Indian Television Post Ekta Era  

Posted by Vee

Ekta ruled Indian Television for good 10 years or so and made fortune by making monkey-ass out of us viewers. I do not know if she has totally lost the touch but I can say for sure that number of shows coming out of her production house is negligible. Currently, reality shows have taken a whole new look and are intimating some or the other. Many have found Star Plus’s Sach Ka Saamna a nerve-racking one, whereas Sony’s Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao is touted as a skin show if not just freakish and scary. NDTV Imagine’s Rakhi Ka Swayamvar is still not digestible to many and is looked down. How can she do that? It is just a gimmick of making money out of a marriage. Rakhi is cheap and her show is cheapness personified. And many such comments have been made. I find all this a tad too irrational and a lot more hypocritical. Time and again it has been established that we Indians are the hypocritical ones and when it comes to Television, nothing and absolutely nothing which is made/re-produced in our country goes without a hostile response.

I find nothing wrong with the above three reality shows. I have never been an Idiot Box fanatic but a good entertainment at the end of day doesn’t do any harm. I have enjoyed just one show (MTV Roadies) in last 6-7 years post Buniyaad/Nukkad/Fauji/Swabhimaan days. And unlike many others, I have always admitted of catching few episodes of Saas-Bahu saga from Ekta factory. How can I demean them if I do not see them and critic myself? Also, upon finding them utterly uninteresting I have stopped but never made a judgment on those who continue to watch, again, unlike many others.

As I said, these reality shows might be scripted but I do not find them obscene and vulgar. What I find disturbing is that plethora of women/girl-centric television serials have found a foothold after Ekta K-Series. If Ekta promoted debauchery, infidelity, multiple marriages, multiple re-incarnations, these newbies are flaunting ‘How women/girl should be treated as in our society?’ I saw one such show called Ghar Ki Laadli Betiyaan whilst surfing between Iss Jungle and Sach Ka. This was being aired on Zee TV. I thought of stopping for a minute or two but ended up seeing till the end because I could not believe what I was seeing. I was quite bothered after seeing that show for 20 mins or so.

Father-in-law along with his two sons is standing knee-deep in a small river and is about to do his own Shraddh. Both his daughter-in-laws are standing on the shore and are crying. He is furious and angry with his younger son’s wife. He says, “ Tum sab apni marzi ke maalik ho gaye ho. Mera marr jaana hi achha hai.” No where it shows he is sad and being ill-treated. Incidentally, he comes across as an egoist, stubborn and conceited. The elder son then starts shouting and blames the younger one for not keeping his wife under control and blames him and his wife for the on goings. All this while, younger one doesn’t speak or defends himself or his wife. Father continues to pour the ashes in the water.

How a person who is alive could throw his own ashes and conducts his own shradhh is a different thing to laugh about. Anyways, so finally the youngest daughter-in-law, who is supposedly the culprit breaks in, takes small quantity of water in both her hands and says, “Thik hai. Mai is nirmal jal ko sakshi maanke kasam khaati hun ki aaj se mai koi bhi nirnay akele nahi lungi. Mera koi bhi nirnay aapse bina puchhe nahi hoga. Agar kabhi aapko laga ki maine aapki marzi ke khilaaf kuchh bhi kiya toh mera mara muh dekhenge.” Her husband still says nothing. Father-in-law content after hearing this comes out of water. I was quite appalled at this. Women still are being shown as home bound, children raising sex objects. They cannot have opinions and decisions of their own. Still? Ekta had not done enough damage I guess; now these people have taken it on them to finish it off.

I spoke to my mother and sister after this and they filled me in with many such serials being screened these days. Majority of them are showing women in contemptible and low-priced fashion (Agale Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijo, Uttaran et al) and if not that they are shouting from roof top child marriage can work out if the family is well off (Balika Vadhu). What the hell. I find all these disturbing and alarming and not the reality show which are most often scripted but still enjoyable. I can surely switch off or move to next channel and I suggest those who find reality shows offending to do the same but in my case I am not taking back anything from the show after it’s over. However, the ones I mentioned above are clearly throwing wrong signals and many people are indeed catching them and implementing them. These shows must be banned or must be toned down.

