Sunday, May 6, 2012


Marshall McLuhan said -the medium is the message and when the medium is as larger than life as a Bollywood  star in India the message does create a huge roar of support and criticism alike.Yes there is no denying the fact that we live in a commercial capitalist setup where even sympathy is driven by the money it can eventually make.But isn't that true for every click we do on our cell phones and every packet of wafers we buy. We the people are now fodder for the number of likes on Facebook or the figures of shares on Youtube.
In television lingo we are the foot soldiers for the battle for the eyeballs and the so called TRPs which decide the fate of TV programs, the number of plastic surgeries by Mihir Virani"s and the generation leaps with no change in age or appearance,the oh so important breaking news about politicians with their pants down or the kilos of weight put on by a celebrity bahu..
We gulp it all ,and so when the much-hyped ,create-demand-manipulate-supply superstar promises a cry from his heart for his country backed by a huge TV network ,the largest mobile network and his own mammoth production house ,we anticipate a big show(down).
A few years ago DCP Ajay Singh Rathore played by Aamir in SARFAROSH says - yeh mere ghar ka mamla nahin hai ,yeh mere desh ka mamla hai.A few years later he is the art teacher taking up the cause of  a dyslexic child in TARE ZAMEEN PAR, and then as the genuine genius he makes us review our education system in 3 IDIOTS.What did we do? We, you and me thronged the theaters ,but now the issues have come knocking into our drawing rooms , a bit too close for comfort ,so are we afraid of miniature revolutions brewing in kitchens,or are we scared that the oppressed might also get a peek on Doordarshan  and begin asking uncomfortable questions.
Oh aren't we the evolved audiences of the dirty picture fame, you see we now are alright with open displays of emotion so if we can be open about sexual issues I do not see why we can't wash this piece of very dirty laundry in public too.It may not bring any change but it is stirring the stagnancy a little if not much.
OK lets assume the stories are exaggerated,the audience reactions are paid,the social zeal of a film star is a farce but contrary to what a lot of critics have argued THE ISSUE IS NOT A NON-ISSUE.The graphics are glossy but the figures are real ,the girls not allowed to be born are real and I can vouch for that.The unsolicited pity given to parents of only girls is a fact we can't deny.The partners in crime- wives and mothers who have chosen to remain quiet still outnumber the few who were brave enough to save their girls at the cost of their marriages and the so-called false honour.Can't we see that the mothers on the show who chose to save their girls paid a price as if it was a crime to stand up for their child who was not of the right gender,if I may say so.
I am very skeptical about armchair activism too,but if there is an initiative for awareness via advertising why not,don't we devote as much time if not more to advertising about fairness creams,soaps,lotions, colas and
double meaning film songs.
Aamir Khan is India's new OPRAH, yes he is because like her his show is about 'rapport talk ' but only for 90 minutes per week where again you and me have a remote we can use,what about the rest of the week- the dubbed dumb cartoon shows we feed our children,the overdressed repressed soaps now graduated to talking about extra-marital woes,childless couples,homosexuality in a cliched shh shh fashion,the unasked for soft pornography on music channels,why not say something about them too, or did I forget that it is fashionable to criticize a celebrity and look for my own 15 minutes of fame.Aren't we the culture who make celebrities so huge only to enjoy tearing them down later?
This boring show about a film star's political ambitions and a TV network's marketing ambitions as many say must die its own death if it is not worth it like the citizen activism that we were so gaga about a few months ago.
But I want to give it a chance a fair chance at least, and may this" social pornography" as critics call it rub shoulders with the wide variety of other pornographies on sale  and emerge only if it is worth it.
He might have messed it up big time,only time will tell, but are we not becoming a nation of status quoists?Or is being a celebrity and not talking about only award shows and IPL teams a crime too?
We question all new initiatives,and we must by all means, but in a country which spend mind boggling money on a silly T20 tournament every year and crores on movies and TV soaps that are soulless lets give this informed discussion a chance even though it is backed by the same dirty money.
Cynicism about the system has led us nowhere, lets give optimism a chance.don't SMS if you don't want to be part of the commercial aspect of this program but don't participate in whatever small way you may be in preventing girls from coming into this world.


  1. Absolutely no disadvantage in being Aamir Khan. If Aamir Khan didn't take this initiative and any unknown citizen did, what would be the magnitude of viewership? It helps, if a celebrity is at the helm of affairs. The idea is to reach maximum viewers. As for the issues, yes, we are armchair activists (at least I am). Something must be done, of course by us citizens only. Waiting for the government to take steps isn't really the proper way. Conscious kinetics must be undertaken.

  2. Though DG has not seen the show, but few GGTS readers have mentioned it to her.

    ...a film star's political ambitions and a TV network's marketing ambitions as many say must die its own death...

    This is DG's pet peeve, so what if he fails? At least he tried and will have no regrets that what could have been...

    People want a change but do not want to change themselves. Change is not a season that will happen on it's own it takes a conscious effort to change the situation.

    In agreement with you.
    Desi Girl

  3. @venkyhere: there are obvious disadvantages of being a recluse perfectionist in a media-savvy industry especially the one who is blamed for coming out of the shell only when he has to market something.I have no argument against or for that criticism because it doesn't really matter,what must be appreciated that here is someone putting his money,time and effort to raise some awareness about a very valid is upto us to succumb to its marketing aspect only and not understand the seriousness of the concern.Thanks for your opinion.

  4. hey DG ! welcome here ! even if the show dies its own death ,the issues should occupy our mental spaces and urge us to act.thanks for your opinion !


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