Just yesterday there was a huge debate in the Rajya sabha. All MPs, atleast those who were present and those who were awake, cut across party lines and debated on the topic. If you are really wondering what policy of social concern has caused the politicians to wake up from their sleep, sit up and take notice, it is nothing but the increase of reality shows and the obscenity in them. The centre of ire this time was the new show aired on Star TV, “Sach ka Saamna”.
The show was noted to have “obscene” and uncomfortable questions which are asked to the contestants and thus the MPs were supporting the imposition of ban on the show as it is against our culture. Not long ago, most of these MPs, were blaming a party of indulging in moral policing and we even had a minister crying hue over how the government of a particular state could decide on the culture of a particular country. But now here they are debating about the morality of a show in the parliament.
Lets leave behind the politics of the issue or the party politics. But what I wonder is this an issue which is to be debated in the parliament. We all know that to run a minute of proceedings in the parliament thousands of rupees are spent. So was it really worth spending thousands or even lakhs of rupees to discuss this issue? There are hundreds of other issues which need attention. There are cases of cholera spreading in a particular area. Some regions in the country are reeling under drought, while in Orissa there has been a situation of flood. In Pune, there have been cases of swine flu among school children. Aren’t these issues to be discussed in the parliament? Aren’t these the issues which will affect the “aam aadmi”?
After all who will see this program aired at 10:30 in the night? Not the common man who is worried about how he will reach office tomorrow, not the man who is worried about the health of his kid, or the spread of some disease. I would believe not more than 5% of the Indian population will be seeing the programme. So I don’t see the point in having a discussion on some topic which is going to “affect” a very small % of people and “corrupt” them.
Now coming to the programmes coming under censorship by the IB ministry, I have a question on the necessity of the censorship. After all, this programme is being aired well after the “prime time” at 10:30 pm in the night. So, if the government is concerned that the kids would be corrupted, is it the role of the government to act as a moral guardian for them? Wouldn’t the parents be the right people to allow/ not allow the kids to see the programme. I believe the parents know what is good or bad for their kids than the government.
If the government feels that the adults in the country will get “corrupted”, I really wonder is anything left to be corrupted. Haven’t the saas-bahu serials taken care of that part? Moreover, they being adult, shouldn’t they have the reasoning power to make the decision of right or wrong? If not, then what is it that is not giving them this reasoning power?
Moving over to the feeling of the participants and how their relatives feel, the participants know what questions are going to be asked, because they would have undergone a polygraph test with a superset of around 50 questions from which the 21 questions will be asked. So I think they can get out of the show, if they are not comfortable. They are there to win the money and they are ready to undergo the polygraph test. Their “loved ones” support them. Most of these people have already seen the parent show of this, the show from which this is inspired on Star. They know the kind of questions which will be asked and if they have agreed to come on the show, then they are ready to face it. So, is there any need to ban the show for this?
Now I am not a fan of this show. On the contrary, I haven’t watched a single episode of this show, or any of the reality show because I do not like it. But that is my personal issue. I cannot ask for a ban on something if I do not like it. If it goes like this I would have asked for a ban on all the mega-serials which are being aired now.
All I am asking is what happened to the right to freedom, right to chose what I want? Shouldn’t the government, MPs come out of this over protective parenting behavior with unnecessary issues and treat the people as adults who could make their own decisions on what to see and what not to see?
Although it is heartening to see the politicians debating on some issue finally in the parliament, it is heart-wrenching to see the kinds of issues they decide to debate on. We elected these people and sent them to parliament to discuss on these? Please come back, we will discuss this on a cup of cut chai and a plate of pakodas.