Friday, December 6, 2013

Bigg Boss, Comedy Nights and other voyeurisms

Two extremely 'superhit' programs on Indian television screens these days are 'Bigg Boss' and 'Comedy Nights with Kapil.' These serials enjoy high TRPs and have made celebrities out of erstwhile cricketers and second rate and forgotten TV actors.

The analysis of the content of these programs reveals a dangerous trend setting in the social fabric of our country. While Bigg Boss primarily brings voyeurism right in our bedrooms and legitimizes it, Comedy Nights with Kapil is doing the insidious job of making fun of people and reinforcing stereotypes in the name of comedy. The comedy in the latter's case is not situation based; instead it revels in making fun of people and their lives.

Both these programs, insidiously, are leading to a point where the line between fun and bullying is getting blurred day by day. We are moving towards a society where entertainment is being defined as bullying others and peeping into other's bedrooms. A situation in which there is no critique of the current social order and its problems. Instead, targeting others for their differences is being sold.

How do we understand this phenomena?

The blatant copying of the American mode of entertainment, rise of technology based on the principle of 'selling' the product to maximum people and continued and unhindered freezing of stereotypes, among others, can be counted as reasons for this state of affairs.

With the idea of selling everything firmly entrenching in our society, it is going to be almost impossible to stop this juggernaut from rolling. The voices of a few limited people will be suppressed in the name of TRPs and profits. Soon, bullying will become the norm while growing up in schools, followed by gun killings.

Welcome to America!

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