Another gem from the Upper House

Yesterday it was about “unpardonable acts”, today it’s about reality shows. I kid you not. Today’s Deccan Herald’s Politicos can’t face reality shows how our politicians are highlighting the important issues. (Read the full article please, it’s short and sweet.)

Members cutting across party lines raised the issue and demanded that the government regulate such shows to “prevent” them from polluting the minds of the people. Raising the issue during zero hour, Kamal Akhtar from the Samajwadi Party gave an example of a new television programme, Sach ka Samana, where a celebrity is asked to face a polygraph test.

He said the programme anchor asked a female contestant obscene questions — in the presence of her husband — like whether she would have physical contact with another person. When she replied in the negative, the polygraph test proves her was answer wrong, Akhtar said, wondering what impression this would create on her husband.

What impression would it create on her husband is that he needs to up his game if you know what I mean. But, physical contact with another person, not a man necessarily, could also mean that her husband’s not a hugger or that he doesn’t snuggle up to her in bed or that she needs more hugs from other people around her. Or maybe she likes shaking peoples’ hands.

Nobody’s forced the contestants to be on the show. They’re adults, they’re in the show for the chance to win money. And if they’d watched the corresponding English-equivalent (The Moment of Truth), they’d have gotten a good idea of what the show was about. Maybe they should’ve read the fine print as well. If you’re getting a chance to win what seems like easy money, you have to be smart enough to realize that there almost always will be a catch. (No free lunch, that sort of thing.)

Plus, the whole point of reality shows is to create “simulated drama” so that the show itself is compelling for people to watch. Would anyone watch a show where they asked the contestants questions about whether they flossed or not? People want stuff with more “masala” and TV channels are giving it to them. If we really want to stop such shows, not watching would be the best way to do that–if everyone stopped watching, the ratings would plummet. Because people are watching, the shows are hugely popular and everyone and his aunt is creating a reality show.

But, I’ve digressed. What in Voldemort’s name is the Rajya Sabha doing wasting time discussing reality TV shows. What’s next: a discussion on whether Western toilets should be banned because they’re “from the West”?

I’d better not be giving them any ideas.


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