Coming back to the aforementioned reality shows, Sach Ka Saamna (Copy of American show Moment of Truth which in turn was based on Columbian Show) has created a furor everywhere. Parliamentarians want it go off air citing various reasons which I cannot fathom and find juvenile. Can I not then rationalize my standing by stating watching someone revealing his/her secrets on national television is much more interesting than watching the same very politicians throwing chappals and shoes at each other right under the nose of the speaker. And that did not happen long ago. Two days ago in J&K assembly, similar story was repeated. Isn’t that sending wrong signals everywhere? Why target TV? People who are participating are adults and aware of what are they getting into. Their family and friends accompany them most of the times and even they take this in their stride (at least on screen). So, what’s the big deal if two or more people in mutual consent decide to rip off their innermost details to the world. The world can watch, enjoy and ignore or go to sleep; but no ways banning it is the way out.

Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao is a copy of Popular British show I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here wherein celebrities live in jungle for a period of two months with basic human necessities and have to go through horrendous tasks to earn the good hearty meal else they will be fed just rice and soup. Once again, moralists are up against it. The show is obscene and vulgar as female contestants are being shown taking the shower in open wrapped in minimal clothing. This is their argument. It is jungle and things are supposed to be the way it is in jungle. You cannot have four walled wrap for a shower in jungle. When basic necessities are provided in smallest quantity and contestants are bothered about their next meal, which animal is going to fuck their brain in the next task, how they will survive another day in jungle with no amenities after living a life of a celeb, moralists are complaining about the skin show and the shower in jungle sitting in their comfy home.

A lot has been said about Rakhi Ka Swayamvar. I found the show or tamasha as few called it a total time pass. The show seemed a dud in the first two episodes, probably because the Rakhi we saw was not the Rakhi we knew. She came across as a coy and quiet unlike her blatant self. I will not go into the details of the show and the 16 prospects that came from different parts of country (world) to woo the item girl. But surely I will cite out few scenarios/dialogues and stuff like that. To state the facts, the show is a super hit. No matter what people say, Rakhi and the channel have raked moolah like there is no tomorrow. Rakhi and her mannerisms were nothing less than hysterical at times. But then that’s Rakhi. Sab chalta hai. I find it very irritating when people voice their opinions in complete off-putting mode. Isn’t it a very basic thing to understand and implement that what she is doing is her decision and how she does that is her choice. What is the need of character assassination? If you do not like the content of the show or whatever that is shown, criticize that but generalizing a person’s character based on it is a big put off for me. She is not very fluent in English and sometimes her grammar and pronunciations are off-mark, but she has voluntarily accepted the fact eons ago and prefers to talk in Hindi. Still, I see people making fun of her. The same people, seeing an interview/performance of a non-english speaking actor with subtitles below go gaga about the person’s intelligence or beauty and find no flaw. Even in corporate world I have seen most of the European executives signing off in their local language. Why single out Rakhi? Another case put forth often is she is cheap-slut and a drama queen. So? What harm her drama is doing to you or your life or your character? She is flamboyant, just the way Nandita Das is not or Sherlyn Chopra is. Big deal. So what if she keeps harping on how sad her childhood was or how she doesn’t get along with her parents and how much she had to struggle to come up in life? She says she has not compromised a bit and has done no wrong to survive so far. I will believe that on face value. I am not supposed to do anything beyond that. Did not Salman’s fans forgive him on his face value when he said he has not committed any crime? I did not forgive him or accused him. For me, it doesn’t matter whether he committed crime or not. It’s his 3 hrs presence for which I can judge him. Same goes for Rakhi and whoever. People should just stop being judgmental and mind their own personal life than murdering the disposition of others.

Which brings me to the conclusion, all those moralists/parliamentarians/public should stop deciding on my behalf what to watch and what not to. I would also say, if they feel those women-demeaning serials are giving them a kick, please carry on. I did say those should be banned instead of reality shows, but each to his own I say. You enjoy your drama; I will dance on my routine.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 and is filed under , , , , , . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .

36 Pointless but Viscous Comments.

What Boyy? did someone ask you not to watch all those shows ???

I stopped watching TV loong ago ! Theres nothing that excites me. TV soaps, NO ! Coffee shows, NO! Reality shows, NO! Game shows, Rarely;again only on youtube and that too only Dus Ka Dum :D :D

I saw 'Big Boss' last year and found it quite enjoyable. It was fun.
On the other hand I can't stand the EK serials. Whatever chances of women empowerment we have in this nation are being wiped out because of the garbage that is shown in them. There is no substance in them.
But then, I think we all are equally to blame. Why will a serial air on television of the popularity is zero? They are there because people watch them.
At home, I have told mom and dad that they are just wasting their life watching the garbage and I expect something better from them. :)

@Vimmuuu, Why? No one asked you or what? When those parliamentarians raise this in session and ask for a ban they indeed are telling me not to watch.

