Stop the promotion of child abuse for entertainment factor in Yeh Hai Mohabbatein!

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Often, Indian television resorts to using important social issues as a means of creating drama. Serious issues that are a contemporary problem in society are disturbingly used as plot lines in our Indian serials in the name of entertainment, as many channels and production houses try to use the shock value of many of these social issues to gain viewer's interest, so that viewers get hooked on to the high-voltage drama created. When delivering such content, channels, production houses and writers forget that even young children view the shows they air.

Such is the case with the current track in Star Plus' Yeh Hai Mohabbatein, produced by Ekta and Shobha Kapoor's Balaji Telefilms, a show that airs at a prime time slot, where many families sit down to eat with children included, and watch television. 

The current track involves a young girl, no more than 10 years old, called Pihu, who has been made a victim of neglect by her family members and abused and tortured by her own aunt. Just to showcase how evil and deplorable their antagonists can be, the show has resorted to showing a young girl being sent off to boarding school by her evil aunt, who somehow is able to give orders to not allow any other family members to visit the young girl apart from herself, as if the aunt is the only living legal guardian of the child despite having a big family, as well as threatening the girl, keeping her in fear, and subjecting the little girl to all kinds of mental and emotional abuse. 

Just to elongate and dramatise the screen presence of an antagonist, why is child abuse being shown so carelessly on this show? When the mother and father, as well as many other immediate blood relatives of the young girl are alive and well, why is the sole authority over the child being handed to the child's aunt, who is able to get away with taking decisions for the child and abuse her, without drawing any suspicion from other characters in the show? Why is child abuse being used as a means to portray the evil of characters? 

This petition is created with the purpose of preventing producers, channels and writers on Indian TV from using child abuse in such a reckless and careless manner for their creative freedom. At the cost of the well-being of our children, who are vulnerable to seeing and being affected by family shows such as Yeh Hai Mohabbatein portraying children being tortured by evil relatives, Star plus and the shows producer are earning money.

Child abuse is a serious and punishable offense, and we expect people within the entertainment industry to understand this. If they are to portray a relative or anybody abusing a child in the manner they have portrayed the young Pihu and her Aunt, then as viewers we expect that this will be shown in a realistic way, where the offender does not go unpunished of such a heinous crime. This would put across a message that child abuse is a serious issue that cannot be ignored or go unpunished. This child abuse scenario in the show should be utilised to portray the consequences of committing such a crime, not to show a villain as powerful and able to get away with heinous crimes. 

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