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The crap on Indian television

The crap on Indian television
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First Published: Fri, Oct 07 2011. 09 13 PM IST

In the house: Nihita Biswas, wife of infamous criminal Charles Sobhraj, is a contestant. Photo by Prakash Mathema/AFP.
In the house: Nihita Biswas, wife of infamous criminal Charles Sobhraj, is a contestant. Photo by Prakash Mathema/AFP.
Updated: Fri, Oct 07 2011. 09 13 PM IST
Dear Bigg Boss,
In recent years, Indian television has seen a lot of crap—in fact, call it a coincidence but the stuff that outrages me the most (aside from the news channels) has invariably aired on Colors, the same general entertainment channel that you hang out at.
In the house: Nihita Biswas, wife of infamous criminal Charles Sobhraj, is a contestant. Photo by Prakash Mathema/AFP.
So what if there’s a new “education” theme on top-rated show Balika Vadhu these days? I’ve always believed that the vile serial about a child bride (incidentally, my mother is still addicted to it and I blame you for that) should never have been conceptualized let alone aired on national television.
Until a year ago, I routinely forced myself to keep tabs on all these shows that depicted violence against women and female infanticide in the name of education and reality. Then I decided to ban Colors from my television viewing. Why support a channel that doesn’t support women, I reasoned.
It wasn’t a complete ban. Once a year, I decided, I would succumb to your baritone instructing housemates to make chicken sounds all night and engage in other asinine activities. Once a year I would ignore the husband when he asked me: “How can you watch this show?”
I’m a Bigg Boss addict and not ashamed about it. I feel like a New India sociologist, and not a bored voyeur when I watch 14 housemates trapped in your candy-coloured house for three months.
They always make it to the news. Last year, within the first four episodes of your show, the Shiv Sena protested, a real-life thief made a dramatic exit, three people sobbed on camera and we sniffed a romance. The Bigg Boss Season 4 cloud would have had the following tags: abused women, MMS scandal, cricketer squeezes, lawbreakers.
So what happened this year?
Why no above-average biceps in Season 5? No lawbreakers? There’s only one wife of a criminal. And one lover of the ex-husband of last year’s winner. Are we going to have to spend the entire season waiting to see if the Creep, the only male on this year’s show, is going to get lucky with one of the 12 silly female housemates/the transsexual?
If I have to complete this season, Bigg Boss, you need to promise me two things.
First, you will confiscate all the Creep’s diaphanous, sleeveless nighties and ensure we don’t have to see him bend so his posterior fills the camera. Also, ensure we don’t see his thighs please—I draw the line at this appalling skin show.
Second, ensure that there is no further talk of bowel movements. I don’t want to know if a housemate can’t take a crap. Or what trauma that lack of crap is causing her. Sneak in some dates and a bowl of spinach if you must. Suggest a non-invasive fix-it such as an abdominal massage (don’t air the massage). But no crap confessions please.
As I said before, we’ve already seen a lot of crap on Indian television.
You can write to me at lounge@livemint.com
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First Published: Fri, Oct 07 2011. 09 13 PM IST