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The Scene behind the Scenes


I have always wondered about the kind of reality that the new genre of reality television in India portrays; whether it is in the laughs, the tears, the controversies and the fights between the contestants or in some case the judges; or perhaps, it is in making the people from the most humble settings rise to super star status.

Circa 2005, twelve contestants were chosen to sing each week with the hope of attracting our votes, so that each one of them could become the next Indian Idol. The rules were simple, phone lines were open to anyone who could call or text, any number of times for the same contestant or more than one. The contestant receiving the least number of votes was eliminated each week. One would believe that since masses voted for the winner; he or she is automatically a success and sell the most records.

The twelve contestants captured the Indian television for a few months. Every week each contestant was eliminated. In the end, two contestants remained, Abhijeet Sawant and Amit Sana, both dark horses in this race. Abhijeet Sawant won, partly due to his smile and partly due to his popular appeal and cut an album. The album sales were good but not commensurate with the number of votes he received. One would believe that someone, who received a ‘few lakh’ votes and a massive fan following would continue to remain a star for a long time.

So one wonders why this aberration exists. Why the winners despite receiving the largest number of votes, fail to remain successful for over fifteen minutes. If they had mass popularity, they would have at least got a contract with a multi national like Pepsi or Coke, who always select popular idols and icons for their products before anyone else. One would imagine that these pop artists, who already have universal popularity, or so it seems, would enter mainstream film music, which is the ultimate validation for music artist. But why have they been rejected?????

Voting in reality shows, no doubt reflects regional and caste realities. This is primarily, because entertainment is a lot about regional culture. Indian idol also proves to be tricky, because one, who votes, may not may not but records and vice-a-versa. More importantly in this case luckily the television or radio can be turned off if one’s candidate losses or winner does not suit one’s preferences, unlike parliamentary elections, where their policies take away your college seat, land or even freedom. Yet, such policy framers are given pedestal that they vie for. They win from their respective constituency, simply because the college seat or the land they were taking away from you was being lavished upon someone else. The people, who want the resource badly, ask for it and participate in the whole decisive process.

The truth of politics and life is simple. One cannot please all the people all the time and only please some, all the time. The idea is to create institutions where one most please most of the people for most of the time. Think about it dear friends, THINKKKKKK………………