I think you did not get what I am trying to say here. It's not about watching the shows or not. As I mentioned, I liked just one in last many years but of late started following these. The point is not whether you and I are seeing it or not. The point is how to deal with this. Few people can not take decision on behalf of all of us when it comes to deciding what to screen. Do not we get upset wen our other rights are targeted. So, why not this? You do not see but do not you feel there is something horribly wrong.

@Amit, The blame factor cannot be decided by the popularity. We have thousand social structures and hundreds of culture and gazillion strata of people. So, how to decide who is to be blamed and who is contributing in the popularity? Let it be popular but as I said, few things need to be toned down and if required in both forms of shows.

Oye!!! First thing 1st I wanted the 1st comment :-( remove that Vimmuuu bugger!!!!

And why o why did u repeat those lines from that serial here??? It was your moral responsibilty to spare us from that torture :(

As far as the present TV Serials are concerned even besides the reality shows there are some quality shows like Ladies Special, Aapki Antara et al. which are trying to successfully break thru the mold.

Vaise I hate the current crop of serials which begin with 18-19 age ki ladki as lead and then eventually get them married at 20. I wonder when will a serial come up which shows a single-working girl and enjoying life!!! Or may be a series on somebody like you!!!

As far as Rakhi's Mrrg mela is concerned...It is pure entertainment!!! She finally marries or not is not something that bothers me but yes at the end of the episode you can always find me laughing me heart out!!!

And yes I agree with you!!! MPs are wasting time on controlling serials when they have much better things to handle but they prefer to ignore them because they don't have the caliber to solve them.

If u don't like a serial change the channel!! Why make such an issue out of it?

Well i dislike reality shows of any kind. And I dont want to taste known bad food to be able to criticize it later :D :D
But yes each to his own. no point in discussing these in Parliament when we have hunger, poverty, illiteracy etc to discuss.

@Smita, I had to type those. I wasn't able to put across otherwise. I wasn't aware but I am glad there are those serials available which you mentioned. You are bang on. Why not such serials which exhibit optimism.... Series on somebody like me be a total obscene to say the least. Lol

You bet. It was absolute time pass. I like Rakhi even more now. Kahan se laati hai wo aise dialogues chun chun ke..

MPs should concentrate on sorting out their screwed life first.

@Reema, I too disliked ones which exploited the children to the core. But there is no harm in the one which are more game based. Yeah, Poverty and Illiteracy seems to be of less concern and Sach ka Saamna is giving them sleepless nights. I guess they are terrified they will be forcibly pulled in the show and their secrets will come out. Channel should give an agreement they won't do such stuff. Lol.

i dance on my routine too..

I have yet to see Sach Ka Samna. Which is surprizing seeing what a huge fan I am of Rajeev Khandelwal.

I havent followed any serial at all on TV, but agree with you. The so called women-centric serials are really regressive. The comedy ones make me puke.

Somehow, whatever Rakhi Sawant does turns into gold. When she was on Big Boss, it was hit. Now Rakhi ka Swayamvar is making waves. Whether ppl watch it for the outrage factor, or whether they are really wowed by it, ppl are WATCHING, and having loads of fun.

I usually surf channels for movies. There is nothing that comes close to Seinfeld. I used to love The Big Bang Theory, but they seem to have stopped airing. The TV serials I really love seem to go off the air :(

Rakhi ka swaymwar is moer or less a comedy serial. The contestants and their reward [:)] both are mind blowing.
But once upon a time there was a guy named "musaddilaal-Office Office", he rocked

I dont have cable. When I did, K-serials were banned in the house. We preferred to watch Discovery, Nat Geo and Animal Planet. If not those, we preferred to watch movies.

The reason these shows should be judged is because it does create a wrong impression in the minds of the masses. I read a 11 year old say in a paper that he wanted a wife like 'balika vadhu' coz she wd then take care of his chores!!

This is why I have a deep disdain for K serials and such. True that we Indians have a desire to ban everything and we are opinionated about everything, sometimes without watching it. But, sometimes you dont have to read a bad book simply because the title itself is wrong.

I personally do not have any objection to reality shows, but the serials are another matter altogether. They are like a slow and steady poison that alter Indian minds.

