It is one helluva season on Television this year.
There is Big Boss on one channel and Rakhi Ka Insaaf after her Swayamvar on another.
I can't wait to see what they are planning with Rahul Mahajan, next.
If we want to call it rot, we have to at first admit that we love it. Such programming cannot surface and then become so popular that it scares the hell out of a terrified Government of India to focus on it and move it to now what they call an adult slot.
Once upon a time prime time was between 8pm and 10pm.
KBC came and with it enough modern mythlogicals like Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, which regressed the evolving Indian mind and took it two decades behind, to change all that.
Then Prime Time became 8pm to 11pm.
Now with the imposition of this new rule that programs like Big Boss and Rakhee Ka Insaaf should be shown only after 11pm, I am convinced that Prime Time will go right up to midnight.
So we'll have more hours to sell at high rates, more ratings where there were none, and who do you think will go home laughing? None other than the rewarded Television Channels who our State machinery ironically is attempting to punish.
Now eyeballs will shift from the CWG, Adarsh Society and the Telecom scams which threaten to bring even the PM under the scanner, to an inconsequential morality debate.
Last night news on all media, online and television, discussed this controversial move more than the scams which have cost the exchequer so much money that had that not been so, India would be a developed country with cent percent literacy, thereby relegating such programs like the BIG BOSS and RAKHEE KA INSAAF to a backward space, never allowing them to make it to take centerstage like in the USA where there is also a JERRY SPRINGER SHOW which is highly popular, more vulgar than its Indian counterpart, more crass than the BIG BOSS mix and more debauched and pornographic than the entire Indian conscience as a whole, but never has been nor ever will be legitimized to mainstream, neither by the media, nor by its people.
Everyone in the US loves to watch the Jerry Springer Show and nobody likes to admit that they do. Television like Big Boss and Rakhee Ka Insaaf have to be slotted and aimed at that psyche. It works for a society.
Pornography exists in the gutters of the minds of the people of every society and remains there. Rarely do you find people talking about the latest bit of porn they saw openly in a social environment and if they do bring it out of the range of whispers, they are ostracized and deemed embarrassing. Similarly, one has to make distinction between one kind of programming on television and another.
This essentially came to my mind as I switched between debate to debate on news television last night and noticed a visibly embarrassed Sameer Nair, CEO Imagine TV, man behind Rakhee Ka Insaaf, on NDTV 24/7.
He didn't know what to say as he couldn't get himself to take a stand for the show he was endorsing. He looked scared because he knew he was in the dock and he needed to defend the indefensible which if he did, would make him not look good. How convoluted is that!
The expression on his face was the same as many others whom I encounter when I go to meet programming heads and their subordinates in many channels who do their best to avoid facing those who disagree with them.
They are always scared and keep shifting in their seats because they don't know how to tell you that they don't believe what they are doing is right, but compulsions of the TRP's compell them.
They obviously don't realize that for fear of risking their jobs, they are ending up putting at risk an entire social fabric which ironically, they are either oblivious to, or don't care about.
The best talent in the circuit languishes in the fringes and doesn't get work because it demands a healthy environment to work in where logic prevails, whether to do with timings or to do with the sheer quality of content. On the contrary, absolutely unevolved people falling into the category of corrupted minds call the shots.
In a country of 1 billion where over 40 percent of the population is Muslim neither one series in 500 odd channels has a muslim character nor one of the faith is in the secondary or tertiary lists.
In a nation battling globalization where multi culturism is more a necessity than a choice, not one series addresses the issue or attempts to move out of a house with a large joint family, which barely exists in reality anymore.
A vigilant media today has forced the worst evil in the Indian system, corruption, to be tabled in Parliament, but not a single story addresses it.
Because to write such stories, which take into their narratives sensitive issues and help find solutions through their characters as they unfold as well as make compelling viewing, channels need to invest in development and nobody is ready to do that as it brings them in confrontation with creative and talented people who challenge them and drive channels to do what is right.
And dare not anyone say that good programming doesn't work.
It's been too long that I have had to hear the arguement that television does not cater to you and me, and that it is only targetted to the lowest common denominator.
Are we trying to say that the lowest common denominator does not deserve respect? That people belonging to the lowest end of society which bring in the ratings can't appreciate the good?
Sorry, I don't buy that arguement.
Because for me to be convinced, I have to see those executives who save their positions while they put in danger the social fabric of a country in the bargain, justify and defend their work without squirming when the television camera is on them.


Pooja Nair said…
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Pooja Nair said…
Like your rightly said...if people had not loved it..they would not have watched it in the first place..n the TRPs would have shot up as a result of that...i dont subscribe to the practice of removing the programs to a different time slot..what are they acheiving at the end of it?