol is usually rare on Indian series’s and when it is consumed it is often on rare occasions, completely accidental, or consumed by the evil villain whom nobody likes. Perhaps one of the greatest negative aspects of Indian drama series’s is that they, as mostly Hindus, often show their characters worshiping an Idol/s.
As mentioned earlier in many Muslim nations these Indian dramas have been largely replaced by their Turkish counterparts. There could be many reasons for this transition. For example, in Afghanistan many religious scholars asked the TV stations to remove these drama series’s because they blatantly showed people committing shirk by worshiping idols. In my humble opinion I think that this transition has not been for the better and with due respect to everyone I truly feel that Indian dramas are the “lesser evil” or potentially less harmful. Please don’t get me wrong I fully agree and understand that shirk is a great zulm and it is an unforgivable sin. However, any mature somewhat learned Muslim viewer will most likely not be tempted to commit shirk (Astaghfirullah) after watching these series. However, after spending a significant amount of time watching Muslim characters engaging in premarital or even extramarital relationships and constantly drinking alcohol as if it were water the viewer is likely to view these sins as not being such a big deal or in the worst case the viewer may even start committing these sins themselves.
I know that these may sound like exaggerated claims. However, as a student of Psychology I also know that watching specific content on TV for a significant amount of time can have an impact on the viewer especially for the young child or adolescent viewer. In short, I believe that between the two if a channel has the opportunity they should broadcast more Indian shows and perhaps censor or delete the scenes that show any act of shirk.
Once again, these were just my humble views on this topic and I certainly hope that I have not offended anyone!