Your post makes me wanna ask a question - A country of billion people and why cant we have original, inspiring shows instead of imported mindless drivel??? We have done it in the past.

How about a show on Kargil? on the lines of Fauji? Its the 10th year since that victory... it would be apt to make a show like that...!

:) So finally Mann ka gubar bahar

I was a big fan of MTV roadies till 5th season, somehow during this season found it Dud....

K-Series is atotal no for me from starting but was forced to watch a few episode of Agle Janam mohe and I loved one scene from it, Sudesh Beri throwing his shoe to his son saying Sasur ke naati
By God maja aa gaya wo dialogue sunke, kaafi dino baad suna waise :P

I even stopped watching indian news channel these days.. BTW heard bout Swagta Shah's (contestent of Splitsvilla-2) allegation on Nikhil Chinnapa and all :P

I think Aajtak found one new story to be focus on for a week or so...

Rakhi ka swayamwar: hehehehehe, it was dammn funny one.

I have seen only one episode of Sach ka samna, and that was a good one but i am still confused about reaction of MP's and all. If one wants to wash his dirty lenin and earn some money whats ur problem???

Since nothing to do these days i am watching KYLE XY series (its a ok ok one)


Vee, we should put those politicians on the hot-seat of Sach Ka Saamna. Let's see how they fare! :D

We, Indians, specialise in making a fuss of just about anything. Remember RGV's Jana Gana Rann? There's much more in store. Rajeev Masand wrote in Twitter that there's another song in Rann called Mera Bharat Mahaan which will surely make headlines, bad headlines. lol! Expect news channels to pointlessly feature that song as Breaking News(that is if Masand's prediction comes true)!

People should stop making fun of Rakhi's spoken English. We should be atleast proud that she prefers her mother-tongue. Last year when I was in Austria for a few days, I found out how people there give importance to their own language and culture..I didn't see a single signboard or billboard in English. Everything was German. I'm not saying that it should be similar in India (which is impossible anyway due to so many languages etc) but atleast we must appreciate our own culture first. I guess majority of the privileged Indians have a tendency to make fun of people who cannot converse in English. They are looked down this goes beyond Rakhi Sawant. It's really sad.
By non-English speaking actors, did you mean actors from the West or from India as well?

Anyway, great post! You just spoke my mind. Thanks :-)


Wow!!! A seething post? Sorry for asking but how long has it been since u got laid :P he he...

Ok Ok Bhai, jokes apart, yeah I agree completely that Reality TV is so much better than the Saas Bahu with hamming actors, troubled woman in ghunghats and a lot more crap.

And the Nukkad, Fauji days were awesome. Remember there was another one - Subah and the title song went, Subah ko.... Kar Salaam.

It was about college, drugs, friends etc. Awesome serials those. It was like, the streets used to be empty every day at 9 pm.

And I think this Father in law you're talking about married twice because from his first wife he had 4 daughters and from his second wife he got 1 son. And still they show him as the good guy.

I haven't yet watched Jungle coz. here all the three - SKS, RKS and Jungle come at the exactly same time.

Reality TV is a lot more interesting anyday.

@Rabbit, Yups..:)

@Ava, Like you I too usually surf between Star Movies/HBO/WM/Lumiere but have started watching these new Reality Shows of late. They are fun at times. Yups, TV serials which we like go off air soon and craps continue to run... on n on n on..

Apart from Seinfeld, I have enjoyed Bung Bang, OC, True Blood, FREINDS et al. And coming to our serials, we all like yesteryear ones.. Start Hum Log/Buniyad and I am sure it will get audience.

@Tarun, U bet.. Once upon a time.. Pheeew... Those were days..

@Einstein, You got it right. I am not trying to make a point here, who watches what and I do not know why people are trying to rationalize by sayin, "Oh, I do not watch such things and all that." The point is not that. It's like that Ostrich thing.

And once again u got it right by stating why not different stories, Udaan (Kiran Bedi) was huge success. Stories like that can be a big hit. Butm it's not just about TV. even our Bollywood keeps churning 90% of the movies in Romance Genre. Where are Sci-Fi, Horror and many other genres explored?

@Bhupesh, Haan sab bahar. Ab aaraam hai.

Lol, glad to know Sasur Ke Naati had that effect. I did not know about that allegation on Nikhil.

Anyways, you r right. If someone is making a drama of his/her life then how should that harm me?

