India Uncut

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Shilpa Shetty and Celebrity Big Brother

It seems our government's getting involved.

This is all most silly. You put a bunch of people together in a place for a long period of time and it's inevitable that some of them will turn out to be jerks, and they'll fight and call each other names and so on. Big deal. I'm sure Shilpa Shetty expected no less when she agreed to be part of this show, and by all accounts she's dealing with it admirably well.

But the furore in India is bewildering. I turned on CNN-IBN yesterday and there was Rajdeep Sardesai speaking about it with such gravity that I thought maybe India and Pakistan were close to war. Across our TV channels, panel discussions were on, soundbytes were being taken, clips from the show were being looped endlessly. The newspapers had it on their front pages today, as if India's sovereignty had been threatened and China had 6 million troopers in Arunachal Pradesh. Trivial tribulations trembled.

There's similar fuss in England, it seems, as people file complaints and politicians enter the fray. I'm sure many of those offended will help vote out the people who called Shilpa names, which is exactly the right way to deal with the matter. Expecting the government to get involved, or the broadcasters to take some action, is an over-reaction: they shouldn't step in unless there is physical violence, or something similarly serious, which are surely covered in the contract the participants signed with the producers.

Reality shows of this kind reveal human nature, and it often isn't pretty. Such it is, so it flows.

PS: I am baffled by this statement from Germaine Greer:
As a Tamil, Shetty has certainly had to deal with discrimination at home in suburban Mumbai.
Is there another Mumbai somewhere that I don't know about?
amit varma, 11:53 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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