Reality shows like Who wants to be a Millionaire, The Weakest Link, American Idol and others have been very famous in the West since a long long time. We Indians as usual have been amazing at copying the West in every way possible be it their culture, their way of living, their movies and so it wasn’t a surprise when the Indians started copying their prime – time television programs.
Kaun Banega Crorepati (Who wants to be a Millionaire) was the comeback vehicle for AB Snr and it also brought the concept of reality shows in the country. Everyone wanted to be famous, everyone dreamt of meeting AB Snr, everyone wanted a lot of cash. Then came Indian Idol (American Idol) which gripped the nation like never before. Everyone irrespective of whether he / she could sing or not wanted those few minutes of fame and obviously cash. Earlier on, most of the reality shows were interactive like game shows, singing and dancing shows etc – that is the people could easily take part, vote via SMS (Rs 3 for one vote) and thus become famous.
As time went by the attitudes of the people also went a sea change. The reality shows started including regression therapy, emotional relationships, challenges, weddings etc. Is Jungle Se Mujhe Bacchao with celebrity participants having to go through various challenges to win the top prize and with Shweta Tiwari and Negar Khan taking bath in their bikinis, Rakhi and Rahul Ka Swayamwar (the most publicized weddings), Sacch Ka Saamna (one of the biggest examples of people deriving vouyeristic pleasure in others sorrows and life), Emotional Attyachar (a show where the partner conducts a “loyalty test” on the other one) to name a few have become very popular.
While making such programs, the television media tries to fool all of us by saying that the TRPs (Target Rating Points) of their shows are so and so and that indicates how popular their shows are. TRPs are measured among JUST about 2000 people totally in 6 metro cities of the country. Does 2000 make a big difference among 1.2 billion? The answer is NO. So there is nothing to prove that a particular audience is watching a show and that’s why channels should make such shows. There’s no doubting the fact that more and more people do watch such shows but the way the channels fool people in the name of TRPs is shocking.
One thing which connects all the reality shows is that all the laughs, happiness, tears and even acts of fighting are staged (if not all – at least 99.99%) to attract audience. I am sure some may not agree.
But in the end the moral of the game is “Agar Tamasha nahi dekhaoge, tab Kuch nahi bikega!” That’s why I say “REALITY SHOWS ON INDIAN TELEVISION ARE ANYTHING BUT REALITY!”