@Bhargav, Correct. I am all with RGV in this case. You read how nicely he has given back to them. RDB, K3G, Krazzy 4 all had national anthem in them. RGV is had done nothing wrong and people should just chill. Let's see what mera Bharat Mahan is all about.

My work requires me to interact with executives from 19 European countries and I have seen how proud of they are of their native language.

by Non-English speaking I meant Actors from West and middle East (like French, German, Spanish, Iranian et al)..


@Rakesh Bhai, I did not mean to sound agitated initially. It just happened. And laid I got 3 days ago. Lol.. Sach ka Saamna.. hehehe...

No Bhai, I do not remember Subah..

I watch the repeats of all those reality shows and they all come at different times.

Couldn't agree with you less.

I too love Rakhi ka is much entertaining than all those f words saga going on idiot box...I hated jungle thing for its squeaky, freaky yucky tasks...Sach ka samna is ok, has a very limited shelf life.

BTW so many time Ekta Ekta Ekta...But no ekta khetan :( :'(

Very well written is the regressive soaps that should be banned. I am still shocked at the success of Balika....and people cite is a 'progressive' serial that will change people's views. Bullshit.

Quirky Indian

Thankfully I dont watch TV these days, and have remained so for a long time now!

Those good old days...... remember Godfather, Poirot, Great Expectations, etc on TV when we were children?????

I'm not sure if those golden ages will ever return!

Its a business out there. Channels are cashing on what different sections of people out there.

Take for example shows like Ghar Ki Laadli Betiyaan. Their target is the more conservative families where adults still have a say in majority of decisions. Any western-oriented mind will surely find it absurd.

Similarly, it will find shows like MTV Roadies more attractive.

Shows like Sach ka samna or big boss thrive on the perverted mindset present in almost every person which takes vicarious pleasure in knowing the scandalous lives of others.

It's a big fucking rangmanch out there and we are all its players.

I am going to go online and check out the Rakhi freak show....a lot of places tout it as a total entertainment! and I need to be entertained!...lolz the little pleasure sin life!

Nice writeup! Enjoyed it.

Of late I have been watching Sach Ka Saamna. And I'm liking it.
Come on if you don't like these reality shows, switch to something else. Nobody is forcing you to watch them!

Well with serials, don't know what's with people's minds.
I still cannot budge Amma, when watching K serials.Fully fed up!

I hate the K series..They are so melodramatic and a saga that has been dragged for years now!
If i have the time I either browse through TV for music channels or movies.....
And reality shows, well keeps the audience glued as it comes to end after a season...


Reality shows are better than dumb serials, anyday!!

Certain hindi serials drive you up the wall! i mean, in this day and age, to portray haracters who think like not even their forefathers used to, is horrid! And a good number of those village people watch all this and think this is life!


And yea, seriously! All politicians should be lined up and compulsorily made to attend the Sach ka Saamna programme. That would open quite a few eyes, for sure!

Glad you wrote this post, though I would have written it myself at certain point of time. :)

I hate hypocrites. Rakhi may be loud, unsophisticated but she's entertaining. And hilarious. That's why most people watch her. Don't know why people keep calling her names. That's disgusting.

And yu are right, I caught about two episodes at a friend's place, she way coy. And I didn't like that, and inwardly cringe. She should stay as she is. And Elesh, the guy is quite catch. I had actually liked him. Except one or two exceptions, rest of guys came riding on her popularity.

But that wont stop me teasing you by saying you wrote this entire post just to defend Rakhi Sawant. :D

@Ekta, Lol, now that u commented wo gila-shikva bhi khatam.

@Quirky, Thank you Sir, I hope the common sense prevails..

@Rakesh, Of course I remember, and for your query...Nopes, I do not feel that will ever happen.

@Abhishek, Yes, its big fucking rangmanch but its better to be perverted than demented.

@Angel, Hoping you have watched that by now on Youtube.. Its absolute time-vasool....

@Shayari, That's the pity... Same with my

@Valerine, That's the deal... Thanks.,

@Alphabet, Horrid is the word. And u r quite right about them politicians.. somehow, pls somehow, someone send them there.. must be a show of millennium.. Uhhahhhaha.

@Poonam, I remember you confessing once that Rakhi no matter what and how is an entertainer,.. and I had agreed totally. You think Elesh is a catch? Really? Well He is loaded for sure.. *wink*

Lol, who s stoppin u.. go ahead and tease.. Yes I did write all this crap to defend her.. I am her biggest fan... ;)

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