Religious television viewing and its impact on religiosity of people
P Ramalakshmi, C Vani
Globally, television has been playing an important role as a medium of information transmission to majority of the people. In this regards, the media has tremendous impact and influence on the society and it thinking and behavioural aspects. Developing nations such as India also having huge population with an amalgam of various races, castes and economic background, this television and media has become a habitual aspect in people’s daily life creating a continuous impact and influence on their thought, behaviour and actions. One major aspect of media generating such influence in India is the religious television which has growth tremendously since early early 90’s. The major objective of the religious channels is to raise and propagate respective religious awareness among various religious groups such as Hindu, Muslim, Christians or others. Over the years, the viewership for these channels has risen and their influence on the people is impeccable. These channels are also considered as one of the major drivers in terms of influencing the lifestyle and behaviour of people in aspects such as rituals, dressing sense, voluntary service, social communication and responsibility. Many times, such channels have positive influence however, there are some negative aspect too which are mainly but not limited to increase in consumption patterns leading to commodity price surge, religious unrest and hate propagation. Also, it is know that the viewership increases with age and also majority women viewers. One such research survey study is presented in this work which quantifies the number of women watching various religious channels, viewing time and also association between religiosity and respondent’s viewing of religious TV. The research survey is conducted in Hyderabad, Telangana considering 400 women from Hindu, Muslim and Christian groups. It is found that considerable number of respondents watcher religious television on weekdays on Sundays. The mean viewing time of religious TV on weekdays is 3.04 hrs and the mean viewing time of religious TV on Sundays is 4.28 hrs. The most watched religious TV channel is Bhakti TV, SVBC Telugu (HINDU); Peace TV Urdu, Paigham TV (MUSLIM); GOSPEL, SUBHAVARTHA (CHRISTIAN) are the most watched religious TV channels among the three religious groups of respondents. The paper also found a positive correlation between amount of religious television watched by respondents and their religiosity.