Doraemon The cartoon of the decade?
How much can an ugly blue cartoon character influence a country? Apparently, quite a lot. So much so that the parliament had to pass a bill to ban it. This is a rant on the fabled blue character, Doraemon. And, before I begin, I'd like the Doraemon fans to pardon me if I get any of the facts wrong. Blame my five year old cousins if I do. They were my expert consultants.
Doraemon, in the cartoon, is a creature from the future. It looks somewhat like a cat, minus the cuteness. The characters include the hero Nobita (a boy), his parents, a bully, his side-kick and a pretty girl whom everyone wants to impress. So all the episodes are usually about how Nobita, suppressing all the evil plans of the bullies with Doraemon's help, impresses the girl.
Now it's time you started wondering what Doraemon's superpowers are. This guy has a bottomless pouch filled with super-cool gadgets from future. So whenever Nobita gets into trouble, he pulls out a kick-ass gadget to save him. These include helping Nobita lie to his parents and do inappropriate things to his enemies and get away with it.
To conclude, this cartoon is a very bad influence to the kids. So, you're probably guessing that's why it got banned. Wait, I've got more. It's dubbed in Hindi. The Indians, apparently, weren't satisfied with the daily soap watching audience; they're targeting the children now.
The other day, I went to the home of one of my father's colleagues. We were there for about two hours and the whole time a boy of around six (the host's son) kept singing “Main hoon Zian, main hoon Zian”, which, apparently, was a song from Doraemon. This kid watched Doraemon the whole time he was awake. His parents had to put it on the DVD player when it wasn't on TV or else he went ballistic. He stopped singing for a while when he asked his mother to give him some Pepsi, in Hindi.
I know a family of four; the mother, the 7 year old son and the 5 year old daughter all spoke at home in Hindi. It was also compulsory for the maid to learn Hindi within three months of her appointment, or else she was fired. The poor father didn't speak much, or at all. He just earned buckets of money.
I saw one of my cousins chant “Doraemon” for half an hour when his father refused to buy him a Doraemon balloon since it would be the fourth that week. His father later admitted defeat and bought him the balloon.
But we're not done yet. Last year's Ekushe Book Fair published two books by the names of “Doraemon” and “Doraemon and Nobita's (something, I can't recall)”. I remember asking a fan if the cartoon made an explanation on how Doraemon managed to keep an infinite number of things in his pouch. He looked at me as if I had questioned his religion in the most offensive way.
Kidwa Arif, 16, is a class 10 student at St. Joseph Higher Secondary School, Dhaka.