By Shashank Peri:
“Arey yaar kal Big Boss me kya hua dekha”?
“Roadies me Raghu ne kya maari uss bande ki”
“Splitsvilla is sooo cool.”
These are the conversations one can easily come across in public areas nowadays. Be it your classroom, office, bus stop, or a local train, these pseudo reality shows have dominated the Indian media market like a plague virus. I used ‘pseudo‘ because everything that goes in these shows is in every definition a deviation from what’s commonly referred to as an accurate representation of reality.
Reality shows do not present reality in any way, it is both implicit (participants being placed in unusual situations) and deceptive or even fraudulent. These are some of the measures that leave nothing to chance or ‘reality‘:
*Participants being coached in what to say or how to behave.
*Storylines generated ahead of time.
*Scenes being staged and re-staged for the cameras.
The shows are intended to humiliate or exploit participants (particularly on competition shows). They make celebrities out of unwanted people who do not deserve fame, and glamorize vulgarity and materialism.
I understand that entertainment is necessary and I am not against it but entertainment too, like everything else, does have a boundary. When more than half the youth population of a country is willing and aspiring to get fame and popularity by entering these shows, there definitely is something wrong with the whole system.
Earlier, students aspired to become engineers, literature experts, doctors etc. Their goals were defined and they didn’t bask in the glory of people who won a stupid TV show and aspired to become like them. Survey suggests that 1 in 4 of every youth aging 18+ now aspires to become a celebrity by entering these ridiculous TV shows.
The big question now. Whats wrong in that?
What is the very purpose of existence of these shows? Entertainment. But that boundary has long been crossed. People are less interested in the development of the very nation which they abuse everyday, but very comfortable in enjoying the bitchiness, gossip and voyeurism portrayed in these so called ‘reality shows‘.
Our minds have been infected and we need a way out of this, else soon the greatest strength of the country will become its greatest weakness, which is the youth. I do not ask not to watch these shows, but letting it get into your head is another problem. Today, an average youth knows less about their fundamental duties and apparently everything about Shahrukh’s and Salman’s fights. Doesn’t anyone think that there is something terribly wrong with this country?
Richard Steele aptly said “Fire and swords are slow engines of destructions, compared to the tongue of Gossip.“