Monday, September 24, 2007

Indian Idle?

This euphoria over Indian Idol beats me. Sure, there have been lot of politically correct comments made about how this show has enabled people from beyond the metros to make their presence felt and reassert themselves. Yes, agreed. The munda in Punjabi Bagh (New Delhi) at least now knows there's a city called Shillong somwhere in India. Nothing more.

It is unfortunate regional disparities have to be settled - if at all they are - on a television show that at best may be described as a con exercise masquerading as a lacklustre pop gig.

The final episode of Indian Idol received over seven crore votes, a figure The Telegraph points out, is more than the entire population of the northeast. Each SMS cost between Rs 2-3 and calls from mobile were priced at Rs 6/min. Given the load of pre-recorded shit one has to go through before voting (and to do a lot of other things these days), a call to vote would have easily lasted more than a minute. So, let's see - seven crore votes would mean an earning of at least Rs 14 crore (considering all of these votes came in through the cheapest SMS route @ Rs 2 for each SMS). Add the ad revenue, and that would mean a super loot for Sony and its executives. So what if the finalists get two cars and the winner Rs 1 crore? That's pittance for all what has been raked during the enitre Indian Idol season.

Indian Idol is no nation-building or amity-promoting exercise. It's a money-making racket. It's not even a talent hunt show. In any case, what becomes of these idols after the initial cheer? The two earlier idols have been tethering on the edge of oblivion. Can you even recall their names? To ensure the two don't topple over, they were presented on the stage during the final yesterday singing songs that failed to register and entertain. Will Prashant Tamang have a better future? I sincerely hope so. But I still suggest he keep his job with the West Bengal police.

Also, why cannot the idol be selected by a panel of outstanding judges? Lata Mangeshkar has criticised the process of choosing winners through votes. The organisers defend the policy saying it allows democracy to find a voice. At the same time, SET India, the organisers, have refused to let us know the margin of votes with which Tamang won. Now which democracy would not want its citizens to know how many votes did the winning candidate and his nearest competitor receive?

How about placing the organisers, like in our democracy, under the RTI Act and demanding information they have so far witheld? Just a few quick questions I would like to ask:

1) How many votes did each candidate of the third edition of Indian Idol receive?
2) What was the amount of money generated through these votes?
3) Why cannot normal rates be allowed for texts and calls to vote? Why do voters have to be charged premium rates?
4) The profit earned by SET India?

Enough of a rant! See you in the next season of Indian Idol!


Blogger himanshu vyas said...

Your suggestion worries me - how do we urgently convey this to Tamang , " Keep your job with WB police !!"

...please send a link to him !

8:40 PM  

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