Kya India Sacchai ka Samna Kar Sakta Hai?
Posted July 26, 2009on:
Since everybody is talking about the subject, here are my two bits.
You know someone is speaking through their ass when they say “Sacchai ka samna” promotes the noble cause of truthfulness and inspires people to face and tell the truth. Well, that is what Rajiv Khandelwal said in a recent debate. He said those who reject the show are afraid to face the truth. In all fairness, the opposite side in the debate weren’t exactly epitomes of reason – a bunch of pious looking politicians, clamoring for the show to be banned as it was against “hamara culture”, with clinchers like “arre apne bedroom ki baatein apne bedroom mein rakho“, “arre bhai samaj ki koi dore hoti hai“. The supposed moderate politician, Sachin Pilot, a shining representative of progressive “youth” in Indian politics (which means he looks slightly better scrubbed than the rest, and speaks good English) didn’t offer much relief either. In slightly more mellow terms, he called for basically the same thing – regulation of the small screen, and censorship to ensure curtailment of “vulgarity” and “indecency” on TV. And when all sides in a discussion fail to voice what you feel, you cant help but feel constipated.
But on second thoughts, I agree with Rajiv.
The show undoubtedly is a result of a fierce competition for viewership, taking programming to a new low in voyeuristic invasiveness, or in other words “masala”. Just as you think programming couldn’t get any more masaledaar, a new show is released, which makes the previous one seem dignified in comparison. And you, with your bulging eyes and watering mouth, discard your loyalties with the earlier show, and glue yourself to the new one. That’s exactly how I felt when I betrayed MTV Roadies, and moved on to Splitsvilla. Whenever i got back to Roadies, it had started to seem somber and respectful. Then came Splisvilla 2, Big Boss, Sarkar ki Duniya, Is Jungle se Mujhe Bachao, Rakhi ka Swemwar, and now Sachai ka Samna as the cat fights got louder, the tilt increasingly sexual and personal, and a new vocabulary emerged – “task”, “immunity”, “voteout”, “deserving”. The shows are incredibly voyeuristic, trivial, offensive, hurtful to the sensibilities, and irresistibly tantalizing, and titillate you to the core.
Yet, the government has no businesses to regulate or ban them.
Ultimately, it is a question of sensibilities, and the State has no business regulating sensibilities. A liberal and progressive society is one where the State restricts itself to matters of governance, and keeps away as far as possible from matters of personal choice, which don’t affect the collective, at least in a direct way. To suggest that Sach ka Samna is aired with a noble cause is absurd, but an exxagerated negative reaction to the show is reflective of a neurotic society which is insecure and unable to face its sexuality. Anything sex and sexual makes us wince and is always sought to be kept under the covers – a celebrity who admits she committed adultery, a couple kissing in a park, a 20ish girl having an affair with a boy in the neighborhood. Yet we are as horny as any people, or even more so, because of being so deprived of what is such an overwhelming instinctive need.
It is representative of a repressive medieval mindset which tramples underfoot the concept of “live and let live” and seeks to invade the personal dominion of the individual under the guise of “our culture”, “our traditions”, “our way”. The collective “we” is thrust upon you, forced down your throat, as the society takes it upon itself to decide what is right for you. The recent lynching of a young man by a village khap is part of the same picture. And through our medieval lens, the west comes across as morally corrupt and decadent.
The logical next question is. If it is not the business of the govt what is broadcast on TV, as long as people want to see it, and the people on TV want to be seen, why not pornography? The answer is, why not? It is incredible how scared we are of a need which is compelling, immediate, universal and so near the surface even as we go around our daily business.
India sacchai ka saamna nahi kar sakta.