Outrage against Indian TV soap for glorifying child marriage

Tejaswi Prakash and Afaan Khan in a still from the promo of Pehredaar Piya Ki. (Video grab)
Updated 10 August 2017

Outrage against Indian TV soap for glorifying child marriage

MUMBAI: A television soap opera that shows a 10-year-old boy married to a 19-year-old woman has outraged Indian viewers who want to ban the “bizarre show” for glorifying child marriage.
The show ‘Pehredar Piya Ki’ (’Husband’s Guard’) was launched last month on Sony Entertainment Television — a popular Hindi general entertainment channel in India — and is aired every weekday night in the prime 8:30 p.m. slot.
By Thursday, a Change.org petition urging information and broadcasting minister Smriti Irani to ban the show had garnered nearly 50,000 signatures, just 48 hours after its launch.
The petitioner Mansi Jain questioned the influence the soap would have on viewers and said it showed the child perform marriage rituals such as putting vermillion on the older actor playing his wife.
“This soap is encouraging, glorifying and promoting child marriages and will negatively affect the entire society,” Asha Bajpai, professor of law at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“And what about the 10-year-old boy playing the husband’s role? What kind of values are we inculcating in him at this young, impressionable age?“
The legal age for marriage in India is 18 for women and 21 for men. But child marriage, though illegal, remains widespread in parts of the country.
Along with Niger, Guinea, South Sudan, Chad and Burkina Faso, India has one the world’s highest rates of child marriage, despite moves to toughen penalties against the crime.
The Child Marriage Prohibition Act imposes a $1,500 fine and two years in prison for parents caught marrying off their underage children.
India has been cracking down on child marriages and campaigners said such shows could dent progress.
The show’s actors have defended the story on social media, saying the soap is purely entertainment and does not promote child marriage.
Sony Entertainment Television officials remained unavailable for comment on the story. On its website, however, Sony boasts a record of riveting drama.
“With our prudent story telling, we continue to rule the roost with stories that are relevant, engaging and entertaining.”


Alaska man discovers 50-year-old message in bottle from Russian Navy

Updated 19 August 2019

Alaska man discovers 50-year-old message in bottle from Russian Navy

  • Then Russian Navy Capt. Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko wrote the letter when he was a 36-year-old aboard the Sulak
ANCHORAGE, Alaska: A man discovered a 50-year-old letter in a bottle from the Russian Navy on the shores of western Alaska.
Tyler Ivanoff found the handwritten Russian letter early this month while gathering firewood near Shishmaref about 600 miles (966 kilometers) northwest of Anchorage, television station KTUU reported.
“I was just looking for firewood when I found the bottle,” Tyler Ivanoff said. “When I found the bottle, I had to use a screwdriver to get the message out.”
Ivanoff shared his discovery on Facebook where Russian speakers translated the message to be a greeting from a Cold War Russian sailor dated June 20, 1969. The message included an address and a request for a response from the person who finds it.
Reporters from the state-owned Russian media network, Russia-1, tracked down the original writer, Capt. Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko, KTUU reported.
He was skeptical he wrote the note until he saw his signature on the bottom.
“There — exactly!” he exclaimed.
The message was sent while the then 36-year-old was aboard the Sulak, Botsanenko said. Botsanenko shed tears when the Russian television reporter told him the Sulak was sold for scrap in the 1990s.
Botsanenko also showed the reporter some souvenirs from his time on the ship, including the autograph of the wife of a famous Russian spy and Japanese liquor bottles, the latter kept over his wife’s protests.
Ivanoff’s discovery of the bottle was first reported by Nome radio station KNOM.